Decluttering – very, very, slowly
Last week we did a lot of projects, and the next one on my list is painting the walls of my studio. But before I can do that, I should declutter it!
My favorite fabrics and supplies, the ones that spark ideas of masterpieces, are organized in sweater stacker bags, shoe holders, and shelves, all easily visible. But I also have about 6 big plastic boxes of random fabric, yarn, batting, – useful stuff that I’ve been given. Stuff that is too good to just get rid of, but that will never find its way into a masterpiece. I don’t enjoy tripping over the boxes or hunting through them to find what I have in mind.
Yes, I am in the middle of two other quilts, but I could concentrate so much better without those big white plastic boxes staring at me! I decided that before painting, I should just zip through those boxes, transforming the supplies into nice donations to charity. How long could it take? The projects I make for charity are not that complicated!
I started with a big piece of dark blue “space” themed fabric. The design is a very weird combination of planets and moons in the style of NASA illustrations, along with gold outlines of sun and moon faces in a style of medieval woodcuts. It did not say “baby blanket” to me, or “quilt for a child in the hospital.” I thought it might make a nice lap robe for the VA hospital.
But I didn’t have enough for front and back of a lap robe. I had to stretch it with some other fabric. Usually I do a big square in the center, and then just keep adding borders until it’s big enough, like this:
but I thought the dark blue fabric would look better in relatively small pieces, set off with lots of white. I decided to make a 16-patch.
I had some trouble with the piecing. For ten minutes everything would be going great, and then I would change a bobbin or something and the fabric wouldn’t move smoothly, or the thread would pop. I try to be very consistent with type of needle and thread, I change needles all the time – but sometimes things just won’t cooperate.
When it came to the quilting, I was feeling pretty sure of myself. I had just done free motion spirals all over my sea glass quilt, and I thought that I finally knew what I was doing. I decided to do square spirals in just the white squares of this quilt, thinking that then the blue squares would puff up in comparison. I also thought I would try using the darning foot instead of the walking foot, to see if it was any easier.
I did like the darning foot better than the walking foot; it seemed easier to maneuver. But I still had lots of problems with the quilt just feeling draggy.
So here it is. It still needs binding.
Yes, just three days after I decided to declutter, I have succeeded in using up one piece of fabric, one bag of batting, and two spools of thread. At this rate, if I don’t take any days off from this task, my studio will be clutter-free in 540 days!
I feel you. But you at least end up with productive and pretty pieces! In my attempts to declutter I rarely get beyond throwing scraps around on my floor to no purpose… I’m glad you’re there to inspire me! 🙂
Well, it’s not done yet. But thanks for the nice comments! You have so many more pursuits than I do that I would think you might have a little clutter around – I heard the phrase “creative minds are rarely tidy” about 40 years ago, and I still use it! 🙂
Baby steps. Not only did you declutter, but you decluttered by creating. That takes extra skillz and deserves extra time. Most people declutter by foisting their stuff on other people or worse, just throwing it away. I like your way better. 😀
Thank you, so nice of you! I do love to take clutter and make it useful.