Monday, January 31, 2011

Sadie, My Little Friend


I have a friend to introduce to you. This is my friend, Sadie. I got her for Christmas. She is a Clutter Bug, who is also a timer. Time can actually be a friend to those of us with clutter problems. I look around my quilt room. I throw up my hands--"alas, alack, how can I EVER overcome this mess?" Sadie comes to my rescue!! Sadie helps me break my cleaning episodes into small, manageable chunks. By just working 15 or 20 minutes each day, I can conquer Mount Stashmore. 
Mount Stashmore 
 I learned this ethic from FlyladyFlylady taught me the foundation of all I know about decluttering. One of those tenants is "how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time." So, earlier this week I attempted to take a bite at my sewing room. I have a small closet which is full of boxes. I no longer remember what is in most of the boxes. Some of the things were treasures--quilt blocks from my mother:

1 of 30 Overall Sam blocks made by my mother,   Marie Rold

unquilted antique quilt tops; and several almost completed quilt projects. 

I was able to condense. I was able to throw away. And, I was able to talk my husband into selling our old Brother Word Processor. Pretty good for 30 minutes of work with Sadie! 2 shelves cleared. 2 more to go.

I think with my Clutter Bug, Sadie, at my side, I can create a beautiful, peaceful place to sew and quilt. I can hardly wait!! 

Until next time, 
Keep decluttering a bug bite at a time, and don't forget to take some time to sew and create!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Using my stash

Hi! Today I attempted a novel strategy in Stash Management. I cut fabric into 6 1/2 inch squares.

 I know...actually USING my quilting fabric. How fun!!  I have been working on a quilt for my oldest son, Michael. He is an Auto Technician for Nissan, so it seemed fitting he have a quilt celebrating his love for all things mechanical. A few years ago I started collecting fabrics with a car/mechanics theme. Then, because that wasn't scrappy enough, I broadened it to include his other interests--fishing, golf, and Bat Man. The pattern is Tossed Nine Patch.

  I decided to make the squares 6 1/2 inches so the blocks would be bigger, better show off the fabric and require fewer blocks. However, I got so into cutting squares, I will have ended up with enough blocks for a full size bed.
 I did have a short period of panic today. I am using a gray and white print, "Diamond Plate" from Easy Rider fabric series by Robert Kaufman as a  constant in each block.

 I thought I would not have enough for one square for each block and  began a desperate search on the Internet. I knew the chances were slim to none that I would find this fabric. I bought it about two years ago. Nothing on the Internet.  Then, later in the day, I traipsed down stairs to my basement stash to look for something completely unrelated and discovered I had another half yard left. Yippee! I have enough! The Fabric Fairies are smiling on me today!!  
Okay, maybe not a Fabric Fairy...but he guards my fabric from the  gremlins! 

I hope the Fabric Fairies smile on you and your projects...and tell those dang gremlins to stay away from your stuff. You know, the ones who hide your favorite scissors? The ones you KNOW you left next to the your sewing machine and later find in a bag with a half finished project? Yeah, THOSE gremlins 

Wishing you peaceful piecing,

Inaguaral Blog

Hi, I'm Deb. Welcome to my blog! I have been around quilting my whole life. My grandmothers quilted. My mother quilted. My sister quilts. However, I did not begin seriously quilting until 1987. It started quite innocently. My dearly beloved Quail (now my husband)  and I had decided to "save money" and move in together. However, Quail  was overwhelmed by the amount of possessions I had at the tender age of 27. Granted, he was a life long bachelor of age 43 who owned a couch, a chair, two plates, two glasses and a fry pan, so it did not take much for him to think I was over the limit. In my efforts to downsize, I went through the two boxes of  my mother's fabric I had been hauling around for about four years. ( She had passed away in 1982) I picked out a few of my favorite fabrics and then sent the rest off to the dump along with some other worn out items. After all, I had the boxes for four years and hadn't done any sewing with the fabric. What use was it? That was August 1987.  September 1987, I went to the annual quilt show of the Heritage Needlework Guild in Nebraska City, NE. I was smitten. The next month, I went to my first guild meeting. Jo Morton taught a class on hand piecing a log cabin block and how to use fabrics to make the quilt look old. (This was in the dark ages, before reproduction fabrics) I was beyond smitten. I was head over hills in love.
My first hand pieced, hand quilted mini quilt 
Look at those lovely 80's prints!
Backside of the mini quilt. Hmm, apparently BEFORE I learned how to bury my knots!

But, a problem presented itself. I no longer had a stash. I had sent it off to the city dump a few months earlier. Budding quilter that I was, I cleverly decided to make a scrap log cabin quilt for my dear Quail. This meant that each time I bought fabric, it was "for your quilt." I dutifully made sure at least one strip made it into a block...and the rest was for me!! I eventually moved from hand piecing the quilt to machine piecing, but nonetheless, I stretched out the "for his quilt" fabric rationale for ten years!! 
Quail's long awaited "football" quilt
Yes, I said TEN years. Ten years of buying little fat quarters "for your quilt." Buying sale fabric at my local fabric store. Buying impulse fabrics from my favorite quilt shops. While I completed other projects in the mean time, my stash continued to grow at a rate disproportionate to my ability to use it. I have since come to realize this is not a common problem with quilters. We can't help it. We love fabric. If you are like me, you like smelling fresh fabric. Touching  the smooth cotton. Petting it. Pressing freshly ironed cotton next to your cheeks. Warm cotton smells to good.

Now, another ten years have passed. My quilting life has had its productive and unproductive years. But even when I lacked time or inspiration, my love of fabric did not diminish. My sewing stash has gone from three tiny baskets labeled  light, medium and dark to two rooms which are bursting at the seams. I have become:

                 The Cluttered Quilter

With this blog, I am taking my quest public. I have inspiration. I have ideas. I haven't the foggiest idea where that one pink fabric with the pretty little flowers is. I need organization! I need horizontal surfaces to sew upon! I have come to the conclusion that my inspiration and ideas will never come to fruition until I declutter and organize. The best way to achieve that, is to work on it every day. Join me! I welcome any suggestions and comments! I hope to be able to offer some organizing ideas for you!