Saturday, June 29, 2013

Odds and Ends that go with Starts and Finishes

A couple of weeks ago Drama Teen asked if we could "refresh" the decor in her bedroom.  The comforter and wall art were selected when she was 9.  Now that she's 14, they don't fit as well.  She also pointed out that the cute little desk we got her when she was 5 so she could color in her room, barely holds her computer. She has no real room to take notes or have a book on it to study.  The new desk is ordered and will be here next week.  

She asked if I'd start the quilt that she asked me to make two years ago. (How can it have been that long ago?)  That's what she wants for her bed in her updated room.  She selected a whole rainbow of Batiks to use in that quilt.  I decided that would be my NewFO for July, so I went looking for those fabrics.  Two hours later, I had found most of them. In the course of tearing apart searching my closet, drawers and plastic totes, I realized there was a definite need to 1) stop buying fabric and 2) organize what fabric I do have. 

Back in December of 2011, I bought shelving for my fabric closet so I could get the fabric out into the open.  All the totes that had been used to hold my fabric were unpacked and for the short term that fabric was just stuffed on the shelves.  I've been working to press and fold all of my stash to a consistent size.  I've made progress.  

The unit on the left is all pressed, folded and sorted by color.  Only the second shelf on the right is pressed, folded and sorted by fabric collection.  The rest of the fabric still needs to be pressed and folded.    But I can at least see most of it and can paw through it when looking for something for a new project.

What I took me so long to find those Batiks for DT's quilt was searching the four bins containing all the new fabric which hasn't been washed yet.  

There are only 3 bins in the picture, the 4th is under my cutting table and its a too dark to get a good picture of it.  The 4th bin is as full as the bin on the far right.  

In one of my earlier attempts to put some order to my fabric, I tried filing them like files.  It didn't work so well.  So I'd really like to refold the drawer and a half that's been done that way and move them into the stash closet.

If I do that, then I can file all my fat quarters in their place, which actually works really well.  

But I need to make some progress on that front as well, only a handful have been "filed" so far. 

There are also four drawers of scraps scattered around the sewing room.  

I've discretely asked for a AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter for my birthday (I emailed My Guy a link to their last sale).  I'm hoping if I get one of those, these scraps will quickly disappear.  

The other organization problem is my reluctance to spend any time ironing fabric, unless I want to use it.  That has lead to a whole bin of  new fabric that's been washed, but not pressed.  

Where am I going with all of this?  If all my stash was organized, it would be much easier to be inspired by my stash, rather than all the be all inspired by buying new fabrics.  Plus if it was all pressed and folded, it would be ready to use for a new project.  It appears having to fess up publicly to a lack of progress is a real motivator for me.   That's worked with cleaning up my UFO list and scheduling time to sew each day, so it will probably work with stash organization as well. So I'm going to do something with this whole mess in the next month and report back on my progress at the end of July.   July is going to be pretty busy, so I don't think much is going to get done, but I'm going to start anyway.


Stella Nemeth said...

I can remember being 11 and not being able to get into the desk-thingie, that they had bought me when I was 8. It was cute and little and I wasn't anymore. So I get that your daughter needs a new desk, and a new decor for the more grown up person she has become.

As for the stash, it is another one of those, when did that happen things. Right now the fabric stash is manageable at my house. The yarn stash, not so much. But I so much prefer to work from a stash than running to the store every time I want to start a project.

Kate said...

Weren't you trying to press and fold a couple pieces a day last year? I do want to figure out a good way to store my fabric when we move, so I look forward to seeing your transformation!

Marti said...

I'm doing good to get my fabric washed; I never even thought of ironing it. Public confession does help - at least for awhile. I think I'd have to confess to something weekly to keep myself motivated. Has drama queen gone through your stash picking out her fabrics?

Shay said...

You have quite a stash there madam!

I dont wash any of my fabric until Im going to use it and sometimes I dont pre-wash at all. (I know - the quilting police will probably hunt me down for that comment )

Good luck with your July goal, Im sure that you can finish it or make a sizeable dent.

thea said...

So is drama teen going to help you work on her quilt by doing some of the ironing of your pre-washed fabrics.

I know what you mean. It's hard to be inspired by fabric you can't see/find.

Unknown said...

I would love to know a way to organise my fabrics, I stopped buying fabric this year, well I've only bought fabric to finish the UFO's I have in the cupboard but that has meant I have a pile of fabrics and scraps I don't know what to do with. Good luck

Barbara said...

Impressive stash! I think I have stash envy. You are very anbitious to wash all of it first. I should do that because I never want to wash it when I'm ready to start a new project. Maybe you've motivated me to take a stab at it.

Julie in GA said...

Good luck with getting your stash organized. I have most of my fabric folded on open shelves, and I love being able to see what I've got. It definitely makes it easier to use when you can get at it easily.
I prewash all my fabrics, but generally don't press until I am ready to use it unless it is too horribly wrinkled to put on the shelf.

krisgray said...

I so relate!! My sewing corner is out of space and yet I'm still buying - no more, must finish some projects and start quilting.

I usually wash as soon as it comes in the house. Sometimes I press, sometimes not (depends upon when I get to the dryer). Now, I'm getting into swaps as a way to enhance my scrap potential and most want unwashed fabric, or worse, something that isn't in my stash.

I love my GO! Baby for cutting 2", 3.5", and 5" squares from scraps, especially those odd shaped scraps from clothing or fussy cutting. Wish Accuquilt made a 2.5" square die. I don't use the strip dies but that's b/c the Baby's dies for strips are so small. If you won't be taking your GO! anywhere, I'd recommend getting the GO! and not the Baby.

Happy Organizing!