I lose! =D


If the person with the largest stash when she dies, wins, I lose! I
lose big style. I want to lose even more, but I'm not good at
throwing stuff out.
So how small is really, actually, realistically, bearably, useful?
And how to store them, so they will actually get used, in this
lifetime?
I'm sorting my stash. I'm in the process of pulling out every pile,
folding it properly, boxing and labelling it and putting my sewing
room into a ship-shape and Bristol-like fashion. It has been too
depressing to even go in there, let alone start something. Every time
I sat at my machine the room lowered me into failure and despair.
So I am starting afresh. Already the little piles of freshly folded
fabric is calling. I even started looking at books again. And at
SewOnTV. Must be doing me some good.
There is still a long way to go. My sewing room is in the attic and
is infested with moth in the carpet. So I need to find the floor to
rip it all up and get it all sorted. It's also dirty. Not just a
little dusty, but 1/4inch grime-dirty. I come down feeling unclean
and nasty. It has needed to be done for some years, but I wasn't up
to it. Now, I do a little each day, and I am starting to see a little
progress.
It's going to be a long haul. I need encouragement.
Nel (GQ)
Reply to
Sartorresartus
The next time I hoe out my sewing room I'm going to hang my fabric on hangers in the closet. This will make the fabric much easier to see and arrange, and easier to match. I'm getting tired of pulling fabric out of clear plastic tubs; some of it gets burried enough so I forget I even have it.
-Irene
Reply to
IMS
It may seem like a daunting task right now, but I think you're taking the right approach - a little bit each day. The fact that you're looking at books and TV and feeling the urge to fondle the fabric is definitely a good thing.
As far as the small pieces, I admitted (shame-faced) on here a while back that I had thrown out small scraps in the past. This group is so inspiring, though, that I decided maybe I could do a scrappy quilt someday, so I started saving again. To get started on the right foot, I've been following Bonnie Hunter's suggestions
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. I cut squares of 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 inches; strips 12.5 inches long and 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3.5 inches wide, and "bricks" of 2 by 3.5 inches and 2.5 by 4.5 inches. That may not work for everybody, but it's working for me so far. I'm storing mine in plastic shoe boxes with lids - I would have used cardboard, but I didn't have enough, and I had a gift card for a store that had the plastic boxes on sale for $1 each.
Hang in there! You'll be back at the machine soon and feeling good about it! Of course, you know this place is great when it comes to moral support, so keep us updated on your progress!
Reply to
Louise in Iowa
The 'how big to keep' question is going to vary with every single person who replies! But - you knew that >gg<
I used to keep every tiny bit; then I sent some away to those who keep and use the really small 2",say, pieces. I tend to buy for a project, except rarely, when I just have to have something. If you re-sort your stash by project (that is assuming you really do want to downsize), you be tidying, sorting and downsizing in one go. You must realise, though, that doing that almost invariably means that, once you work on each project, you will have to buy more to finish it. That's just the way it works!
Making scrap quilts is fine if you like that - and there are loads of examples on here. I find that making small quilts is another way - I am about to start on a sample (not sampler) quilt with 2" blocks (simple pattern). It will be the same design and fabrics as our large group raffle quilt, but small so that it can be done quickly to show people what they are aiming at!
I so applaud your starting with doing a little each day. 'Achievable targets' that's the motto to go by, for now. . In message , Sartorresartus writes
Reply to
Pat S
Go, Nellie, GO!
You can do it! And as soon as we are free to come and help, we will. Once everything is boxed, we can think about finishing the painting. A lick of cream over the black (VERY long story, that one!) will cheer things up, and maybe I can help with some cheerful curtains.
I'm hoping we can get away for at least a long weekend while James if off at annual camp. I'm actually free the weekend of 21/22 August! I might have to bring some work with me... A fie on people who have the temerity to WORK all week and need weekend fitting appointments!
Reply to
Kate XXXXXX
Go Nel, Go!! That's energy and creativity and hope you're feeling. All three are worthwhile, and totally real. You are connecting with.... you. Bully for you, dear girl. I stand ready with any encouragement you need. Chocolate? Bad jokes? Maybe a colorful squishie or two??? So what IS your favorite color/style?? I'm proud of you. Keep it up and when you're ready, show us a photo -- of the room and of the project you've started. I can't wait to hear your progress.
Sunny
Reply to
Sunny
Nel, my dear, I'm concerned about your working in that sort of evil dust. Could you pay or bribe some big strong guys to give you some help? Polly
Reply to
Polly Esther
Thank you, all. I'm low today, so I doubt I'll get much done, but yours words have made me weep. Thank you for the encouragement, I need it badly.
I've folded all the quilting fabric lengths and the fat quarters into these mini-bolts.
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you fold selvage to selvage, then wrap round a six-inchquilter's rule and then slip the ruler out and fold the bolt in half.They go in the boxes end on, so you have a little stack looking like arow of books. You can easily see what you have, and can go in andselect without disturbing everything too much. I also have got into the habit of buying for a project; that is why I've managed to keep my stash within reasonable perameters. But there is always a little left over, and that project that was bought for and didn't go forward, and the one I am collecting black-and-whites for etc.
The fat quarters are folded slightly differently, but again they stack in the boxes so I can open the lid and pick out the one I need. For the first time I can actually see what I have, and I had forgotten a lot of them.
The dressmaking and home dec. fabrics were far more difficult as they come in different widths, but they have been tamed along the same lines, with some variations. The system works, the fabric is tamed, straightened and the folds won't cause damage, or allow too much light to fade them. I spent yesterday afternoon setting fire to samples to check on content. I was really disappoingted to find some of the ones I thought were all cotton/wool etc were actually blends.
I think I'll go with the strips and squares. I've never made a scrappy quilt, except for charity, but I did think I might do an appliqu=E9 Baltimore-style at some juncture. At the moment, I just stuff all the 'little' bits in a big dogfood drum (carries 25kg) and sort through if I need it. It's not very inviting, but more out-of- sight-out-of-mind storage.
And yes, black walls and ceiling has to go. It's about time, and I've had the paint for ages. Then maybe some lino for the floor. I can hope...
Then there's all the other stuff to sort. This is a big, big job. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks,
Nel(GQ)
Reply to
Sartorresartus
On Sun, 11 Jul 2010 13:05:04 -0500, Sartorresartus wrote (in article ):
I can sympathize. Though my studio is on hold for now, I do not like the thought of having to clean and sort it when we can finally afford to put down the new carpet. I should be cleaning now, but it seems like such a yucky and overwhelming task since the water left some really yucky, oily looking stuff behind.
I'm hoping I can bribe David's handyman into doing the scrubbing for me in exchange for a few bucks, some sandwhichs or pizza, and some homemade cookies.
Maureen
Reply to
Maureen Wozniak
I recently de-stashed, and it feels wonderful to have that done! First, I made some "rag quilts", with 6" blocks and 1" fringes. For fabric for the rag quilts I used only fabric from my stash -- relatively small amounts, plus some larger pieces that friends have given me that I knew I would never use, and a couple of larger pieces I had purchased god-only-knows-why. I also used up batting that I had bought, tried, and found I hate for handquilting. I even used up some thread I knew I would never use, so the cost of each quilt was ZERO. The rag quilts (3 of them) really made a HUGE dent in the stash.
While I was working on those rag quilts, I set all the scraps from those aside. When the rag quilts were finished, I took the pile of small scraps to the ironing board, ironed them all, and threw out any that were not at least 3" at the smallest measurement. When that was all finished, I took those newly-ironed small scraps, plus scraps from the stash that weren't large enough for the rag quilts, and the godawful donations from other people and the things I had purchased who-knows-why, and folded them and piled them into bundles of miscellaneous scraps, which wound up being about 3" wide and about 8" long and about 4" thick. I mixed up the colors rather than sort them into families. I tied each bundle with scraps of ribbon like nice little packages. Then I made and attached little labels for each bundle saying "Quilt Fabric Scraps -- 100% cotton -- washed" and donated all of those little bundles to the church garage sale, where they sold like hotcakes! The fabrics got new homes, quilters got bargains, the church got the money, and I got rid of stuff I knew I would NEVER use.
Reply to
Mary
IMO quality of stash counts as much as quantity. I save scraps down to about 1.5", plus occasional 1" strips, and they get used. If you don't use them, they are not useful. Scraps smaller than that, plus thread snips, trimmings etc. go into a bag for stuffing teddy bears, so nothing is wasted.
My scraps aren't cut in any particular way, just organized into zipper bags by color. The bags all fit in a smallish basket. the trick is to keep making scrap quilts so the pile doesn't grow too wildly. I guarantee it will never really shrink, not unless you just dump ALL your scraps into a box and ship them somewhere!
It's clear that you are unleashing energy as you let go of stuff and organize your space. Well done! Wish I could come help you, I love cleaning. Roberta in D, Queen of the Scrap Heap
Reply to
Roberta
Goodness, black walls! I'd find that very depressing! No wonder you need to switch. Sounds like you have a good system going! Roberta in D
Reply to
Roberta
It used to be an attic only to be entered by a vertical ladder. My DH used it when he was a teenager, hence the blackboard-paint black painted walls and ceilings. Why do teens love black so?
I opened a cupboard today to try to find the other half of a Vogue Bear I'd found cut out in a box. Out flew a cloud of moths. The cupboard had machine knitting wools stored. they are, of course, all ruined. It breaks my heart to throw out so much. It's mostly pure wool, so the local re-cycling might be able to use it for compost, but it's no use for anything else. There was some pure cashmere amongst it. But I doubt it would ever have got used now.
I never did find the bear. Maybe tomorrow? I did find a couple of half made dresses I'll never finish, and bags and bags of trims and threads and bits of old memories of better times all tied up in bits and pieces I recognised. You know the kind of thing, a piece of a child's dress, a ribbon from a rag doll, buttons from a loved coat. I've closed the door on it, for a while. I can't cope. And yet it keeps drawing me back to cry over some more.
Not a good day. Too sad. Nothing to show but rags and black bin liners of despair.
Nel (GQ)
Reply to
Sartorresartus
Not a totally bad day - you have made some clearance; even if the doing of it made you sad, and the losing of some erstwhile useful yarn. Not to worry too much - you couldn't have known it would happen, in order to prevent it. So, try to look on it as a space now free - and put some mothballs up there for anything in the future. Nostalgia is almost always weighted with a heavy tinge of sadness. I have kept buttons from a 'pink' fluffy coat an aunt gave me. It was at least three sizes too big (but it 'will give you the length'!). It made me look like Mr Blobby, but I had never had anything pink before and I loved it for that
. In message , Sartorresartus writes
Reply to
Pat S
W-a-i-t ! waving frantically! Wouldn't the knitting wool - although quite unsuitable for a sweater - be great stuff for stuffing pin cushions? Maybe the nice ladies at the Senior Center could stomp the critters and chop it up one rainy afternoon. As to moth balls - it's as hard to get rid of the moth ball scent as it is the moths. There are other possibilities just depending on your nose. My book says that moths are grievously offended by: cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, mint and thyme. I keep lots of spearmint gum in our pantry and nary a critter. They probably prefer Double Bubble. Polly
"Pat S" Not a totally bad day - you have made some clearance; even if the doing
Reply to
Polly Esther
We must be on the same wavelength, Nel. After a 2-year wait, my Sewing Room is finished. I have been putting fabric onto the shelves each time the baby falls asleep, and I'm nearly done... but privately appalled by how much quilting fabric and garment fabric I have. I am glad to see all my fake fur in one place, because I have a lot of Peter Rabbits and things to make for the baby, and can't wait to do those... but of course, it is so difficult when everything is in boxes (as it has been for nearly 2 years). I digress.
It's so good that you're doing a little bit every day. I do a little bit every day, and it is really coming together. I have been taking pictures, and will put them somewhere.... Facebook or Webshots or something... so you can share in the transformation of this room from holes-in-the-plaster-walls to a nice little sewing eyrie. I'm sure that yours will become a nice oasis of calm as well. Have you been taking photos of your progress? It can really cheer you up at the end of the week. I'll bet you're making more progress with your sorting and cleaning than you suspect!
-- Jo in Scotland
Reply to
Jo Gibson
I should have read the whole thread before responding. I use wool to stuff dolls such as Waldorf dolls. Do you think the wool you have could be carefully washed and used for stuffing? If so, it's redeemable, and not a total waste. Do you know any dollmakers near you? I recently bought a bunch of wool from a sheep farm in Wales, so that I can make something special for baby T. I'll bet there is a way for you to make use of your wool, and if not, perhaps I can help you out with a swap?
-- Jo in Scotland
Reply to
Jo Gibson
It's really in a horrible state, Jo. It's manky cones of yarn with great, gritty holes in it where the moths have had a field day for many generations. If it were fleece it could be fumigated, felted and used as stuffing, but this stuff is beyond anything other than landfill. A few cones of acrylic might go to the Sally Army or some- such for making stuff out of, but the rest is just mooosh. And gritty moosh at that. The cupboard it was in must have got damp at some point and then dried out (probably during the renovations) so plaster dust and that efflorescence has got into everything as well. That's where a lot of the gritty muck has come from. I dread to think what fungal spores would be present under a microscope. I honestly wouldn't trust it anywhere near a babe. Otherwise it would have been yours for the asking and right welcome.
It's embarrassing just how run down this room has become. When it is finally finished it should look a whole lot better. I only wish it wasn't such a daunting task right now. But at least it is cooler up there with today's rain.
Nel (GQ)
Reply to
Sartorresartus
I'd be sorely tempted to just take Everything out of all cupboards, clear the entire room, and get it cleaned and painted and floored, then deal with the stuff. But of course you need a place to dump the stuff in the meantime. (((Hugs))) it's a tough job, and you're doing great! One step at a time. Roberta in D
Reply to
Roberta
I came to that conclusion myself, yesterday. I have a fairly big house, so space is not a problem, but the mess-transferred could be, if I get another period of not-well-ness before the end of the project. So I think I have come to a compromise in my own mind.
I am bundling up all the stuff from former lives and being as honest as I can with the 'it will come in useful, one day' djinn. That stuff goes into the, 'someone else can use it' piles and 'come on, be realistic, dump it!' bin sacks. The fabric is (neatly all) folded and boxed (or bagged, as above) and then it is down to the other stuff. That I shall bring down to empty the room before painting and doing something with the floor.
I didn't realise until yesterday that this room (OK it's got eaves, but only slight ones) is 16' 6" x 12' 6". It's bigger than some folks' main rooms. And there isn't room to swing a proverbial! There is no way I can afford to cover the floor at the moment, so it will end up bare boards. But they aren't too bad on first inspection, so I may get away with that, except for insulation.
And so the grit goes on...
Nel (GQ)
Reply to
Sartorresartus

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