Thursday, February 4, 2016

a Completely Honest Sewing Room post

So, this last weekend I was all excited about the fabric I had received from Connecting Threads that I just had to sit down and make some Disappearing Hourglass blocks.  About one and a half blocks into it, John walks in the room and says, "What are you doing?"  Uhhhhhhhh.... (goes my brain) "Sewing?"  I answer, wondering where this is going.  He looks around my sewing space (about 10' x 8' room that is PACKED with stuff, mostly in piles) and says to me, "When was the last time you sat down and made a list of what you haven't finished?  If you want to feel better about your organization and time spent quilting, you may want to look into it" and then turns and walks out.  Subtle, but effective that man is.  You may be picking up that we had been having conversations about never feeling like things get finished.  But look at all the things I've done in the last couple weeks!
Aurifil BOM-click on photo to visit the website

I laid out a Valentine's herringbone table runner, which is now wrapped up in that towel and under my cutting table

Two more Snapshots QAL blocks done, only 4 to go!

The National Rifle Association is hosting a banquet with a theme of Guns and Roses and I plan to donate this to their auction.  The banquet is on the 13th of February, 11 days away.

My tumbler-leader/ender project is making great strides!  I even added more pieces to my darks and lights.  This will eventually be a REALLY busy and fun quilt.  My tumblers are 2.5"...
So here's the skinny:
I made a list of how many projects I have tops of, or piles of fabric for, or that are even partly quilted and just need to be finished, and I have filled the 20 lines on my sheet!  That's just the ones I can remember!!!  Holy Cow!  I truly thought I was doing better than that, I thought I was closer to 10.  You know what though?  This is a good thing, as I obviously have enough projects to keep me busy for a couple months then I can set up achievable milestones for myself.  I am going through my sheet and prioritizing the projects (such as Susie's birthday present which I had wanted done at least in her birthday month, urg, too late now) and am writing down target dates to finish them by in a little calendar my grandma gave me for Christmas.  My plan is to whittle my list down to 10 before starting a new project.  I believe it to be achievable because all my projects are at different stages in the quilting process and so if I get tired of one stage, I can switch to another WIP but still be working on this list.
Here's the rest of my open honesty today, behold my stuffed sewing space!
View from the seat at the sewing machine.

This is what is directly behind me, the Macy's bag is where I put my cut-offs of fabric.  This is my cutting table... it's hard to be efficient in this mess.

The hardest thing is that my little haven is so overwhelming when you walk in, that John doesn't often venture in to visit. I adore my husband, and want to be around him as much as possible, but he won't stick around when I'm sewing.  The cat's barely come in here too, how bad is that?  I think they are afraid of being buried.
I have come to the conclusion that John is very much in the right, and I need to restructure myself, and my room (obviously...) so that I can feel GREAT about sewing for others, and for myself.  I love this hobby, and am limited on space, so some things will need to change if I want to keep this up.  Thank you for letting me share these thoughts with you today, do you have any ideas that might help me along?  Or do I just need to buckle down and make things happen?  I appreciate any assistance I can get :)
By the way, here's what started all this in motion:


Mary said...

LOL, I find myself getting sucked in to a lot of new projects at the beginning of every year. My resistance is low. I think the gloomy weather contributes to that. Good for you to make a list. I like to keep my project in totes and I have scraps in totes according to size. It helps keep some of the clutter down.I made some of those Disappearing Hourglass blocks with my Downton Abbey fabrics. Opps, That's another project to put on my OMG (One Monthly Goal) list.

Robin Galloway said...

Please try the project bins from Costco and also a pegboard for all the little items that can be hung up such as your rulers, scissors etc..Thanks for the pics!

Debbi said...

I think most of us have been there - room a mess and tons of unfinished projects. I have set aside entire days to reorganize my seeing room and make lists of what is partially done and what I need to finish it. When I reorganize, I also try to be honest with myself about UFO's. If I used to like it but no longer do, out it goes. If it was part of a class but I do not actually like the project itself, I remind myself that learning the new technique was the point of the class (or sewing with my friends or whatever) and that I should not feel guilt about jettisoning things. Projects with all the materials go in a bag to the Salvation Army shop and miscellaneous fabric pieces, yarns, etc. go to a local preschool. Complete crap goes in the trash - I do not want to make the Salvation Army have to pay trash hauling for my garbage. Once things are organized, I prioritize my list - just as you have - and give myself rough timelines. I am pretty ruthless about buying supplies for new projects or beginning new things when I feel like UFO's are out of hand. I often forbid myself to start anything new, even something small, until I complete two UFOs. I am actually doing that at the moment! I only have to do this every 4 or 5 years, but I always feel better when I feel like my UFO's are under control. Having to do a major clean up also reminds me to tidy up after every project since I lose so much sewing time when I have to devote entire days to a massive tidy.

allthingzsewn said...

I did not realize you were a noreply blogger. And tried to send an email. My bad. According to the replys most of us have the same traits ,some a little better or little worse according to which side of the fence you are on.

Absolutely love the rose, and the last two blocks are darling. Now on the room., where to start. Positive note for me is I'm one and one half steps behind you. I did not say a big positive, just a positive. I know how you feel, it is overwhelming so you just keep sewing.

The New Year was the worst time for me. Everyone showing
their nicely cleaned up rooms. But I could not get mine done in a day or two or even a week. Which put me where you at now. After truly studying on it I came up with picking one small area to clean, toss and organize after every finish. But I end up with a little bit of a more mess somewhere else until it is all finished. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It has turned out to be a winner for me.

Next, My mind was in the same state of confusion as my room. I have gotten a calendar notebook to put every commitment in, with all requirements. I will be VERY selective about what I take on in the future until I figure out what causes I want to help and what I truly enjoy for my personal stitching. And all ufo's are finished. I have found fabric to finish some of them I didn't even remember having. Yea... another positive. The biggest help to me is I keep praying to be strong
and follow through.

Remember how you get rid of the elephant in the room? One bite at a time. Now that's an idea I think I'll make a mini of an elephant for over my sewing table.
Wonder where that is located on my selective list? Maybe something is this mess will help.

Chiska said...

I've felt exactly the same way about my sewing space and I have space, but I also have lots of stuff. My husband will stand at the door and talk to me fo a few minutes, but rarely ventures in. My kids like to hang out in the mess--lots of great hiding spaces. I've been trying to organize lately and I've been so excited at my progress, but I've made the mistake of showing folks that didn't see it before and they look at it and say Ohhh and proceed to give me ideas of how to store my fabric (not a bad thing). It's funny though. I did find that even though I feel like I'm doing a lot of shifting back and forth and not making much progress that I'm seeing what's there and that's been helpful for me. I still want to get a few things, but that list is trimmimg down because I have some pretty neat stuff in there! Thanks for sharing I often wonder if I am the only person on the planet that sews in the midst of piles.

Kitty Pearl said...

I've been looking for a building construction site job schedule timeline calendar to keep UFOs in my face. Or maybe I should just get a hard hat LOL.
John seems to genuinely care about supporting your goals, that he listens, that's great! Get him a hard hat too:)
Few of us have someone we can go to for accountability. Probably why we get away with so many UFOs.
For what it's worth, you've accomplished far more than I have this month!!!

Corrie said...

Good luck! You can do it.

Corrie said...

Good luck! You can do it.