Wednesday, December 30, 2020

{Post 1,740} There Appears To Have Been A Struggle


I have spent bits and bobbles of time lately organizing my fabric. I saw a few ideas and morphed them into something that would work for me. I measured my shelves and then bought the biggest stackable plastic boxes with lids that would fit while stacked up, but not be too heavy when full (that’s asking a lot of a lowly plastic box, but I found some that worked). I found that the fancier the handles and lids, the more expensive the box. I went with something simple that was flat that would be easy to pick up, but not with all the bells and whistles. 

I measured the interior of the box in height and width and made a simple template out of corrugated cardboard. I folded all my fabric FQ and larger to fit around the template. I made a small pile of pieces too small to fold more than once. It seemed insurmountable because I have a lot of fabric tucked here near there in my sewing room. I gave up the expectation of perfection and just started. I am nearly finished (well, I AM finished with everything I’ve found so far, but I have drawer stacks under my long arm to go through). 

Before starting the boxing project, I had all different sizes and styles of boxes and piles of fabric in every nook and cranny of my room. Here is a before and after shot of just a little of the area. The bonus of touching each piece of fabric is that I separated out that which I know I don’t want any more, whether color, style, etc. This first picture is where I pulled out 3 bankers boxes (from behind the curtain, which I’m leaving off in the future).

This next area is the nemesis of my sewing room. Just a little space between my homemade ironing station and quilt frame. I keep my batting rolls here as well as anything else that is homeless.

Here is part of the after (I still need to get rid of all the empty cardboard and plastic boxes...they are legion). This first pic is what was behind the green curtain. The box with “neutrals” is my first completed box in this new system of organizing. 

I first thought I’d keep the boxes here because they can be stacked two high with plenty of clearance. But now I’ve decided to put the least used of them on the bookshelf along the wall between the ironing station and quilt frame. Next I want to organize what’s in the 2 three-drawer plastic stacks...that is now squares, triangles, labels, extra binding, and small specialty rulers. On the bottom is a few jelly rolls and the bankers box has mailing supplies. 

For those insanely curious (like me), here is a description of my box contents. Everyone has different stashes. I mainly have Thimbleberries (I have 100 partial bolts because I formerly sold it from my home...still do if anyone is interested), holiday prints (patriotic, fall, and Christmas), non-Thimbleberries in rainbow colors, and novelty prints (I make baby and I Spy quilts enough to keep some large pieces on hand for backings and piecing). I also make pumpkin quilts—runners, pillows, wall hangings, quilts of all sizes). 

Generic means not Thimbleberries. I love Thimbleberries, but they don’t plan nicely with other fabric lines!

*Thimbleberries:  red, gold, brown, green, and blue
*Thimbleberries:  purple, pink, black, seasonal, and neutrals
*Holiday: fall, patriotic, and Christmas
*Pumpkin: mostly orange, a little green and neutral, Disney princess yardage, sock monkey yardage
*Generic blacks, reds, and neutrals
*Generic red, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple

I have emptied so many eclectic boxes and piles of fabric. What I love about doing this is that since it’s stacked up, one can see EVERY fabric in there just be removing the lid. Here are pictures of how I filled the box (by placing it on its end and piling it) and how it looks when it is in its proper orientation and the lid is off.

When I started folding the Thimbleberries, I didn’t realize I had so many small pieces that were box-worthy. I had a box filled, then came across a dish pan full. I use dish pans to keep fabric and projects in because they are $1 at Dollar Tree and can hold a LOT. It was so easy to just set the box on its side and remove the sections of each color to add a random piece or two. I ended up dividing it into two boxes that are nearly full. 

Whew—that was so much work, but it looks fantastic. I still have to go through the drawers under my quilt frame. They are mostly UFOs (some nearly-completed tops), shirts, and oddball fabrics (netting, felt, denim scraps). It will all get done in time.

Isaac, my only child-at-home is 21. He is recovering from Covid. He is in his last two days of quarantine. Thankfully my husband and I did not get it. Isaac was joking, but he said he could hear my up in the kitchen (which is right above his room) cooking and baking during the holiday season (we never had ANYONE over—it was kinda sad, but we didn’t dwell on was necessary). He lost his senses of smell and taste very early. He said “I was laying there thinking that I was missing cookie and goody season. I couldn’t taste or smell. I wondered if life was worth living.” Again, he was kidding, but he was miserable. Even though he didn’t have an appetite, I kept him filled with healthy food and water to aid his recovery. He dutifully ate, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Made me think many times what a gift our senses are, and I will try to appreciate them more.

That’s it for this very long post. I am home schooling a 6-year-old grandson, and that takes a LOT of my time, but I hope to at least clear out the empty boxes in here today, with his help. He is staying overnight a few days because his little brother has a fever. Just found that out this AM. 

We are also doing a big project in my sewing room that is causing some disruption. We are putting a stacking washer and dryer in my clothes closet (my husband and I each have a good-sized closet of our own). My sewing room was formerly the master bedroom. When we started sleeping in one of the smaller bedrooms after 7/8 of our children moved out, we left our clothes in the closets back here because we both use the master bathroom instead of the hall one. We are working towards renting out a large portion of our finished basement after Isaac gets married in April and moves out. Phase one is getting a washer/dryer up here (ours is currently downstairs). So I had to clean out my whole closet. I donated a huge amount of clothes and shoes. It is good to downsize and clean out, but it is wreaking havoc on my sewing room in the meantime. My style in here is “there appears to have been a struggle”.

One of my main reasons for my blog is to use it as a personal journal. Thanks for reading along. Another reason is to share what works for me as far as sewing. Hope you found this helpful. Leave me a comment!