Yesterday, writing about this quilt (which is evolving through various stages of ‘mess’), I erroneously typed that as I worked on it, it was becoming ‘less of a quilt’ (when I meant ‘less of a mess’). It makes me wonder, if it was becoming LESS of a quilt, what WOULD it be on its way to becoming?
I was surprised at how receptive the velvet was to my needle. Because I find velvet to be completely unruly at the machine, this was a nice surprise.
This image (one quilt on my lap; the other a WIP on the coffee table) shows you how favored fabrics like to show up again and again. Here I refer to the paisley-esque black, brown, burnt umber cotton from Indonesia. I wonder how many quilts it is in, exactly. It must be at least eight.
How many boxes (or piles or drawers or envelopes or bins) of ‘precious scraps’ do YOU have?
I honestly don’t want to know how many I have nestled, stacked and waiting downstairs!! Just like I really don’t want to know EXACTLY how many hours go into creating any given quilt.
Just as nations have favored statuses, so do many fabrics. That yellow batik, above, is one, as is the rayon shirt underneath. These upcycled garments have a way of lasting, lasting, lasting – like the magical pot of stew in the fairy tale. Just when I think I MUST have used the last scrap, another little swatch will surface (one of the better benefits, I might add, of a ‘loosely organized’ studio).
How often have we heard about some slob (from delicate appellation to all-out condemnation!) that they can ‘lay their hands immediately’ on whatever it is they need? Alas, I cannot. Sometimes this drags. You know, when I really want one of the gold spirals from an African print dress that I cut up and put who knows where?!! But the silver lining of a less-tended approach is what I’ll call (not euphemistically, mind) – the pleasures of the archeological dig.
Taking time regularly (this is key) to root around in one’s stacks, piles, stacks of piles – is a process of discovery that invariably yields treasure. I like to think that I put my hands on certain long forgotten half-cut or half-assembled scraps JUST as it is time to use it. This happens more often than I can tell.
While we are on the subject of ORGANIZATION, though, this being my birthday week, and the time that I thought I might reflect a little on last year (New Year’s did not turn out to be the time to do so) — let me say that 2011 was a turning point. I have a new hero whose name is Sandra Felton. She has written numerous books about people like me, people she affectionately and without judgment refers to as ‘the Messies’. Her tone is humorous and encourages acceptance. Her tips can work magic. Look her up.
There were many suggestions of hers that I implemented last year, but some of the most dramatic were: 1) organizing my closet by purchasing plastic hangars and ridding myself nearly completely of wire hangars; 2) organizing my clothes in that closet by color (an amazing time saver!!!); 3) upgrading containers in my closet from ugly, ill-fitting cardboard boxes to snazzy, bright green bins from The Christmas Tree shop; 4) purchasing containers for medical supplies (baking tins turned out to be the right size and price) and then organizing supplies by use (i.e. ‘travel supplies’, ‘cold and flu supplies’, ‘first aid’, and ‘muscle aches and pains’); and 5) making my bed. I have NEVER been a bedmaker, and now I am (it helps that my iPhone App ‘Tap & Track’ gives a caloric discount for ‘making the bed’ – I kid you not!!).
The other big thing I have done this year (this time I need to thank my office job of 2010/11), is to create a series of excel lists that I keep shortcuts to on my desktop, one of which is a HOUSEHOLD INVENTORY. You cannot believe what a helpful, time saver this is. When a major run of the “where’s my?”s occured in advance of a hiking trip for C. recently, I knew where EVERYTHING was!!
Have a great Sunday!! I will be making Buffalo Wings in a few hours and heading over to a neighbor’s for a SuperBowl Party… believe it or not, I can’t wait! No Tarot Readings by Madame Mallon in the kitchen this year! We will all be glued to the screen.
teal tatter from Deb Lacativa – More Whiffs, Glimmers & Left Oeuvres
Black and blue rayon in foreground – recycle shirt; as is blue, gold, black silk on right edge
Black and white poly in right corner came from Silk Road in Auburndale, Mass.