Friday, April 14, 2017

Manic Productivity

For the past few months, I've been in a period of high motivation and productivity.  I don't exactly know why, but I'm embracing it and getting a lot of stuff done.  

I started with cleaning out my craft closet.  It's a small closet, just over 36" wide, but it was stuffed with, well, stuff. I started small, working on one shelf at a time. I was trying to be honest with myself to determine what I wanted to keep and what I could let go.  I packaged up a lot of my beading supplies and gave them to a friend who does embellishment, gifted some other supplies to another friend who is just starting her journey into silk thread embroidery, bagged up some supplies and donated them to Good Will, and tossed others.  The hardest part was going through my UFOs and fabrics.  When I got to those shelves, I just emptied them onto the floor and started working through the mess.

Some time in the last few years we had a speaker in our guild who talked about her fabric organization and it stuck with me.  She folded all her fabrics to uniform sizes - one for yardage and one for fat quarters. I decided on two sizes - 9" x 11" for yardage and 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" for anything under 3/4 yard.  I cut file folders down as templates and used them to wrap my fabric around, then removed the templates. The yardage fits easily on edge into standard paper boxes and the smaller pieces fit side-by-side into the paper box lids.  Anything smaller than a fat quarter (more or less) got put into the scrap pile to be cut into standard sizes for making scrap quilts.  I don't have a huge stash.  I fit all that fabric into two paper boxes and 3 lids. I didn't bother to sort by color because it's not a large stash and didn't want to get delayed further by that step.  I may sort by color later, but so far I haven't seen this was as a problem for me.
I love the organization!  I can find what I'm looking for easily and have a reasonably good idea of how much of a particular color I have by just looking at it.

After going through the fabric, I took on the task of looking through all the UFOs. Again, I looked at each with a critical eye to decide if a project was still interesting or not.  I packaged up a few to donate to my guild's auction, and a few I simply threw away.  The ones I tossed were very old (UFOs from my husband's grandmother), and made from very flimsy 70's cotton/poly blends.  Originally I had intentions of completing them for future great-great grandchildren of Laura, but the fabric and workmanship was so poor I didn't think they would hold up to any use.  I have more of her UFOs and other completed quilts that are in much better quality, so I'm not erasing her memory.  In total, I still have 27 UFOs to complete.  They are all on the middle shelf and catlogued so I don't forget.  There were a few projects in there that I have no recollection of at all.
I designed and completed a table runner for the month of March. I have the habit of piling papers on the kitchen table.  To eliminate that, I found that a table runner reminds me to keep this area clear. I had a few and decided a themed table runner for each month would be fun.  I had a hard time coming up with a design for March because I'm not fond of shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold or other symbols of St. Patrick's day.  So, an Celtic knot pattern came to mind.  Google is my friend in finding all sorts of things and this pattern popped up early in the search.  I printed it to size, traced it, and hand appliqued the bias strips.  It's machine quilted and was on the table by March 2nd.

Oher things I've done are knit two pair of socks, appliqued another Ladies of the Sea block, quilted one top (down to 26 UFOs!) and completed another for the guilt's comfort quilt program, and assembled guild member blocks into our guild's next raffle quilt. Not to mention all the yard work to clean up after winter,

See, I told you I'vebeen busy!