Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sifting and Winnowing

Labor Day has passed, and finally there is some cool fall air, rainy days, perfect for cleaning the sewing room, sorting through mountains of "stuff," and tackling the stash.  I will do a little a day so my back doesn't give out, but it is overwhelming.  A lifetime of fabric, scraps from quilts, and I hate to admit I have a hard time saying goodbye to any fabric.

However it is time to get organized and make some decisions about all this.  Fortunately there are people who need fabric and will put it to good use.  My sister is already on her way to a beautiful star quilt that she calls a "stash buster" and more is on the way to her.  Every day I feel a sense of accomplishment as a drawer is cleaned, books are sorted and organized and designated for keeping or giving away.  Piles are formed, my life in quilting is passing in front of me.

I found books or magazines that I wondered why I had kept them, and after paging through would find an article I had written or one about me, or a photo of one of my quilts.  I had forgotten I wrote so much and said "yes" to so many publications.  

And, I've taken time to pause and read notes from you, quilters I've met in classes, or from quilters I've never met.  So many of you took the time to leave me a note at the end of class, give me a little gift, and I've kept them all and treasure them.  I love these, and it was so nice rediscovering them.

As I sort the fabrics, and I've only begun, I realize I am still drawn to the same favorites, whether by color, print, or style.  I lovingly pick each up and fold it neatly and admire it.  Some I do wonder what was I thinking, or why did I buy it, but not many at all.  And oh the scraps!  Each one brings back the memory of the quilt it comes from, the making of it, the finished result.  Most of them I no longer have, so .......should I keep the remnants?  Probably not.  I must be practical.  

Before I began there were so many stacks and bins and piles of things I couldn't walk into my sewing room, or see the floor.  Now the outer hall is clean and tidy (that took a few days) and my room beckons, with shining floor, even a rug for Oliver and a stool by the window for him.  I have a new ironing board cover (grey with ivory Diane-shiko), and only three sewing machines.  I need to pare that down to two as well.  

The cutting table is clear and has a wall quilt on it resting and getting de-creased.  I will hang it soon.  It doesn't have a sleeve as the hand sewing with my painful hands was too much so I'll put it up with a few straight pins nailed into the wall.  

I found one sewing pattern I had saved, and it has to be from the 80's when I was still sewing clothes including long riding skirts as shown in this pattern:

Yikes, the shoulder pads!!  I plead Guilty, I wore them.  I could whip out a skirt in wool gabardine or silk in about an hour and it fit me perfectly.  This pattern was never used; I went up in size and sort of gave up on sewing for myself, but it would work now, so.....I am keeping it.  You never know.

In August Oliver turned six!  We went out to eat to celebrate and raised glasses of iced tea to our lovely boy.  Despite my shock when our new vet suggested it might be good for him to have some wet food added to his diet, he has taken to it perfectly.  He is now NOT a Vegan, but a true carnivore cat, although he does not like any people food except raw veggies and corn silk.  He isn't allowed to eat corn silk but he sniffs it out with black-eyed excitement.  He is still a little bi-polar and OCD, but that is very typical for a cat.

He has mellowed a little and is very happy.  His thunder purring is amazing, and it's the little things that he loves:  both of us at home, clean sheets and the making of the bed, an empty paper bag, Mom washing things in the sink with lots of running water, us keeping to routine, the usual cat pleasures. 

His birthday included a stack of canned cat food with 6 candles atop, and a card from his godparents in AZ, below.  He was a happy boy.

My email is working well again, still haven't tackled new software and a website update, although just getting the software was an accomplishment!    

Many of you are emailing me with questions about quilting, and I try to answer as best I can.  I still maintain that with every quilt project you do, you encounter new problems and must come up with a way to work it out.  You think you know it all, but you never do.  It keeps things interesting.

So  Happy Fall and .....keep quilting!  Your work gets better every day,