Wednesday, December 03, 2008

When Keryn and I lived 3000k away from each other I laboured under the impression that our work methods were fairly similar. She did a lot more cutting than I , resulting in parcels of excess strips and scraps being sent my way at regular intervals, but I really thought that we operated under the same principles.

But after a year of observing her in her natural envoironment I'm forced to conclude that when it comes to the sewing room we have different outlooks.
Recently she cut some scraps up, and this is her 2 1/2" drawer afterwards. Can you see the problem of trying to force this back where it belongs? The solution is to either get a bigger drawer, or to leave it stacked somewhere with other drawers that won't fit in their respective places.OR...... your sister could come along and sort and stack it all so that it does actually fit in the container and then put it away.
Likewise when cutting half square triangles for a project, you could do this, and have teetering piles that you can't move quickly, and that get creased and rumpled
or your little quilting elf could stack them into dark and light piles and then put them in a little container to keep next to your machine.
Now no-one who knows me could accuse me of being neat and housework is the very bottom of my list, but for some reason I love to organise my sewing room. I like everything to be sorted and projects together, scraps ironed while they wait to be cut, drawers tidy. Sometimes while I'm having a cup of coffee, in between bouts of sewing I'll just pull out a drawer and quickly tidy it, because I like to do it. I like to fossick through what I've got, I like to handle the fabric and I like to dream of what I can do with it.

And don't think I'm saying Keryn's way is wrong! She does lovely work and she gets caught up in the frenzy of sewing, and things literally go flying when she's looking for the right bit. She doesn't want anything to get in the way of what she's doing when she's sewing furiously, and all she focusses on is getting it done. I don't know that she would ever change, or whether it's even desirable.
But I do get sick of the lost things, the blocks that can't be found, the material that vanishes, the tools that disappear the minute you put them down.Which is why I crept guiltily into her sewing room when she was away and organised it for her. Now I would be horrified if someone did that to me, but I know how she likes to work, how she differs from me and I basically kept everything the same. I just grouped things together, for instance there were three drawers with 2 1/2" strips in different locations, so I combined them to two drawers of lights and darks and put them in the same place. I put drawing and drafting tools together, all the papers in one spot, rulers where they're used most, kits and projects together. I made sure to leave all Keryn's organisation the same, and just maximised the space and put away the flotsam and jetsam.
I honestly don't think she notices that much and I've decided that as I LIKE to do this tidying that I will just putter around a couple of times a week and put away the things she's finished with. I've got a basket of scraps near the cutting board and I'm cutting them up for her while we chat in the sewing room, and one day I'll have the three containers of scraps under control too.
Now the question is, am I a wonderful quilting angel/elf who you'd like to have a visit from, or just a control freak who can't leave other people's things alone?!!


Unknown December 04, 2008  

Come over anytime - I need a quilting angel. I was going to suggest cloning, however I think that has already happened and look at the differences.

Nicola in West Australia

Lesley December 04, 2008  

I think your a wonderful quilting angel/elf and sister I wish I was more like you but I'm just like Keryn. You can of course come and organize me anytime the invitation is always there :) .

Chookyblue...... December 04, 2008  

OMG when are you coming to visit..........I am desperate......I am like Keryn.......things everywhere but I would LOVE someone to come and organise me........unless she hates it keep going.........

Sheila December 04, 2008  

Have you ever been to Ohio? LOL

I would love the initial organization, too. Unlike Keryn, even though everything's a mess here I usually know right where something is when I want to put my hands on it.

Nancy Anne December 04, 2008  

OMG - Wouldn't you like a visit to the states? I've got this huge scrap bin - everything thrown in and the lid squashed down (and nothing trimmed or sorted - that would be too easy!). Of course, that means that I now have overflow all over the place! Help me, please!! And, while you are at it, please tell me what "fossick" might mean. That's not a term we use here!

Donna December 04, 2008  

I organize like your sister when I'm "in the flow" then, when the muse takes a holiday, I organize more like you... I can't have too many projects out at the same time, but I can't have everything away while I'm working on it either...

Paula December 04, 2008  

You are a quilting angel...please come to Texas!!!!!!!

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) December 04, 2008  

Hmm, don't know. Why don't you come over and do that with my sewing supplies, and I will be able to judge better?

pdudgeon December 05, 2008  

honestly i think you could have a second career as a quilt room organizer for all of us. there is definitely a need, and think of all the lovely stash you would get to rummage thru...

meggie December 05, 2008  

My sewing room could really benefit from your talent!
I can usually locate what I want, but there are occasional heated rantings when something is hiding!

Katie Z. December 06, 2008  

Hooray for the quilt-elf! I'm like you - let's get it organized so it can be used.

Lori in South Dakota December 06, 2008  

You're a quilting angel! I have a best friend who lives a LONG ways away from me, and she will come and stay 6 weeks or so, and we will sew up a storm. She gets up very early and has her tea and then starts to organize. Me, I get up later, she sets a cup of coffee in front of me and knows I will be coherent in an hour or so! We gets LOTS done, and have a wonderful time. Check my posts for our two separate methods!

Anonymous,  December 06, 2008  

I see a whole new career.

Freelance quilt fairy.

and your pay can be 10% of whatever you tidy!!

Anonymous,  December 08, 2008  

Please come to Florida. My goal is to have everything fit into my sewing room, but there are still bins in the garage. I have FQs to fold and sort by type, and lots of scraps that need to be tamed. Hubby helped me fold most of the yardage, so that is almost under control, except for recent purchases. You could fill your luggage with fabric before you left, and I'm sure I wouldn't even miss it.

Nic Bridges December 08, 2008  

You're more than welcome in my studio any time you fancy tidying up - I'm hopelessly untidy & it drives me crazy!!

Henrietta December 11, 2008  

I think I will have to organize a Tidy Tour of the USA but we will start in Hawaii so you can get in shape while recovering from jet lag. More on this later. When will you be available?

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