Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm getting my act together

I'm really messy. I don't want to be. I have spent many, many years trying not to be, but I just am. My sewing room is a disaster. I have a high working tolerance for messiness up to a point. That point comes when there is not a bare surface left on which to work. So, once again I am slogging my way through the sewing room in a grand attempt to organize. This started a week or so ago with a trip to Target and the dollar store in search of containers. I always think that the right container is going to be the answer to my messy mess. I got containers. I have been filling those containers. At least if I have to move this mess in the next year or so it can be carried out in containers instead of armloads.

Here is my most recent containerization effort. These are my solid fabrics.

These all used to live in the laundry basket in the upper left. Furthermore, they were all stacked in there horizontally. The only way to find a certain piece was to start pulling everything out until you happened upon the right color. Messy. Very, very messy. The new scheme is to fold and file them vertically so you see all the colors at once. Also I put small pieces into the smaller container at the bottom. Maybe now when I need a wee scrap for a bird's beak or such I won't have to search through the entire contents of the big containers.

These solid color cotton fabrics represent, by the way, years of collecting. I used to sell fabrics, including Kona Solids and I kept a yard or so of each color. I still buy solids when I see them. They are really useful to me and very hard to find in the stores these days. I'd hate to have to dye all these colors as some people do. These are the basis for the fabrics I am currently stamping and screen-printing and discharging in fact.

This is just the beginning of getting my act together. Next I am moving on to print fabrics, then thread, then I'm going to organize all my patterns and drawings and then I need to get the paints out of plastic bags and shoe boxes. Oh, yes, then the magazines and all those glues and adhesives and and assorted things in bottles. Wow. I am tired just thinking about it. But I am getting my act together.

Just you wait . . .


  1. Hang in there -- I just did a mini version of this with my "working" area (as opposed to my "storage" area in a different room). It really has helped me figure out what it is I own, what it is I am working on, and where to find all the assorted bits and pieces.

  2. Anonymous3:11 AM

    oh come on over to my blog and check out the pic I just posted of my craft room... and then, can you come over to my house and help me sort it out? it is lovely this time of year in Australia? :-) and I sooo hear you on the container thing, I have the same theory, its crap NO amount of containers really help if you are just as talented as we are! :-) you notice I said talented not messy..

  3. You sound just like me. I'm think I will dive into my room this weekend and start the annual sorting and rearranging process. I need one of those shows to stop in and help me sort. Thanks for telling us your story.

  4. I'm a container person too! It does help to put small pieces and fat quarters into smaller boxes so you can find them without dumping out bigger containers.

    BTW Hancock's of Paducah carries a lot of the Kona Solids. They even sell a color card with swatches of the material.

  5. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Oh, yeah, we are two peas in a pod! I am paralyzed at the moment because my studio is a disaster area again.

  6. But you're approaching this in such a systematic manner, Terry, that I've gotta believe you're really an organized person at heart!

  7. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Yep, it happens to all of us eventually. I (dating myself here) always think of Popeye: "It's all I can stands, 'cause I can't stands n'more!" as he pushed up his sleeves. Just be sure to scatter breadcrumbs behind you in case you aren't heard from in a while.

  8. whew, impressive! I can really relate, because my work spaces also constantly get into a mess, but I can't stand working in chaos, so it is a bit of a catch 22! I think the vertical stacking is brilliant. I found the idea of sorting my whole office storeroom full of fabrics and magazines so daunting that when i closed the business last week, i just gave them all away. I know i am going to regret it, but it was just too big a task to cope with on top of everything else! So you hang in there,you're doing a good job!

  9. by the way, while i was giving all that stuff away, i thought of all my quilter blog friends and WISHED you lived closer because you would have loved some of the amazing designer fabrics I had to part with, hopefully the students of interior design who i gave them to will put them to good use with Charity projects they are involved with, so I guess it was worth it!

  10. "Creative chaos" that's the term I use - it makes me feel less defensive and more of an artiste! However, my boxes contain mounds of writing, not fabrics. It's a never-ending job.

    Good luck!