Saturday, August 01, 2015

State of the Studio Report

I can't believe it's been a year since I've posted to this blog. Definitely way past time for an update.

The pictures show that nothing much has changed. Surfaces are still piled high, There's clutter everywhere. I can't remember the last time I dusted or swept the floor. It's the same story - mostly.

But that's about to change. I realized at one point last spring that I'd gotten more than a little obsessive about knitting, crocheting and yarn in general. I was starting the day with a stash-busting project, then working my way through a cycle of projects, with and without deadlines, through the day. Quilting and sewing had pretty much gotten shoved to the side.

So I decided it was time for a yarn sabbath. A month of working on crafts that didn't involve yarn, at least not knitting or crocheting. I thought I would do it in June, but I got involved in a stash-busting marathon, and then I went on vacation, so it got deferred until I got home. Now it's August, and it's time. So the needles and hooks have been put away, the various projects have been stashed, and I've pulled out sewing needles and tatting shuttles, and there may even be some cross stitch before the month is over.

My first project of the day was a baby blanket that I had started doing blanket stitch on. It's been a while since I've done this kind of embroidery and my stitches show it. But it will get better, and the end result will be a crib blanket for donation. I worked a couple of thread lengths, then my fingers started to get sore from pulling six strands of floss through fleece. It will be my early morning project for a few days at least.

After lunch I went down to the studio and started working on my first big project of the month - an inventory of all the UFO projects. Step 4 of the AA 12-step program says "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." I won't say it's a fearless process. Coming to grips with how many projects are in various stages of completion requires a great deal of courage. I started a spread sheet to track progress on the list. So far there are 36 entries in the spreadsheet and I haven't started into the project boxes on the shelves. But it needs to be done. So bit by bit I'll work on it.

Once I have a list, the plan is to choose 4 projects at a time to move forward at least one step. And there is also the option of saying that I'm done with that project and it needs to leave my house as is, either to the thrift shop, to Ebay, or to the animal shelter as a cat bed. 

When I turned 60 I looked at the shelves of project boxes and told myself I did not want to be looking at those same projects when I turned 70. Well, I turn 65 next week, and I'm not half way there. So it's time to get serious and start moving things out. Inventory is the first step.

This quilt, called Crazy Geese, is the one currently decorating my design wall. I finished the top about a month ago, but there hasn't been anything in progress to replace it, so it's been allowed to stay. It was a long-term UFO - started some time in the late 90's I think - so moving it to the finished top stage was a major event. Quilting will have to wait a bit, though, even though the unquilted top drawer is full to overflowing, because there are other projects that have to take priority. A friend is expecting a new grandbaby by the end of August, the two honorary grandbabies born last year should have quilts for their first birthday, and wedding quilts are due and overdue. 

My plan at the moment is to post new entries every day this month. I hope I can follow through with that. I'm a bit excited to see what I can accomplish in a month where sewing and quilting are the focus. I did decide last week that some knitting can happen at the end of the day, since I am working on Christmas projects, and I'm not sure I want to be working on something where my skills are rusty when I'm tired. We'll see what happens.


mjh said...


Michele said...

I love the Crazy Geese quilt! I only quilt in boring jelly roll strips or squares right now. Anything with triangles isn't happening yet. I really appreciate the work that goes into more complicated quilts!