Monday, June 30, 2014

Stash and stuff

There's nothing like moving to make yourself reassess.  I remember several years ago helping our friends with their parents' estate sale.  I came away promising not to do that to my own kids.  I would purge.  I would retire and then start purging. I would go through closets and drawers and let it go. Well, there's nothing like putting a "For Sale" sign in your front yard to set that thought on fire.

I've been purging closets and drawers like crazy.  And I know come winter I'll wonder where that turtleneck top went but it's at the mission store now.  Haven't worn it for years?  Forgot it was even here?  Never, ever be that size again?  Gone.

I accumulate pretty stuff in drawers and baskets and just let them stay because they're pretty.  Even if I haven't touched them in years or used them ever.  I think I'm part crow.  They like pretty things, and their nests look like mine.  But I'm being ruthless.

Downsizing means just that.  Living in less space.  And that means not having as much space to put things.  So, dear girl, choose wisely.  Sentimental?  Handed down?  Choose carefully.  Handed down can stay. depends.  Maybe it will make the first cut but if we're doing this move to tone down the lifestyle so we can enjoy life a little more then .... choose!!!  Or pass it on to the child it belonged to and let them deal with it.

My former neighbor and still friend was listening to me lament one day and she said, "our possessions possess us."  She is 84 and really, really wants to move out of her house and into something very simple.  I told her that's what we are trying to avoid, making that kind of move at 84.

So,  I've been packing my stash.  The store ran out of the boxes I am using, the kind that you can see through and have a snap tight lid.  Yesterday, while the house was being shown ( !! ) we tried another branch and got four more storage boxes.  I finished packing the stash just now.

 I went from five deep drawers packed like this
to ten of these storage boxes all precariously stacked in the garage.  

That's a lot of fat quarters and yardage pieces and two tubs of SCRAPS!!!!  I found three UFOs and juvenile prints I forgot about.  I've been making quilts for the grands for so long I haven't made anything for me in years.  But Charlie is almost 9 and Michael is not yet 2 and the three girls in between them are growing and changing and some of these juvie prints aren't relevant anymore.  I work by hand and so quilts don't just fly out of here.  Michael needs a couple of catch up quilts since the others have had years on him.

So, quilt friends, I hope you continue to tune into my blog, but the piecing is not going to be happening for awhile.  I have three quilts needing to be hand quilted sitting next to my chair and when I collapse from filling and moving boxes at the end of the day I will put in a few stitches.  One of these is Michael's Christmas quilt so I better get moving.

Our round robin project with our German friends is almost complete, though!  By July 19 the quilts will be finished and we'll have a celebration the last Monday in July to show off,  drink some bubbly, eat some goodies and take lots and lots and lots of pictures. It will be the first time we are all together as a group and some will meet each other for the first time!  I thought when we started this that I would blog about it all through the process but really, I couldn't because we wanted the finished quilt tops to be a surprise for our friends in Germany.  That meant only occasionally mentioning the round robin.   At the end of the month there will be LOTS to talk about so there will be quilt conversations going on, just not my own work. 

Gotta go paint something.


  1. I think it a great gift to your children purging and organising. Be ruthless you will be glad when you move to a smaller space. Lets face it once something has gone to Charity or the rubbish have you ever gone back for it???
    I have never. You have stored the stash well .. you can see everything.

  2. two comments.....first to Jenny, yes I have gone back to the charity after I accidentally put my FAVORITE pair of dress pants in their bag. I was thrilled to buy them back! second........thinking about all the purging and packing makes me want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head, but call two men and a truck first! I'm moving my studio right now (along with a guest room and family) so I'm forcing myself to do this, but I'm just getting started! Oy!