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Thread: Ready to cry over my quilting clutter!

  1. #101
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    Hey I just found a Quilting Book that I had gotten from Paperback Swap... and I was just going to order that book from another site... See what digging around in a Sewing/Quilting room will do... I have been watching at Auctions for shelves to stack the tubs on...
    I have old wood picnic baskets with some of my hand crocheted stuff in like edgings and dresser scarves etc.. Think outside the Box when looking at Containers for smaller items... Old Canisters, Bread boxes, Tupperware, Cleaned out Plastic jars ( peanut Butter etc) with lids for really small items.....peg board for some hang up items and I have my sissors in A Large Mug....

  2. #102
    Junior Member lynn_z's Avatar
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    Been there....it's not easy getting organized! I had to move to a smaller place w/no sewing room and I had baskets and containers with different quilt projects everywhere. Get some clear plastic boxes to start. Some thing can go in regular marked boxes...flannels, backing, finished tops, colors, etc. Find a group that makes quilts for charity and give them the excess (and there will be some). The biggest thing that got me interested enough to actually follow thru was the crazy people using selvages in their quilts. I had to go thru everything to find those and stated a crazy scrap quilt. I guarantee you will have great freedom when you have finished! Gives you a whole new outlook and you will be surprised to find things you forgot you even had! Good luck!

  3. #103
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I get picky about keeping my work area cleaned up. After each project I take the time to clean up my sewing room, including stashing all leftover fabrics in their right place, picking up all the stray clippings, scraps, threads, etc. and putting all my tools in their places. It takes about 15 minutes, maybe, to get all that done. Then I start with a clean work area for my next project.

    My DH, on the other hand.....well, he's a different story. Like his habit of leaving stuff laying all over the house, he leaves his scraps and extra fabrics heaped on the work table, and scraps all over the floor. I had to tell him he can't work in the sewing room if he leaves stuff laying around, and he has to pick up as he goes. He didn't like it, but he's been picking up after himself now for a while.

  4. #104
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    Don't cry, toss.
    About 2 months ago. I made a New Year's Resolution to get my sewing area cleaned up.
    Over a 3-day weekend, I took absolutely everything last thing out of the room and piled it in the dining room---fabric on one side, notions on the other, patterns over there, jewelry-making under the table, projects half-done in a big box, granddaughter's toy box out back. NOBODY dared help me.
    I let the room (and I) breathe for the whole morning. I sat in an empty room, drank coffee and dreamed about what I would do in there and how it should look. I took all the pictures down.
    First, I put the sewing machine back where I wanted it, then stopped and walked around. I moved it a couple of times, and then the ironing table, since I sew, press, sew, press. I decided fabric inspired me and it should be out in the open and not boxed away, so I stacked it- Neatly-like colors together-in open shelves, only full yards. Scraps went in clear boxes by color. I put up a 36 X 36 cork bulletin board on the wall behind my machine for pictures and stray items.
    I didn't buy a single thing to use to sort or hold anything and ended up removing a table and a small cabinet.
    To make a long story short, I ended up with a well-organized room and could find a pair of scissors (I had 12 pairs) in the dark, and a dozen or more stacks and boxes left in the dining room.
    I went through every single scrap while watching tv with the family, putting like with like until I had enough in the room. When I got to 10 crochet hooks, I gave 8 away. Kept 2, since I might crochet and teach again.
    Nothing was returned to the room without being sorted and folded and mostly discarded.
    Three giant garbage bags full of scraps (mostly non-cotton) and notions, seam tape and doo dads went to a local quilt group. 40 spools of thread! I do not collect thread. I quilt with white/cream thread. Don't you?
    I had 5 pincushions. Why does one need 5? I do not collect pincushions, do you?
    I quilt. Don't you?
    I picked my fave 2 and gave the rest away. I threw away stained, smelly, broken stuff and had 2 big bags to the compost heap or trash.(Cotton recycles in the garden and the birds love it for nesting.) Old thread rots--don't use it.
    Now, I can go sit right down and sew, and not have to dig for 20 minutes to get started.
    I know what my next 5 projects are going to be---since they are in the que in neat, zippered bags, in a small, wire cabinet beside my iron table, waiting.
    A clear plastic shoe box that has pins, scissors, thimbles, beeswax, and a couple of spools of thread is portable to sew with while watching tv, then back it goes in the sewing room at night.
    When I want a break from sewing, I iron rumpled fabric for the next project.
    It took me less than 2 1/2 days to get my LIFE sorted out. I even have a spot cleared off for my laptop computer and writing supplies, since I write, too.
    You deserve it, so spend the time on yourself, and anyone who comes to bother you, put them to work sorting. They will disappear.
    Watch "Enough Already!" on OWN for inspiration.Good luck! :P

  5. #105
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I have it strowed all over here too. Don't feel bad.

  6. #106
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    My mom was a stay-at-home mom, so she just doesn't understand how hard it is to juggle everything I do. She tells me to clean instead of quilt, but I quilt to de-stress. However, lately, the clutter is actually causing more stress.

    I better get back to my laundry room and keep cleaning. Wah![/quote]
    --------------------
    Sounds like you had better get online and go to FLYLADY.com

    She has a system just for you...and me, and our other sisters-under-the-sewing-mad-label. There's hope yet, and remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.

    I have no idea of why people keep saying that, I'm not interested in building Rome, I wanna know how to keep my mess cleaned up.

  7. #107
    Senior Member tinliz's Avatar
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    [quote=MistyMarie] My dh is deployed, I have two young kids, I am a full-time middle school teacher, and I am currently taking 15 hours of graduate classes, so when I find a few minutes here and there to quilt, I hate using it to organize.

    My question is, when do you have time to eat and sleep? :) Seriously, have you tried pulling out the things you need for one project and forgetting about the rest of the quilting "stuff"? When school is out, you may have more time to be concerned with organizing.

  8. #108
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    What a fab quilt!l :-P

  9. #109
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    Just take a day to get organized...I do that annually. Sort all your fabrics by color and put them into the plastic storage boxes available for about $5 each. These can then be stacked. I have my color sorted fabrics in 2 boxes, my flannels & fllece backing in another couple of boxes, and my scraps (also color sorted in another box) for making scrappy quilts or when needed to finish another quilt. There are small plastic boxes for a dollar each for thread, bobbins, & other supplies. You can give away things you don't need, too! Good luck.

  10. #110
    noreeli's Avatar
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    Maybe you can find some help with the flylady?
    http://flylady.net/pages/welcome_main.asp

    First thing to remember, it did not get cluttered in a day, and doesn't have to get tidied in a day either... 15 mins a day is how I start on clutter.. Setting a timer and actually keep busy that 15 minutes.. Baby steps and it will be done before you know it!

  11. #111
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Oh bless your heart! I try and put things away immidiately after using what I need from it now. Before I changed rooms the fabric was loosly organized into types of fabric i.e. clothing, decorating and quilting.
    But, now since I moved, ther eis only quilting fabric arranged into the fabric closet. There are three huge bins of deco, one of clothing and one of children's that I keep in another room.

    I took three weeks to wash and press all of the fabric before it went into the new room. I thought I never would get through with it. But, eventually I did and I am back to sewing again. It takes determination and planning, but you can do it if I can!

    That isn't to say there isn't more to do with all the quilt magazines and patterns I never will use again. I have been going through them at night while hubby watches t.v. There are four cardboard boxes full going to the assistance league this week of that!

  12. #112
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    [quote=G'ma Kay]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    I lost a rotary cutter in my sewing room about 10 years ago ... still has not shown up. I loose a ruler almost daily .. now I have a few , and a rule to not "close -up for the night" with out tidying up a bit... at least put the rulers back to where they belong..... and the sissors..... and the rotary cutters..... and the seam rippers.... and..pin cushions and empty the trash.
    I have a carpenters type apron that I put on when I am in a production mode. So I can keep some of my most used tools in the pockets and close at hand.
    The apron is a great idea! I use one when I'm in the vineyard to keep my water bottle, ties, pruners, and clippers all handy. I could keep my scissors, clippers, rotary cutter and magnetic pin cushion all hand as well. They tend to get lost when I'm cutting.[/quote

    I read somewhere that some quilters wear those carpenter's belts/aprons to organize the tools they use often -- scissors, thimble, etc.

  13. #113
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    This is where I waded in, too deep. From reading the Quilting Board, I learned how to fold fabrics and so....I began folding. Where do you draw the line? Fold 'em all, fold just the biggies? How should I sort them? Should I include specialty fabrics? I made a great deal of progress until my mind clicked into the organize-your-whole-house-your whole life-build-on-to-the-house mode. DO JUST 45 MINUTES AT A TIME...LOOK OUT THE WINDOW...EAT A COOKIE or you can drive yourself over the edge. Don't let tidy spoil your quilting. Remember, the best stuff in life is often messy. :thumbup:

  14. #114
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the suggestions and support. I am going to make an effort to get more done on my laundry room each day. I think I will "reward" myself... and every twenty minutes spent in there means I get twenty minutes of sewing time. That way, I still will be able to finish up some commitments for swaps.


    Unfortunately, I am not feeling well right now. I think I caught my daughter's flu. I hope it is just a cold (like my son has), but when I get home from work, I am going to go to bed. I am just too exhausted to work on any cleaning or sewing project this evening. My mom is making homemade chicken noodle soup right now in my kitchen and I know she will understand if I just crash out when dinner is over.

  15. #115
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyMarie
    Thank you for all the suggestions and support. I am going to make an effort to get more done on my laundry room each day. I think I will "reward" myself... and every twenty minutes spent in there means I get twenty minutes of sewing time. That way, I still will be able to finish up some commitments for swaps.


    Unfortunately, I am not feeling well right now. I think I caught my daughter's flu. I hope it is just a cold (like my son has), but when I get home from work, I am going to go to bed. I am just too exhausted to work on any cleaning or sewing project this evening. My mom is making homemade chicken noodle soup right now in my kitchen and I know she will understand if I just crash out when dinner is over.
    Hope you feel better. Its hard with a job and family etc.
    One thing I do is put on an audio book and work.The ones on CD's are best for me since it also helps with my timing. I have to make myself stop and rest after each CD is done. I get so wrapped up in the story that I don't notice how much I am doing.
    It seems like a waste but this you can do even if you don't feel well.Make a list of general things you have.
    Then when you feel better get boxes and separate. Don't worry about organizing just separate.
    Then on another day or week:-) figure out what you need to organize and start putting things away. Keep a sheet of paper handy to make of list of things you may need.
    Then hit Big Lots or one of the dollar stores for organizing stuff. If you don't have it already. Or if you have the time and energy hit thrift stores.
    Give yourself time to get it done. Don't get over whelmed by trying to do everything at once .

  16. #116
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    You and I are complete opposites LOL!! I over-organize everything--I'm very anal. I put things away and then I can't find them so I go and buy another of the exact same thing. I'm kidding--I really do know where everything is and have to put everything in its exact place when I'm done. My sewing room is upstairs so no one sees it but I still have to have it totally cleaned up or I can't function. I'm like that in all aspects of my life---cannot work/function in clutter.
    I think that is good advice. Each day take one box or one section of your area and just concentrate on that until it's complete. Good luck---
    My DH can't work in clutter either. So he clears off a table and puts everything in a bag and stuffs the bag in a corner, the garage any place but the table. Checks go in with old newspapers what ever. BUT it is out of sight and he can't live with clutter. GRrrrrr!

  17. #117
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    God bless Misty. Eat that chicken soup, get some rest and things will look better tomorrow.

  18. #118
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    i can't not be a messy person. i've tried to be neat, it just ain't happening. i need to clean now, this camper trailer is small enough without all my cr..... in the way.

  19. #119
    a regular here dljennings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinabodina
    I was overwhelmed just like you at one time. Then I decided to get it organized. It took me over a week. I ironed fabric, sorted, made cardboard to hold my fabric on the bookshelves. I sorted squares by size, fat quarters by colors, notions and got rid of things I knew I would never use. I bought plastic shoe boxes with lids to hold everything and labeled them by color or theme with painters tape. Now about every month, I just have to pick up some things and put them back where they belong. I know where I am on all my UFO's and I actually have completed 2 of them. Once you get through the initial shock, you will feel so good. It was worth all the time and work I spent. Good luck.
    same for me...every horizontal surface was covered with god only knows what.. i sure didn't.

    what made me get it done was a certified letter from an attorney's office threatening a law suit over an old student loan that i KNEW i had paid... i had to find the proof that it was paid!!

    it took me an entire long weekend... i threw a lot of fabric down the stairs as i went... then washed (or rewashed) it & folded it into several laundry baskets as i went thru every drawer & box in there... eventually i pressed it all & folded it & put it nicely on the shelves

    i found stuff i had long since forgotten i had & i sorted as i went thru it..

    i did find the proof of payment & got my studio straightened out at the same time. i vowed never to let my studio get like that again. now when the counter starts to get full, i get twitchy

    i didn't realize it at the time, but i wasn't sewing much when it was such a disaster... i sew a lot more & am much more relaxed in there now...

    keep working at it & once you get it done, you will enjoy your space so much more!

  20. #120
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    Just this week I decided to begin to try to sort out my 'organized confusion'. I am doing a little at a time. The feeling of satisfaction is wonderful. I am not good at sticking to a project once I begin-but feel that this is a 'must do'.

  21. #121
    Junior Member yesyoucan's Avatar
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    barder,ask on craigs list or any barder sight.A beautiful quilt for help organizing help.

  22. #122
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    Misty, it's not that you are too disorganized, you're TOO busy. too many irons in the fire, too many obligations and demands on your time. If you can get anything done in the way of quilting you're doing fantastic! Life bunches up from time to time.. and you're just in one of those bunches.. Don't be discouraged, it will smooth out and it will get better.

    The thing that helped me was to spend the last 15 minutes before I go to bed at night just picking up.. clean up the clutter. Don't pass it up, pick it up, and once you pick it up put it in the right place or you'll just double your work! Sometimes when I've been doing a lot of stuff that means I at least stack like stuff together. Other times I can actually put stuff away. I know it can be very frustrating to have things out of control.

    Take Queen Deb up on her offer. Get a baby sitter for a couple of hours and you'll be amazed at how much two of you can get done. Two people working together can get much more done that two people working separately. Go easy on yourself, you have a lot to handle right now.. and this too will pass.. nothing stays the same forever.

  23. #123
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    I hear ya.I have been trying to organize my sewing room for over a year, at least. It is so bad now, that I can't even sew in there, but I used to always know where things were, then.........my DH decided we needed to clean our basement, so a lot of stuff went into my sewing room. Now I don't know where anything is. I too have my sewing equipment scattered all over our 2 story house and basement. Maybe.......someday.

  24. #124
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    I'm just the opposite. Have to finish one project at a time. Cleaning up at the end of each sewing day. Not sure how to advise you, other than get a lot of totes or other means of storage, coordinating them according to color. Good luck! :thumbup:

  25. #125
    Member aggiebears's Avatar
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    No, It's not just you. About once a week I walk around the house and pick up a quilt I'm hand piecing, the weighted blanket I left (unfinished in progress) in the bedroom, the fabric I'm washing or ironing out of the breakfast room, the fabric I set out to cut out a quilt for my Grandmother, the assorted scissors, thread, pin cushions, pins, etc that I have in different areas. My sewing room/office is kinda small. I try to keep it contained as much as I can.

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