Monday, March 27, 2017

Cleaning the studio -- a milestone

Somebody left a comment on one of my recent "crabby" posts that said I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.  Truth be known, I've been getting up on the wrong side of the bed for months now; since Christmas my main "artistic" endeavor has been to clean my studio.

Now there is cleaning and there is Cleaning.  I recall without much fondness a week when I was helping my sister clean up her entire condo to put it on the market.  A couple of days into this task, the real estate agent called apologetically -- she knew we had agreed on next week to list it, but the perfect buyer had just walked in, and could she bring him over tomorrow?  OMG, what about the entire lower level, full of stuff?  We quick rented a storage locker, humped all the boxes and etceteras into the car, took three loads over that night, swept out the room, collapsed with Scotch.  The real estate agent couldn't believe it when she walked in the next morning -- what had happened to all the stuff????

That's Cleaning.  But that's not what I have been doing since Christmas.  I've been allowing myself rests and digressions because otherwise I would just burn the place down and myself in it in despair.  So every now and then I will stop, sit down and make more people out of the bits and pieces of fabric that don't easily go into one of the organized piles.

I have been giving my quilt fabrics away to a guild that makes charity quilts, and they say they're happy to get pre-cut strips and pieces, but I have been afraid that their tolerance for sorting through scrap bins may not be as high as my own.  So every now and then I'll stop, sit down and sort out a bunch of color-coordinated scraps to sew into rail fence blocks.  Mindless sewing, good therapy, uses up those scraps (but not fast enough).

And every now and then I'll stop, sit down, and make tie-up cords, either by braiding strips of leftover fabrics or by folding and stitching wider strips into stronger tapes.

But yesterday I hit a milestone -- my entire 5 x 8' work table empty of stuff.  Usually half of the table is covered with an old mattress pad, which makes it an ironing surface.  It hasn't been free of stuff since July so I took the opportunity to put it in the wash.

A whole lot of the previously free-floating stuff has been divested, or sorted into boxes, many of them neatly filed on shelves.  Some of it still is free-floating, but at least not on the work table.  Still a lot of cleaning and sorting to go, but a third of the studio has visible floors, neatly organized shelves, empty horizontal surfaces.  This has not been fun, but it is nice to reacquaint myself with the top of my table.


  1. Congratulations! You have reached a huge milestone when you can get that tabletop cleaned off and the pad washed! Cleaning such as you are doing--incredibly difficult!

  2. Oh Kathy! I have been avoiding what you just did. I have been sewing and sewing and piles are growing and growning. These past two months have been down time for me, and I know I should organize, but I would rather be making new work! Congrats on the beautiful clean table!

  3. holy moly!! That is an accomplishment. If yours was anything like mine is now, you've done a LOT of work! I have a 4'x5' table that has a surface. It must. I can't stack stuff that high on the floor. Mine is full of spinning stuff, as well as knitting samples, piles of fabric, patterns, bits and bobs, and gawd-knows-what. You give me hope. :)

  4. Oh well done! we know what work this is!
    Enjoy the newly discovered table.

  5. Oh what a beautiful sight! A clean worktable! Now, to mess it up again with delightful, glorious fabric and color.

  6. Impressive. Very impressive. Brava!
    Vancouver Barbara

  7. The table is looking good, but I look forward to seeing what you come up with to fill it back up again even more. Usually when I do a cleanup, I'm so peeved at allowing it to get to such a state that I don't even think about doing things like make a few scrappy blocks or cords. Those bits get put aside for later, and then later gets later and later.

  8. I find that whenever I have a lag in creativity - I'll clean my studio. The tidiness of the space opens my minds to new possibilities! Still because my space is relatively small - I try to give it a good clean after every project - sometimes more successfully than others!

  9. Love the people you're making. Dreading tackling my own over-stuffed studio.....