It isn't terribly glamorous what's happening in my studio these days, but nonetheless I am thrilled at the organized chaos that is emerging. All of it partially motivated by a New Year's clean out/refresh, and partially pushed along by getting ready for our Into the Woods Retreat in just a few short weeks. I do love the way that January pushes us to clean up and move out what is no longer needed, finish what has been started and try something new. And packing for a creative adventure? Well, that's pretty exciting too. A few things happening, as a result, in my studio these days:
Quilting! I borrowed a quilting machine for a little while (thanks to Uncle Ron at Cote Brothers Sewing Machines!), and I think I've fallen in love. It isn't anything terribly fancy (it's the Brother Quilt Club 1300), but it might be just what I need to easily do this last part of quilting that is a bit challenging on my regular machine (a Bernina Aurora). It's fast and with plenty of room for working with all that bulk. I'm having fun playing with it, and eager to finish up Ezra's quilt in time for his birthday.
Sorting! This may sound foolish but for all of these years I've always stored my fabric scraps in one big bin. All fabrics mixed together and most definitely all colors. It never occurred to me to store them any differently - and yet, each time I went fishing around in there it was a chore, to say the least. I took some time a few weeks ago to sort all those little pieces by color. Um, amazing! Something so small that has made such a big difference. I've been so much more inclined to work with those scraps now, and the process is just so much more pleasant.
Playing! Well yes, with all of those scraps, and that new machine. In anticipation of working with the Quilt as You Go Log Cabin method during our retreat, I wanted to get in the mood this week. I've been making little samples of this and that - including this tabletop mat that I made for Annabel's bedside table (with her help picking out the fabric bits, of course). I like it - a whole lot and so does she. Playing with scraps for the win!
Repurposing! I'm trying to make a dent in is my 'mending' pile that takes up a great deal of space in my studio. Some of the things placed in there when they fit one child and now will barely be mended in time to fit the next. Oops! Also in there are some handmade projects that went a bit awry - or that are awaiting a reinvention. Such was the quilted table runner I made so many years ago now (look at little Adelaide!). I made it for our old table in our old house, and we used it for years and years. Somewhere along the way, it was accidentally placed in the dryer (the sad ending so many great things!) and the burlap backing became a tangled mess with the quilt batting. For just as many years, it's sat in waiting, not quite ready for me to let go of it because I loved the fabric and those quilted squares so much. It only took a little bit of time for me to cut those squares up, add a new backing, and turn them into table trivets, something much more suitable for us now anyway on our current kitchen table.
Oh so satisfying to me, this kind of studio work! Tidying up and making the work easier. Finishing the languishing projects and seeing them live for the first time, or again. And packing up all the parts and pieces for a creative adventure. It's just the right thing for January days spent in the studio.