Remembering a Lost Empire

Today is Veteran’s Day, which used to be Armistice Day, which got me thinking about lost empires, which is why I’m going to compare my sewing room to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My husband’s to-do list and mine hit a rare convergence, where he wanted to install shelves in my sewing room just when I was considering how I could persuade him to let me pull out the various bins and bags to re-organize them. This is certainly more positive than the inciting incident of World War I, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but equally as unexpected. It also resulted in a total restructuring of the sewing room as significant (to me at least) as what happened in Central Europe. This was the shape of my Empire of Piles on the eve of the great change.



I moved bins and stacks and bags and piles and heaven only knows what into the living room, then attacked the dust. The battle was long and fierce. Seriously, I think some of those dust bunnies were on the verge of developing language skills. When the battlefield was clean, we imposed the new structure.

New borders

New borders

Once the shelves were up, I had to reorganize. My bins were supposed to resolve themselves into autonomous units, but as with the fallen empire the reality proved far different. Some bins were practically empty, hollow cases that I imagined held treasure but which ended up being filled with something else. The mixing in the bins and bags surprised me. Labels meant nothing. I found florals with the stripes, orphan blocks hiding under fat quarters, beads where you would never expect them. Eventually, I managed to set up several sovereign states.

Accurately labeled bins

Accurately labeled bins

Even better, I managed to clear a corridor for easy navigation to the sewing machine.

Now I can move my chair with ease

Now I can move my chair with ease

Of course, there were some casualties – and some refugees. Although I grieved over every scrap, some fabrics could not be saved. Other items have found their way into a holding bin, and I hope to relocate them soon.

Luck and wisdom!

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2 Responses to “Remembering a Lost Empire”

  1. Jeanne B. Brophy Says:

    Loved the article and it makes me feel good that I am not the only one with a path to my sewing machine.

  2. Lani Longshore Says:

    I think instead of having Scouts help ladies across the street we should have them help quilters find the path to the sewing machine.

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