Posts Tagged ‘spring cleaning’

Spring Cleaning

April 2, 2014

 

My stash is full of fabric meant for the perfect project. Backs do not count as the perfect project, which is silly, because even art quilts have their backs showing sometime. Still, it’s hard using the good stuff. Then I put fabric away before going on to the next step in my second Challenge project and heard the voices of all the wise quilters I know. It’s all good stuff, I might as well use it, and spring cleaning is a great excuse to make me use it.

Lani Longshore beet fabric

My second Challenge project for the Easter assignment is based on Russian Orthodox symbols – the Orthodox cross and the habit of dying Easter eggs a deep red (Ukrainians dye pysanky, the elaborate wax resist eggs). Since I grew up eating borscht, I know all about the Russian connection to beets. I unearthed my beet print fabric, used it for the back of the quilt, and used the pattern for my quilt design.

The eggs will come later, along with beads and embroidery

The eggs will come later, along with beads and embroidery

The next bit of cleaning was an experiment for my tree series. The Progressive Party is doing a tree block project later this summer, and I thought I would use a variety of scraps for the trunks. The experiment worked fine, but I realized the trees I made would be way too big for the blocks. A writing friend, Shelia Bali, gave me some fabric (I’m not the only one doing spring cleaning) and one piece was perfect for a background. I decided to choose the scraps I would use, not just take what was near the top of the basket.

Lani Longshore trees

Finally, I cleaned out enough of the green drawer to get a collection of good stuff for the Progressive project.

Assorted greens and background

Assorted greens and background

The fabric hasn’t told me how it wants to be used, but it is very happy to be out of that drawer.

Luck and wisdom!

 

Spring Sorting

March 27, 2013

I celebrated spring with another skirmish in the scrap wars. The dedicated scrap bins had long ago overflowed, so I replaced them with a large woven basket.

Some labled, some not

Some labled, some not

Then friends gifted me with lots of cut squares for kits for the prison program.

Gifts from friends, waiting to be filed

Gifts from friends, waiting to be filed

I vowed the next time there was a lull in the rhythm of creative chaos I would do some sorting. That day came over the weekend, when I was caught up with friendship group deadlines, had enough kits for the prison class to take a brief rest, and didn’t have enough brain power to start a project on my “some day I really want to make this” list.

The sorting went well enough, but the real discovery was how much stuff I had tossed into the woven basket. It was worse than realizing you ate the entire bag of cookies while watching that silly TV movie, and you didn’t like either the cookies or the film! Having no brain power for creative thought worked to my advantage, since I didn’t have the energy to get bored cutting scraps. I worked until one of the family poked a head in the sewing room to ask about dinner, then returned to put things away.

Labeled, sorted, tidy - for now

Labeled, sorted, tidy – for now

The woven basket is awaiting repurposing now, and I will use the clear(ish) bins to hold the scraps. They may fill up sooner, but knowing what I’m really squirreling away is essential to keeping up the effort of taming the piles.

The Fallacy of Spring Cleaning, Or No, I Won’t Give This Up

March 6, 2013

The hyacinths are blooming:

 

The pink hyacinth

The pink hyacinth

 

 

The yellow hyacinth

The yellow hyacinth

These flowers tell me spring really is coming soon. Their fresh scent and delicate petals inspire me to clear away the dusty bits of winter projects and prepare the way for a new start. At least, they did until we planted a red oak with a crafter’s heart. Here is what most trees look like about now:

 

My naked oak

My naked oak

This is what my red oak looks like:

 

The leaves of winter

The leaves of winter

 

I can almost hear it growling, “No, I’m not going to get rid of my leaves. I may need them!” I feel its pain. Here are a couple of bags of trim I have yet to discard:

ribbon bits

In my head, I know that these fragments aren’t enough to do anything with. In my heart, they are treasures. In my head, I know more trims are waiting for me, just like new leaves are waiting for the oak. In my heart, these old trims are real and the new ones aren’t quite (and won’t be until I go to the store).

So, I’m compromising. No, I’m not throwing out my collection of ribbon snippets, but I am making more fabric containers, this time a keycatcher for the nightstand (for keys and rings and other things a traveler might have) :

 

A place to put things

A place to put things

Who knows – one of those ribbon snippets might be perfect for these little things.