That time of year

It’s that time of year again.  The time when my mind wanders into the quilt room and I think…


It’s not the fabric that bothers me, although it could certainly use a good refolding.  It’s the other stuff.  The stuff I’ve collected, but I’m never going to do anything with.  And, the duplicates of stuff, like about 32 pair of scissors, some of which don’t even cut anymore. 

Like every year at this time, I feel the burden of my possessions.  I look and I see the hoarder that lives inside and periodically has to be imprisoned until I can get boxes of stuff packed up and moved out. 

Every year, I try to find a new way to get rid of things that is productive and might get my stuff I don’t want into the hands of people that might want and use it.  This year, I plan to make three boxes.  One for Linus and one for the quilt guild boutique at next year’s quilt show and one for goodwill.  It’s not a race.  I’m going to take it slow and thorough.  I’m going to start with patterns and magazines and books…oh, my.

What I’m finding is that as I get older, my mind can’t accommodate all the clutter and distraction that I could handle a few years ago.  I can’t figure out what project to work on because I have so many possibilities to choose from.  And, I can’t find what I need to work on projects because it’s buried under so much other stuff. 

So, wish me luck.  Every purge begins with a good clean, so even if I don’t get any further than that, at least I will have accomplished something.  If I haven’t done anything in two weeks, please send the production staff of the Hoarders TV show.

So, the hexagon quilt isn’t the only thing I’ve been working on. 

Remember that I was going to get the two spool machine up to snuff by pulling out a UFO and working on it.  I pulled out my Texas Braid quilt from Bonnie Hunter’s Adventures with Leaders and Enders.  I cut the bricks for this quilt years ago and it takes  a ton of them.  i started the first two strips, then, I set it aside for some reason, and when I needed a project to help me get used to a new machine, this was perfect.


I have four strips made.  I haven’t trimmed them and joined them; they’re just laying next to one another right now, but I’m really liking how it is coming out.  Not sure what I’ll do with it when it’s done, but I’m sure I’ll find something.  I always do.

I am a quilter after all.

Here’s the National Two-Spool.  I’m sure I’ve committed some sin by taking a machine built for treadle and converting it to electric.  That’s pretty clear by how hard it is to find instructions for how to do it (non-existent for this type machine).  All the instructions convert the other way around.  I also repainted the decals.  They’re certainly not perfect, but they make me happy.


My paint pen ran out of paint, just before I finished, so I’ll open a new one and try to knock the rest out and then I’ll put a coat of lacquer on the machine bed and some wax to make it shiny.  Most people wouldn’t try to replace the decals this way. 

Like I said, it makes me happy.

Also, learning to wind a spool of thread has been an adventure.  My first spool was a disaster and half the thread had to be taken off and tossed in the trash.  The second spool was better, but that’s because I didn’t try to fill it completely.  But the third spool is pretty darn good and is loaded with thread and ready when the second spool is finished. 


It’s not perfect, but considering that there’s nothing on the machine that works as tension or guide, and the thread has to pass through your fingers as it winds, I’m pretty darn impressed that I didn’t sever a finger at the joint from a polyester thread cut.  My left hand works as the tension, holding the thread as it comes off the original spool and my right hand moves it back and forth so that the thread will “stack” onto the spool in an orderly manner without going so far that you slide off the spool and wind 30 yards onto the winding pin (ask me how I know).  There’s also nothing to stop the thread when the spool is full.  It’s a very manual process.  But, I can hardly wait to try to quilt with it. 

I’m a bit worried because the foot pedal gets hot after a while.  It’s a very cheap, metal pedal.  That won’t be good for long periods of free motion quilting, so I’m already trying to figure out how I can change to a different pedal that I already have, and should be heavier duty. 

That is really all that I know.  Yesterday was Sydney’s last full day of school.  Beginning today, they’re on half days.  Most of her finals are done and they’re just playing, except she has a 50 question biology exam that we just found out about last night.  Did she study?  We’ll never know.  Starting today, summer chores begin and she’s been given a small one for this afternoon, just to get her into the swing of it. 


Be well.  Have a great Friday.  Wish me well in my cleaning. 



Andra Gayle said...

I am right there with you, not only sewing, but the whole house. Wish I could just throw out EVERYTHING and start over. 18 years of marriage, at least that long of quilting, and 9 years in this house have made for some serious clutter!

Kath said...

Here in England we have Freecycle, it's brilliant for passing things you no longer want, onto people who need them. We got rid of loads of furniture when we down sized to move here and I have been th grateful recipient of many useful objects, including a daylight lamp, which I use every day for sewing.

JoAnne said...

I just went through my magazines. I was looking for a specific one and rifling through them wasn't working, so I finally got them out. I did a quick purge at the same time as I sorted them. I found the one I was looking for, and put them all back neatly. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes. Sometimes I find these "small bites" of doing something much more manageable than tackling the whole room. I will take the purged magazines to the free table at our next guild meeting.

Anonymous said...

I have the time to do a cleaning and neatening at least as each project is finished. It gives me time to think about the next one and I think about my fabric, is there a better piece to do this project in? etc. But then I do not work and you do.

Elizabeth said...

A good going through and cleaning out and getting rid of things always feels great. I am thinking I need to move in that direction too. Lots of luck!

xo -E

mssewcrazy said...

I am overwhelmed with clutter of all sorts especially sewing stuff as this remodel drags on so I totally understand. Good luck with sorting it out. I really like what you did with the decals. I would like to try that with my 127 treadle so if you ever get bored (not during the clutter cleanout)and want to post specifics or hints that would be great.

Rebecca Grace said...

I am LOVING your Texas Braid so far. I've never seen that one before! As for converting a treadle to electric, I think it was pretty common back when the electric machines were "newfangled." My in-laws have a converted treadle with an after-market electric motor in their basement that once belonged to my MIL'S father, a professional tailor. There is an old, faded work tag on the motor of the company that added the motor, but I wasn't able to make out dates from the pictures my FIL sent. You see, they are trying to declutter their home in New Jersey and they are hoping to send some of it to my house... Eeek!

My boys still have 5 more days of school, including Chinese and Math finals, Field Day, and a couple of parties. Then we can all succumb to summeritis!

Susan Entwistle said...

I'm playing catch up, working backwards through your blogposts. Hope you got some good cleaning enjoyment and fulfillment. Oh, and that orange daylily? You can send it to me. Our orange ones are rather plain. I'd love them to look like yours.