Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Sewing Room

Like most who are into fiber arts, I'm a collector. A collector of books, patterns, the latest gizmos, UFOs, thread, and fabric. Whatever it takes to get the job done and is the latest craze. The problem with this ailment is that unless you're very organized, all the latest magical gizmos won't aid you in creating your projects.... if you can't find them. Or, like most, you forgot you even had them in the first place. This leads me to today's discussion: My sewing room.
I'm very fortunate to have a separate room to go to when I'm working on my latest project(s). I can remember those days when everything resided in a closet and if I wanted to sew I had to haul it out only to take up residence on the dining room table. Often times it took so long for me to set everything up that my actual sewing time was minimal and I either gave up on the idea of sewing or I remained on the dining room table and we ate in the living room in front of the television. But, the kids are grown and I have the extra space to call mine and make it my own haven. My Sewing Palace. Or, as some call it, Dena's Castle. Although my room is very organized, it wasn't always this way.
For me, there is nothing more frustrating than having to clear a spot so I can have a workspace or spending lots of time looking for everything I need for my project. In fact, my room had become so bad that I dreaded going in there and would often times find excuses as to why I couldn't sew. I had books, videos, and DVDs thrown into the bookcase and piled onto the floor. I had stacks and stacks of fabrics everywhere. They were in large 55 gal totes. They were piled on the sleeper sofa. The cutting table. The sewing table. On top of the totes. I had created a monster. I was no longer the queen of my castle. I had been slayed by the dragon. Everyone who knows me knows I am not a quitter. I do not acknowledge nor accept defeat. I was ready to regain control of my space.
The first thing I did was to remove everything from the room. Remember all the fabric I had? Well, it was all moved into my kitchen. I had 55 gal totes full of fabric in a row of eight long and three or four high in the middle of my kitchen. My poor DH couldn't even get to the refrigerator to get his coffee for a morning cup before leaving for work. What I couldn't fit there I moved to another section of my kitchen. There was at least another 18 totes and boxes of fabric on the other side of the breakfast bar. My own quilt shop! My next task was to begin taking inventory of everything. A tedious task, but necessary if I was to effectively organize my room. Once the inventory was completed, I then began sorting and identifying what would stay and what I was disposing of. Believe it or not, that was the hard part. And even harder was the realization that I had duplicate books and fabric prints because I had no clue what was there in the first place. There was even a few items I had forgotten I had... and a few 'Oh, that's where that was!' moments. Now the task of reorganizing my room began. Piece by piece.
Now that my room is organized it is enjoyable to work in there and I find I'm able to actually complete more tasks since I can spend more actual sewing time and not just moving piles around.

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