Monday, August 1, 2016

Spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning has become somewhat of a generic term for me.  Sometimes, no matter what time of year, I find myself attacking closets and cupboards with a vengeance, discarding what I no longer need or want and tidying up what remains.  Perhaps it's because lately it has been so dang hot, that I'm looking for things to do indoors and have the luxury of spending a few hours in the morning on such projects, that my house is getting a thorough going over.

Last week I cleaned out the guest room closet, which is where I keep my sewing and crafting supplies.  I learned to sew when I was in grade school and it was always a big part of my life and who I was.  I made all of my own clothes in junior high and high school (not uncommon in those days of Home Ec classes and fabric stores in every mall), and later became proficient enough to teach sewing classes and have a sewing business where I made everything from swimwear to bridal gowns.

It's been years since I've done that kind of sewing.  When we moved into this house, I set up a sewing corner in the guest room, feeling drawn to creating something again.  I even bought a load of fabric, a few patterns, and started a little quilt for my first granddaughter.

And there it stopped.  Every time I would walk into the room, the machine would seem to beckon to me -- "remember me? I'm still here?" -- and I'd look away.  I would open the closet and the boxes of old and new fabric had become hidden under linens and extra clothes and my gift stash.

Finally, I did some soul searching and decided that as much as I loved to sew in the past, that perhaps I prefer finding new ways to create.  Writing, photography, art journaling on occasion.  I can't imagine ever not having a sewing machine and few scraps of fabric to play with when the spirit moves me, but it was time to clear out the closet and make room for new.

Now, I have a small section of shelf dedicated to my gift stash, a few extra blankets and pillows for guests, books, a small box containing fabric I just could.not.part.with and plenty of room to hang my collection of table linens, which are now organized according to size and marked as such, eliminating the last minute struggle I have at every holiday dinner of which tablecloth fits the table with one leaf in, two leaves, no leaves?  These are the things that cause me stress at holidays, not cooking the 20-plus pound turkey and all the sides.  It's the tablecloth!

It's a small thing, but I feel as though I've accomplished something huge with this new system.  And perhaps my sewing machine and I just might start spending a little time together once again.

P.S. I'm linking up with Grammie Time's Party At My Place.  Check it out!


Linda Hoye said...

That sense of accomplishment when one finishes a big cleanup is so satisfying, isn't it? My sewing machine, and my fabric stash, have sat largely idle since I started writing my book all those years ago. One day I'll return to finish those half-completed projects. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway. ­čśŐ

Anita said...

I seem to recall that we are close in age; therefore, we had those Home Ec classes during the same years! I learned to sew from my mother when I was about 12 and went on to make quite a few clothing items until I finished college. Not to brag, but people would ask me where I bought some of the things that I wore. Okay, I'm bragging. :)

However, I don't have "your" talent!

I have a guest room, and some of the things you mentioned are in mine, too! Keep up the good work with the organizing and purging. And wish me luck with my struggle to do the same.

Dewena said...

Karen, I had no idea you were so talented and been a master seamstress as a young woman. But to know that you questioned whether it was still something you wanted and made a different choice is so inspiring. Bravo! That took courage and focus.

I remember last fall reading a blogger's post about how her fall cleaning was done, in fact it was done in August! And it does make sense to stay inside an air conditioned house during this hot month. How happy you will be later that you accomplished this now.

Best to you,

Patti said...

That's awesome that you are such an accomplished seamstress and were able to sew all your own clothes and even have a sewing business. I never learned to sew---barely made it through 7th grade sewing class. Oh, I can sew a button on, but that is the extent of my abilities, so I am most impressed with your skills.

Yes, our interests change through the years, for sure. I do hope you will get back to sewing one day, but in the meantime, I'm sure you will enjoy pursuing your new interests. I was that way with scrapbooking. Back in the 90's and early 2000's, I was wild about scrapbooking, and I had hundreds of dollars worth of supplies. Now, I'm not into it at all. I still enjoy making photo books, but I prefer digital scrapbooking now.

What an ingenious way to organize your tablecloths. I need to do something like that too.


Keira said...

Except fixing a button I haven't use my skills since I graduated! I did enjoy reading about your experience in sewing! Good for you!

Karen Sanderson said...

I have the same situation with a piano keyboard...I haven't had lessons in years, but I can't part with the keyboard...perhaps some day...