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Monday, July 20, 2020

Studio in Chaos!


There is some moving going on in here.

It’s time to make the switch and bring the bulk of the stash and studio stuff up from North Carolina to its permanent place in Virginia.

The question is – what to do with SO MUCH STUFF?

Wall space for cabinets is at a premium.  So we are moving stuff around to see what will really work.

Some things are going to live at the QPO – that’s a given.

Trying to find the best location for my 5 yardage cabinets – wishing they could all be on one wall and not 2 here, 3 there -

And then there is my big corner desk, and the computer desk, and 5 treadle machines and SO MUCH STUFF!

My small stash cabinet with the glass doors has been moved to the outside wall to make room for my fat quarter rack on the larger available wall space.

Yes I know we will have to be careful with the bathroom doorknob, and honestly I am not sure that cabinet will stay there. This fabric is likely going to re-join the stash and the cabinet can be used for books. Maybe the doors come off all together? It may end up elsewhere in the house and not be used for quilting at all. We shall see.


Wasted wall in the Utility Room.

I have a cubicle system for yardage also – and that really could go here because those shelves are blasted useless space. 

And the big thing to deal with – condensing two homes into one – what to do with all of my own quilts? Should there be another family reunion down the road, quilts may be distributed amongst nieces and nephews as I really want them kept in the family, and not sold or auctioned or donated at this point.

I admit it. I feel viscerally attached to many of my published quilts.  Do you feel that way about many of your own? Not all – but many.

This stage of life, where we have spent half of our lives acquiring – and now spend the second half redistributing and slimming down.

It’s hard – especially when anything quilting/fabric related SPARKS JOY.  Or is useful.

As I type this, the Hubster is in the Utility room taking down those shelves, and will reuse them in the garage.


That cutting table in the corner?

I have two of them.

The other is also in Wallburg.

They were kitchen islands from IKEA and were discontinued years ago.  And I LOVE them.

So maybe it becomes a center island here in the cabin – with 2 back to back?

I’m thinking that table that holds my laptop and monitor can go away when the desk comes in.

And yes – I will be slimming down on the treadles and machine heads as well. One at a time a I can. 


Silly Zoey!

We made a late afternoon jaunt down to Jonesville NC yesterday to pick up the trailer and mower from son Jeff.  Zoey LOVES going on car rides – and I caught this video while she was sniffing the breeze behind me.

Click to Play:


It was a short socially distant visit in Jeff & Ashlyn’s front yard as we hooked up the trailer to the back of the truck and chatted a bit.

And it was HOT down in Jonesville which is at the edge of the Piedmont at the beginning of the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.  We are talking temps in the 90s.  By the time we had driven up the pass toward Sparta – temps had dropped more than 15 degrees as rain had come through.

I will gladly take summer temps in the 70s to 80s!  And the rains did come -


Yesterday’s string block production before our drive -


That calendar fabric?

They should have named it LOCK DOWN!

2 more blocks were appliqued in the evening hours – and the design wall is filling up.  I will get these trimmed and quarters sewn together for tonight’s round of feet up and hand stitching which has become the best part of my days since this whole thing started back in March.

Today?  Mail out – and perhaps a drive to Wallburg to start the packing of the fabric into tubs.  That will make the moving of everything easier later.

And I know this post is rambling because that is the way my brain is working right now.

Moving the stash also enables me to consider different ways to fold things, store things, make things better.

Stuff to donate, stuff to use up as backings – it’s all going to happen.

But one thing is clear – I definitely need more time to sew it all up as much as I want!

I am blessed with over-abundance. And more than 30 years of fabric collecting.


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Here's a giggle to start your Monday!

Still wondering if I can get a refund on that planner?

Vintage string quilt found in Floyd, VA last week.

What’s up for your Monday and week ahead?



47 comments:

  1. So much heavy lifting to move totea of fabric, but at the same time so much fabric petting and memory lane strolling! Take care and enjoy!

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  2. I've been reading the new Love Your Creative Space book, and getting everything together is hard. Think how nice it will be to have more options when doing borders and backs.

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  3. I'm so glad my planner is your Date Keeper, no years to keep track of! What a year this has been. I envision great things with combining your sewing spaces. It's a great way to downsize, donate, and sell. You can sell bundles, notions, and books Set up a "used" category in your online store and people will snatch it up. 2020 has been a pain in the rear, yet there are many blessings to come out of it. The greatest is that we have all had the opportunity to slow our lives down a bit. Your and your husband seem to work so well together. You remind me of me and my husband, we work to help each other.

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  4. I can understand your chaotic thoughts. I also made a move with a large stash but not as large as yours. It will come together in time. Be patient with yourself. You will reorganize a dozen times. That is how I got thru it. Love your work and can't wait to see how you organize your spaces.

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  5. Yes the 2020 planner gave me a chuckle. Probably a religious message there someplace too. I am older than you so have gone through that fabric downsizing event, twice actually. Make a start and do what you feel you can. And then in a couple of years, you will do it again. But it never gets gone and why should it when it is what we and you enjoy, besides being “your job.”

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  6. I went thru the same thing 2 and a half years ago when we moved from Texas to Washington. It was good to go thru the 30 plus years of fabric collecting and thin it down a bit. I like to re arrange my studio often anyway so that part of figuring where all will go was fun for me. I got rid of a LOT but still have enough to last me the rest of my lifetime and plenty to pass on to friends and family when I'm gone!

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  7. that's the optimist in us...buying those planners...my gifted downton abbey engagement calendar has sadly been relegated to a drawer....

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  8. I thought maybe there was another year the 2020 planned could be used. I checked my perpetual calendar and sad to say it will not fit until year 2048. Someone young might possible use it then. As we age, waiting 28 years is probably too long for us.

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  9. Moving is such a job, doubly so when you are also moving all you have as part of your quilting business as well as just basic living stuff! It will all fall into place but perspiration will be required. :) One of the lessons I am learning is that making plans for most anything is on hold. Being able to plan events weeks/months ahead of time is no longer an option. Living with this new reality of one day at a time is not easy, but it does have it blessings. For me it means I just take care of life for today, enjoy it fully or what it is or isn't and then when I get up tomorrow I take care of that day. Thank you again for your daily posts. I enjoy them and it is fun too know what you are up to. I am going what is my first leader/ender project and having fun with it, but catch myself going back to the old way. I'll get there, eventually.

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  10. I too love my IKEA kitchen island cutting station, and it has 3 drawers, so it holds a ton of supplies and shoe boxes with former scraps - diamonds, tumblers, smaller squares, orphan blocks. Because I love your scrap user system and use several of your quilt ideas. Thank you Bonnie.

    I am a comic book board convert for folding my yardage, and it truly changed my life. My FQs, scraps, and kitted projects live in clear boxes on IKEA shelf racks. It took several days, but for me, so worth it. Lucky for me I actually enjoy sorting and organizing, plus I got to see everything I own. (Yikes). In 2017 I gave away 200 yards of fabric to my guild sisters. Now each year I do a mini-purge to live within my "warehouse" space. Good luck as you transition, it's a great opportunity.

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  11. You have started a BIG project.... one step at a time..... be sure and tell us some of your thinking...... it may help us who are ready to begin the downsizing...... thanks.

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  12. I am so impressed by how Beautiful your diamonds-appliqued-to-string-stars are turning out!! The design is gorgeous! Good Luck with the move, and please, you are working on your own life, not ours, but we do enjoy seeing what someone else chooses to do with their fabric. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. I feel your pain on the moving! Just moved two weeks ago and still trying to find places to stash my stash!! Downsized from a 3 bedroom with basement to a 2 bedroom duplex. No stairs, no maintenance, no grass/snow worries. But I didn't downsize enough!!

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    1. I downsized from a 3 story Victorian with4 bedrooms, dedicated small sewing room to a 2 bedroom duplex fortunately with full basement which is finished off into my diva den sewing room with spare bedroom and bath. I feel so relaxed when I go down there. It's my happy place.

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    2. Diva Den! Love it! Never heard it before. I call my quilt studio (my whole apt.) My den of iniquity!

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  14. Bonnie, so wished I lived closer. Would love to help you sort and organize! My husband swears my idea of cleaning out is to find a way to put more “stuff” in the same space. You got this. As you say, just start by taking one small step. Sounds like you’ve already done that. Good Luck and looking forward to seeing your progress.

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    1. I don't "clean out" I "clean up". I am the person your hubby is talking about. I clean to put more up. Yep that's me.

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  15. 7 years ago we downsized from a lo Ely spiralling ranch to a petite patio home. I lost my sewing...craft room and my office. I share my office with my sweet husband and my sewing with a guest bedroom. I purged lots and sometimes feel melancholy a bit but it is a bit more manageable. It has to be as I have much more to manage in other areas. Each age of life is a new adventure with its own unique circumstances. This pandemic busts adds to the mystery.

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  16. Look up, Miss Bonnie. There's room for shelves high up to store your published quilts on or stuff you don't need often.

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  17. I like the idea of combining the two Ikea islands into one giant cutting table that you can access from many sides. It appears you have room for that. It's quite cathartic to do this evaluation process with our fabric and sewing stuff. I did it 18 months ago and today feel so much more productive and confident when I decide to make something. But them I'm a glass half full kinda gal! Enjoy the process!

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  18. What chaos, but it will be exciting to see how you manage it, because manage it you will.

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  19. Regarding your fabric storage - I had been wondering if you could take the doors off your cabinets and then hang panels from the ceiling in front of them that would be your design walls. That way the precious wall space would serve 2 uses. Just a thought!

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  20. As you considered in your brainstorm above: I have everything in the center of my studio thus leaving the walls for storage, 1 quilt hanging and my design wall. I have no doubt as you shuffle the big pieces around, an arrangement that speaks to you will reveal itself.

    Yea for next steps reducing your properties and simplifying your life!

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  21. overheard at my LQS recently "we quilters have been preparing for this pandemic for years" referring of coarse to our fabric, pattern and notion stashes.

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  22. I have a center island made of two of those IKEA cabinets in my sewing room. Love it. So hard to get everything to fit. I need to re-organize my space, and try to trim out a few things too.

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  23. Plans? What plans?? If it's true that man plans and God laughs, He is falling down laughing with tears down his face this year. Think of this: if you had to move all your stuff now and continue with travelling, teaching, etc, it would be an impossible job. You have been gifted with the perfect opportunity to do this with intention and focus. How cool is that?

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  24. I need to empty my own studio in the near future for new flooring to be put down. Trying to re-envision how it should all go back afterwards to be more efficient, visible, accessible, etc. Love reading about your thought processes.

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  25. Love the photo of Zoey with her "ruffled" tongue!!

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  26. My last move was to a room with smaller usable wall space and I had to set my shelves up against the wall with the short edges touching the wall. It looked like library in here for a while. I’m happy to say that after a 3 year self-induced “no-buy” policy, I used up a lot of stuff and cut up smaller pieces into strips. I got rid of one shelf unit and everything is now against the wall where it belongs. Good luck!

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  27. You will make rearranging two studios productive and fun, I'm sure. Personally one of my favorite things to do is rearrange... Today's quote reminded me of how I feel when I look at clothes and shoes in my closet. Just where did I think I was going? And, Could I use this space for fabric ? :)

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  28. I'm wondering what a fat quarter rack is. Maybe I need one!?

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  29. after watching the design studios reveal, I want a large cutting area in the center of the room! I also have my treadle in a door opening for max lighting!

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  30. I really like the idea of IKEA islands back to back in the center of the room. It is part of my dream sewing room to do this for the ease of cutting and also to have a surface not on the floor to sandwich quilts, wallhangings, etc.
    Chaotic thoughts are part and parcel of how we are dealing with the volume of things going on around us, the normal, the abnormal, and everything in between.

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  31. Moving and rearranging is the pits. Just console yourself with how nice it will feel when it's done. The fabric at Schoolhouse is low because the owner died just before the lockdown and I think the ladies are having trouble keeping up. If you want full to bursting shelves, come on down Rt. 8 to Stuart. Quilted Colors is full of all the fabric that was ordered before, during and since. The store cat, Marcy is fun also.

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  32. Bonnie, thank you so very much.
    Your quote of the day made my day!
    Sometimes it's good to try and find some fun in "not so funny" times.

    My little tip to try and keep you out of problems in the future.
    Make sure you separate the male- and the female fabrics or you're stash wil just keep on growing. You know ... rabbits?

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  33. I’m loving the way your string quilt is coming together on the design wall! I can’t imagine having to move your stash...🤪. Hopefully, the kids will bury us in this house. It wouldn’t be bad to move the house...but my husband’s shop would be a nightmare!!! Hence the reason we will be staying here. Have a wonderful day!

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  34. Every year I buy a little diary for my handbag(purse) and every year I procrastinate about filling in all the numbers, memos I carry over each year. This year my procrastination took me up to Lockdown. There’s still not a mark made in my little 2020 diary and there seems little point now we are well into July!

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  35. does zoey ever try to jump out the window? I love seeing all the areas you go to and enjoy the pics of all the animals and he ponies too! I wish our temps were in the 70's and the 80's but I live in Las Vegas Nv. and we are hot right now, over 100 degrees. I look forward to your posts everyday, there is always something interesting happening with you guys!!!!!! Thanks!!!

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  36. That is to funny. I picked mime up yesterday and thought how useless this thing is...then thought I should have been putting now my thoughts on each boring day...I have got many UFO's finished but I miss my quilting friends sharing and laughing as we get together.

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  37. I feel your pain with the fabric moving...one bonus, I found was that in making a version of Scrappy Mountain Majesty for my nephew's (delayed) graduation, I found fabric from the curtains I made for him when he was born 18 years ago! Both he and my sister in law were thrilled! Enjoy rediscovering your stash...I am doing that now as I set up my sewing room in my new home.

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  38. Just a thought, they make door stops that can be added to the pin on the bathroom door that are adjustable and would keep the door from hitting the glass doors on the cabinet. Also you could add an ironing surface to the 2nd IKEA cabinet and get rid of the ironing board.

    I just downsized and agree, it is tough!

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  39. I have 2 cutting tables also. Okay, I admit I only use one as a cutting table and the other has works in progress on it. Underneath each one is a series of the 3 drawer clear plastic units. My wool supplies, whites and creams are under one table. Under the other is my Americana prints. Last summer I pulled out most of my Halloween fat quarters. I only used 32 prints. I fussy cut each print, two with a vertical view and then two with a horizontal view. I used a piece of lime green fairy frost to border each block. I mixed up the prints and made 2 throws for my cousin's grandchildren as I Spy Quilts. They loved them! Left over fabrics from other projects make great lap quilts for the Meal On Wheels Program in Lake County, Il. Two years ago my guild made 45 Americana ones for the vets on the program for Christmas. Love your postings.

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  40. Have you noticed what a waste of space there is under an ironing board? I got one of those medal shelving units that have those plastic clamp things that go on the legs to hold the shelves at the desired height(I always wrap tape around them to prevent them from slipping. I cut the legs off at the desired height and put a big board ironing board on top. I have three shelves under the board and that's a lot of storage. I made mine a little higher than normal and that makes ironing easier on my back. Will send pics if requested. Not an original idea but don't know where I saw it.

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  41. We moved from Spring to Austin in '15, that was a watershed moment for us. What is worth moving, what is donation, what do the kids want in the fullness of time? The answers continue to come, we continue to downsize, I have a donation box going all the time. I sell on Amazon, Ebay & facebook marketplace. Plus I donate thru any outlet open. I recently joined a group on facebook called "buy nothing" to help get rid of odds and ends. I mean, what do you do with a bag of wine corks? a fancy basket that once contained candy, too pretty to throw out, but I'll never use?
    I used to buy books, but they pile up too much, so I use the local library. Even though I might wait for that hot new bestseller, I'm not adding to a pile that eventually I have to sell or donate.

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  42. Have moved several times since 2012, downsizing the stash each time. Unfortunately, I find myself still buying those things I simply cannot resist. Trust me, it will all work out in the end, and the feeling of lightness is precious. Don't forget upper space, that area on top of shelves, etc. It is for less used items, such as the box of empty spools that I keep saving in anticipation of making a spool wreath.

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  43. I don't envy you the job of sizing down. We just finished it last summer, when we finally bought our home here in No Calif., after a move from Salem, OR. Even with having yard sales in Salem, we had a HUGE one here, as we went from our last 1532 sq ft home down to 900 sq ft. LOVE the small area, but it was gut wrenching parting with so many antiques and things we'd loved. I didn't part with my fabric stash - 40+ yr collection. My quilt room in our new home is the 2nd largest room & will keep me happy for the rest of my life. When the virus hit I was laid off & finally retired. Once all the jobs are done around the house & property I'll be able to finally ENJOY my quilting life again. I truly feel for you - its hard making the move away from 'acquiring' to 'parting', but so necessary! LOVE your posts, look forward to those every day! Thank you for all you do, Bonnie!

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