Jan 6, 2011

Annual re-organization of my quilt room begins - Step 1

Every year I like to re-organize (and re-think) my quilt/sewing room. This year's "theme" to my re-organization is Purge. I need to get rid of:

  • Craft items for crafts I no longer have an interest in.
  • Craft items for crafts I think I want to do, but never find the time.
  • Storage units that aren't working.
  • Books on quilting that are pre-rotary cutter days.
  • Duplicate items - I believe I just counted 14 cutting mats! I use one - a 36 x 24 - on my cutting table, and a smaller 12 x 12 next to my sewing machine. Why do I need the rest?!
  • Fabric scraps smaller than 6 x 6
  • Fabric I don't like, and won't even put in an "Ugly FQ Swap"
  • Thread that is so old it has dried out and therefore breaks easily
  • Scissors that have been replaced with better, sharper pairs
  • Buttons - I have more than one person could possibly use in a lifetime.
  • Furniture that isn't working for what I intended.
  • Cutting rulers that I bought, but never used.
  • Patterns I have used and will never do again, or that I have never done and know I won't do.
  • Magazines - many, many years of quilting magazines.
Step 1 - Empty the room

I know not everyone will find this convenient, but for me it works best if I simply empty the entire room. A few pieces of larger furniture will remain, and two shelving units with fabric will stay. This will allow me to shampoo the carpet and do some touch-up painting before bringing everything back in. Everything is moving from my sewing room to the guest room just down the hallway. (No company scheduled until March - which makes for a great deadline to get all this done!)

This also allows me to bring back ONLY those things I want, use on a regular basis, or know for sure I will use in the future.

I brought in 8 boxes and several trash bags to begin the cleanout, and these have the following labels:

Sewing Table (for sewing machine attachments, seam rippers, etc. that I use frequently and need near my sewing machine.
Ironing station - Iron, spray starch, ironing rods, bias tape makers, an extra magnetic pin holder - anything I use exclusively at my ironing table.
Cutting - Mats, rulers, rotary cutters, scissors, another magnetic pin holder
Patterns - Does not include books or magazines. These are either printed from the Internet or purchased.
Fusibles - Paper fusibles, adhesive sprah, glue sticks, etc.
Thread - All threads of all shapes, weights and colors.
Desk - Pencils, pens, paperclips, light box, etc. - everything I had at my non-sewing desk.
Donate - These are items I will either send to my sister, Sarah (who wants to learn to quilt) or put up on FreeCycle.

The trash bags are obviously for trash, but also for gathering fabric that isn't contained on its normal shelf, or needs to be refolded or cut into more manageable pieces.

I started moving everything out a few days ago, and am giving myself a deadline of Sunday evening (01/09) to get it all empty. You can see, I've made some progress, but not a lot!

Mid-clean out - Lots to go!

Several years ago I picked up two matching antique cupboards at an estate sale, and I've always wanted to put in my quilt room. But look inside - see those dividers? The previous owner routed out the wooden shelves and put in heavy linoleum floor tiles so he could sort and store his magazines! These were not glued in, but cut and routed so precisely that the fit was incredibly tight and the tiles were impossible to get out. My husband finally took a sledge hammer to them and broke the tiles so we could pull them out in pieces.

Here's what it looks like without the tiles - but you can still see the router lines on the shelves.

I'm so happy to finally get those dividers out! These will make perfect fabric storage cupboards, along with an additional two shelving units.
I've been debating about painting the cupboards. At first I thought I shouldn't because they are beautiful wood and should be left original. But then I decided the previous owner had ruined them with his router frenzy, so painting them isn't going to hurt them or de-value them anymore than they already are. A friend pointed out that if I was going to paint, I could fill the router lines with wood putty before painting. Good thinking! So I'm hoping to get these painted in the next few days. I'm thinking... ready?... pistachio green! It's my new favorite color and would add so much life to my room.

That's where I am at the moment. Once the room is emptied and the cleaning done, I will move on to Step 2 - which is move new and furniture in and configure the room. For your reference, my room is 10 x 15 with a 5 x 2 closet.


Shannon said...

Sounds like a lot of work, but it will be so satisfying once it is done. I will be looking forward to how you progress with this project. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Will the router lines decrease the weight tolerance of the shelves?

I think I am desperately looking for a reason NOT to paint the wood, but simply replace the shelves. I have some genetic predisposition against painting beautiful wood. Unless it is beautiful pressed paper or something else equally as abhorrent!

Joan J said...

Kris, you make a really good point about the weight tolerance of the shelves. And I definitely understand your reluctance not to paint beautiful wood items. These are antiques and definitely not pressed wood - my husband thought they might be oak. They are definitely homemade, but very well done and still with the original glass knobs, as you can see. I am still contemplating this one. I appreciate your input!

Karen said...

We'll be starting our new project next week. Stay tuned.

Na Na said...

A thin sheet of luan (sp?) would give the shelves more strength after filling with wood putty. You can cut it with sissors so it would be easy to add and very inexpensive.