Sunday, January 22, 2012

Proof That I'm An Optimist

I can't help myself.

 I make New Year's Resolutions every year, in spite of an abysmal track record. Have to maximize that surge of energy that comes with hanging a brand new calendar on the wall.

 "Organize the sewing room" has tenure on my list. It is the granddaddy of my resolutions, an outgrowth of another one --- to bloody well finish what I started---an unspecified number of half-done, almost there, and barely out of the starting blocks quilting projects. It's been on the list as long as I've had a sewing room, about twelve years. What a luxury to have a place where I can leave the machine set up, ready for whatever opportunity---five minutes here, half an hour there! You'd think I'd keep it neat as a pin, but it always seems to be in some degree of chaos..... I never actually get it as organized as I would like, but making a resolution to at least attempt the daunting task encourages me not to give up the fight! If I did, then I'd have to sit and sew in the midst of what can, at times, look like the aftermath of a hurricane.  In my heart I am a tidy person. [No cackling from the peanut gallery please.] In the rest of the house everything is pretty much in its place, but step over the threshold of the sewing room......and it looks like the National Guard needs to be called in.

Or did.

I've been in there every day this year so far, sewing and organizing...

My sister-in-law stopped by the other day. Flushed with pride in my accomplishments, I took her back there to show her my progress. She stood in the doorway, nonplussed. She would never say ---

"So. You got all the pins into one box. What do you want? A medal?"

She's too polite for that.

But she was thinking it.

 I could tell.

She was less impressed than I that I had organized my button collection.

Such dilemmas. All those lone, spare buttons in their tiny zip lock bags---should they be in a jar of their own or mercilessly ripped from their tiny bags and tossed in among the monsters in the general button jar, there to sink to oblivion, down through the spaces between bigger, flashier numbers? Or would it maintain for them a little shred of dignity to leave them in their  little bags along with the wisps of matching thread?

She probably didn't even notice that there is now only one jar for pens, fabric markers, chopsticks [invaluable for poking out corners], small rulers and other such essential gadgetry, whereas, as recently as last week, there were at least four. And how could she know, without trying each one, that all the remaining pens actually work?

The fact that all the spools of 100% cotton thread were on the spool rack, and organized by colour, did not move her, any more than the fact that their wrong-side-of-the-tracks cousins, those no-account cotton polyester blends, were herded together into a spare tin, there being no room at the inn  [or on the spool rack] for the likes of them.........

No. I guess it's going to take more drastic changes for her to acknowledge what a good girl I am. Like getting rid of the chair with the irreparably broken back, which is, nevertheless, earning its keep as a beast of burden, laden down with quilts half-done, a project box, a Bean shirt needing repairs, and several  lengths of flannel, variously intended for pajamas bottoms and baby blankets.

 "What's with the doll cradle?" she might ask.

 To which I might reply "A perfect place to store fat quarters!"

As it is, you'd barely know there was a doll cradle under there.

"And the German sewing basket?"

"I just need to make a nice cushion for the seat and it will be a very useful member of the sewing room team!"  I'd keep to myself the fact that I've "just needed to make a nice cushion for the seat" since I got it, second hand, in Germany back in 1991. Was that really [gasp!] twenty years ago??

The Bean arrived home for the w.e. on Friday night.

"You have to see the progress I've made in the sewing room," I enthused.

He stuck his head around the corner.....

"Looks like you've just moved stuff around," he said with a grin. He likes to mess with my head.

"And what's with the cradle? You're surely not planning.....??."

"It's a doll cradle." Smart ass.

The OC will be home next weekend. Surely he will see what tremendous progress has been made. Although..... maybe not. The Bean did not inherit the smart ass gene from me.

Most obvious of all, I need to organize the fabric stash. Which I have been doing, inch by tortuous inch. One thing I've learned from separating the fabrics into colour groups is that blue, in all its incarnations, is my hands-down favourite colour. As if there had ever been any doubt. But here is the cold, hard evidence......

If you had asked me last week how many pin cushions I had, I would have had to make a wild guess. Now I know that I have seven. I probably don't need another one, so I can scratch off the list whatever tentative plans I had for making one of those extremely cute ones over at Bunny Hill Designs!

 I have to admit to a sneaking suspicion though.

I think creativity thrives more in chaos than in order.......This resolution gets re-incarnated every year...... Maybe it is searching for enlightenment, and when enlightenment strikes I will realize that the quest for order is futile. Because we certainly don't want the flow of ideas to dry up!

Maybe I'll just have to make peace with the chaos!


persiflage said...

This did make me laugh. I have aprons, you have pin cushions. Those blue fabrics look so beautiful. Congratulations. I think you have done an admirable and wonderful job.
The last time I organised all my sewing things, my second grandson came and fiddled with all the cottons, cut little bits off a lot of them, caused various other mischiefs, and took out all the elastics. So beware!
Not that I ever sew. I don't know how to use my new sewing machine yet.
The realm of 'one of these days' still flourishes.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I would have known instantly about the threads and the pens and the buttons - I just did those very same things last week! There's such a sense of accomplishment, a virtual pat on the back, when you get the little things done. You can, almost, think you're nearly done. blessings, marlene

secret agent woman said...

I think you're right - just embrace the chaos if that's how you work best. I have cleaning my garage/basement on my list, which is distressing to me because I had it pristine two years ago. Didn't count on my son and his projects.

Thimbleanna said...

You're too funny Molly! And a girl after my own heart. I'm a blue lover too. I've tried really hard to have a different favorite, but I always come back to blue. My room is usually a mess too - although it's amazing how much folding my fabric into standard sizes has changed things. Now I try really hard to keep those stack neat and tidy. Good Luck!

Molly said...

I'm glad I made you laugh Persi! You've been sounding like you need cheering up....

Marlene---Thanks for the pat on the back...I feel better now, sniff.

SAM---I would love to clean out the garage! But, hands off! The OC will not get rid of nuts and bolts and rusty screws that have been providing hiding places for spiders for w-a-y too long.....

Anna---what you need to 'splain to me is how that works for you----Every piece of fabric I have is a different size!

aubirdwoman said...

oh well done Molly. I usually know I have achieved some form of order when The Scot says ... good gracious we can see the floor now.
Like you I am an Optimist but I feel there is no hope of A place for everything and everything in its place.
I mean that would be just plain boring wouldn't it.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

One trouble with this is that , while you're sorting out the various reds , greens and yellows you get waylaid ....
Two hours later you've made a heap of blues , purples and greys and are busily cutting out your next quilt pieces .

Pauline said...

If the sewing room has a door, I'd pull it closed and make a lovely little stitched sampler advising ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK or better yet, PRIVATE - KEEP OUT

Molly said...

Birdy---spoken like someone who's been there! I can see carpet now that I haven't seen in years!

S&S--I thought there was something suspicious about that fly on the wall---it was YOU! I am guilty as charged!

Pauline---only trouble is---I love company in there. Ideas fly faster when you have a few quilters together! I suppose I could ban anyone who thinks it's a sign of insanity to buy perfectly good fabric, take it home and cut it into little pieces....My F-I-L, for one, has never been in there. When he comes over I lock the sewing room door!

Nathalie said...

LOL at it all - I just spend a full afternoon cleaning, sorting out, filing the mass of papers that has been sitting on my desk and around my study and bedroom for longer than I care to remember and I don't think anyone would notice - I've kept the few that need attending to plus a few I didn't know where to file and it looks like nothing happened :(((