Friday, May 2, 2008

The Black Hole of Calcutta

The good thing about being organized is that when one loses something one knows where to start looking for it. The bad thing about being organized is that if the thing isn't where it is supposed to be one has absolutely no idea where to start looking for it!

I said I thought my missing quilt top was probably folded inside a scrap piece of batting that was the just the right size. So I started looking in my batting shelf. Half an hour later I've unfolded every scrap of batting and found nothing. The scraps are now sorted into poly, cotton, and wool piles so I can start piecing them together into usable sizes. I found a great supply of big batting pieces but no quilt top.

Next I pulled all the tops out of my sewing room closet, checking each one for something folded inside. Nothing there. I've put them on the back of the living room couch for now - might as well bust some stash by sewing backings together for a bunch of them while they are out. And I might as well baste the ones that I know I want to hand quilt or big stitch.

Removing the tops exposed the Black Hole of Calcutta. That's what I call my closet under the stairs. Usually the only time this gets cleaned is when we need under-the-house access. I know what some of the things that are back there are, but some are a mystery. Let's see what I can find.

My 6' x6' portable design wall

A sack of pillow forms of various sizes

A partially used package of polyester stuffing and several sacks of wool fibers for doll hair and stuffing pincushions

Several yards of pellon fleece that I've used as a portable design wall for classes

An empty wicker basket

A huge canvas tote designed to carry quilting supplies, including a 24" x 36" cutting mat

A box of fabric dyes and dying supplies from the early 80's

A box of stencil paint, brushes, stencils, etc. from the early 80's

A box of cotton coil in various sizes for basket making, a couple barely started baskets and three instruction books - all from the mid-80's.

A basket of cross stitch projects and materials. I wonder what this design is supposed to be?

A wooden frame for doing cross stitch, containing a piece of linen and a barely started project

A crewel pillow or picture pattern on stretcher bars that has never been started. I have no idea whatsoever where the crewel wool is for this project. I think my mother was going to do it then decided not to so she gave it to me. That was probably in the late 70's.

A needlepoint of "The Peaceable Kingdom" that is partially completed. I wonder if I can find the yarn? I think I might know where it is. In a drawer somewhere with a couple more needlepoint projects as well as an entire nativity scene done with plastic canvas - of course not yet started.

A box of miscellaneous craft stuff

Supplies for and a book on Locker Hooking

My last film camera, which still works really well but was relegated to the closet when we got the digital. I wonder if anyone could possibly want this?

My embroidery box, which was a gift from my parents when in was about ten or eleven. I used the box for years and years when I was stitching on flour sack dish towels and stamped pillow cases. It is now full of cross stitch and other types of embroidery supplies, as well as eleven cutwork linen napkins and the thread kits for each one.

I'm sure you have the general idea now. There is a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff too - like materials for printing photos on fabric - that I've never done. Various bloggers have talked about crafting ADD. I think I had big plans for much of this stuff, but once I started quilting I've not done anything else. Several years ago I gave away a huge amount of fake fur, patterns and other teddy bear making supplies, as well as lots of doll making supplies. Each time I clean this closet more goes away. I have now loaded about 75% off this stuff into the back of the CRV. I'm going to head to the thrift store. Someone will decide these things are treasures and will actually use them.

What am I keeping? The cross stitch, embroidery, and needlepoint supplies, the pillow forms, the basket, the stuffing, the canvas tote, the pellon fleece and a couple odds and ends. The rest is leaving. What a great feeling!


Karol-Ann said...

Well done on the clearout! It was very interesting going through your cupboards (although I wouldn't want anyone going through mine LOL)

Pam said...

This is EXACTLY how my LIM projects start! And your variety is pretty much like my variety it is mostly gone gone gone...Less is More...whoo hoo and congrats!!!


Suze said...

If the rag basket book leaves could I purchase it from you. I have been trying to find one for several months now.

One day soon I too will be organized...VBG

Elaine Adair said...

I started reading, and gasped when I saw your batting pile. BTW, I 'manage' mine by measuring each and putting a little note of the size, when they are stacked up in the closet ... but your collection of stuff is almost unbelievable! You are very brave to show it all -- now, you won't see ME admitting to having such a black hole ...

Glad you are working through it --

Tanya said...

You're right. Those are treasures and I'm sure someone will be overjoyed with some of the things. I'm partial to those crewel patterns since that was my first love years ago... Sadly the yarn in almost all my pieces were attacked by the moths (or whatever it is that eats yarn) so everything had to be tossed but seeing yours brings back memories.

Libby said...

What a great trip down 'Crafting Memory Lane' I do believe with the exception of fabric dyeing, I have been with you every step of the way *s*

Quilting Journey said...

It's actually fun seeing what others have hidden in their closets! We all do have similar things that we never use, but it makes all of us want to peek into your throw away/give away pile and see what we might like, anyway ;)