Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Long ramble coming....

First off, we have only one accessible closet in our house--no coat closet, no linen closet, just one in the bedroom. In a house with two collectors of things. So things get piled pretty high, especially if we're working on a project (or two or three). I am not a housekeeper, to say the least.

I have this chair. It started out with some nice muslin zip bags with family quilts in them sitting in the seat. Then two chenille bedspreads were added on top. Then a bag with fabrics I'm using or scraps from projects. Stretcher bars went into a large vase next to the chair, then some framed embroideries and prints in paper next to that. Then a smallish bag with the small purses I use on occasional weekends. Then a bunch of nice zipped project bags from a sale at Jo-Ann's--with knitting, felting, crewel, ribbon projects/materials...etc.. you get the picture. Most of my supplies are in the basement, but some things I just don't want to store in that environment.

Then we discovered our one closet is has uninsulated outside walls and if you put too much in it--it has nice shelves at the top that can hold a lot--it mildews. So all of my antique textiles that were stored up there came out, were washed and placed on the chair. Last Friday we had an just all slid off and I realized that it was well past time to review the situation... (and,no, I do not have pictures, before or after.)

I tackled some of it Saturday with hubby's welcome help (he wielded the vacuum cleaner and tubs). I removed all the fabrics, bags and boxes. I left in place a basket with my childhood dolls. It's holding up a box with a doll in it, that's shoring up a stack of antique magazines that I decided not to disturb yet. There was enough in the pile of fabrics.

I found some things that went immediately out to go to our charity of choice (a resale shop supporting an animal shelter--they like craft supplies). Hubby's trunk is full. Tools were put away into the tool chest. A bunch of paper and cardboard went into recycling. Then I sorted the piles. We bought tubs. One tub now holds the antique fabrics, including a larger than I thought collection of handkerchiefs. I was planning to make a summer bed cover by stitching them to an old sheet, oh, about twenty years ago!

The second box has some other things--lap and table frame holders, projects in the works, projects I found in the pile to work on. The third box has some odds and ends that didn't fit into the others. The chenille blankets haven't yet made it out to the car to go to charity but will as soon as I get a chance. I'm not likely to make that chenille robe--and wouldn't wear it if I did!

Of course, the minute I got the boxes filled and stacked, I found things that needed to to into the bottom box. Thankfully, they're easily movable. And the plan is now that the disaster is contained, I want to go through things more carefully with a view toward what do I need to keep and what can I let go.
One project that I found was an angel begun by my mother. It was in a shoe box and I realized why it had been set aside--not all of the needed materials were in the box. Then I looked at it closely--the angel's bodice was done and most of the skirt. Two of the three motifs were completed and the third nearly done. And the fibers needed to finish it were not in the box.

But, then, I decided I shouldn't worry about that. It's nearly done and it's all mom's stitching--I'll just put it together. There were no finishing instructions, this was a workshop; I have sort of an idea but there's a dowel rod padded and inserted into the doll's head and I'm not sure where to go with that.

I seamed the skirt and stitched a gathering thread across the top. That seemed a sensible step one to me. I probably have some sheer ribbon for the wings (somewhere, hah!). The ribbons she's holding in the picture are in the box but the charm is missing.

The design and class were by Dorothy Mackowak. I may contact her about finishing instructions. She's still an Illinois Fox Valley EGA Chapter officer.

Hopefully next Christmas she'll be topping someone's tree! (I think we'll have to draw straws for this one!)


Miss Holly said...

Everyone of us is in the same boat on some level! Bravo you ! Maybe you will inspire some of the rest of must feel great to do some spring cleaning!!

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I don't even want to *think* about decluttering my various stashes for various crafts - kudos to you for conquering yours! Donating to charity is a wonderful idea - you may make some other crafters happy!

That handkerchief-bedspread sounds very cool, and your mother's angel looks lovely. I think she'll be really nice when you finish her off - and if some of the stitching isn't finished, who's to know? ;)