Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tips for decluttering your sewing space

I started to clean up the ironing surface in Studio U. Thankfully, we have until tomorrow to get the pictures ready! Don't forget if you have images (before and after), send them to me. elainetheriault@gmail.com.  

And if you have a great storage tip for anything, but especially some of those troublesome items, I'd love to share it. Some things are easy to find homes for, but some? Well, they are a bit more challenging. More on that tomorrow, as I found two items on the ironing board that are troublesome to store. 

It's time to play catch-up on a few things that have happened over the last couple of days. 

YES -- I did achieve my monthly goal for geocaching. Yeah! And now the clock is reset, and I need 6,960 points for this month, and I can do it!!!

Reached my monthly goal

A quick note about geocaching and is it possible to stumble across one. Yes -- that is possible, but some are the devil to find, like this one I tried to find the other day. It's a small container (camouflaged, of course) hanging in a pine tree. There were three trees very close together - which tree? I never did find it. GRRR!!! And yes, there I am in my bright orange parka circling these trees in a park. Not obvious at all! 

Where, or where is the geocache?

As for Virtual Challenges, I received my 2021 medal on New Year's Eve. That was well-deserved for the 4,200 KM that I walked. I MUST get my medal hanger up! I know exactly where I'm going to put it, but it means giving something up! More on that another day!

My 2021 Virtual Challenge medal

I've set another aggressive goal for 2022. I mean - what's the point of setting a goal if it doesn't stretch you? I know at some point that I'll have to start backing off, but for the moment, I can keep stretching. And technically, I can get this goal very quickly - I've decided to do 8,000 CARDIO KM this year. So that means bicycle or walking. The cycling includes my spin classes, where I can do 60 KM per week. And I did crank out 31 KM yesterday. However, gyms are now back in lockdown (GRRR) for three weeks. 

And I set a map for myself to track those 8,000 KM. I decided to go to Africa. 

My 8,000 KM mapped in Africa

There are no street views in Africa. I guess the Google car hasn't been there, and it seems there are barely any roads! But from time to time, I see a photo that someone posted. It's fascinating as some of the images are inside, some are outside. And it's just fun to see my progress on the map. I'm just leaving Cairo! 

And now for some quilt stuff. 

When I was cleaning out Pandora's closet, which isn't finished, I came across this project. Here's another tip. Hmmm -- I really must consolidate ALL these tips and put them in one place. Anyway, we don't always know how long before we get back to that project when you put a project aside. It's a great idea to put notes in with the project. 

This is a note that I found with one project. Hmm --- I partially understand the notation. I need specific lengths of different colors of fabric. On the right, I say NEED 4615 or something like that. Then I have two totals on the left that do NOT add up to 4615. So did I add more? What does the 604 mean at the bottom? 

A mystery note in a UFO

Yep -- it's one thing to make notes, but make sure they make sense, or they are totally useless!

But sometimes your brain remembers the remotest small detail and others -- well, not happening. I have THREE handbags in Studio B, and they are finished except for a small piece of Velcro that needs to be stitched to the handles. 

Where oh where can that Velcro be? I was sure that I had cut the pieces of Velcro, but they were NOT with the bags, which is a bad thing. 

Well, as I was tidying up Studio U, I came across a project box, which I opened up to see what was inside, and there was a bag with one of my boxes of Velcro that obviously was NOT with the rest of my velcro supplies. 

A box of Velcro

You guessed it -- I flipped that box over, and there were my THREE pieces of Velcro. Now I can finish those bags sitting on the current project table. 

The missing three pieces of Velcro

That is so frustrating when I do that! When the Velcro got put away, the bags were NOT finished. I had finished them, but the Velcro was missing. How could I remember that I had cut those three pieces but NOT remember where they were?

Here's a customer quilt that I finished the other day. It's so cute  - a dragon and some castles in the air!

Customer quilt - DONE

Oh shoot -- here's one more tip about your sewing machine area. Put the power bars ON the table, not under them. I cleaned up DH's office after the window installation, and there were wires everywhere on the floor. Who needs to get down on their knees to plug and unplug stuff. It looks messy, and it's hard to clean. 

Put the power bars ON the table and then wind up cords and secure them with some kind of tie. It's so much easier and neater. 

Power bar fixed to the edge of the sewing table


Power tower sits ON the sewing table

And last night, when I was supposed to be working, I decided to watch a couple of episodes of The Great British Baking Show, and I needed something to do. I had sorted all the flannel scraps by color, and last night, I got the pink and purple ones cut in lengths of approximately 7". Then, I'll randomly sew the strips together so I can make 6 ½" blocks. Then the blocks can be stitched together to create a scrap quilt. 

Box of pink flannel scraps

Those baskets of scraps are sitting in the corner of Studio B, and I'd like to get them cleaned up!

So many things to do -- so little time. 

But now the holidays are officially OVER; there's no time left for cleaning or decluttering; I'm back in sewing mode. I have a quilt top to finish today and then to the long arm for a custom job. I have a TON of computer work to do and some writing. It's going to be a busy week!

Don't forget to forward those ironing station photos! If you have a great storage tip, forward those along as well. And if you have a PROBLEM area or something that you're not sure how to store, send a picture, and we'll see if we can find a solution for you. 

TOGETHER, we will get these messes cleaned up, so we have a nice, clean place to sew. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. I zip tied a power bar to the uppwer leg of my sewing table. Allows easy access to the cords, but doesn't clutter the top of my table

    1. Rose, that is a great idea! Thank you! And it works for other spaces, not just the sewing table.
      A few years ago, I realized that everything I set up my ironing board (no room to leave it up)I had to find an extension cord, because my husband knew where that one was and he would take it and not put it back. Finally I bought a new one and wrote on it with a marker. Then I handed him the one he had been "borrowing." And I told him that he wasn't allowed to take mine ever again. I also used giant safety pins to anchor it onto the ironing board cover so it wouldn't be easy to take.

  2. I would advice on what would be the wise course of action for the scraps basket I have (picture sent to your email) 😊

  3. If you haven't read "The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa" by the late Neil Peart, you might enjoy it...
    Victoria in Georgian Bluffs