Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Pandora has escaped!

OH  --- be careful what you wish for! There was a reason that basket of half-square triangles was languishing on my ironing board! 

I see that some people do not have an issue with leaving things on the ironing board as they put the ironing surface away at the end of the day. It's not that they are crazy --- it's a case of sewing in a living area and not wanting the ironing board in the way. I know I will likely have that arrangement at some point, but for the moment, there's no need to take mine down. I love how creative quilters are -- we WILL find a way to make it work! 

As I showed you yesterday, my ironing board is pretty clear. There were a few errant things on it and a few more on the iron stand. My ironing board used to be heaped with things that needed to be put away. It was a flat surface, and I was darn good at filling any flat surface I could find!

Let's start with what is on the iron stand after I removed the mess of half-square triangles that needed to be pressed and trimmed. 

Hmm -- there's my water container -- that will stay. 

A bottle of ironing solution, which I NEVER use. So why is that there? 

An ironing aid

I've put it in my retreat box, and I can give it to someone there or leave it for someone from the next retreat to take. I will NEVER use it, as I use steam in my iron. The lint roller -- hmmm --- this really isn't the best place for it, and I rarely use it, but where can I store it? I could put it in the cupboard with all the other ironing supplies. The question is -- will I remember it's there? I might try that spot. 

And the last item is a little cover for the iron. 

Things on the iron stand

It's plastic, and the darn thing won't stay in place. I can put it back in place, but it will probably dislodge itself the next time I open it up to put water in the iron. OK --- the next time it comes off, I'm tossing it! It's almost always off, so why am I keeping it? 

Where the iron cover is supposed to

So as easy as that, the ironing board and the stand are CLEAR!! I still need to give that cover a wash, and I've no idea what will happen to it, but I have a brand new one, so if this one gets wrecked, it's OK. But from a durability perspective, it's amazing. There are no weak spots or holes in it -- just stains from my leaky iron that I no longer use! 

The ironing cover is filthy

And then we come back to that container of half-square triangles. Keeping it on the ironing board is logical, but I cannot keep piling those little units up, hoping the pressing fairy will pass by and press them. 

So -- I spent the entire Monday sewing, pressing, and trimming. This is what the container looks like now. 

The container of half-square triangles

AH --- we can see the container, but even after four hours, it almost appears I didn't make a dent. But I did  --- this is what I started out with. That little container is in the bottom right, with many half-square triangles beside it. So I've made tremendous progress. 

What it looked like

However, I have been puttering around trying to clean up a few more odds and ends -- remember, my goal is to have all the visual clutter gone and all the worksurfaces clear and ready to be used. And look what I found. 

A bag of half-square triangles to be trimmed

Another bag of half-square triangles needs to be trimmed. At least these ones are pressed. Oh, help me now!!! 

But wait -- it gets even worse. This is the pile I trimmed yesterday, and it doesn't look like much, but it's a huge stack. 

The half-square triangles that I trimmed

So when I went to put them away with the other trimmed half-square triangles, I found this. 

More bags of half-square triangles to be trimmed

Yep -- MORE bags of half-square triangles that need to be trimmed. That is going to take days to get everything trimmed. OK -- I'm going to have to leave those on the ironing board with the promise that I'll spend some time trimming every day. I do not want to leave these untrimmed. I have yet to start sewing anything with all those half-square triangles, but I should! 

However, I know I'll work on those types of projects when my stash is gone (and I'm working on that), and I need to downsize! Oh yes --- I'll be working with scraps forever. 

Why? Because these are containers of little bits waiting to be sewn into half-square triangles. You are NOT allowed to judge! 

Bits that are waiting to be used as enders and leaders

More bits waiting to be used as enders and leaders

They are neat and tidy and have a home. Therefore they are not clutter, and I'm allowed to keep them. No -- I do not want more! I know that is why I ended up with so many, as I put out a plea for people to save them for me. Silly me! 

I didn't take a picture, but I have containers of half-square triangles that are trimmed and pressed, so I am working on these. 

The next batch is pressed and ready for trimming when I fire up the embroidery machine later today. 

Half-square triangles waiting to be trimmed

And I found a bag of these teeny half-square triangles. Why? 

A 3/4" half-square triangle (unfinished)

I also removed this bag of stuff from the cutting table. Yep -- more bits that need to be sewn into half-square triangles. I had them by the sewing machine to use as enders and leaders, which is good, but how many does one need at any given time? So this pile got moved with the others, and I have a small bag of them in that box by the sewing machine. When I get through that pile, I'll get more. 

More bits to be sewn

That way, everything stays neat and tidy, and I know where the like-things are. I'm good with that. I'll be ordering my power tower today, and I need to find some electrical plugs in that bookcase in the back. The problem with having the worktables in the middle of the space is the cords that run along the floor to the wall outlets. I have three cords, and I plan to take that down to two once the new power tower is here. And it would be good to get them out of the main walkway. 

It was time to get one more work surface clear. This is my digital cutter table, yet it has a sewing machine on it. This machine is leaving home forever in a couple of weeks, and it's there, so I can verify that all the bits were with it. 

A sewing machine to be packed up

Now that I've found all the bits, it's packed up and ready to go. And that table is prepared to play with the digital cutter, including the box of supplies behind it. It's so important to try and have room for everything -- I know -- only sometimes possible. But since I have the space, I'm making good use of it!!!

So how many machines do you own? I own one embroidery machine and two sewing-only machines. That's it! I've gotten rid of several sewing machines this past year -- how many can one sew on at any given time? I also have a loaner embroidery machine and a loaner serger, and I'm good with that. It's all about moderation!

I'm going to have to get this quilt top together soon. I see someone was sleeping against the wall, and I do not want dirty dog on my white blocks. I must get the sashing cut and start sewing later today. 

Someone has been sleeping on my quilt!

I picked up three more quilts from Diane, which are neatly stored in the storage closet. 

Three more quilt tops

I also got some more stabilizer removed from that big piece of embroidery. Another couple of evenings, and I should be done! It's things like these that create mess and clutter around the space. 

More stabilizer removed

I am guilty as charged that I used to leave these boring jobs and clutter and move to something new. I'm trying very hard to stop that habit. It's terrible, and it results in so many partially finished projects. Even worse, it results in almost finished projects, but not quite! I've made HUGE improvements in this area, but I'm still trying to contain the mess. 

Sometimes I feel like the little Dutch boy holding his fingers in the dyke! But at least the flow has stopped, and I'm getting things done, not adding to it. OK -- that's a lie, as I am starting new projects, but I'm keeping up to date well. 

Oh my gosh --- you had better research when you order something. There is always a special at the end of the year for the Virtual Challenges. I ordered a couple more (even though I already have quite a few stacked up and ready to walk). I didn't think it through properly, so I had to order a couple more. It's a long story, and let's say the support team and I have been back and forth MANY times in the last three days. Hopefully, I sent the final e-mail this morning. But I do NOT need to order any challenges for a long time. 

I have started with the longest walks and working my way to the shorter ones. But some of those longer walks take at least one year to complete. So I'm good for a while, but before we sign off, I need a complete list of all the codes to keep myself straight! 

I'll be sitting at the computer and the embroidery machine today! Lots to do, and it's time to get back to work with a vengeance. The vacation is over! 

So before I leave, I noticed that I got three comments from people who have ZERO issues with their ironing board. So, where does that leave most of you? With stuff on the ironing board? Don't be shy to share photos if you have them, or even better, share before and after photos. Don't move that stuff -- DEAL with it and find a home for it!! I'm waiting to hear a couple of success stories about cleaning up. And the biggest deal is going to keep it that way. Do not use the ironing surface as a permanent dumping ground. Find a home for that stuff!! That is the key to keeping a neat and tidy space. 

I'm going to give you one more day and then we're moving on to a new space! 

On that note, I'm out of here. Have a super day!!



  1. If I remember correctly the "I Hate Ironing" spray is so you don't have to iron wrinkled clothing/fabric. You spray it on and smooth out the fabric and wrinkles go away with no iron. I believe that's why you bought it. Didn't you test it on a blouse or something?

    1. OH --- I guess I should READ the instructions. I'll have another look. But thinking about the label, that makes sense. Well, I've just made myself look foolish!!! Thanks for the heads up! I got a chuckle!
      Have a great day!

  2. I have 2 machines: my 1988 Husquvarna workhorse that can sew anything (I once made a canvas tent for our tent trailer), and my April purchased Janome 7360 Magnolia. The workhorse always has her walking foot in place while the Janome has the 1/4" foot in place. I don't do any machine embroidery of any sort so low/midrange machine meets all my needs. I have a large Sew-Steady table on each machine which gives me extra space on my 4x8foot sewing table (my only sewing surface).

    Love all the HST bits-I collect them as well. I'm down to a 2gallon bag. When I have a stitched/pressed container full (I recycle food containers so it's approximately 1 quart), I put the container and a small cutting mat/rotary on my kitchen counter. When I walk by, I have to trim 10. I can generally empty it in 2-3 days.

    Happy Stitching!

    1. Yep --- less is definitely more in the sewing machines supplies and machines. Personally I now own three sewing machines and I'm good with that. One is my first grown up machine that I now take to retreats. It's one of the newer (over 20+) years old electronic machines and I know it will die one day, so I have a backup. But I was good and got rid of the others. When someone mentioned, they were looking for a machine, I was right there to sell them one! I'm getting so much better than I was. I'm feeling positively giddy!
      And I'm glad I'm not the only crazy person who saves those little HST things. I will need some sort of a system to get caught up and then stay caught up! Thanks for the tips!!!!

  3. My ironing board is good since I was doing boarders before Christmas so had to clean it. Underneath is my problem area but pretty good as I did a major reorg of my storage closet and got things put away. Little work to clean up today. Cutting table is my big problem with the pile beside it.

    I own 3 sewing machines, my main, a backup when my main goes in for service and my oldest machine at the cottage so I don’t have to lug mine. I also have a serger.

    1. Tammy --- another organized (for the most part) and smart as to the number of machines you own. The number that some people own is well --- beyond my comprehension! YES -- the cutting table. I'll be tackling that later this week or next week! It's my downfall all the time and I can't seem to keep it clear! Have a great day!!!

  4. This is Pat Davies… i gave my ironing board away when I moved which i have no Idea why, as it takes up very little space! But it was like a second working space for me and always covered in stuff! So now all i have is a square felted wool pad, and so not much room to pike stuff on it! But sure I will manage! Enjoy your evening!!

    1. Pat --- that is one way to not use the ironing board as a dumping ground! I would be lost without mine for the big stuff!! Enjoy!