Thursday, March 29, 2012

it gets worse before it gets better

When I was writing my book, I wrote and sewed at home.  This was for my convenience, so that if I wanted to work till 2:am, I could.  But this also meant that I had to bring home bins and bins of fabrics from my studio.  I finished the book, then had an article or two to write, then had to get things ready for the DVD and the tv shows - so the piles of STUFF just got worse and worse as I worked.

Yesterday, I started to sort the thousands of strips of fabric so I could organize them -- at least till I start to work again.  I untangled and disengaged all of the hand-dyed strips and put them into plastic bags, sorted (more or less) by color. Since Helene Davis' hand-dyes are often layered with more than one color, this is not as straightforward as it might seem. But I coped and filled giant baggies with the strips I so dearly love to use in my work.

 While I was at it, I had to separate the hand-dyes from the strips of my own handprints and commercial stash fabrics -- some of them -- like the Kaffe strip on top of the pile -- from the Year One.  I will never use them all.  No matter; at least they are contained...till I start working again.
Along the way, I accumulated a pile of teeny strips - smidgens and trimmings and who-knows-what.
I (gasp) threw them away.
It will be no surprise to you that this is just the teeniest tip of the tip of the iceberg.  On my portable design wall (aka a bulletin board with batting) are a few strips I have already sewn together and have put there for temporary safekeeping.  I have separated the smaller, more varied strip sets and they are waiting their turn to be put into their own box.
Then there is the box that contains a collection of units I have made from strips and squares.  Do you think I need to make any more of these?
I am not yet  ready to tackle the bins of commercial stash, which I need to neaten up after having cut strips and used them with my other fabrics.  No picture of that pile - it is just too repulsive to look at.

But lest you think this is totally hopeless, these three small pieces - all having used a variety of strips, squares, commercial, hand-prints and UFO blocks, were on the same bulletin board last week. I have added facings and have started to sew them down in my spare moments.
Given the number of spare moments I will have in the next week, as I spend the weekend at Fiber Philadelphia and then continue cooking for Passover -- I should have these facings done by summer:-).



Gerrie said...

Eek! How about coming out and helping me sort my scraps. Like you, I cringe at throwing away even the smallest scrap. Especially if it is already fused. Have a great time in Philadelphia!!

Kate said...

Happy Sorting, they look like such fun strips! I don't know about you, but, I sometimes think that sorting clears the mental pathways and gets new energy flowing, do you?

Cathy Bargar said...

Rayna, you cracked me up once again! This sounds like my life - or, at the moment, like the inside of my mind. Very definitely the way I "work" or whatever you'd call it - I have to handle my strips and bits constantly, and view and sort in various ways; it's how I both begin and finish any project. Sometimes I think I don't really like to make stuff, I really just like to handle and sort random bits of fabric. Curate it.

And it's pretty similar with food - produce, in my case; I don't like to cook it nearly as much as I like to pick it and handle it and preserve it, which I do almost compulsively.

Pretty soon there will be a reality TV show, and we can be its first subjects: Fabric Sorters, a form of compulsive obsession. Almost not even funny, right? (or maybe I should leave you out of my little disorder...)

Eva said...

The last 3 pictures are artwork already. Gorgeous!

MariQuilts said...

I'm the always get's worse before it gets better. Sometimes it just keeps getting worse.

GerryART said...

At least you're making headway.
Gotta love all that color!

Debra Spincic said...

I have this same approach set up. At the end of each project, all the misc strips are put into its appropriate colored ziplock bag. Once you start doing it, it's an easy process to maintain.

My next idea is to take all the leftovers and sew them immediately into abstract blocks so I eliminate the scraps altogether.

Sometimes I just have to stop and deal with the scraps before I can move on. So, I totally understand.

Gail P said...

The endless organizing . . .
all those colors and fabrics are so inspiring that I imagine lots of new ideas will transpire. XOXO

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

There is something rather satisfying about sorting all those yummy strips....or is it just me? Once I face the task I find myself starting to enjoy it: it is a bit meditative.
I love seeing all the beautiful colors that your sorted strips provide. Yum!

patty a. said...

I wish you all the best trying to wrangle those scraps! It wouldn't take me long to lose focus and get distracted doing all that sorting! Another project using those would pop into my head and the sorting would have to wait for another day! I do have piece I am working on right now made from scraps from a quilt I made my nephew out of vintage French linen. I tried to be very organize and collected the scraps into one pile when I made the quilt. I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but I could not just toss them. I did find two pieces that were put in the leftover binding box by accident, but I found them in time to incorporate in this piece. The scraps are now assembled into a wall piece and the piece is now being quilted - check out my blog for lots of pictures and I would love to know what you think - the good or the bad - that is how I will learn! Wrangle those scraps girl!

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