Friday, March 24, 2017

Cut & Organize

Sometimes it seems that I do a lot of cutting and a lot of organizing in my studio. Maybe they are one in the same kinds of tasks. 

After using fabrics and taking what I need for the project at hand, there is often an odd leftover piece. This leftover is what I cut smaller squares from. I've taken to rolling larger pieces and colorizing them to save even more space.

And of course, I need to stash the smaller squares into storage bins. As I quilt, and things shift, some bins are still stuffed to overflowing and others are half full or even less. As much as I work to keep things labeled, when I put them away under a category, I don't always go looking for them in the same way. The conscious mind gets side-tracked and the unconscious mind takes delight in hiding everything. Labels mean nothing at that point, and the hunt is on.

I have been using my pre-cut pieces for borders, quilt tops & backs. In fact, it is my plan to assemble more quilt backs during the lull between designated quilt projects. Having them at the ready, so to speak, means being able to match them to a top & then they are ready for batting. It would seem to make sense that they would take up less space too.

California now has the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Restrictions apply to large food retailers, pharmacies, corner markets & liquor stores but not restaurants or department stores. I've been bringing my own bags for some time, but they were the cheapies sold in the grocery store or given away at health fairs and are looking pretty thin. The plastic bags were never single-use in my home, serving as cat litter haul-outs and for household waste baskets after they brought home groceries & pharmacuticals. I've had to purchase small plastic bags that became single- use for cat litter waste, so it feels somewhat like a backfire.

I pulled out a few patterns I have for tote bags and want to use fabric scraps and make more of my own to take shopping. I also spent time today watching some tutorials. I think most of the people I know are a bit environmentally aware, so this is not to say I am in any first wave about it. If I can make any headway on them, I may use them as gifts such as the camping totes for the Granddaughters.

Then, I finished the Honey Bee block for the Gratitude quilt. I used a small scrap of a green leftover from a previous block, and think this was all of the off-white I had in the bin for the project. Its so nice to see Harvest fabrics being used. As much as I whine about Mystery Quilt projects, they can turn out quite lovely. I still hesitate to post photos of my scrappy quilts when other participants show what they make by purchasing coordinating layer cakes. And as much as I also whine about returning to a UFO, the feeling of accomplishment when the project is done is one of great joy. 

At the bottom of all this personal organization and using what resources I have is still my need & longing to prevent leftovers after I personally leave this incarnation. I know that it is impossible to go out with everything done. Its just not the way of life & death. I've been seeing a 'form' passing around for quilters to designate what they want done with their stash so I know I am not the only one thinking about it. Thing is, I believe that it is an act of unkindness to do that to someone.