The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Do you really want to be minimal?

It's not really Spring yet but several of my friends seem to be agonising about all the stuff they have accumulated and trying to sort it out.  Even Linda Seward, who writes a column in "The Quilter" which I love reading, is following this theme in her current column.

Some of us may even aspire to those ridiculously spare and tidy rooms we see in magazines.  We must  fight these thoughts!  We are working with textiles and we need a stock to draw on and I don't think we should feel guilty that we have stuff.  If we were artists we wouldn't say that we had too much paint would we?

The above picture shows part of my workroom last summer when I was working on some 4 inch blocks.  These are only some of the fabrics, I had another two large bags from which to select suitable fabric!
When I was teaching embroidery and had a new intake of students, my heart used to sink a little when I saw immaculately tidy, colour co-ordinated and sequence numbers thread boxes. I knew at that point that it was going to be an uphill struggle to get creative and imaginative work out of that student.

I am not advocating being in a complete muddle with either thread or fabric, though very often wonderful combinations of pattern and colours are discovered among chaos.  One has to have a certain order or you get to the point of knowing that you have something, but buying another because it is simpler than trying to find it amongst all your stuff.  When you reach this point I do think that is the time for a sort out!


Frances Leate said...

I can really relate to these sentiments and I don't think I will ever be guilty of being too tidy. However, I do agree that when you know you have something but can't find it then maybe it is time to have a bit of a sort out - although I usually find an item when I am looking for something completely different! Take care.

Shirley said...

I think there are many more of us who are not so tidy and being made to feel guilty by the "Clean Brigade". What does it matter? I love my stuff and occasionally feel the need to tidy it up but perish the thought of getting rid of anything. If I pop off the planet tomorrow then my friends will have a field day with all the goodies left to them.

Irene Onderweegs said...

you knew it!
check this out, and find the answer you need
it went round like a viral, i liked this sooooo much ;^}
stay scrapped up!
love Irene

Anonymous said...

My embroidery thread box is reasonably well sorted by colour, but it's not a big box so it's easy to keep it in order. I attempt to keep beads in boxes by colour; this is going downhill fairly quickly as my bead collection grows. As for my fabrics, forget it! I do hope I'll be able to order them better when I move, have a sewing room and can put them in little wire chests of drawers instead of a couple of big boxes, but I bet they sneak into disorder fairly fast. I keep making sporadic efforts to tidy my sewing desk, especially when I've been sewing mainly in the other room and it's got to the point that it's too cluttered to work on.

I gather that I don't really have a proper quilting area yet, though, because I don't have a cat to "organise" it.

Sarah said...

I`ve got fabric everywhere, boxes, cupboards and numerous carrier bags stuffed full of scraps and not one bit of it is colour co-ordinated. Unless it`s the colours of the last quilt I was working on.
It`s amazing what interesting things you find when you have to turf through all the bags!

Jeana said...

I like your thought that an overly organized person/mind is too structured to bend and see alternate possibilities, or maybe it is because the stitcher/designer is too focused on being tidy to see possibilities beyond keeping tidy. I have actually seen both types of students in my classes. I agree whole-heartedly that a creative mind works beyond clutter to focus on possibilities.
That said, cleaning up between projects helps to clear the mind and I do like my stuff organized!
Love your topics and opinions.

Wendys Hat said...

You don't even want to see my space! The creative mind is really everywhere and cannot be contained!