Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Creative View

Yesterday morning some very nice young men arrived at 9:00 and installed wire shelving into the freshly painted stash closet. Instead of straight across the back, it's in a U shape which adds five shelves with a total of 11.25 linear feet on the left side and four shelves with a total of 9 liner feet on the right side.

Once the fabric was put back in, this was the messy pile of left overs to be sorted - the bits and pieces of do I need them, will I use them, what will I make with them, and should I keep these, bits. They had enough potential so I kept them.

It's wonderful to go through your stash and look at every piece of fabric and remember why you bought it, or where, at what event, in what city, and what you'd planned to create. Some pieces are just for speculation; some just for fun. Others were bought with a purpose. The doors should go back on tomorrow. Until then, every time I walk by I admire the creative view.

This is my DOL workshop pile. The fabric on the bottom was in the bargain center at Fabricland and had a blue-ish white bleach spot on it. Perfect. Now I know the base. The purple is similar. The white and black pieces are linen. All four are to play with surface design techniques which are my main goal this year only you can't paint and stamp and stencil the whole time so I need to pack other projects along. Not too much. I want to spend more time this year taking notes, recording details, and gather inspiration than sewing. I can sew when I get back home.

That said... I'm inspired by this textile piece by Diane Ericsson and - as you know - part of me really wants to explore jewelry BUT another part of me thinks that may be unrealistic if I'm already learning new paint processes. Even so, I may throw a small bag of supplies into my suitcase just in case plus I'll have a scarf along to knit plus a TNT pattern on the off chance that some of my fabric turns into something sewable and maybe another piece of fabric in case it doesn't BUT... mostly... if I do sew... I'm debating working on lingerie. Bras and panties would be so easy to sew in-between lectures and playing with paints and wouldn't they be fun in a painted/stenciled/stamped fabric as a souvenir of my trip. The best thing is that all of these options are small. The supply list encourages us to think from the perspective of less is more.

That philosophy even applies to the stash closet. Less boxes, more shelves, better organization, less clutter, more room for fabric. YEAH! I'll attempt to keep the empty shelves open and available until I get back from the workshop because I want to save any shopping until after and then shop based on what I learned and how I was inspired.

How often do you clean your studio? I clean mine at least twice a year going through every box, basket, drawer, shelf, closet, and cupboard which means I touch every piece of fabric, look at every pattern, and go through my books among other things. With the fabric, I found some pieces I'd forgotten about which is just as good as getting new fabric in the mail. The whole process is energizing. I come away with all kinds of ideas and my studio is freshened, organized, and opened up. For me, when the studio is cluttered and messy and every storage spot is crammed full, it doesn't promote creativity. When there are open spaces and it's easy to pull things out and put them back, it creates flow and energy, both of which are always welcome.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - new shelving


  1. I scrub my room out twice a year also. Everything is touched; fabric, interfacing, buttons, books, etc. I also do a mini cleaning once or twice a year also. Just about ready to do that now. It helps keep me focused and aligned in my sewing and thinking.

    1. I was debating whether it focuses me more on what I'm currently doing or whether it energizes me toward what I want to do. I think it's a bit of both and all good.

    2. For me, it is a bit of both. It helps me think of what I am going to do now and later on.

  2. I like to think I clean all the time, but I sense it's a lie! :-) Recently I destashed quite a bit. It was liberating. And then I refilled those shelves with new things. Most of my destashing was pieces that weren't big enough to make something but were too big to discard. Learning that I can Craigslist fabric scraps and give them to someone who will use them is a great new lesson.

    I LOVE that closet, M. Ooooh, gives me organization-shivers!

    1. Destashing is liberating. Getting rid of what doesn't work, focuses on what does, making room for what will. I've given a lot of bits and pieces to schools as well although I'm starting to get stingy with them because they're so good for sampling.

      Organization-shivers - too funny. Wait till you see my pattern drawer she says gleefully.

    2. I've seen a picture of your pattern drawer - a thing of beauty!

      A couple of years ago, I donated a lot of fabrics. I kept the wools and silks, but I kept only the cottons and linens that really spoke to me. What a relief! I have some boxes that still need to be sorted through, but that is a project for another day :-)

    3. There's just something about clean and a studio full of only the things I love that is wonderfully fun. It is a relief to move things along and such a good feeling if you can give it to a charity or someone you know will use it. Interestingly enough, this time I haven't sorted anything out. No patterns, books, or pieces of fabric. That must mean that my stash is more in line with my personality and goals than it's ever been because I've always weeded out something in the past.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.