Saturday, December 9, 2017

Goodies of Quilting & Purging

Lone Star Beauty

One of many red quilts currently on display at the 
Southeast Ohio History Center in Athens, Ohio

It's a Marathon--Not a Sprint!

The nitty-gritty of purging means finding out if things you are keeping still have meaning to you. 

Do they serve you now or will they in the future? If not, find a person or place where they can do some good. 

That was the mantra I had for the first many weeks of our house purge, and worked well for things that were cut and dried. You know, things that fit in either the Keep pile or Go pile. But the game changed completely when I came to Exceptions to the Rule. I've been dealing with lots of those this past week. Brace yourself!

Even more old homeschool records above: Golly, I crossed my t's and dotted my i's! Burned as they contained sensitive information.

Classic Family Pictures

I found dozens of pictures hidden among paperwork. Of course, it was fun to send it around to all the kids. To them it was their childhood, and distant past. To me, it seemed months ago. How time flies!

Classic Clothes

While I do have my grandfather's wedding suit down to the spats, I don't think I'll be passing my own dress to anyone. The dry cleaning bill was still attached to the box from 1987 for $35 to pack and preserve it. My daughter and I opened it for the first time, and it fit her exactly. (I was that small? And I will verify sizes have gotten bigger!) So we had some laughs, but was it worth hanging on to all these almost 30 years? It's too out of fashion that anyone today would want it, but the internet is full of ideas on recycling the fabric and lace. Yards of heavy satin in the body and train would make beautiful christening gowns, satin binding, or even backing for quilt lovies someday. It may never be worn again, but it will find a use.

The Pantry

In my husband's words, "When did we put a wooden floor in the pantry?" Although that was funny, it almost made me cry at the same time. (When was the last time you could see it?!Goodwill benefited from all my doubles in kitchenware items, and I realized a great lesson. 

Aim to leave 10% empty space in the area you have purged. If you don't, the first time someone can't find shelf space to put something they will leave it on the floor, and you will be back to square one. Leaving extra space breaks the cycle.

When things are off the floor, it is far easier to run the dust mop or vacuum around the space. Keeping the floor cleaner keeps the shelves cleaner, too!

The Garage Took Weeks to Sift Through

There are no pictures to share, but we now have a two car garage again after 20 odd years. A second floor mat to contain snow runoff is on order, and will keep the rest of the garage clean and dry. If you've never tried one of these, they are worth every dime. There's nothing like dodging puddles in your socks while trying to retrieve fabric from your car!

The paint became the biggest nightmare to deal with, and I will never again buy more than I need. 100# of cement, and 50# of kitty litter, and stirring and waiting until there was no wet paint left. Sarah Craig, you are my hero for the kitty litter suggestion! Thank you.

In the Quiet of Taming the Chaos...

Two trees were restrung with lights, and one found a perfect landing spot on an antique child's quilt I found last summer. Outdoor lights were hung from the back porch with magnetic hooks, and have been the biggest joy while the winter solstice approaches.

I have been sewing in spite of three, pesty 
Doxie Darlings that want to play.

My version of Freefall (mmm! quilts) was fleshed out with more fabric to a large lap size. This was a struggle to find one fabric to go with so many individual, and somewhat unrelated fabrics. I settled on this one from my stash, though, as I liked the subtle diagonal in the print as it teamed with the leaf orientation. 

It's on the long arm, and will be very simply straight line quilted today. As it's being whisked away to another continent next week, it takes priority for weekend sewing.

A Hand Quilting or Comforter Tying Frame

Can you spy what's leaning against my batting rack above? Those are end pieces of a heavy-duty, hand quilting frame a friend was ready to part with, and I was delighted to find! This beauty is 10' long, and I'm anxious to put her together, and give something a go. The old quilt frames like my grandmother used--and I still have hers in the barn, by the way, were set up differently, and took up more space using 4 rails instead of 2. Often they bowed over time. Wouldn't she have loved a new and improved version like this one!

Taking Time for Friends

The house purge has taken its toll on my time, and even physical health, but I've been adding good things into my schedule all along. A walk if I'm short on time, or a day with one of the kids or a good friend. One of those days was spent meeting a friend for lunch in Athens, Ohio--home of Quilt National, and a trip through the Southeast Ohio History Center where we saw many beautiful, local quilts. The Lone Star (at top) was by far my favorite in all its scrappiness, but many in the selection were simply stunning. Historical centers often have unique displays of textiles, and inexpensive admission fees if any. Keep them on your radar for fresh inspiration, and information.

The same friend took me on a tour of some other lovely, antique quilts she keeps company with. This photo is of but a small portion of one, and a quilter's I Spy of fabrics. Don't you just love the corner? It makes me want to sit down, and pull out all my fabric strings to play. Soon. There is light at the end of the tunnel of this purge project, and I feel the difference in balance. Yes, this work has definitely been worth the extreme effort.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Crazy Mom Quilts


  1. Quilting, Homeschooling, purging. We do have a few things in common! Homeschooling: I had each of our adult children look through their old school & art work to decide what they wanted to keep. For those married - it was fun for the spouse to see a glimpse of their childhood. Most supplies I donated to current homeschool families I know. I have a plethora of papers, crayons, pencils that my grands will slowly work through. Purging the homeschool supplies gave me closet space to repurpose. Doesn't it just feel like a breath of fresh air to clean out!?

  2. What a great post. I, too, love that Lone Star, and your leaf quilt looks really cool, too. I have half loaded a quilt onto my own longarm frame but it has been so long that I don't remember what to do next and I know my tension was kind of wonky the last time I used that machine so I need a good-sized chunk of time before I can get back to that...

  3. Quilting: during my current purge I keep coming across an antique quilt frame that came from my grandparents' basement. My folks, when cleaning out Grandmother's house decided since I quilt, I should have the frame. Didn't ask, just brought it over! (Over as in a 10 hour drive!) Funny thing, Grandmother didn't quilt! We are guessing the frame came from her aunt who was the quilter in the family. I noticed the X legs in your photo before you mentioned them, and thought if I had a pair of those, part of that old quilt frame could be put to use! I tried donating the frame to a local quilt shop that only works restoring antique quilts, but they were not interested.

  4. Reply #3 - can't resist! The Lone Star quilt is gorgeous! How fun to take in that tour and see the use of textiles. Interesting string border - gives us ideas to ponder. I like the setting and use of fabrics in your Freefall, and look forward to seeing it quilted. Merry Christmas, Julie!

  5. The light at the end of tunnel - congratulations! Last year my daughter fit into my wedding dress from '77, but the style was so NOT TRENDY, NOT NOW, NOT ANYTHING. It was fun to see her in it, though. You should take a break now - you've purged your entire house this fall!

  6. Wow...that's amazing all that you have accomplished. It must feel good. The Lone Star is beautiful. I'm going to try that pattern some day.

  7. You're making progress with the purge, and you're learning as you go. Feels good, though, doesn't it? You've earned some ME time!

  8. LOL - My pleasure!!! Sounds like you're powering through that purge!

  9. Great work on the purging. Love that red Lone Star!

  10. I am impressed that you have stayed the course and kept purging. It is very hard work, exhausting. Love the results. The Lone Star is fabulous. I need to follow suit.

  11. The purging is so worth the effort. Looks like all the hard work on your end has really paid off. We have plans to purge the kitchen the week after Christmas. It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate over the years! Hope you have time for some relaxing stitching now that you've gotten a bit lighter.

  12. Awesome stick-to-it-ive-ness on your purging project! Such a major accomplishment! Sure am loving that Lone Star quilt!


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