Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Trucks and Trains for Jack": a scrap quilt

I've just finished a new quilt in the "Film at Five" design.  It is for Anna's darling little godson, Jack.  Now that he is growing up, I felt that he might like a "big boy" quilt and since he is all boy, he loves trucks, cars, and trains.  This is a great little design that is all 2.5 inch squares, so it is easily composed and easily quilted.  You can check out the first one I made in this post.

Here are some closer shots of most of the individual blocks.
Here is a close-up of the bias binding.
And finally the back, which is a flannel with all sorts vehicles.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding out what gives me joy and living with less stuff

Much has been written of late concerning a little book written by Marie Kondo  called  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese art of Decluttering and Organizing (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2014 ISBN978-1-60774-730-7).  As one who is always looking for new ways to reorganize and reduce the clutter in my life, I grabbed it up instantly.  The radical nature of Kondo's philosophy is that you have to do the throwing away of unnecessary items in a hurry so that you can know and appreciate the difference less stuff makes in your closet, drawers, and other areas of the home.  This helps reduce the rebound effect of the return of clutter.

When Jim and I moved down to North Carolina in 2007, we got rid of lots of stuff.  We also resolved not to put anything in the attic of the house or the attic of the carport.  I can honestly say, we haven't missed one thing that we got rid of.   We moved into a much smaller house in North Carolina, but we love its cosy character. My thoughts now are to fine-tune.  If something is in a box in the closet and I haven't looked at it or thought about it since 2007, I probably don't need it.

Since I had already done some weeding in my drawers and closet, the clothes and shoes part of the job was quick and easy.  Kondo also has a great folding technique for clothes which allows you to see everything that's in your drawer at a glance.  I haven't done the little jewelry cabinet yet because much of that falls into the memento area that Kondo suggests saving for last.

The work in my studio has been slow, but steady.   I've discovered that my love of containers has meant that I use up much more room than really necessary for not that much stuff.  As Yoko Ono appropriately once said, "We're container minders."  Or at any rate, I am.

I've taken two loads to Goodwill that were mostly clothes and small furnishings.  Edward McKay, our wonderful local used book store, was the recipient of five cartons of books.  Next on the schedule is paperwork.  Industrial shredder, here I come!