on decluttering, mojo and WIP busting

on how decluttering brought back my mojo and got 8 projects out the door in one weekend

The final frontier of my recent decluttering and clean-out was finishing up my studio. Yeah, that old chestnut. But enough was enough. Last week Car & I had a few craft-room-cleaning-sprints – we would catch up on Facebook, and then on the count of three, go our hardest for 15 solid minutes before reporting back. I found the first one, after 5 minutes I was at a point I would normally have called it break time (yes, I am truly that focused) but I was on a challenge and pushed through. With two or three sprints under our belts, I was so close to done…I actually said to Car, that I was at the dangerous level of almost-clean. Dangerous in that it was just in need of a final tidy up, dust and vacuum, but close enough that I could easily talk myself into starting a project rather than doing that last half hour or so of work.

“Lucky” for me though, Bear had a project to finish, and so we hunkered down in the office, and as he worked and I went insane trying to keep him on task (no, my boy, googling yourself, and looking at your school on street view is not a productive use of your time), I pottered and got everything finished. Super-dooper-squeaky-clean, hang the mini quilts from 2012, finished. During my clean out, I had started sorting through boxes, but my WIP basket sat there, taunting me. With everything spick and span, I cast an eye around for a celebratory mess-making, I mean, crafty project. I did contemplate some Project Life, but I want to share a Periscope video for that, and at this point in the proceedings, I was still hopeful that this school project would be done and dusted quickly, so figured I may as well take the plunge and see what was hiding in the basket.

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I cleared out a pile of fabric for a dilly bag (shown above) that I was unable to deal with as the pattern was on the computer that the boy was monopolising, and got cracking. First up – a small 24″ mini quilt. It was originally started for a friend’s baby alllllll the way back in 2010, and then went on the back burner when I fell pregnant and felt hideous. It came out again at quilt camp 2012 and the quilting was finished. Binding and finishing it into a change mat went on the back burner when I was (once again) pregnant and unwell in early 2013, and then it languished, all but forgotten thanks to lack of purpose, until now. Truth be told, I was >< this close to throwing it out. The quilting isn’t great (mainly thanks to me being an absolute goose and using the wrong foot), but Bear saw it during one of his many thumb-twiddling breaks, and promptly claimed it for Pooh Bear. Too easy. Some binding from the stash, sewn to the front and machined down with a zigzag stitch. Fifteen minutes work, and project one was done and I was on a mission to empty this basket.

Project 2 – I tried on a dress I’d started in 2013, and at first I was all “yeah, I guess I’ll wear it, may as well finish it”. Then I remembered my lessons from a month-long declutter and 3 seasons of a capsule wardrobe. I wasn’t going to wear this dress. A couple of seams, a yoga waist band from the offcuts, and the bottom half of the dress, made from knit fabric, became a skirt for Butterfly. It’s adorable and fun and twirly, I shall have to get a photo or two and a proper blog post for this project.

Project 3 – An Oliver + S hat, from 2012, the outer and the brim assembled and just waiting for the inner to be stitched into place. Why has this five minute job been waiting on me so long? Another play hat for the collection.

Project 4 – pieces of a mini quilt¬†waiting to be turned into something…except the more I looked at the fabrics, the less I liked it. And just like that, I knew the answer – out the door via the bin.

Project 5 – Another mini quilt, one that the boys had designed and sewn and sandwiched…and ignored. This one was even more convenient in that the fat quarter backing had a good amount on each side, so I could do lazy binding – trim to size, fold over twice and machine down, and boom, a mini quilt, and something for a sad Boy2 who waited patiently as everyone else got something mummy-made first.

Project 6 – the little cow on top of the pile there, it was a case of just putting back in his rattle & restitching him… at which point I realised he was down a leg, and said missing leg has long since disappeared. Whoops.

Project 7 – A very pretty Echino linen pinafore from TillyTom, originally in there for mending (ie, one button to replace. Can you tell I hate mending?) and now for repurposing. I trimmed off (very carefully) the straps, zig zagged the button holes closed and added a couple of decorative buttons over the top to hide the zigzags and Butterfly now had a second new skirt.

Project 8 – the Emma clutch tote that I started during a recent sewalong. This little beauty will also get it’s own blog post soon.

By Sunday evening, the school project was done, and my WIP box is now empty. Not that there aren’t WIPs laying around, of course, but one main box is cleared and man it’s a relief. Clear room, clear head. Now to just keep my room tidy until I can photograph it for And Sew We Craft. Have a fabulous weekend my lovelies, here’s to school holidays and down time and finished projects!

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