Christine E.

Projects never done,

Are a seed that never sprouts

Let it go, move on.

This is assignment is very much in line with what I have been doing most of last year and will continue this year. I'm going through all of my "stuff", house and studio, deciding what I want and what I don't want. There are two reasons for this.

  1. My mother passed away at the end of January 2015 and I was forced to go through all of her things and make decisions on what to do with them. This process made me want to address all of the things I have tucked away in boxes and cupboards as well. My mum wasn't a packrat by any means, but it was still tough. 
  2. My husband and I are thinking of moving from Ontario to the west coast of Canada. Asking myself whether I like something enough to pay someone to move it thousands of kilometres is a good test of how necessary it is.

This hasn't been easy but I feel like it's going reasonably well and I thought I'd share some of the strategies I've come up with. I think they can apply to anything.

  1. I get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things, the memories they evoke and the decisions that have to be made, so I plan to do each sorting - whether of specific kinds of things, or a particular cupboard or box, more than once. When I get overwhelmed I stop, put it back and pick up where I left off a few days or weeks later.
  2. I divide things into three groups - getting rid of (which can go into a box for charity or the garbage depending on its state), keepingand "undecided". The undecided stuff does back where it came from until next time, or I may see if a family member wants it. It feels better sometimes to know something is still in the family, even though I will likely never see it again!
  3. Sometimes I select a particular box or storage area and decide that I will only keep what will fit in that box. This sets a goal that limits the quantity of a particular thing without saying I won't have any of it any more. It also makes me choose which items are most important to me.
  4. When I sat with my daughter to go through her school artwork (you know how you keep a few things from each year and by the time they leave school you've got boxes of it?) she took photos of everything that had an emotional significance for her and we burned or recycled the rest. I plan to apply this technique to the patterns I've made for various art quilts. I often produce several iterations of the pattern(full size) and I like to keep the progression but it will take up much less space as a digital photograph, and I can print smaller versions for a notebook if I want to keep the progression and its notes together. (I also have a backup drive of my digital world in case disaster strikes the computer!) 

This week I took 3 bags of fabrics, notions, patterns and books to a fabric sale and I only came home with 1/2 bag of new stuff! The assignment also prompted me to look at my non fabric related art supplies and I packed up several sets of paints and other craft supplies to give away.

I've been placing all of my UFO's and not so great finished projects into a plastic box and I'm planning to go through it weekly and try to make something from them, and experiment more. I’m currently working on a butterfly that is quilted in thread and intended to be viewed on both sides.  One side is black and the other is white. I didn’t like it much so it’s been sitting around for several years, unfinished. I painted the white side with Inktense pencils and I’m liking it better. But what does one do with a double sided quilt? Where do you hang it? What was I thinking? 

This labour of love

Has much I do not like. Off!

To another's home.