Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Year, A New Plan

It's a new year.  Everybody in the blogosphere is starting new quiltalongs, new projects, new, new new....

As I sit and reflect on 2011, I accomplished many things in my quilting and crafting life this past year.  But, there were days (and sometimes weeks) when I didn't have the opportunity to sew at all!  I know I have the greatest job in the world where I get to touch and fondle fabric on a daily basis, but you have to remember that I'm a working wife and mother too.  I have all the same things tapping me on the shoulder and vying for my attention that you all do, and there are times when my sewing suffers.

My biggest "AHA" moment came when I realized in early December that I could no longer function in my sewing room because I had worked like a mad scientist all year long!  My cutting table surface had been reduced to about 8 square inches; I had piles of stuff on every available flat surface; I couldn't find ANYTHING when I wanted it; and the dust bunnies were bigger than the cats!  It had been an ENTIRE year since I'd cleaned anything up!   Enough already.  I spent the better part of my spare moments in December cleaning up my studio.  And it was no fun.....  No fun at all.  I'd much rather have been sewing.

So, that got me to thinking.  How am I going to make 2012 different?

I decided to try to stick to two basic principles:  
1.  Put it up when I'm done.  (and/or)
2.  Cut it down.

I know many of you are OCD neatniks and the "put it up" thing is in your DNA.  I guess my internal wiring is broken because I'm not very good at it.  You should see my house.. but that's another story.  I am going to try to be very deliberate about keeping things tidy in the studio.  Since I always have way more ideas in my head than time to do them all, I think I'm being more efficient with my time by plowing through one project and on to the next.  But it's really not that efficient when I have to spend the better part of one month a year cleaning up after myself.  We'll see how that goes.

The "cut it down" thing comes from Bonnie Hunter of fame.  If you're not using her Scrap User's system, you should be!  She calls buckets of wadded up scraps in all shapes and sizes "dirty dinner dishes", because they're yucky and no fun when you go back and try to use them.  If you start with her system, all scraps can be cut down into readily usable widths and lengths.

Since I am trying to be more disciplined in my tidiness, perhaps I should post a picture each month on my sewing room and let you all hold me accountable!

This week I ran across a blog post from Amy of Amy's Creative Side where she talks about her One Week, One Thing challenge.  The premise of the challenge is to decide on ONE THING you'd like to accomplish in a week's time.  This does not mean FINISH in one week.  The intent is to be deliberate about a creative project or a task during one week.  It may mean selecting the perfect fabrics for your next project; it may be making your BOM block; it may be tacking down the binding on a quilt - whatever you think you can do without stressing yourself out.  I figure if I'm going to be deliberate about cleaning up after myself, shouldn't I also be deliberate about what I want to get done?  Some weeks I may be able to do big things, and some weeks I may only be able to baste a few hexagons, but I'd like to try to make time to do SOMETHING each week.  What do you think?  Want to join me?

I posted Amy's link on The Quilt Asylum's Facebook page and declared that I would get a quilt top finished (with borders) that I cut out almost 4 years ago.  I got that done last night.

What do you think about a post each week where I declare what I'd like to get done that week, and you can add your task in the comments?  Then each following week I could post a photo of what I did, and you can post a link to your blog or Flickr or whatever with what you got done?  If you fall off the wagon one week, that'd be okay because we do it all again the next week!

And, if you have an iPhone or iPad, there is a great app called Photo365 that costs .99 cents where you can snap a photo (or two or 3) each day and that day's photos are placed on the appropriate calendar page!  at least now I'll know when I started or finished something!  You can even add notes to the photo.  I'm logging what I work on, or where I am if I can't sew on something that day.  You can see I didn't start until January 8.

So, who's with me?


Lori said...

Sounds great to me. I was already planning on participating in Amy's link anyway!

quiltytina said...

My sewing room is still just like yours was! I wish you had posted a before pic. I heard Bonnie Hunter too and I am going to do that for sure but it will take a very long time to cut up what I have in my secret scrap places. First, I need to clean up and then I am with you.

Ellyn said...

I am also in "studio clean up" mode. I am sneaking in projects as I go though. Sounds like a fun way to do it.

harleywife57 said...

I am NOT and OCD or even remotely organized person ! my sewing room and the rest of my house are unorganized ..... I wish I was organized but I guess I'm just too lazY! !!! I did Amy's challenge a few times last year ; and I am UP For it now !! so I say YES !!

thecoolmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thecoolmom said...

Count me in on the cleaning as I go and the project of the week. I have so many projects stacked up for "later when I have time" that it's not even funny. It's time to make time.

Trae said...

Count me in for cleaning up as I go, cutting down when I'm done and committing to 'one thing' each week! Gonna go get that app now...

Ellyn said...

I finished up my one finish for this week! Here it is...

Trae said... y'all doing out there? I got my 'one thing' done at The Quilt Asylum on Saturday. I haven't decided on my 'one thing' for this about you?

Another 'woohoo' I cleaned up my work space at the end of each day as well (modern miracle or sign of the end times...dunno). I didn't have anything to cut down this week so, I stayed on track with that goal, too LOL!

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