Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Well, my spring fever has passed and been replaced by a desire for spring cleaning.  Let me clarify:  I have a desire for a home that has been spring cleaned--not so much for the cleaning itself.  The brighter sunlight is great for the soul, but has the downside of making the smudges on the walls and the water spots on the windows much more apparent.  I didn't want to shock my system by starting my cleaning with painting or window washing, so I decided to warm up by taking the logical step of reupholstering my great-grandmother's chair.  I'm not sure what made me decide that it was finally time to take on this project--I haven't had purple in my home decor in 6 or 7 years and I've managed to walk by this chair that lives in our 2nd floor landing for years without feeling compelled to redo it.  But last week in a burst of productivity (or maybe it was procrastination disguised as productivity--that often happens to me), I not only bought the fabric, I actually re-covered the chair.  And finished!

Here are the before and after shots...

and after.

Fueled on by my success with the chair, I momentarily thought about reorganizing my junk drawers.  But walking through my sewing room on the way to the kitchen, I was side-tracked by a quilt top hanging on my quilt rack--I should never walk to the kitchen through my sewing room.  Anyway the quilt top is one I finished a l-o-n-g time ago.  It's a lap quilt with a tessellating leaf pattern that I love, but I just never got around to quilting.  I'm a hand quilter and the thought of spending 6 months plus quilting a big project just didn't appeal at the time.  There were just so many new projects to try and as much as I enjoy hand quilting, it's the piecing I really LOVE.  So the poor thing has been sitting, waiting, for years.

Tessellating Leaves pattern by Jackie Robinson

I really didn't feel like tackling the junk drawers, so I decided to pull out all of my unquilted quilt tops.  To my surprise there were 11.  11!!  Four of them were already basted and ready to go.  That's a lot of quilting.  And now it's confession time.  Despite all of the projects I've made, I've never sent out a quilt to be machine quilted.  Can you believe it!  Why, you ask?  Part of it may be procrastination and part of it is the hope that my husband will someday surprise me with a long arm quilting machine, but I think the biggest reason is a fear of giving up ownership of the process and risking the outcome.

But as I sat on the floor surrounded by my work, I realized that if I didn't get some help, these quilts were probably never going to be finished.  And since I was pretty sure my husband wasn't going to pony up the long arm quilting machine any time soon, I decided it was finally time to contact a long arm quilter. 

So now I've got appointments with two quilters to have 4 of my quilts done and to be honest, I can't wait!  I'm looking forward to finishing up some old projects and freeing up time to work on some new ones.  Don't get me wrong, I still want to hand quilt a lot of my work; I love how it looks and I love feeling connected to my quilting "foremothers" (if such a word exists); but I think it's time I entered the 21st century and I'm excited about the possibilities.

I still haven't gotten to the "cleaning" part of my spring cleaning yet, but I'm feeling pretty good about the items I've crossed off my to-do list.  It's amazing what you can accomplish when window washing is impending!

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