JANUARY 2021 – Organization: Part 1

January is the month of fresh beginnings, good intentions, organization, cleaning and  making new year resolutions – and in everyone’s case this year – hopes for the New Year to bring goodness and health to all.

Traditionally, when I was growing up, the 12th Day of Christmas – which is January 6th – was the day we would have our tree down and set in the front yard for the town to pick up. The trees would be taken to an area near the warming house on the lake and me, my parents, brothers, friends, and neighbors would ice skate after dark while the trees blazed.  When we got cold, we went into the warming house to drink – or attempt to drink – possibly the worst cup of cocoa any of us has ever had.  We mostly held the scalding hot cup in mittened hands and let it warm us up that way rather than actually consuming it. I can still remember to this day how it tasted.

Last month, the weeks before Christmas were crammed with quarantine quality quilting time (QQQT!) –  finishing up gifts for family and friends and getting them delivered [in what we termed the “Ring and Run” method of gift delivery];  doing some house cleaning after ignoring it for several weeks due to the fact that I knew no one would be here for the traditional holiday celebration; baking – even though I knew no one would be here and two of us would have to eat all the goodies by ourselves (so tragic! haha);  AND trying to get some family papers organized (11 file boxes filled with documents and photos that I volunteered to go through] – well, all that activity for the past month has left me with a  bit of post-holiday blues this past few days. I am feeling the isolation of not being able to be  with family and friends, although we all talk at least once a week and text often, sharing news and laughing about this or that. So, I am very much looking forward to whatever the guild can accomplish to keep us in touch.

My daughter shared the following pun she heard on a show:

Q:  What do you call a group of quilters gathering online?

A:  A block party

This year January will be bringing us together via the internet – possibly for another 5 to 6 months. If we can meet in person earlier, so much the better.

Meanwhile, I am still trying to follow up on the one resolution I  made, which is to organize what I want to keep, what to donate or sell, and what to toss into the “throw out” trash bin. I tend to think “oh, someone can use this…” and of course no one ever can.

My sewing area is the one place I have seen progress – lots of drawers, plastic tubs, pouches, and a small attic space that is right off the closet of the room and makes it easy to access. All tubs go there to live in the dark. Years ago, women had small sewing boxes that held whatever they needed. I have one that sits on the floor and opens accordion-style.  It is full of mostly thread.

If any of you have theories or suggestions about organization, special ways to store your quilting items, and tricks you have stumbled on or read about that make your quilting/sewing room work for you and life easier – please share!

For those of  you still looking for ways to be more organized, links are provided below.

The following are from Karen Brown at Just Get It Done Quilts at https://www.justgetitdonequilts.com/

  1. Tools and Hacks from the Dollar Store  – Part One https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xak5IMBSUZA&feature=youtu.be
  2. Tools and Hacks from the Dollar Store – Part Two:
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plrfj39iHeU
  4. Sewing Room Organization Hack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5xwfNdInQg&feature=youtu.be

From Amy Smart at Diary of a Quilter: https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/ https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/quilting-organization-inspiration-tips https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2018/01/quilting-and-fabric-organization.html

Top 10 Sewing Room Organization Tips by Andy Knowlton at A Bright Corner:   https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2018/02/organize-your-sewing-room.html

From Emily Dennis at Quilty Love: https://www.quiltylove.com/ 


In our house we love pillows – never seem to have enough! I also love pillow shams and made a couple after Christmas to match – more or less –  a quilt  I had done for Christmas 2019. And because I do not want this be just about organization – I found a couple great stash-buster ideas to share.

Pillow shams: from Sherri at https://www.aquiltinglife.com/       


Sherri also has a challenge for this  month if you would like to see what she is up to:


Karen at Just Get it Done also has tutorials and patterns at her site for busting your stash:


So take the organizational bull by the horns, jump in with both feet and dare to go where no one has gone before – not to mix metaphors or anything! You’ve got this.