Friday, October 2, 2009

fall cleaning

Ever since I sent off the manuscript for FALSE IMPRESSIONS, I've been in my sewing room cleaning. I find deep cleaning to be a satisfying way to end a book. For months I've been immersed deep in the characters' problems, concentrating on their messes and oblivious to the ones piling up behind me.

In this case, it was my sewing room. Five wire drawers that seemed like a good idea when we installed the closet organizing system but quickly became black holes. The thing about a drawer is you can close it. Out of sight, out of mind. If it's big enough, you can put most anything in there, without deciding if you'll actually use it again. If it's deep enough, nothing will be seen for years.

I emptied them out. Unfinished quilt tops, templates sets from barely remembered projects, all manner of interfacing and stabilizers and stiffeners. Notes, samples, failed experiments. Thank goodness I belong to a guild who will pass this stuff on. One woman's junk, another's treasure.

Now I'm at my mother's, emptying her sewing room. With a disabled husband to care for, she hasn't quilted in several years. We went through her fabrics, delighting in the pretty ones, remembering the quilts made. It was hard, but we passed all the fabric onto a local guild who will use it in quilts for vets and needy kids. It's easier to part with things you love if you know someone else can benefit.

I'm off to the library with her quilt books. She feels lighter, a little less burdened by her stuff. I'm hoping I can fit what I took from her stash into my suitcase.


beckylevine said...

This is the hardest thing to do in your own house, especially when you've got a lot going on. It's so much better when there's someone to do it with you. Your mom must have been so glad to have you there. :)

Linda O. Johnston said...

I think I need to borrow you, Terri! I've a lot of stuff to go through relating to my writing, and always have good excuses not to.

Terri Thayer said...

I'm not sure she was glad, Becky, part of her wants to hold on to this stuff!

Linda, I've saved too much of my writing notes. After six books, it's piling up, I can't imagine what you have to deal with.

But wait...aren't they going to need all these scraps of paper for our famous author library?

signlady217 said...

My mom and I are both trying to do the same thing: clean out and reorganize our sewing rooms! And, yes, it is hard to get rid of your "stuff", esp. this kind because it's part of what makes us happy. We live about 4 hours apart, so we actually have worked on our rooms while talking to each other on the phone! (Our husbands think we are nuts!)

Terri Thayer said...

My mom just said how much easier it was because I was here to "encourage" her to part with stuff. We both agreed better now than down the road when I'd have to do it myself.

Betty Hechtman said...

It is hard to clear stuff out, particularly if you have had a moment where you were glad you still had something you now needed.

I'm sure your mother appreciates your help, Terri.

Terri Thayer said...

Betty, as I put the last bit of fabric into a bag for the charity quilters, she said, "What am I going to do if I need just a little piece?" I suggested she buy new.

It's the end of an era and those are never easy.