June Studio Organizing Challenge

Posted on June 15, 2020 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio Organizing Challenge

Wow! Some of you took last month’s challenge to heart — not only were you getting rid of THAT piece of fabric, but some of you were getting rid of entire bins and boxes! Way to go!

Now that I’ve finished my oldest UFO, I’ve been on the hunt for my next oldest UFO. When I located it, I discovered that it’s missing a block. So I’ve been searching through bins and cleaning out even more stuff trying to find it — so far unsuccessfully. So for now, I’ve had to push it aside yet again (could this be why it’s been pushed back so many times? I don’t know), but in searching for the missing block, I found a LOT more stuff that needed to be put away. Yards and yards more fabric.

In that mess, I discovered that I have a lot of shirting fabrics. So that is the fabric I’ve decided to use up. Not just one piece, but I’m trying to use all of them up in a scrap quilt. So I have them all pulled out, ready to start. But I haven’t been able to talk myself into cutting into them yet, because that would mean that I’m starting something new, which I haven’t done all year yet, and I’m reluctant to break my streak! Oh, the quandary!

And meanwhile, it’s now time for the next organizing challenge. And this month, yes, I am forcing myself to do this one, because I’ve been putting it off all year, and the year is nearly half over already:

Clean off your main work surface

For me, it’s the cutting table island in my sewing room, and this is its current state:

It just keeps getting worse! But here’s why I need to clean it off this month . . . I ordered new cutting mats! The old ones are so chopped up and ridged that they keep dulling my rotary blades too quickly, and they have worn spots, and . . . it’s just time — I’m sure they’re over 10 years old, so they’ve had a good run. But in order to put the new ones down, I’ll need to be able to get to the surface of the table, right?

I also have a project coming up that is going to require a large area to lay it out to work on, so I need some real serious work space. So this has to be the month. I know I have my work cut out for me. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all the stuff that’s on there, either. As I clean it up, I’m going to count the number of projects I find laying around — I’ll report back on that! Last time I counted, it was in the 40s — ridiculous. I know there’s one entire pile of quilt tops waiting to be quilted on one corner — that’ll make the count shoot up instantly! Uff!

So how about you? How’s your main work surface? Surely it can’t be as bad as mine, right? Let me know what you’ll be working on this month in the comments, and have fun organizing!

15 responses to “June Studio Organizing Challenge”

  1. Angie in SoCal says:

    Mine is in pretty good shape except for one edge because it’s also the space behind my quilting machine (a Juki) that I use to hold the quilts I’m working on level with the machine. So I’ll work on that. I, too, probably need a new mat. I flip them and use the back side and it adds about another year to my mats. I don’t use the lines on them – find the lines are too wide in places and throws off my cut pieces. So, it’s been a year since I flipped it and I should look for another one. Good luck with your organizing challenge.

  2. Kerry says:

    My work surface is absolute chaos! I’d been making scrubs caps and masks and fabric everywhere. On the plus side all the fabrics that I am using for the scrap kissy crossroads quilt has been shoved into a bag with the intent to clean up the scraps and make space. I have vacuumed underneath the craft table and sorted out more shelves and cupboards – which means a lot of stuff removed from the window ledge! There is a gap appearing so I’m getting there. Now the guest bedroom is another matter! I have spread out a lot! Just as well no visitors coming any time soon!

  3. Marianne says:

    What. A Mess! Too long postponed!

  4. Rose Marie Smith says:

    Studio organizing for me is just pulling stuff out of that large closet of bins and figuring out what is in them. I have finished 3 UFO’s – some actually rather new and only one really old. But in looking through those UFO’s I found a very nicely organized one that I had set aside because it was obvious that it needed lots of time. Well I have lots of time now, so I pulled it out. It is a Trip Around The World and I had fabrics bought and some cut for a king size version!!! Gasp. I finished the cutting and got the stitching for Step 1 done and realized that I had no grasp of the technique for Step 2. The author of the pattern had lots of tables but I just couldn’t get my head around it. I thought and thought and set it aside. About a month later, I got a brain storm idea. Pulled out the pattern and figured out how to continue. I now have the 1st quarter of this thing all sewn together and just have to find time to do the next 3/4 of that biggie. I’ll report more later.

  5. Carole S. says:

    I have no problem clearing horizontal surfaces. It’s keeping them cleared that’s the issue. I had one half done this morning, and within the hour, I couldn’t see the cutting surface.

    I have serious shirting envy. I do hope you’ll let us know what design you decide to use them in!

  6. Gail says:

    I Love your shirting fabrics! I’m positive I have several of them in my stash!!!
    You are amazing to NOT start something new!!! However, I’ll be watching to see what you might do with the shirting fabrics! 🙂

  7. Mary Delia says:

    I agree – I can clear it totally but as soon as I start anything, it gets all cluttered up again!

  8. Wendy says:

    My main work surface is a table my husband build for himself while in college. It is about 3′ x 5′ so it’s great for my sewing table – sorta. The downsides? It’s too high (he’s 6’6″, I’m 5’4″ on a good day), so I should have him lower it for me. That, in turn, would mean I’d have to clear all the stuff off. I have the area around my sewing machine fairly clear, but the area that holds my notions needs a redo. I cannot seem to come up with a system that works, so it’s an ongoing process. Love those little baskets on your table, especially that round one!

  9. Karen E. says:

    I love shirtings and will be watching to see what you do with yours. Since I’ve been making small quilts this year though, maybe I’ll use more soon.

  10. Ginny says:

    I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t do much. My tables yes two cutting tables(lucky me). Seldon get cluttered, I can’t work when they are that way. Yesterday I needed my big one fully cleared to trip two quilts and cut and piece a quilt back. My large cutting table is in My Hubby’s office and I really don’t think he could stand the mess. Now my constant issue is the stacks of fabric waiting to be made into a quilt.

  11. Kate says:

    I moved into my small bedroom to make way for all my sewing “stuff.” My living room now has my 12’ Nolting in it! So no more living room. Fortunately I live alone so no one argues with me. This past month I took everything out of my sewing room closet. This was no small job since I had to work my way into it. Sorted out a lot of fabric for a 14 year old new sewer. Then I built shelves. Next I went to a box company and bought sheets of heavy duty cardboard, from which I cut pieces to wrap my 2.0 + yardage. My bolts had been stacked on top of my dressers. (They are in the sewing room.). Feels good getting it organized but feel bad that I will never get to use it all! I did find my oldest UFO and didn’t want to finish it. I cut it up for the dog bed stuffing. Boy did that feel good!

  12. Shirley Guier says:

    I think you have enough fabric for several quilts! I could organize and clean my cutting table in about 5 minutes even though it looks a mess. My big problem is two tubs of scraps that are not organized. I have quandreyed over this for years. If I cut it up then I might need some larger pieces. It took probably an hour just to pull fabrics for the log cabin blocks in your bom. There has to be a better way than mine!

  13. Candice says:

    My daughter returned from a trip to Nepal just as things were getting really bad here in the New York area with Covid. I assumed they would quarantine her for 14 days, so I moved A LOT of my quilting stuff down to the first floor off the family room (away from her second floor bedroom) and worked there for months. My family was tired of stepping around my quilting stuff so I (finally) brought everything back upstairs into the sewing room. But that meant cleaning. YIPES! So, not only did my table look as cluttered as yours, but it was covered in thick dust. But, I have to say, it feels GREAT now that it is clean & organized. Even started a box of things to give away whenever our guild can begin meeting again.

  14. I admit my sewing space was cleared off a week ago, but I am in the middle of sewing bean bag chairs for 2 granddaughters and quilting a quilt. My sewing table (an old sewing cabinet) has both my machine and cutting mat in one. I have to use my kitchen table when I want to use my Accuquilt and dies (I use them for 90% of my cutting) I have to get it out and then put it away right after.

  15. Rose Marie Smith says:

    Just thought I would update my post about the Trip Around the World. There are 4 quarters to make up the Trip. I have quarter 1 and 2 pieced and put together. Looks nice. Quarter 3 is pieced and I am almost through with quarter 4. Took a lunch break and now have to determine if quarter 4 will fit onto quarter 3 and both of them match up to the top half. This thing is a mind challenge for me.

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