Inspiration To Clean!

Yesterday I finished up those screens and put them all away clean for next spring. This is where I keep the 20 new south and east window screens. My contractor remodeled this cupboard so they’d all fit.

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This old cupboard had been in my sewing room but now it sits on the east porch with the screens all on one shelf. Isn’t this great?

There are 12 more screens for the upstairs windows and north and west sides of the house – all are stored in a shed in the backyard.

Connie has got the bug to de-clutter and clean her sewing room and she graciously let us all see the “before” pictures. All this wonderful quilting and sewing clutter looks pretty fun to me! Does this clutter remind you of your own sewing room?

I’ll post some “after” pictures in a few days.

I decided to clean the front closet to make room for boots and cold weather hats, gloves, and scarves. I matched up gloves from two different boxes and found I have lots – last year I couldn’t come up with a matching pair!

Yesterday I got a question about washing newly made quilts. I always wash them as soon as the binding is finished and I use Tide – nothing special. I dry them in the dryer completely dry so they’ll pucker up and be soft. This is especially necessary for baby quilts. Just look at this puckery soft pinwheel quilt. I’ll bet you can almost feel it.

It is a gorgeous day in North Iowa so I took quilt pictures outside.

When Jenny was home last week she brought me this vintage terrier dog – I just love him!

And I hung this quilt outside my sewing room door – Crow in the Corn.

The farmers are in the field today – hallelujah! I’ll bet we have a slim crowd tonight at choir practice. We’re starting the cantata tonight- wow, Christmas will be sneaking up before you know it.

Now that Connie has inspired us, what are YOU going to declutter first?

63 thoughts on “Inspiration To Clean!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat -you can purchase Spot the Dog pattern from us for $10.00. Send to address on home page.

  1. Ann Barlament

    I am heartbroken over my “decluttering” because mine includes selling my family heirlooms, furniture, miscellaneous and the house. Called the Auctioneer on Tuesday. Grieving over the loss of everything I hold dear, seems to be a daily occurrence.

    My treadle, serger and Husqvarna will be sold. Fabric and projects will be adopted by my dear friend (many 65 gallon buckets of yardage). She will quickly pull into the lead of owning the most fabric!!!

    There are a few things I refuse to give up, one being my great grandmother ‘s Crazy patch quilt (over 100 years old).
    I’ll go to the grave with that warm quilt!!

    I do have my Janome stashed in the closet. Shhhh-don’t tell anyone! Oh and some projects…tee hee!

  2. Amy M

    I have also had the pleasure of seeing Connie’s sewing room and it is so wonderful when I run away from home that is where I’m headed (hope she doesn’t mind!). I’m also in the process of downsizing and trying to figure out what needs to go and what can move with me. Certainly the fabrics purchased in the 80’s can go? And much of it no longer appeals to me so that is easy to let go. So far I’m up to about 12 rotary cutters! I guess if I couldn’t find one or they were on sale I bought another one. Clearly the new space will need to be better organized. Thank you for the washing inspiration Mary, I will try that this weekend with some quilts I need to get the binding done. My thoughts and prayers with you and Becky as well on the loss of your brother. I know you didn’t spend a lot of time together but am glad he is now in a better place.

  3. Lisa in Eastern Washington state

    My sewing studio is just as messy as Connie’s! I did a thorough cleaning/destashing this past summer when it was so hot outside. I sold $1200 worth of sewing stuff at our local quilt show/sale the end of August, items I no longer needed or wanted, plus projects that I knew I’d never sew. We’re just below the Canadian border so we get a lot of Canadian ladies who love to buy our discards because their fabric costs so much up there. My room was so clean for awhile that I couldn’t find anything. It’s back to being a cluttered mess again and I LOVE IT! BTW, I love that little ceramic terrier, he is adorable. Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, my prayers are with your family at this time.

  4. Tanya in Houston

    Our guild just had The Clutter Fairy, a woman who specializes in organizing, talk. Oh, Connie, I am with you in the Before photos!

    Mary, So sorry about your brother. What a year it has been!

  5. Janine

    Love the pictures! One year when we were at Quilt Camp, Connie was very sweet and give us a tour of her sewing room. It was decorated for Halloween and it was beyond incredible. I can still remember how envious I was of that huge space and all the antique cabinets and storage. The first thing I purchased for my latest sewing room was that IKEA kitchen island – it is my cutting table and I love all the storage drawers. I always thank Connie when I start a new project!

  6. Brenda

    I think Connie’s sewing room looks great! My “space” would make an episode of Hoarders! Lol. Glad to be back in the field today. Sorry about your brother. Even though his quality of life wasn’t what he would have liked, it’s always hard to loss a loved one. I love the crow in the corn pattern. Will you be offering it for sale? Have a great day.

  7. Joy

    Love the sewing room pictures! Means we r all alike! Have to clean and sort occasionally.

    Today I’m going to tackle the garage, in the summer we set up a table and lawn chairs in one stall and use it as a ‘gathering room of sorts’. Then when the garden starts producing the table gets covered with veggies to share with the kids. Now it is time for clean up and park hubbys pickup back in the house garage. Have to make room in the sheds for wagons and grain carts to be parked inside Incase of rain or snow.

    Harvest has begun again, thankfully.

    Love I read your blog!

  8. Jeanne H

    Gosh, some people are so virtuous cleaning up. ; ) My clutter just sits there until either I have a visitor coming over, or I want to start a new project and I need the space! LOL
    Tide is notoriously corrosive, but I think Persil is even more so, and I find its scent too strong. Yeah, I prefer Orvus for washing quilts myself.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jeanne – is this new mother going to wash a baby quilt with Orvus? No. This is a quilt to be used and abused.

      1. Cindy

        Amen! I love to see pictures of quilts I make for my grand daughters being used for a tent, fort etc. I don’t live close to them, but that way I get to be part of their play every day. That’s important to me.

  9. Marilyn

    Mary the pictures of the baby quilt are beautiful. You just want to take a nap snuggled up with it. The pattern for the corn and crow would be great. Hooray for the good weather. Really enjoy reading your blog and comments as well here in North Carolina.

  10. Debbie R.

    My sewing room is a lot smaller than Connie’s but it looks very similar. I go in there a lot of times and leave a half hour later not sure what to work on because I have so many projects started. I have started a bag of fabric I will donate to the Goodwill to hopefully make more room for organization. Can’t wait to see the after pictures. I too love to wash my quilts after I make them as I love the look so much. And I use Tide as well!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debbie R – I have spent evenings in my sewing room just sitting there watching tv because I don’t know where to start – cleaning or working on a project. Guess we’re all alike!

  11. Beth Laverty

    Love the pictures of the quilting/sewing room. I would feel right at home there. Do you have the Crow and Corn quilt pattern available? I would love to do it. We don’t use screen anywhere but the bedrooms. The rest of the windows stay closed all the time because of Air Conditioning and CATS. They would try to get out I am sure!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth Laverty – if you want to wait till next fall, we will make this pattern available or for $3.00. If you want it now, it will be $10.00.

  12. Felicia Hamlin

    Boy! I have a mess but no sewing room. I try to sew on the kitchen table and even after I clean gets messy right away, half of it anyway. Clean windows, that is a treat even if it is short lived.
    Love the colors of that baby quilt and your little terrier dog.

  13. Pam in NC

    I LOVE Connie’s sewing room. That is the one room in my house that I want chaos! The rest of the house has to be picked up but not my space. And yep, I know where everything is. (Except for the time my niece tried to get me organized! HA!)

  14. San

    Tide! Not Tide!!! Goodness Mary, Tide has whiteners and brighteners that will take the color out of your new quilt. Orvus is best you know. It’s sold in the feed stores, as it’s used to wash horses. I love Connie’s colorful lamp shade. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Shirley

    Clutter? What clutter? I’m in the middle of downsizing and have parted with a lot of things, but not my quilting and sewing stash. Now I just need to make room for all of it!

  16. Terri S

    I don’t think she needs to declutter, just organize it! Now that is the pot calling the kettle black!

  17. Sharon Cervenka

    Love your crow quilt! Connie’s quilt room made me
    laugh as mine is not tidy at the moment. As I viewed the photos, I saw items that I have myself. Lol! Sometimes when I over-organize I can’t find a thing! Anyway, you two keep inspiring me!

  18. Colleen

    Interesting that you remove your window screens for the winter, do you replace them with plastic for weather proofing?

    I am a California (San Francisco Bay Area) native we clean screens and windows but leave them in the windows year round.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Colleen – all my windows are new triple glass and do not need storm windows. The screens would trap snow and dirt and the severe cold would be hard on them, too. And they have to be removed to wash the windows, too!

  19. Jan Smith

    What a clever way to store screens. And, such a sweet baby quilt! Maybe Connie will share after pictures? Such a nice, if space to create in. Love your terrier, too!

  20. Diane in central Ohio

    Connie’s room looks like mine. It’s funny, I just heard a speaker who specializes in organization. She was very interesting. She gave us some web sites to use and numbers to call to stop catalogs, junk mail, and solicitation phone calls. Mary, would you like me to share the list with you and you could send it out?
    I try to dredge out my sewing room every couple of weeks. It makes me less stressed if it’s just chaotic and not a disaster–Lol.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Central Ohio – it might be a good blog post for everyone. Yes, send it to me.

  21. Twyla

    I call my quilt room my “happy room”, and it truly is!!! It’s not all tidy but I know where it all is and I’m never bored!!! My husband can’t hardly stand to walk by, about sends him over the deep end!! I think we are all alike!!!!

  22. Joanne

    MY sewing room reminds me of what my teenage sons bedrooms looked like. They now chuckle over my cluttered room. just donated items to local Quilt shop who in turn donates all proceeds made from donated items to The Quilt Museum in Lowell,Ma.

  23. Lee

    Mary, . My sewing room looks like a mine field….baskets with projects all over tables and under tables and around tables. Just pitiful! In some ways cleaning it is an exercise in futility.
    I have no plan on how to avoid a mess in the future. I do know where most things are even the really old projects. It could be worse!! Not having any stash and just starting out with fabric $13.00 a yard. Guess we would have lots less.
    This blog is so fun. I look forward to reading what everyone is up to. Lee in N.C.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lee in NC – this is what I like best about the blog, too – connecting with all the readers who comment – I feel like we’re a group of friends!

  24. Jo in Wyo

    My cleaning lady cleaned my sewing room…she lost her job!
    I love your screen cupboard.

    1. Brenda archambault

      My cleaning person (a guy) always asks before entering my room. And, he comes to me for sewing lessons, questions, etc. a win- win situation!

  25. Carolyn Boutilier

    I love Connie’s sewing room just as it is. Love the quilt Crow in Corn. Is that one of your patterns? I would love to do this for my wall.
    Carolyn B

  26. Linda Everett

    What is your favorite batting? I’ve been using up fabric and yarn. Made 14 baby fleece blankets with crocheted edging. Also crocheted two baby blankets and sent my $3 off for a pattern and found your patter Comfort and Joy. I will start that soon. Also finished a knitted baby poncho I started many years ago. The projects never end. Been hot here in North Carolina and leaves are not changing much.

  27. Julie Burkhardt

    I would love to declutter my sewing room..however I had foot surgery 3 weeks ago and cannot go upstairs, so before I went to the hospital, I cut out 4 quilts and moved all the necessities to my dining room. I have made 2 Quilts so far and well into the third one. When my daughter was home, I had her get more projects from my sewing oom. Oh how I miss the tranquility of my sunny my temporary sewing room works. I am looking forward to hear the doctor tell me I can start walking…I think it will be 2-3 more weeks. I am going to just go sit in my favorite room and soak up all the good dust.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Julie Burkhardt – oh, I’m so sorry you’re laid up! Rick and I know firsthand how time drags on when you’re not able to walk. But follow dr’s orders so it won’t get any longer!

  28. Rita S

    My sewing room really needs it but my head so much more. Too many project I want to do that I don’t do anything. I have been trying to button up outside. I have been spreading the canas on the shed porch to dry during the day. Putting them in the shed during the night. Dug them on Sunday.

  29. michele

    Thanks -I thought I was the only one to just use Tide and wash the quilt. I feel that is how the new owner will wash it, no fancy stuff.
    The weather changes and the desire to clean up the sewing room just appears out of nowhere. Maybe next week after I clean up the garden.
    So enjoy your blog.

  30. Agatha

    I always thought that it was just my sewing space that gets cluttered. Seems like sometimes if there is a flat spot there is something or lots of things piled high. I try to get it uncluttered but it gets overwhelming. I never know what exactly to let go of and what I may need someday!!

    1. Amy M

      Amen. I got rid of a bolt of Kansas City Royals fabric I had for probably 10 years in the spring of 2014 . Yep they went to the World Series that year and won it in 2015 and you couldn’t find a piece of Royals fabric anywhere. I’d like to think that was what helped them get there 🙂

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Amy M – See? Never get rid of anything! You never know when you’ll need it!

  31. Betty Klosterman

    Oh, to have all that space for a sewing room. I never called it “clutter.” They are wonderful piles of hope of things to be made. And so much unused floor space. I think I’m a space engineer as it seems I don’t waste any small space almost to the ceiling. You could fall, but I’m not sure you would find a place to land? I call it heaven! And my husband isn’t allowed to go in. He has to look from the hall doorway.

  32. Claudia Sheets

    I’m way ahead of you!!!! Having a garage sale Friday and Saturday!! Come on down! Haven’t seen you in forever! 1830 highway 17 ( 3 miles south of Renwick). Would love to see you!😁 Think of you often and feel like I’m staying in touch by reading your blog! Not! 😬

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Claudia Sheets – I can’t come Friday and maybe not even Saturday – my older brother died this afternoon – will find out tomorrow when the service will be. But I agree – we just have to get together!!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Rhoda – he had suffered a stroke almost 2 years ago and he had no quality of life so his death is a good thing really. But thanks for thinking of me!

      1. Claudia Sheets

        Oh my! I’m so sorry. We’ll have to get together one day. My prayers are with you and your family.

  33. Pat

    I do the same with my quilts once they are bound. I just love the feel and look after they are washed and dried. I’ve been doing a little decluttering myself. Just yesterday I went through a drawer with old check registers and other outdated records. Why do we hang on to this stuff. Anyway am happy the farmers are finally getting some good weather. Love your pinwheel baby quilt.

  34. Patty

    What a wonderful space!
    Glad the farmers are able to get to the crops!!
    Your crow quilt is so nice!
    Enjoy the music tonight!

  35. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Yes, Mary that looks very familiar! I have the same drawer unit from Ikea as Connie, that I also use as a cutting station. I enjoyed seeing the Spot the dog quilt, as I have made the smaller version.
    Your quilt looks so soft and cuddly, makes me want to snuggle, but the weather is still too warm!

  36. Jaylene

    I loved the tour of Connie’s sewing room. Can she give more details about her cutting table – like where she got it?


    1. Linda in PA

      My daughter has one of those IKEA drawer units that she bought used. IKEA no longer makes that one. I can’t remember the name of it right now, but I would really like to own one. Occasionally I will look on Craig’s List, but have not found one.

  37. Diane in Maryland

    It may look cluttered but isn’t it amazing how we know where everything is!

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