New Orleans House Project

Friday, January 10, 2020

Unearthing Treasures

For the past several years, I've used the end of the year to review my quilting plans - past and future.  After digging through all the drawers and bins of fabric, thinking about patterns on my Quilting Bucket List, and taking a hard look at UFOs, I make a list of projects to focus on in the coming year.  I'm not sure this process improves my creativity, but it does help me focus on projects that need completing!

Before I could do any reviewing and planning for 2020, I needed to do some cleaning and organizing in my sewing room.  It took a couple of days to get the worst of the clutter tamed, but now I can access my fabric stash much more easily, and my main work table has been de-cluttered.

The floor of my fabric closet was so cluttered with tote bags, fabric bundles, and projects, I could barely walk around in the closet, much less open the drawers of fabric.  I found a new home for the tote bags, organized the projects into containers, and filed the fabric bundles in a new location.

Reproduction fabrics are stored in this bureau, so I cleared out some additional room and added the repro fabric bundles that had been stashed willy-nilly around the sewing room.  I re-discovered a couple of fabric bundles that are probably close to 20 years old themselves!  Non-repro bundles got stored in a plastic bin next to the bureau.

To help me keep track of all these treasures, I created a spreadsheet in Evernote where I listed info about the fabric collection, including pictures of the fabrics and any inspiration or pattern ideas related to the collection.  The beauty of Evernote is it works across multiple platforms, so I can access that information from my computer as well as any portable devices, i.e. my phone. (I have no affiliation with Evernote, just a satisfied customer.  The app is free, but if you want to use it on multiple devices, you'll need to pay for the Premium upgrade.  Not expensive and worth the investment.)

As I was cleaning up, I came across a couple of well-aged projects that needed scrutiny.  Both projects had started with good intentions, but gotten side-tracked for one reason or another.  

This Mary Engelbreit panel was the basis of a quilt kit I purchased to make for a friend.  That was in 2007!  I decided it was time to at least finish the flimsy and get it on the list of quilts waiting to be quilted.

It didn't take long to finish up - the green scalloped border was machine-appliquéd, as well as the flowers and "notecard" at the bottom right.

Close up of the appliqué.  I'm not sure when or how this will be quilted, but at least it's a flimsy!

Another buried treasure was this batch of antique Lemoyne Star blocks.  I had originally planned to stitch these blocks into a quilt, but on re-examining them I realized the fabrics were too fragile to support any type of re-stitching or quilting.  

Instead, I think I will use the blocks for inspiration and recreate them using current fabrics.  A quick check of the stash convinced me I already have fabrics that mimic the plaids, checks, and prints, so all I need are some solid background fabrics.  

I'd like to say this will be a project for 2020, but there are still more UFOs that need attention, followed by a new BOM from Barbara Brackman, and Diane Knott's sew-along, and Rainbow Scraps, and - well - you get the picture!


  1. Doesn't it feel great to be organized? You have inspired me, now could you send me a few days off to get it all done! I was drooling when I saw the drawer of repros. So delicious! I must say that panel top (flimsy) is one of the cutest I have ever seen from a panel. Love it. Happy quilting and keeping up with goals for 2020!

  2. Wow! You've accomplished a lot. Do you have a source for the closet bins you show in photo 1? I'm assuming they are pull-out drawers. Thank you.

  3. You are so organized now--good for you getting that done for the new year;))
    I love those antique Lemoyne pretty especially that purple flowery one--yum!! Hugs, Julierose

  4. Wow! Your wall of fabric is awesome! My heart is going pitter patter over those bundles of blues you have =)

  5. Good job on the finish! Your quilt top is looking very sweet.:) LOVE seeing your fabric drawers. So jealous!:) And those vintage stars are very inspirational. The fabrics are mesmerizing in those blocks!

  6. Ohhh you have an enviable stash for sure. What a good feeling to get organized. Love the Mary Engelbreit and WOW the stars are sensational and what a great inspiration for you. I'm doing Barbara's BOM this year too.... once I get all organized ;).

  7. wow great organization and fabric collecting too!
    The plaids make for fun stars. I'm a huge ME fan. Still have a lot of her stuff from the late nineties. The panel so so cute and the flowers and postcard are adorable additions.

  8. I really like the scalloped border. Your fabrics look nicely organized, ready to be called for the next quilt. Yes there are always a lot of tempting sew alongs. I am trying really hard to control myself in starting them.