The great destash – step one of finally getting the ‘studio’ sorted.

8 01 2017

It is easy to get distracted.  It is easy to let the urgent overtake the important and be driven by deadlines rather than setting up the foundations that will make meeting the urgent and the deadlines easier.  Too easy to find excuses and to procrastinate.  I have been very guilty of this on a number of levels, but my own personal work space has been ignored and it has made life challenging at times.  This is not the first time I have written about this and I am sure it will not be the last.  In March 2015, I posted this blog post:  I brought it up again early last year and still have done nothing about making this space work.

In fact, a couple of days ago this area was a far worse mess than even the 2015 photos can show.  Despite numerous visits to websites about organisation, I remained very unmotivated.  One of the issues holding me back was an unwillingness to part with ‘precious’ fabrics.  As you all know, I dye a lot of fabulous fabrics.  Every time I dye a full batch of any one fabric, I have left overs and scraps and I have always kept these for me.  Over the years, that has added up to a lot of fabric, most of which I can not even find.  Everything I read about organisation indicated that you ‘can’t sort clutter, you have to get rid of it’.  EEK.  I DON’T WANT TO.  It is mine.  So for the last few years, I have been avoiding the inevitable; much of the fabrics must go and then I have a hope of organising the space.  And I still don’t want to.  Anyway, long story short, 2017 is going to be about doing a lot of what has been put off so the obvious place to start was here.

One box at a time, I started sorting.  The first task was to get all the like types of material into one spot.  Despite trying to keep all the bits in some sort of sensible order, things did not always go where they should have.  We opened over twenty boxes, bags and baskets and do you know what I found.  There was at least one piece of velvet in every single on of them.  I was a little horrified at the volume of fabric we unearthed.

Here is what some of the boxes looked like:




The first one is just Silk Georgette and Velvets.   The second is silks, cotton scrim, hessian and other ‘bits’ while the third is  wool felt and woven wools. Not shown in these photos are all the hand dyed fibres:  silks and wool in particular.  Each of those categories covered the table by themselves.




This does not even begin to look at the hand dyed cottons and linens.  Oh my.

It took a few days, but I eventually sorted all of this into colourways and filled up over 100 different scrap bags.

scrim-all velvet-all



These photos show the cotton scrim and the velvet as I sorted them.





In the end, I have them all on the website, selling them out cheaply.  The best news is that I now can walk all the way around my cutting bench and machine table; clear carpet is visible though it still needs vacuuming.  I have a long way to go, but I am so very happy to have started.  I have discovered, much to my shock, that parting with this fabric did not, in fact, cause me any lasting harm and I know that those who have bought the packs I have sold already are getting great joy from them.

Here are some examples of what the packs ended up looking like.

scrim-3 velvet-3 wool-3 wool-7






A lot of the packs have been snapped up very quickly, but if you would like to help me in the great de-stash, you can see what remains here:

I will continue to share my progress on this space.