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Stash Closet & Buried Treasure

February 26, 2011

A few weeks ago when the really freaky weather seemed to have the whole U.S.A. inconvenienced, I was iced in for four days. We really are not prepared for winter storms here in Dallas, and here I was on top of a slippery icy hill.

One day was challenging because we had no power and (with temps in the teens) no heat for 15 hours. I wanted an activity that would keep me moving but that wouldn’t tire me out enough that I’d want to stop moving. So I decided to do something about this:

stash closet before

And that wasn’t all of it…

You can tell that I treat work spaces as work spaces, and neatness is not necessary for me to work!

I refolded all my fabric, put away my books, organized my patterns, and found many buried treasures that I had completely forgotten about.  Some examples…

An almost complete quilt top! Some old friends are serious, serious quilters, and about 15-20 years ago I used to make the occasional quilt. Here’s a Lone Star that I never finished. You may not be able to tell in the picture, but the large blank areas were meant to feature some fancy quilting and are plain muslin. I’m thinking that I’ll finish this quilt top and send it out to be machine quilted, but my tastes have changed. I’ll replace that plain muslin with a tone-on-tone print, and probably add a border of some sort to bring the quilt up to some standard size.

An old needlepoint panel! Long before quilting, I used to dabble with needlepoint. I made this for a decorative pillow in my very first apartment, and used it for years. The animal interlace was my own design, but as noted, tastes change! I got tired of the pillow but kept the top. I might do a little restoration on this and put it under glass. I like it more now as a rememberance.

A naked lady! I’m sure I bought Dolly because I wanted to make her an antebellum outfit. It would still be a fun project to reproduce a look from Godey’s Ladies’ Book for her. Maybe someday.

Dressmaking-themed fabric! There’s about 3/4 yd. square of this poor distressed fabric. I’ve enlarged a detail so you can see the print of thread spools and dressforms. This must have been my mother’s and it is in really sad shape. Besides the discoloring, the fabric (must be cotton) has some weak spots where it was folded. I’m really unhappy that I let anything of Mom’s fall into this state. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to restore and/or use it? The non-folded parts are strong enough that they could be made into something. I really would like to make this into something that could be displayed in the sewing room.

And in the end, when everything was refolded and put away, there really wasn’t as much stuff as it first appeared. This is my total stash:

stash closet after

Fabric piles, from left to right….first pile is wools, second silks. 3, 4 & 5 are linens and cottons. 6 is knits. The last pile are bottomweights: cotton, hemp, and blends. Patterns, old copies of Threads, & etc. are in the file boxes underneath. Linings, muslins, patternease and a few upholstery fabrics are on the top shelf. It doesn’t look like so much when it’s all stored neatly, and I’m glad to have found that out.

On the other days of my involuntary incarceration, I traced all my Cutting Line Design patterns so that I’m all ready to sew some casual summer clothes.

It was fun to find so many things I had completely forgotten about. Some of this stuff I have dragged from house to house for 30 years, but haven’t bothered to look at it or enjoy. And it would have remained undiscovered if it hadn’t been for nasty weather!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2011 4:33 pm

    Pretty treasures! Time well spent, eh? I’m sorry but as far as I know, the dressmaker’s fabric, beyond washing in quilt soap, is not fixable. Tempus fugit

  2. February 26, 2011 4:51 pm

    It was a great way to spend a cold day. Glad you are all organized now.

  3. February 26, 2011 11:02 pm

    Could you use a bulletin/inspiration board in your sewing room? You could cover it with the fabric and run a grid of ribbons over the fold lines. Then you can use the ribbons to hold clippings etc. up without tacks.

  4. February 26, 2011 11:08 pm

    Well, now I am thoroughly embarrassed about my stash! both the mess and the extent of it. No pictures forthcoming from me.

  5. Femme1 permalink
    February 27, 2011 9:17 pm

    I’ve had great luck getting brown stains out of old fabric using OXY-clean (the powder). I’ve mixed it up in very hot water and let the fabric soak a good while. But test a small swatch first.

    Deb

  6. March 1, 2011 1:31 pm

    Wow! Productive days:) Everything looks so nice, neat and organized. As far as the fabric, what about a shadow box? You could put use the fabric as the backdrop with some vintage notions artfully arranged. That might be a fun accessory for your sewing area.

    • March 13, 2011 7:29 pm

      I’m kind of thinking in terms of a shadow box or collage – good idea!

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