Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What have I done for me lately?

I moved to Houston slightly more than 27 years ago, arriving at Intercontinental Airport on a mid-April night so humid that walking to the gate felt like being slapped with a warm, damp towel.

I had just survived the worst midwestern winter of my life. During one January week, the air temperature hovered around 31 BELOW for five days, and when it finally warmed up to 28 below, you could actually feel the difference. (Loosen that scarf! Shed those mittens!) With the windchill, it felt like 90 below most days. We didn't drive our cars that week because the engines would freeze up at stop lights. I didn't mind taking the bus to my office in downtown Rochester, Minnesota, but the night I (and many others) took the wrong route home (I promise: the bus was mislabeled; we couldn't all have been addled from actual brain freeze) and had to walk about 10 frigid blocks was enough to make me happy we would soon be coming to Houston, even though I had told my husband there were only two places in the US I didn't want to live: Gary, Indiana, and Houston, Texas.

I landed a job about a week after arriving here. A few weeks after I started -- say, mid-May -- I asked a co-worker when the "heat wave" would end.

I still don't know if she was serious or being facetious when she asked, "What's a heat wave?"

(On the other hand, there was the department's ditzy blond, who asked me if zero degrees actually felt colder than 32. I suggested she put her head in the refrigerator, then the freezer, and see if she could tell the difference.)

I bring up temperatures and weather because I think this spring's unseasonably hot weather has us all confused about what month it is. Several people I spoke with this week thought that July, not June, begins Friday, and I have to admit I confused two appointments -- one on the same day each of the next two months -- as being on the same day, period.

Friday will be the four-month anniversary of this blog. I thought that it would be a good time, then, to look back on what, if anything, I have accomplished toward my stash-busting goal.

Hmmm. A couple of table runners, the original Kona and batik quilt, a commissioned Hamsa quilt, four Freedom Place quilts, the beginnings of The Wild Things and the striped diamonds, the Kona and batik commission, a wallhanging with an embroidered bee motif ... what else? (I'm doing this from without looking, because jogging my memory is the only exercise I've gotten today.) So, theoretically, my stash should be shrinking. Sure, I was able to consolidate a lot of my colored fabrics, but they're now stuffed into a wicker basket as snug as I am into last season's jean. The biggest problem is that the Hamsa, Freedom Place and Kona/batik commission quilts all required great, glorious fabric purchases. Yes, I've incorporated stash fabrics into all of them, but I'm not making as much progress as I anticipated.

So unless the Mayan calendar predictions are correct, I'll be working on this goal to the end of 2013, not 2012. (You know, when I started this blog, I never specified by the end of WHICH year I wanted to have my stash depleted. My friends are apparently very trusting -- or naive -- souls.)

The good news is, I seem to have broken my ceaseless fabric shopping habit. I've learned to avoid sales and I don't even have that little nervous tic I used to get when I missed out on a bargain. Oh, sure, occasionally I still put something into my shopping cart at Fabric.com -- leaving it there triggers an email offering a 15 percent discount if I complete my transaction but I've resisted the lure.

Although I'll continue to work on the BK commission (do you want fries with that?), I'm going to try to knock out some projects that have a little bit quicker turnaround. Short of spraying Stash-Be-Gone in my fabric closet, it's what I have to do to whittle things down more rapidly.

Instead of sewing, I painted this little table, using a tutorial I found on Pinterest (of course): http://www.freckledlaundry.com/2010/07/faux-zinc-painting-tutorial.html

1 comment:

  1. Your table looks awesome, Barb! Happy you liked my tutorial enough to give it a go. You cracked me up with your "stash-be-gone" comment (and why don't you try putting your head in the fridge and then freezer...ha!). I could actually use that in a few rooms. xo

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