The Free Motion Quilting Project: Fall Cleaning Frenzy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Cleaning Frenzy

It's Wednesday and time to check into the sewing room to see what's cooking!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

On the table is Emergence finally getting her official storage sleeve. After finishing her I shoved this quilt into the top of the closet and piled other properly stored quilts on top. When I pulled everything out for my local lecture a few weeks ago, she came tumbling down on my head, reminding me that no matter how far back in the closet I shove her, she's still there waiting to get me!

Lately I realized that my feeling towards Emergence and Hot Cast are changing. After finishing these quilts, I wasn't happy with them, very disappointed in fact.

Now after several months of working on accepting my imperfections and loving my creations for what they are and the process of making them, I can see these quilts in a different way. They're a testament to who I was when I made them, and whatever mistakes I was so angry and upset about when they were finished just don't seem to matter as much now.

So it's time I start taking these quilts seriously and treating them with love and respect, and that starts with an official storage sleeve! I blogged about this last year right here so you can make them too. 

Basically it's a pool noodle covered in paper and fabric, then the quilt is rolled on, then a sleeve is cut and sewn to fit the quilt very snug so it stays in a nice round shape. Once in the sleeve, you can store the quilt laying flat, hanging up vertically by the end of the sleeve, or propped upright in the corner of a closet.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I store multiple large and small quilts rolled and stored horizontally in the top shelf of my closet
Also on my agenda today is cleaning. Serious CLEANING. I have had it with my clutter. I've had it with all this STUFF! The trash bags are coming out today and I plan to hit the recycling center at least once in my quest to clear and clean.

Most of this "stuff" isn't quilting related. It's old shoes, James's toys, stored food that's gone bad, furniture that we no longer want but is still here taking up valuable space in our house.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I pulled everything out of my baking cabinet and found half the food had expired. UGGH!
So often I feel claustrophobic in my house because I'm so overwhelmed by so much clutter all around. It's exhausting to look at, and I find when we leave the house for a few days and stay in Asheville or Charlotte, I feel like a weight is lifted because I don't have to SEE all this junk.

Yesterday I began reading the book "The Courage to be Rich: Creating a life of Material and Spiritual Abundance" by Suze Orman. I've already been working on issues with shame and guilt, so when this book jumped out at me at the book store I realized it was in line with what I'm already working on.

Right on target, in the very beginning of the book Susie targets clutter as a major source of stress, guilt, and anger. Clutter is basically wasted money - stuff we bought but for whatever reason we don't want or need it now.

I've kept things for years always with the mantra - I'll get to that some day! I spent money on it! I have to keep it forever!

No more. I'm going to forgive myself for making a bad purchase, release the guilt of spending the money, donate what I can, and throw away the rest that is making me crazy. It's largely a huge relief just to walk into a room and see clear, clean surfaces, and know that a quilt isn't going to fall on my head if I open the closet door!

So I'm off to find more trash bags and continue going room to room. This might take awhile, but I know I will feel much better when it's over.

Let's go clean!



  1. We're doing this too, finally getting rid of all the junk we've been carrying around. When we moved into our current house (4 years ago!) we brought stuff with us that we then threw into closets, where it has remained. It's time to let it go. It's amazing what you can hold on to, even when it's not worth holding on to.

  2. We are going through exactly the same phase. Room by room, everything out, clean everything including carpets, cleaning the room energy with salt etc. And back goes only what we really need! First room was the atelier / studio and it feels so much better. Im giving birth in less than 3 months and the idea is to have the whole house sorted by than. Go for it Leah, it's worth the good feeling afterwards! GOOD LUCK!

  3. Good for you, I recently moved an old auntie (who has no children of her own) into and assisted care home. The stuff she had crammed into her condo was amazing. I know most of it had memories attached and it was very hard for her to part with it. It made me think, do we need the "stuff" to keep the memories,or does it just hold us in past times? I came home and started on our house, our children are grown and don't need more stuff (especially my old "stuff") so out it goes, I never want my girls to have to sort out, and haul away the way I did. When I am done with something I give or throw it away. There is always a need for things at lots of shelters. This has lead to more quilting time as I don't have so much to dust, vacuum etc! Good Luck with the sorting.

  4. much as I hate the word normal, as normal is never much are normal! Part of the real world like so many more of us. As my four kids were growing up, I was into every craft I could think of, and my house had more craft items, than kids toys.
    I sorted and sorted, and collected even more stuff, now that I had space.
    Now that the kids are grown, and grandkids live far away, I still do crafts of every sort...........seems to be an obligation, by now, and I try to sort each craft in its spot, but your know what?????
    It isn't me. Thats to "normal"!
    Enjoy every craft you do, and your family, and if the sorting never gets done.......ah your happy!

  5. OMG, you are saying what I have been thinking about My house! It's just overwhelming sometimes. I need to start to tackle it bit by bit, but I don't start because it's just such a big job. I have some health problems and rheumatoid arthritis, so I just can't spend a lot of time doing this kind of work. One problem is that there's no place to put things while I sort through it, and no place to store items for a garage sale, items to donate, etc. Maybe I should check out Suze's book. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Good Job. More people need to do this. Just went through my sewing room again. It is nice to be clutter free. Just keep cleaning up after every project and it will help keep the clutter up.

  7. Rosemary B here:
    My kitchen looks like this... my whole down stairs looks like this.
    Planning a wedding and taking care of my 90 year old parents. You just can't do it all. I am hoping after the wedding (in two weeks) that I will be able to get this place back in order. It is overwhelming to come home to a mess. I know just how you feel.

  8. My husband and I are both pack rats. Anytime I say, lets get rid of (whatever) I hear protests from my other half. I have to wait for him to get out of the house to get rid of anything. I am a fabric hoarder and save the smallest scrap , but I am trying to work on the scrap savers system. You just have to do a little every day.


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at