On the 4th of June, I moved house and I have pictures to share with you. I’m still sorting and unpacking, but every day it gets better and better. The house, which I’m renting from a friend, is only about four miles from the old place. It’s close to Wilkes Elementary School on the north end of Bainbridge Island in a sunny location with a lovely garden.
The whole process of moving is a huge upheaval, and it certainly gives you pause to ponder especially when you need to downsize. Just how much of the stuff that you’ve accumulated, do you really want to move to a new place? If it’s been sitting in a box untouched for the last 13 years at your old house, what are the chances that you are still interested in it or that you would miss it if you no longer had it? I’ve been trying to give myself permission to let go of things that I really don’t want, but I’ve been hanging onto for years for a variety of reasons. I know that my creativity can be stifled by clutter and I’m making efforts to reduce it all. I didn’t have time to do a good job of this before moving so I’m ditching stuff as I unpack.
I’m enjoying making my new home and putting things where I want them. I waited about two weeks before hanging any artwork on the walls and for several days I had all the pieces spread out in the living room so that I could see them, and decide where to put them. It was a kind of auditioning process, not unlike the way in which I make decisions in designing my quilts. Each day, I knew with certainty where various pictures should be hung and I gradually put them up over a period of about a week. These two Mongolian pieces made by women at the Mongolian Quilting Center, are hanging the long passage way. The blue table runner has twisted Log Cabin blocks made from silk scraps discarded by a clothing manufacturer in Ulaanbaatar. The other one, A Day in Mongolia, is felt appliqué and depicts a traditional Mongolian scene, the animals and many items important in Mongolian life and traditions.
In my old house, I had a spacious studio. Here, it is split between three small rooms, one of which is an office. The office is great, but I haven’t had any time to quilt in the studio room. Initially I thought my sewing table was too large and that I would have to store it in the garage. I was excited when I worked out how to arrange the room so that it would fit, and by removing the bi-fold door of the cupboard, I could also fit my cutting table into the same room. The cutting table is not fully extended, but there is plenty of space for cutting and in my old studio, the end of the table was just used as a dumping ground.
Across the passage there is another small room which I use for storage. I have a full-sized bed to store all my quilts flat, there are bookcases on two walls and my IKEA fabric storage shelves on another wall. Upstairs in the spare bedroom, I have my smaller IKEA unit for more fabric. I tried to sort my fabric when I packed and gave several boxes away to a friend whose church group makes quilts to send to Africa. The criterion I used was, “if I saw this fabric in a sale, would I buy it?” If the answer was “no”, then the fabric was put in a box to be given away. I still have too much and should really have given away all the “maybes” too. Another purge can be a project for this coming winter.