Monday, March 23, 2009

Setting the record straight

I seem to have misled some of you in regards to the state of my sewing room. One comment reads that she is impressed how well organized and neat my sewing room is...yikes, I snorted my coffee and nearly chocked on my bagel! Neat and organized? I ran down the hall to check...maybe I had a visit by the sewing elves? Nope. There are still projects on the floor and opening the door of the closet would reveal several OSHA violations....So I went back to the computer and checked my blog. Uhmmm, it comes down to the wonders of technology.
You don't think I would post messy photos do you? I am doing better though.

A few years ago when I was first diagnosed with MS we had a social worker/home safety inspector come by the house. I knew we were in trouble the moment he stepped over the threshold and tripped over Macbeth. Muttering something about troublesome little dogs, he readjusted his glasses, took a pen out of his pocket protector and made copious notes on his big clipboard. Two steps into the hallway he shook his head, "get rid of the area rugs - all of them." (Why did he look at the cats while he said that?) There were lots of suggestions: Lower the bed, handrails in the bathroom, rearrange the plates in the cabinets to make them easier to reach, get a larger screen for the computer, widen the door to the bathroom, ditch the rocking chair, put all breakables above shoulder height and on stable tables, nightlights, a bit of relective tape on the lightswitches....and this was only half the house!

I was distracted when he reached my sewing room. Herding the cats to keep them from underfoot is not and easy job! (The more you dislike them the more they will torment you...they are cats...its their job. Back to the sewing room.) From the other end of the hall I saw the inspector enter my sewing room and for the first time since he arrived at the house - silence. When I got to the door I saw him standing in middle of the room, glasses in hand and clipboard clutched to his chest. Slowly he made a right face, then again, and again until he had done a 360 degree turn. He took a deep breath. "First, you need a path."

"Over there is my reproduction fabrics with my antique quilt stuff in the closet...my art materials are a bit messy since I was working on my journal quilt this week...and the bags are usually on top of the cabinet but I had a class...and," I was babbling. He put his hand over my mouth. I don't care what you say Mam", he said while he put his glasses back on the end of his nose and nudging aside a large plastic box of 2-1/2 inch strips, "you need a space to walk in here." Ah, that kind of path...here I was getting all arty and inspirational on him. In the end his path was harder to achieve.

Let's face it our sewing rooms can be danger zones. Fabric left on the carpet - you could slip and break your neck. You can do so many bad things with a hot iron - fabric can catch fire, you can burn your fingers making bias tape, and a hot iron full of water falling flat on your bare foot is just Gitmo-like. There is a reason they do not allow rotary cutters on airplanes - this tool (not toy) may be the most dangerous item we use. Add in some wonky vision and bad balance and those bags of projects, stacks of magazine and leaning bookcases stacked with boxes of fabric. Heck why don't I just do a couple shots of vodka and walk through downtown Baltimore with some money hanging out my back pocket....dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.

So I have cleaned up my act somewhat. The bags and boxes are relagated to the closet. The bookecases are attached to the wall. My ironing board is also secured to the wall and there is a "leash" on the iron so if it does drop it doesn't hit the floor. (I got the pattern/idea from a book on making items for your sewing room.) There is still a lot more I could do...less bits of fabric around and better pin control but there is a path. The old geezer would be proud.

On to more about quilting...I have started Bonnie's Tobacco Road. I wanted to make it before but the mystery took place last fall while I was in the middle of my move. There was enough mystery there to take all of my energy without doing a mystery quilt as well! But I printed it out and periodically cruised the stash looking for fabrics. Orignially I wanted it to be a very constrained/controlled scrap quilt with the fabrics in the photo on the top of this post and some black and rust plaids. (Ya, like that is going to happen.) Anyway the contrast between the half square triangles and the bricks was too much so I added in some lighter plaid and blue bricks and used some darker neutrals in the HST's. I'm liking it better now. The 4-patch blocks are all greens and neutrals...somewhere around 50 greens so it still "reads" scrappy. There is a lot of variation in the bricks which creates interest even though it is a plain block. I think I'll go the whole way and make the flying geese as well for the border. I'm beginning to feel a bit like a Bonnie groupie! Her patterns work well with my stash...though I am making some real inroads in my neutrals.

14 comments:

Mary said...

This is going to be beautiful! I stocked up on neutrals a while back as I had run through most of mine and they've sat for a few months while I've played in my strings.

My sewing room is a mess again - I do a few tops and then clean it up but when I'm in the *zone* it's hard to stop working to clean.

Quilt Pixie said...

Oooo I love the idea of a leash for my iron! I'd never thought of such a thing, but it makes perfect sense and I'd worry about it wrecking the hardwoods with a hard fall (or itself for that matter) less if it was attached to something! Maybe spending a few minutes making a saftey accessment of my sewing room would be a good and useful thing... :-)

Marj said...

I'm glad to hear that you are not a neat freak.lol My sewing space is always a mess, sometimes it is more compact than other times. It is located off of my kitchen in the pantry and when I have company for dinner I have to put everything back into the pantry and shut the door while we have guests. Your Tobbaco Road is turning out very nice.

Karen said...

First, you need a path. I love it! Tobbaco Road is coming along nicely.

KimP said...

Oooo, I LOVE this. It is going to look so good!

And Amen on the rotary cutter. My thumb is still healing and I cut the bejeezus out of it nearly six weeks ago.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

eeek, I didn't realize all the potential hazards in my sewing area. I'm interested in this iron leash idea - does it get in the way as you try to iron? Tobacco Rd is looking good.

The Calico Cat said...

First you need a path - Thanks for the giggle...
(I need a path too...)

sewinggeek said...

You are too funny! I am a lurker to your blog. I love this story of the inspector. I have fibromyalgia and some osoteo arthritis. I am always being told what not to do. However I do not listen real well.lol Your post made me smile.

PS. I love your quilts too!And my sewing room is always in a state of emerging develpment.

Darcie said...

***Ah, that kind of path*** LOL Darn. Here you thought you had a fan or a convert on your hands, yes?! ;-) Good giggle.

I'd say that you're managing very well. You may have MS...but it doesn't have you!

Love the work in progress!

Marla said...

I about fell on the floor laughing at the visual you did of the "inspector"! He better not come to my sewing room. Oh, you forgot the dropped pins and needles on the floor that get stuck in your foot! My family has learned NOT to walk in there barefoot.

Magpie Sue said...

LOL! I'm amazed you were brave enough to let a safety inspector IN your sewing room! I think I would have locked the door and lied about what was behind it ;- )

You're going to have to tell us more about the iron leash. Or at least where we can find out more about it!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh I"m so sorry, but your story really made me laugh! I shudder to think what he would say in my house!!!!

sewprimitive karen said...

You are so funny. Love the two ways of looking at "need a path".

Katie said...

Love the colors you chose for your OTR! :-)