I’m not sure what it is about old unfinished projects, but they seem to grow in magnitude as time goes by. They sit and lurk in the back of our minds, their presence a shadow that can be ignored or forgotten until stumbled across again.
Since autumn, my sewing area has been migrating from it’s designated location in our office/sewing space to the formal dining table downstairs. We have am enormous table that is perfect for quilting large quilts, and still having a cutting area on half of it. At first I needed the table to help a friend learn to quilt, then to quilt a large quilt and then to work on a couple large projects that took longer then expected. The dining room was great, but my sewing was taking over the downstairs area. Stacks of fabric began popping up, bins of scraps, and then there was the thread. Somehow, thread falling on a hard floor is worse than thread falling on carpet, and it had reached epidemic proportions. In the meantime, sewing room had grown into a dumping ground for fabric, and notions and scraps, and of course, paper. Somehow, the contents of my cupboards were evacuating themselves onto the floor. Thank goodness for doors, right? Wrong.
I finally snapped. For me, the biggest hindrance to creativity is clutter, and not being able to see your workspace.
Over the course of a day or two, I emptied out my sewing space up stairs, and the closet in our office. (It’s enormous and just perfect for stowing everything that doesn’t need to be dealt with immediately. It also has a door.)
Everything unnecessary has been purged, and everything useful and needed has been sorted, and organized and put away (mostly – this part is still in progress).
While doing this, I stumbled across a memory. I found these really, really old projects, still unfinished.
Around 11 years ago, my Grandmother, and Mom and siblings attended a local craft fair. I was newly married at the time and was just finding my crafty feet after a few years of non-craftiness. My Grandma and I were intruiged by a type of craft where you either knit or crochet with beads that have been woven onto a strong rayon thread/floss. She started the pale blue crochet project above, and I dove right into making a knitted black clutch, as well as a crocheted black scarf.
Within the next year, my Grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and passed away six months later. Her scarf was unfinished. It still needed to be blocked and fringed and ends woven in. The family gave it to me to complete, and I tucked it away in a pretty box in my sewing cupboard.
Ten years, three kids and 4 homes later, I found it again. I’m pretty sure it’s reappeared over that time, only to be guiltily tucked away again, for someday.
I’d had enough. Within minutes the ends were woven in, and it was soaking in a bowl, ready to be blocked. As soon as it was blocked, my scarf was blocked as well. By that evening, I was making fringe. (For some mysterious reason, I thought that this would be WAY harder than it actually was.) Within an hour, my Grandma’s scarf was done.
This March, my Grandma will have been gone for 10 years. She’s never met my children, but I know she would have loved them. And now I have a little piece of her, a bit of her work, to share with them as a conversational remembering piece. And, I’m pretty sure my daughter would love this scarf. (I’ve caught her gazing at it adoringly, being a fan of all things sparkly.)
Too often, we let the things that are not present in our day to day life be forgotten. Like old projects, memories too need to be pulled out, and dusted off, and loved.
As for the other two projects in the top picture, I still haven’t decided if I’m going to add a fringe to my scarf or leave it be, and I’m looking for a clasp for the clutch. Still, they are well on their way to being finished.
Linking up my finish with finish it up Friday.