I have too much stuff

The first step is always to admit you’ve got a problem, right? So, here’s mine: I’ve got too much stuff in my sewing room. More precisely, I’ve accumulated far more patterns, fabric, notions, ideas, and ephemera than I can ever use or display in a lifetime. A portion of what I have is my own family history — the linens from my grandmother’s trousseau, the quilting scraps from my aunt, piles of lace, crochet, and tatting from grandmothers and aunts, plus cottons from my mother’s own lifetime of sewing and crafting. The rest are items I’ve picked up at auctions (and what friend Steph has picked up at auctions for me) that feed my appetite for vintage fabrics, patterns, and ephemera from the lifetimes of other women.

It took me a day just to pull everything out out of the various boxes, bins, and bags into which everything had been organized and compressed. I’m embarrassed to show this to you, but I’m forcing myself to do it anyway.

First the right:


Then the left. Oh yeah, I decided to move the guest bed into this room, heightening the imperative to make this room livable:

Like the wall color? This used to be the Admiral’s room.

And here’s a peek at the vintage fabric stash:

It used to be worse. I used to have a collection of over 13 sewing machines. I’ve pared those down to two treadles, a couple of heads, a Featherweight, and one Janome 9000 sewing/embroidery machine combo. I gave my Bernina to my mother.

It’s paralyzing to walk into this room and try to decide what I want to work on. Therefore, I have come to two conclusions:

First, it’s time to “deaccession.” I have got to make room for my own creativity.

Second, there’s more than one way to build a personal museum. Through the magic of digital photography, I can document what I need to document and — through means that were unavailable until fairly recently — I can share that collection with others — and then get rid of it.

My goal is to regularly post photographs of various items of interest to sewing/crafting/quilting enthusiasts….and then to let most of them go. The methods for doing so will vary depending upon value or archival interest, but (nearly) everything will be posted here first. This is NOT a fundraising effort, though — it’s a “get it out of my sewing room and into another good home” strategy. Furthermore, this is going to be a long term process. I’d love to make a clean sweep, but realistically I’m too busy, and too attached, to let it all go at once.

****Update**** I just revceived an outraged email from my mother. Let me clarify: I am NOT getting rid of the linens that were given to me by or inherited from my Grandmothers and Aunt. Never in a million years would I do that. ****

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