Conceding I might be obsessed.

Dear friends,


Last week I spent a week away from home on a two-city business trip, the end of which was marked by a detour through IKEA because hello?! There’s no way on God’s Green Earth I’m going all the way to Chicago, the home of the nearest IKEA, without driving an SUV and bringing home a haul.

I bought a lot. Mr. Mom said it looked like Christmas morning in our living room. If you know IKEA, you know I got Christmas morning for a song. Dishes, bedding, rugs, and furniture all made their way home with me for not much more than a typical back-to-school shopping trip to Target.

You know what I was most excited by? A bookshelf, a rolling cart and a tabletop ironing board for my sewing, er, laundry room.

With apologies to Patrick Swayze, somebody did put Baby in a corner, and she didn’t like it. If you read this post, you know I improvised a sewing space in our laundry room. Problem was, I arranged it before I started quilting and I didn’t realize you can’t really quilt in a corner. (Besides the fact the view is uninspiring, it lacks the wide open table/floor space needed to work on bed-sized projects.) So for the last several weeks, I’ve been hauling everything I need — one armful at a time — from the laundry room to the dining room table every time I wanted to sew.

Plus, if you read the above-mentioned post, you also noticed my craft storage space was crammed full. And that was BEFORE I started hoarding sewing supplies and fabric.

So last week’s trip to IKEA seemed like the perfect excuse to solve my problem by buying a storage solution. I’m content to continue sewing on the dining room table. After all, it’s huge (4′ X 10′), there’s ample floor space on all sides and plenty of nearby electrical outlets, the light is good, and the hardwood floor makes it easy to sweep up the thread and fabric debris afterwards. The only downside is I have to put my things away each time I finish, but I consider that chore a discipline that’s good for my soul.

Plus, the chore got a whole lot easier after I bought a rolling cart. Now I simply carry my sewing machine in one hand and roll the supply cart with the other and — voila — instant sewing space!

As for the storage solution, a tall bookcase with glass shelves was just the ticket. I stumbled across this blog post about how to store fabric (aren’t those crafters crafty?) and I couldn’t resist.


Can you believe there’s 100 pieces of fabric on the middle shelf? I know this because I purchased 100 comic book “boards” and wrapped every single one of them with the fabric from my “stash.” (“Stash” is a term quilters use to feel better about the fabric they buy with no particular project in mind.) I probably don’t need to point out there’s lots of room in this bookcase for my stash to grow. Kudos to me for thinking ahead.

Kudos to me for being organized.

Kudos to me for rationalizing my current obsession.

(Did I mention I’ve made seven quilts and six were gifts? So, really, my obsession is doing good in the world. Right?)

With gratitude {for the patience of Job, also granted to Mr. Mom, upon whose assembly skills my good deeds depend),

Joan, who found it tragic that Mr. Mom didn’t have the assembly buddy recommended in this IKEA booklet and, therefore, was definitely wearing a sad face last Sunday




  1. You must metabolize glucose like a Lamborghini. How else to account for a fabric repertoire organized on 100 sheets of cardboard…?

  2. M’del, I know it looks a little OCD. But when you think about it (and I have thought about it a lot), fabric stores keep fabric on bolts because 1) it supports the fabric and 2) it creates an convenient way to see lots of fabric at one, unlike bins or drawers. So my boards are really just mini-bolts storing short cuts of fabric. But, yes, the idea that I’ve collected 100 pieces of fabric in such a short time gave me pause.

  3. Hello Joan-Marie. Mostly I’m impressed that you organize and create in equal measure. Good tandem qualities, I think. I am going to tell my sister about your “mini-bolts.” She definitely has Shelves of Textile Anarchy in her sewing room.

  4. Maladjusted Mel says:

    I’m glad I read this post so that I could then read the comments and see that Maridel has coined the phrase “Textile Anarchy.” Joan – you’re so damned creative … makes me wish I could do something crafty …

  5. Hey Mal. J-M is definitely a creative force of nature, but it’s the prolific, proficient, process- and purpose-driven side of her brain that really slays me : )

  6. Mel — M’del is the Master Minter of Phrases. It’s not only why we’re friends, but continuing business partners. Looking forward to our upcoming rendezvous. Let’s promise to offer many toasts and mint many phrases!

  7. My Mom was bitten by the quilting bug and used end pieces from cardboard boxes to wrap her fabric around ala the way she’d seen it done in the fabric store. She made the ends slightly wider (sort of spool-shaped?) so the fabric wouldn’t slip off and it gave her a place to note the yardage of remnants so she knew if any particular piece would be “enough” for what she had in mind.

    I think perhaps quilting appeals to folks who are sorters/organized thinkers to being with? Textile Totalitarianism might be more like it!


  1. […] for me and I have plenty of room to grow in my cabinet. Here's a link to my blog post about it: Conceding I might be obsessed. ? Debt of Gratitude Joan, aka the Magpie "I've never been to heaven, but I've been to Oklahoma." […]

  2. […] visit Ikea and bring home shelving. Here's a blog post about the quilting stuff I bought at IKEA. Conceding I might be obsessed. ? Debt of Gratitude Joan, aka the Magpie "I've never been to heaven, but I've been to Oklahoma." […]

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