I Have a Cunning Plan

Congratulate me, my friends! I have at last learned to be prudent when it comes to making cunning plans.

VillaincI think.

Long have I brooded over the difficulty of finding the kind of clothes I want to wear in shops (either new or second-hand). The obvious solution seems to be Way #5 to an Ethical Wardrobe. Yes, I have decided to learn to sew my own clothes.

In baby steps. “How else?” I hear you cry. “Where’s the prudence in that?”

Long-term readers of this blog may recall the epic quilt of craziness that dominated my Year of Finishing Things. Yes, I finished it. But it was far from being the only Thing in my possession that required Finishing. In fact, it wasn’t even the oldest Thing that Requires Finishing, or UFO as handworkers call them. (This stands for Un-Finished Object or Unfinished Fabric Object; not, as Cuthbert Soup pointed out, Uncommonly Fat Orangutans).

ORANGUTAN (8551550474)
Who are you calling uncommonly fat?

As I mentioned in this post, there were still two quilts (yes, there were two quilts beside the crazy quilt – clearly, the quilt was not the only crazy around here), a pair of gloves, a cardigan and a pile of mending to be done. Mending comes and goes, the cardigan and gloves are in regular wear, but the quilts are still with us in their UFOid state.

Behold, the prudence: instead of launching straight into the process of learning to sew my own clothes (and I have some delectable ideas, let me tell you), I am going to begin by Clearing the Decks. “Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand,” as Euripides said.

I have set aside the rest of 2017 (ok, my home handworking time for the rest of 2017 – I do have a book to publish) to get some projects completed and out of the deep dark Wardrobe of Unfinished Things.

Two women open a cupboard in which a skeleton stands. Engrav Wellcome V0042203
Deborah finally opens the Wardrobe of Unfinished Things

My targets are the mending of a pair of worn sheets, the lining of a pair of curtains, and the final completion of the rose quilt – less than fifteen years after I started it! Possibly no more than twelve! And if I somehow manage to complete all that before the end of the year (most unlikely), I shall do the block quilt assembly as well, for Extra Credit.

Anyone keen to join me? Not in clearing out my own UFOs, that is; I’m not that desperate – yet. But are you too trapped under a mountain of Unfinished Fabric Objects, or general Un-Finished Objects? (If trapped under a mountain of Unusually Fat Orangutans, please seek professional assistance.) Or is it some other task: cleaning out the garage, painting the kitchen, or extreme weeding in the back yard, that darkly looms like the great unfinished gargoyle that it is?

Church of the Holy Cross Great Ponton Lincolnshire England - tower gargoyle 2
Haul that lurker out of the shadows and pin it down in the comment section. What gargoyles do you have in your sights? When are you wanting to have finished them off by? Stake your claim! I’ll be posting weekly updates about my progress or lack thereof, and I would love to have you chipping in as you chip away at your own gargoyles.

Prudence shall be our battlecry – Prudence and Gargoyle Chips!

8 Replies to “I Have a Cunning Plan”

  1. Where do I start? Cleaning out the wardrobe; weeding the back yard; getting the carpets cleaned; organising the photos on various devices…etc etc. Unlike you, am not brave enough to put a date to any of these projects, though!

    1. Well, let me be honest: I’m drawing what Mark Twain called “the veil of charity” over the hordes of other unfinished things that await my attention – sorting out my inbox, vast quantities of gardening, spraying for borer etc etc.
      When eating an elephant one bite at a time, you’ve got to pick somewhere to start nibbling away.
      Thanks for commenting – it’s nice to ‘see’ you!

  2. I have a whole bunch of stuff I’m meant to be selling on trademe. Some of which I have been meaning to sell for several years now. It just follows me around. I also have been meaning to purge excess clothing and bric a brac. I need to get quite brutal (it certainly FEELS brutal as I hold random bits of plastic and pause over the rubbish bin debating just how much of a memento I really consider it to be).

    1. Have you tried the put-it-all-in-a-box-and-if-you-don’t-pull-anything-out/remember-what’s-in-there-in-a-year’s-time-chuck-it-out-unopened method? (I feel like Maxwell Smart…)
      I admit, I don’t usually try selling stuff on TradeMe unless it’s definitely valuable. Much less time and trouble to drop it off at the Salvation Army 🙂
      Thanks for commenting!

      1. Technically, half of my things have BEEN in a box for a year. But that’s because some of it need repairing. I have a whole shelf of papers that are ‘useful for life’ that include all my introduction to accounting notes and laws regarding tenency. And sheet music that’s waiting for my piano skills to catch up. And diaries of years gone past that I use as record keeping. Some inherited china that needs repairs but there’s no local china repair shop and shipping china freaks me out so I’m somewhat at an impasse. I don’t want to get rid of my china, but but realistically, everything else (except the sheet music) could go. It’s just mentally letting go of the ‘but it could be useful’ element. I’ve just grown up with the attitude of making the most of everything and being frugal by not wasting things or chucking things out that still have use to them. Too much stuff is what happens when this virtue is used to a fault.

        1. Ah, yes. I’ve heard it said that the way to combat that particular virtue problem is to tell yourself that if you’re not using it, the time when it will be useful is when it has passed into the possession of someone who will use it.
          It’s remarkable how hard it is to break the mental blocks, though. I know how much of an idiot I feel afterward for realizing I’ve carted something around for years simply because it never occurred to me that I was allowed to get rid of it. Which is embarrassing to even say, given how mind-numbingly obvious it seems in retrospect.
          I’m with you on the china-shipping, though! NZ Post says anything you send by them should be prepared to be dropped from 1.1 metres, and I doubt there is that much bubblewrap in the world.

What do you think?