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I Tried to Clean My Sewing Room Once

Posted by Jen Lopez on May 27th 2020

I tried to clean my sewing room once - it didn’t really work out. I ended up making a quilt, or a really cute rag doll, or another tote bag. Anything but cleaning.

Failure to clean is not just my problem, it is a weakness of all creative people. We keep getting distracted by all the good things we find! I am reminded of a now famous-in-my-family incident involving my father, an aerospace engineer and lifelong boating enthusiast. My father built our boat. As a matter of fact he built many boats. This terrified me as a child. His biggest endeavor was a 30’ wooden sail boat. Many times while he was building it, I remember nervously asking him “How do you know it won’t sink?” His answer was a perfunctory “because I designed it not to”. As it turned out, it didn’t sink and he went on to build many other boats, much to the chagrin of my mother. Our yard was always covered in boats and the garage never once saw a car in it.

One day, my mother had enough. She insisted it was time to “clean the garage”, a.k.a. the wood shop. She would not wait another day. She was smugly satisfied with her mandate as she heard clanking, banging and the shuffling of wood and tools emanating from the garage all day. It was nearly dinnertime then she surmised, “The garage must be really tidy by now... he’s been busy in there ALL DAY!”

She walked out to the garage to summon my Dad for dinner when she received The Big Reveal. It turned out that not only had he not cleaned the garage that day, but my father instead spent the entire day building another boat. Not the whole thing, but he had it all framed up and was already starting on the sides of an 18’ fishing boat.

My mother exclaimed in horror “Not another boat!!” The garage never did get cleaned. So, the next time you fail to clean your sewing room but produce yet another quilt, take some comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one.


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