That's the key question posed by author Marie Kondo in her best-selling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Perhaps there's no group more aware of the need for tidying up than quilters and crafters! And the supplies found in a sewing room surely spark joy. But there were 44 people ahead of me on the waiting list to borrow this book from the library, so it looks as if tidy is something lots of us aspire to. Anyhow, the answer to sparking joy is yes when it comes to small journal quilts. I love taking bits and pieces of fabrics and trims and combining them to create whatever comes out of my imagination at the moment. So with the inspiration challenge of "orange" put out by the Fiber Arts Bee I belong to, this little doodle-style flower is the result. One thing I like about journal quilts is the opportunity to try out new methods on a small scale. I tried a beaded edge on this one. I'm unlikely to bead the edge of a large quilt, but this was a small enough investment of time to make me willing to give it a try.
I've been following some of the ideas in the tidying up book when it comes to discarding unnecessary items that just take up space. Case in point is this giant binder containing notes, handouts, and samples from the instructional workshop for my once-new machine. But why, oh why, would I still need this? If I haven't figured out how to use the machine by now, I'm in trouble. The author suggests that it's quite easy to look up online how to use or care for pretty much any item. And really, when I consider the last time I looked at this... why, I can't recall when that was. So out it went. However....
Inside that giant binder were a few pretty fiber tidbits that I just couldn't part with yet. So I added some more tidbits I'm fond of, and made another small journal quilt. It commemorates the machine with samples of stitches, and gave me a chance to try out some heavy-weight thread. This is waaaay smaller to store than the binder, and sparks more joy, too!
Even the back of the quilt is a scrap of some decorator fabric I picked up on the freebie table at guild. And speaking of tidbits, I found a repurposing store that had some of the glittery bits shown above for just pennies. The good news is that, after some tidying up, I donated more items than I purchased! So I'm making progress, especially in the sewing room. There's a lot of good advice in that book.