From My Carolina Home

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Mountain Living – Removing a Tree

There are some really tall trees at the edge of the meadow in front of our mountain home, and the tallest has been struck by lightening three times. At least that many that I am reasonably sure of, maybe more. The last time it really did more damage than ever, streaking the trunk with scorching marks. It is very tall, over 100 feet, and it was looking more dead than ever. Most of the green has gone from the remaining pine needles. From time to time, there is just no choice but to cut a tree down, before it falls down. In the forest around us, we leave these alone and let them fall as they may, providing hiding places for wildlife and abundant bugs for the birds to eat. But this one had the potential of causing damage to our retaining wall or our neighbor’s workshop or home, so it just was time to take it down.

Pine Tree Removal Before ~ From My Carolina Home

We’ve only had to take out one other tree like this in the back that was threatening to fall on the house, and that was some years ago. In that way we have been lucky, this doesn’t happen often. So when it does, it is interesting to watch. The company brought in a little backhoe and a lot of guys to help. They began with making cuts around the base, stabilizing the tree with the backhoe so it would fall the direction they wanted, and not on the neighbors little red workshop.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Timberrrrrr!!

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

There was a touch of sadness as it hit the ground, but really, this is better. It wasn’t going to recover, and every bit of it will be recycled. I don’t know why it is so fascinating to watch equipment work. But it is! They gathered up the branches in bundles as the workers cut them off the main trunk with chainsaws.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Then stuffed them into the chipper, a bundle at a time.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

The huge trunk was cut into 15 foot long pieces.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

While the backhoe worked on more branches.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Then the top of the tree was guided to the chipper.  This section was at least 25 feet, maybe 30.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

I was amazed that it went through in less than a minute, going from a dead section into recycled mulch.  On the edge of the photo on the right, you can see the redbud is waking up.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

The large trunk sections were loaded into a truck, destined for a lumber mill to turn them into usable lumber.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

After the workers cleaned up everything, the meadow is quiet again. The next morning, mist had formed from the thunderstorm overnight.  There is a gaping hole here, to my eyes, where that taller pine once stood.  But I’ll get used to the lower tree height pretty quickly, and it is nice not to see the brown pine needles on that dead tree.

Meadow at From My Carolina Home

Once everything greens up, it won’t be obvious at all, and the neighbors workshop will be obscured once again.  It is lovely getting a bit warmer, but our last frost date is still almost two weeks away.  No planting yet, but a bit of clean-up was in order over the weekend.  Elsewhere in the garden, a few azaleas are coming out.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

They are just getting started, the pink and white still have a lot of buds.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

I love the white ones the most. There’s just something about white flowers.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

I have ordered my torenias for this year to pick up on the 17th, so more about the garden later.  And I’ll get back to quilting soon too.

What’s going on outside at your place?

 

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Cleaning out the Stash

I was digging through my fabric stash resource center looking for springtime fabrics, and I think I reached my limit.  I do like things more organized, and this closet has been a mess for years.  This project took me three weeks to complete, working on it a little each day until I finally got it to a modicum of control.  I have a lot of fabrics that have been given to me, either from friends, or from people on Freecycle, and some of them I know I will not use.  In addition, I have some decorator fabrics I have held onto for years and really will never do anything with them.  I really need to get some stuff off the floor, and have my batting all together so I can find small bits when I need them. I was part way through pulling all the fabric off one of the shelves before I remembered to take a ‘before’ pic. I have often spoken of my stash closet resource center, and here it is in all its messy glory. The closet is 10 feet wide, 8 feet high and almost three feet deep, stuffed to the rafters and behind the doors with fabric, batting, bits and pieces left over from projects gone by, clothing, wool felt, cotton felt, DMC floss, patterns and other stuff.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

The fabric is what I wanted to concentrate on. I have so much that I will never use, likely not ever miss either if it was gone. So, one shelf at a time, I pulled everything off onto the table and sorted it. Some bits were put into a large zippered clear plastic blanket bag, to be given to the humane society thrift store for a grab bag. It has everything that isn’t quilting cotton like denim, silk, satin, upholstery fabrics and some notions. Other larger quilting cotton pieces were put into 2 bags for the Cancer Care group to use in charity quilts. Some really small bits went into a bag for the local ministry’s shredder program. I gave myself permission to just donate this pile that I normally would press and cut into pieces for scrap quilts. I have so much that I am just going to do a purge for once and start over. Won’t be long until I have more, and I still have bins of scraps.   Most of the scraps are in a tower of stacking bins about six feet high, next to the bookshelves on the other side of the basement.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

Stuffed into the shelves and hanging on hangers in the laundry room were several dresses I made some years ago. Remember when we all wore these dresses over short sleeve t-shirts and flat shoes? I made several out of fun quilting cottons and corduroy, and wore them almost daily. Now I want to reclaim the fabric that I can from the skirts for other uses.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

The dress style is mostly out of style, but actually with a sweater over the dress instead of a t-shirt under, it could pass nowadays. So I might keep the Hawaiian print. The Christmas print is corduroy, and still cute. But I need to remake it into just a skirt, and get rid of the bodice part. There is plenty of fabric to do this, I just need to dig out a good pattern and get it done.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

I had one for Easter too. Cutting the bodice off, and removing the buttons, it went into the shredder bag.  The skirt was cut apart at the seams, pressed and folded for use in another project.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

Clearing one shelf, I put a plastic dry-cleaner bag down on the shelf to protect the fabric from wood stain.  Although I really don’t think this is an issue, one piece of fabric did appear to be stained, so let’s not take a chance. You can see there is still a jumbled up mess on the shelf below, with a forgotten denim shirt and other large pieces of dressmaker fabric like gabardine and challis.  I’m going to put some of it up for sale, and a couple of pieces will become new pj’s.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

The bolts of fabrics will stay where they are, and I will be winding more bolts with some of the pieces I have left that are over three yards.  The bags of fabrics are in 2-gallon zip top bags, mostly separated by collection, with some leftover pieces from previous quilts in bags too.  Why do I keep all that?  I think it is just in case a quilt ever needs repair – but that is silly.  Most of those quilts I no longer have, as they have been donated or gifted.  And the gifted ones were sent with some extra fabric just in case it is ever needed.  So those bags need to be purged.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

All these bits are what I call my luxury fabric box – silks, satin and velvet. I kept the largest pieces, ironed them all and put them in a sterlite container with a lid. Several pieces went into the grab bag donation.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

So, all of this is getting donated one place or another – four bags of fabrics, and one of cotton felt, along with a few big flat folds of felt.

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

OK, now that I have some room, I gathered all the batting together, marking the small bits with their size so I can quickly find a piece when I need a small bit. I actually discovered I had two packages of black batting when I thought I only had one!

Stash Reorganization ~ From My Carolina Home

Much better. Many of the two gallon bags of fabrics have been purged, with smaller pieces pulled out for donation or for the small scrappy project I have coming up. Some of my most favorite colors have been folded and stacked where I can see all of them.  No longer are there wadded up bits, or stuffed so tightly that I cannot see the back of the closet.  The 2-gallon bags are still two deep on the shelf, but at least now I can move enough to one side to see what is behind.  All the wide backing fabrics in one stack so I know what colors there are to choose from. Fabrics longer than 3 yards were wound onto empty bolt cardboard to reduce the creasing from folding.

Stash Clean Out @ From My Carolina Home

Now, it is much easier to see what is here, all the loose fabrics are folded and sorted, and the number of bags is reduced. Now I know what I have in larger pieces fabrics as they are on bolts. The patterns were purged too, and organized into the blue pattern boxes. The little purple pattern boxes on the top shelf hold my DMC floss in numerical order, and I went through those too refiling a bunch that were just thrown on the top for later filing.  Wool felt is now all together next to the blue pattern boxes.  Plus I found three sleeves for quilts that I’ll need later in the year to prepare a few of this year’s quilts for hanging at the fair.

Stash Clean Out @ From My Carolina Home

Everything is now off the floor too, just a plastic bin left which will be used elsewhere later.  Loose bits of batting and fiberfill along with a few old fabrics and stray pillowcases will go into dog beds.  There is still the scrap tower to go, but this is enough for now!

Have you done a fabric purge lately?  How do you organize your resource center?

 

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