Thank you everyone who took the trouble to think about my problem. I will print out all the comments and think carefully about them. I think you’re right, Debra, that I have to declutter and reorganise things so I’ll have to sit down and work out exactly what system to have and where to put the things I move out! I’ve got a feeling that moving some of the fabric may help too – I’ve got an awful lot of stuff from before I had kids, not a lot of it cotton. I used to get this mill fabric mail order catalogue and they sold bundles they called ‘mail order misery’ and ‘practise parcels’ and I bought lots of them! (Sadly they closed down recently).
Meanwhile, a cleanup has helped and I’ve been doing some applique from the back based on a design which evolved from the wisteria pod picture I posted in February. Unfortunately I also succeeded in sewing over a needle (don’t ask why I was using a needle instead of a pin… it seemed like a good idea at the time;) and have scratched the bobbin case so I think I’ll have to replace it. Duh… I’ve abandoned that now and will see if I can do anything else about it tomorrow (the bobbin case not the applique).