Alas, I am not sharing my studio and house tour. It is more like I am sharing my dream studio and house tour (smile). My house and studio are currently partially packed up and a mess as I sort my stuff out for my move to Colorado this Spring.
This post about another quilter’s studio and house tour.
My dear friend Marla Jo (and her wonderful husband Jason) have been incredibly supportive during this difficult period in my life (my new life as a recent widow) and to give me a distraction from my grief, a couple of weekends ago she invited me see the studio and home of one of her clients/friends (Jaime) who is a quilter.
I thought it would be fun to share some photos from that visit as I would guess many of you, like me, enjoy artist studio tour posts!
Here are images of Jaime’s yummy quilt studio:
She has beautiful custom designed cabinetry throughout her gorgeous home.
I was fascinated by how she organized her fabric:
She showed me that she used scrap thin cardboard cut to a uniform size to organize the fabric:
I love how her fabric stands upright like in a quilt shop.
Dana used recycled cardboard from fabric bolts that quilt shops gave to her. She cut them in half and wrapped her fabric around them:
Jaime had a wonderful wallhanging in her studio, made by her sister, celebrating her collection of decorative pins:
The studio was spectacular and the house was equally as spectacular. Here are a couple of my favorite areas of Jaime’s beautiful home:
The Entire Wall Bookcase in the Living Room
The Dream Soaking Tub
Jaime is an artful decorator and designed a nook in her bathroom to put a peaceful soaking tub:
The Grand Piano
At one point in my young life I studied piano and I have always been fascinated with pianos. Jaime had in her sitting room a custom made piano from Estonia that had an exquisite sound (she treated us to a mini concert):
There were many other magical rooms/areas of her home but I wanted to spend time visiting with her and Marla Jo and not be rude and just take photos.
But let’s close this post with a view that took my breath away (my photo does not do it justice) – the view from the upstairs balcony of her home with a view down to the living room:
My tiny studio is nothing to “write home about” but I share photos to encourage other crafters who have not yet created their own little crafting space in their abode to do so.
I’ve proven you can cram a lot into a tiny bedroom (and someday I will install decent lighting into it)!
My studio makes me smile even if is it missing the sense of crisp, coordinated, moderns, elegant, organized, etc. style that I’ve seen in other quilters/crafters/artists’ studio (you’ll never see it featured in magazines such as Where Women Create).
It is a little sanctuary where I have hung on the wall quilts by my Quilting Sisters Kathy R. and Judy D. reminding me of the beauty of life-long true friendships. It is where I enjoy my collection of little toy schnauzers and rabbits, my collection of fabric treats and delights, and a closet full of projects to be made!
From the book Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock:
A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use.
Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love… – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space (2017)
I hope you all make a nest for the precious baby birds of your creations!
Mondays I am off work from my pay-the-bills-job and I thought this Monday would be a great day to do a little Quilt Studio clean up (or archaeological digging).
Quilting for over 16 years, I have acquired quite a bit of quilting paraphernalia to include templates, rules, quilting aids, tools, and well…quilting thinga-ma-bobs. I thought I was fairly organized and diligent on cleaning out the stuff I no longer use, but then today I remembered the cabinet in my sewing desk where I had shoved a bunch of rulers and templates.
Crafters, you know what I am talking about when I mention thoserulers, templates, tools that you were (suckered?) required to buy for a class or a specific project. You have never used them againbut you are not sure if you should part with them.
If it wasn’t for a class then it was from a demo you saw at a quilt shop, retreat or conference that you thought “why yes, I definitely need that”. Or maybe it was something given to you by a friend who finished their project, gave you the pattern that they were NEVER GOING TO DO AGAIN and the accompanying special ruler or template.
Keep all that in mind as I show you what was unearthed today during my “Quilt Studio Archaeological Dig” (and don’t judge – ha!):
Yes, they are actually called “Thangles” and they are used as a shortcut to making “half square triangles”(HSTs). I purchased them when I lived in Seattle, likely in the early 2000s when I saw them demo’d at a quilt shop.
I have made a zillion (okay I am exaggerating, perhaps only a million) HSTs over the years and never once (never) have I thought about the Thangles I was storing for posterity in my cabinet. Imagine if I had actually used this tool as it was intended! Perhaps it would have made a couple sets of HST’s quicker.
Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates
A burning question plagues me (a question besides why the heck did I buy these?): Why do I have Set A, Set B and Set D, but no Set C? Was Set C too controversial to purchase? Or by the time Set C came out did I decide it was silly to buy anymore sets I have never used but had a moment of weakness when Set D came out and bought it anyway?!?!
Great and mysterious question to ponder…
Rulers Gone Wild!
Oh so many rulers only used once (or never).
I was going to lay them all out and take a photo of them, but right now I am in denial so I merely placed them all in a basket for now. I am simply going to keep them all in sight, out on my cutting table for now, and continue to pretend like I might use them someday.
Just for fun, here is a list of some of the likely useful and likely very obscure rulers in my collection:
Easy Diamond Template (never used)
Easy Heart Template (never used)
EZ Quilting Hexagon Shapes (never used)
60 degree Diamond (never used)
Quilt Sense Rulers (never used, I guess they made so much sense they scared me)
Flying Geese Bloc Loc Rulers (I am really going to use these someday, maybe)
Fons & Porter Binding Tool (if my friend Lisa is reading this, enjoy the private joke now about my quilt binding skills)
Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer (yikes all these years I have let my corners go un-perfectly trimmed!)
A whole slew of Kaye Wood rulers (I do not want to talk about my Kaye Wood obsession in my early days of quilting and just how many of her rulers I purchased…and never used)
A Girl’s Best Friend Diamond Cut Ruler (obviously not one of my best friends as I have never used it)
Easy Circle Cut (never used)
Japanese Jigsaw Ruler (well a friend of mine DID make a quilt with this ruler, does that count?)
That’s enough I cannot bear to list anymore. Honestly though, I cannot bear to part with any of these never used rulers. I still plan to use them all – SOMEDAY! (Note I do have at least double the amount of rules I just listed which I have actually used or used at least once).
Have any of you discovered any dusty ancient gems in your crafting room lately during an archaeological dig?
One of my readers asked for some photos of food from the Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD) I mentioned in my previous post. I just started the FMD today but here are photos of breakfast and lunch:
No, no I am not going to post photos of every meal I have for the 28 days of the FMD. At a later date I will do a post about it and share more meal images for anyone who is curious.
Featured image photo credit – Russell Hugo, free images.com
Terry “the Quilting Husband” and I live in a relatively small house. Not as small as the houses I looked at during my “tiny-house obsession” period (oh you should have seen my Pinterest board followings) but our house is around 1300 square feet.
I do not mind the small quilting studio but I do struggle occasionally with having a small design wall. It it not really a traditional “design wall” but more of a “design wall closet door” (see post Inside the Studio to see my mini design wall mounted on a sliding closet door).
Wait a Minute, I Have Options
Last year, I moved my paper crafting supplies to our sunroom, to make my studio less cluttered. (Oh yes there are many other crafts in my life besides quilting: knitting, crochet, paper crafting, beading, etc.):
My rationale on this move was “why not” – why would anyone care that I have my paper crafting supplies in another room besides my studio?
Recently, the paper crafting supplies in the sunroom gave me an idea: why do I have to keep my quilting related activities confined to JUST ONE ROOM?
Whole House Crafting
We have a long hallway. In the past I have hung quilts on both side of the hallway but recently one side was empty (I burned out on all those quilts hanging everywhere in the house). Why couldn’t that become a MEGA DESIGN WALL?
We have occasions in the past where Terry “the Quilting Husband” and I were battling for design wall space when working on separate quilts, and this would give us a very large space to work on quilt designs. (See the Postscript section below for the trial run I had on using this space to design a quilt).
A challenge might be that anyone coming over the house will think we are weird as we are designing quilts on our hallway wall, but then who cares – it is our house and if it disturbs them, well they can go back to their house – ha!
Ultimately I would like to have a professional made design wall/design wall sections (like my friend Betty Anne has in her lovely studio) but I need to save up for that to happen. So for now I have purchased a queen size Warm & Natural piece of pre-cut batting to mount on the wall myself.
I did not stop there with my ideas on using the whole house for crafting. I would like a bigger cutting area for working on large projects – what about using my dining room table?
So I did, I used my dining table this past weekend for a large scale quilt trimming project (see the Postscript section) and for other cutting projects such as trimming my Recycled Doorquilt and creating the binding (I will discuss my finishing decisions on this piece in a future post) for the upcoming Central Oregon SAQA Doors Exhibit at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show July 2016 (see post Update: Recycled Door).
Note, I would not use my dining room table for everyday cutting as it is not ergonomically correct for cutting (not waist height). Also it is not convenient for when you are working on a piece and doing small batches of cutting as you progress on a piece.
I am not sure why I did not think of expanding my crafting areas before. I guess I was brainwashed by all those beautifully illustrated organizing your art studio magazines and books. These publications seem to insist that all your crafting items be confined to one highly organized space!
Now I am a rebel (or now I am just behaving like normal people who do not impose so many rules on them).
You may have noticed, if you have been following my blog for a while, that I had not post anything related to my What’s On the Design Wall Series. So it may look like I am not doing very much actual crafting these days.
Actually I have been doing MAJOR crafting. For the past couple months I have been working on a by invitation only exhibit I was honored to be invited to participate in. I cannot reveal any specifics the exhibit curator is ready to unveil the show. I am nearly done with the piece (putting on my label) and will send it off to the exhibit soon.
The parameters of this exhibit/show were very precise and I was required to create a quilt a specific size. Also I wanted this quilt to be a story quilt. In order to accomplish these two things I needed a bigger space than my little closet door design wall. So that was my first experience in using the hallway as a design wall. It worked very well!
Also I had to trim the quilt to a specific size and my cutting table in my studio would not work, so this was my first trial run as the dining table as a large cutting table.
Here is a little peek of the piece, and as soon as I am able to reveal the details and the full piece I will:
Do you remember the cheesy TV specials on the Fox Network in the 1990s (and maybe early 2000s) with titles like “When Animals Attack”, “When Good Pets go Bad”, and other ridiculous titles?
I am not sure if the Fox Network will ever revive these TV specials, but I do have an idea to pitch to them for a future special: “When Good Studios Go Bad”…
When You Do Not Want to Enter the Room
Early this year I posted photos of where I do my “tierney-creating”, in the posts Inside the Studio and Inside the Closet (these titles sound like TV Specials themselves, but I think there would need to be a bit more spicy drama in these stories for a TV Network to want to air them.)
My studio space is approximately 10 feet by 12 feet and I try to keep it tightly organized at all times, as I have a small space to work in.
Yesterday after a crazy day of my healthcare-industry-pay-the-bills-job, I went to our monthly Central Oregon Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) meeting and then to dinner with friends. I also picked up two completed quilts from my long-arm quilter. Prior to leaving for the SAQA meeting, I was frantically busily sewing last minutes labels on the quilts for a collaborative show which openings Friday 3/25/16 (they had to be delivered to the gallery ASAP).
When I got home it was late, and I was very tired mentally and physically. I placed the quilts from the long-arm quilter in my studio; visited for awhile with Terry the Quilting Husband, Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer, and Mike (also a miniature schnauzer but not as highly opinionated); and then headed to bed.
I had decided to take Friday off from work (today) and to take a class at a local quilt shop. However, I was too tired last night to do the required pre-class cutting before bed and figured I would deal with it in the morning… (are those not the famous last words of a procrastinator?!?!)
I overslept this morning, got up in a panic, stumbled into my studio to deal with all the pre-cutting before my 10:00 am class, and found this scene:
Now to many people, this does not look too bad. To me – this was like a terrifying Fox Network TV Special about something attacking something it should not, or some thing going very very very bad. I seriously did not want to walk into the room.
I could not even locate the instructions for the class of what I needed to pre-cut. I had actually sort through most of the stuff lying on top of other stuff to find what I needed. The photo does not look as bad as it looked in person.
We all have different ways we deal with clutter, and many are comfortable with clutter. Clutter freaks me out. It shuts down my creative process and makes me not even want to enter a room.
I made it on time to the class today and had most of my fabric pre-cut. When I returned home, I cleaned up the studio and promised myself to not let my studio become a Fox TV Network Special again!
This past weekend I witnessed the ultimate in “home studio fabric organization”!
I visited the home of a quilter friend of mine for the first time and she showed me her quilting studio. As I turned the corner to enter her studio, my jaw dropped when I saw her extremely well organized fabric stash: It looked like I had stepped into a quilt shop!
How She Did It
My friend collected empty cardboard fabric bolts from quilt shops and cut them in half. She wrapped her fabric stash fabrics around the half bolts and then organized the fabrics by theme/category in a large wide bookcase.
If she had more than a certain yardage of fabric (I forgot her threshold), she would organize the fabric on a full size cardboard bolt (bottom left of the bookcase).
I think the advantages of this type of fabric stash organization are as follows:
Her fabric organization and display feels like she is shopping directly from a quilt shop every time she goes to select a fabric in her stash – AMAZING!
She can clearly see what is in her stash.
This may reduce her need to actually go to a quilt shop, and spend money on fabric that she does not actually need.
(I know, I know, right now all quilters reading this are rolling their eyes. Buying fabric is not about needing it – it is about wanting it!)
I had mentioned in the post that one of the disadvantages of free audiobooks from your local library is a short loan period (14 days for example). Recently I discovered that my library allows up to a 21 day audiobook loan period but you have to set up your account that way! I guess when I first set up my digital book account with my library originally I accidentally selected the 14 day hold as my default. I wish I knew this earlier as recently I was in the middle of enjoying Beyond Willpower by Alexander Loyd and my loan expired! The audiobook has other library patron holds on it so I have to wait patiently until my turn comes around again. Ultimately it is my fault for alternating between three audiobooks at once time – 21 day loans will make it even easier (maybe I can alternate between four or five audiobooks…just kidding!)
Sometimes you have to let go of clutter to make space for your creativity. I had collected an unwieldy amount of fabric in my 15+ years of being a quilter. My fabric collection (aka “Stash”) includes purchased new fabric, purchased (from thrift shops and garage sales) used fabric, recycled fabrics (old jeans, manufacturing remnants), and fabric given to my by quilting friends. When I say “fabric” I mean anything from a 1/4 yard to several yards of fabric, not scraps. We won’t talk about my scrap collection at this point…
I had organized all my quilting cotton, non flannel fabrics either by color, by type (Batiks) or by collection in an old IKEA bookcase cabinet. This cabinet was REALLY STUFFED. It was so stuffed that I could not find smaller pieces that have somehow “melted” into the larger pieces. It was time to reevaluate what I really loved and needed in my collection and to let go of that which I do not really love or really need. I had taken Monday and Tuesday off from work for a little “staycation” so I had no excuse not to begin the PURGE!
The purge was kind of painful and tedious. I do not want to discourage anyone from evaluating their clutter and purging, I just want to be honest. I removed all the fabric from the bookcase cabinet and it transformed into a scary mess on the floor. In the spirit of honesty and full disclosure – I did at one point sit on the floor crying and exclaim: “Why do I have this much fabric? I do not need all this!” I had to keep self-coaching to get through the project, reminding myself how wonderful it will be to quickly find the fabric I am looking for and to get rid of what I will never use.
It took two days of sorting through fabric and refolding fabric to complete the project (by the way, I did take many breaks of course and did other things on my “staycation”). I found on Pinterest this wonderful link to instructions on how to uniformly fold your fabric using a ruler so that your fabric will stack easily together: How to Tuesday: Ruler Folding (from a lovely blog – Create Kids Couture). I organized most of the fabric by color (this time I integrated the Batiks) and some by special collection (one shelf). I purged a giant bag of fabric to give my local quilting friends (oh no I am just adding to their stash so they have to purge someday!)
The fabric purge was worth it, despite some brief emotional distress. I feel like I have made room for my creativity by eliminating clutter!