Just a quick(ish) post as I try to catch up on reading all my dear blogging buddies’ posts that happened while I was away from blogging for a little while.
This is an unexpected continuation of my previous post – In the Studio.
“Mr. Woodworker” (my new nickname for my partner John) is a little obsessed with getting my sewing studio in shape for maximum-creativity-efficiency (or he is just looking for more pandemic projects and we continue to primarily be stuck at home).
He and I came up with the idea of adding some shelving on each end of my new floating shelf he just installed:
Here are the new shelves (just installed yesterday) – one on each side of the window in my sewing studio!
I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am with my two new bookcases/shelving on each end of the new floating shelf. These bookcases are things I did not even realize I needed until we spontaneously came up with the idea and Mr. Woodworker whipped them up!
I now feel really organized!
What does Mr. Woodworker have planned next for my sewing studio? Well he wants to build me a matching cutting table, a sewing table and one additional bookshelf area. I asked him to hold off for now as I need to focus on using my studio to keep making stuff for my tierneycreates Etsy shop I hope to reopen in January 2021.
Mr. Woodworker has been working on his own studio too, which is located in the basement. He built himself a clamp stand for his woodworking clamps:
Functional – yes. As cute as my sewing studio area – no – ha!
In the first of the above images, my friend Dana used empty fabric bolts she got from quilt shops that had extras, which she cut in half.
In the second and third images, another quilter used recycled cardboard that she cut to size.
I loved the idea of vertical fabric yardage storage but did not want to go through the effort to collect empty bolts from fabric stores and cut them in half; nor did I want to cut recycled cardboard to uniform size.
I knew there must be another option (one I could buy) so I did a bit a googling and first I found what I would consider overpriced options such as “mini bolt board” on online fabric stores. etc. That was not going to work, at those prices, I would just keep my fabric yardage stored flat.
A bit more googling revealed less expensive options such as using comic backing boards for fabric storage!
Then I found this YouTube video on how to do it:
I ordered a couple hundred of these boards and got to folding! (I got them from Amazon.com and you can find them by searching “Comic Book Boards”. I ordered the Size 6 3/4 X 10 1/2 size because it fit well in my cubbies)
I decided to repurpose my IKEA cubby bookshelves in my home office to be a combination of books and fabric, and arranged my fabric yardage by color:
I am quite pleased, it is like having my own fabric shop – ha!
In case you are wondering, I was able to organize onto the comic backing boards fabric cuts from a quarter yard to five (5) yards!
Here are more photos with close ups of many of the cubbies filled with fabrics:
You will notice that many of the cubbies have stacks of fat quarters in front of the vertically arranged fabrics. Inspired by the YouTube video I shared earlier in the post, I’ve begun uniformly refolding some of my favorite fat quarters to place with yardage of the same color.
(Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.)
Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was very patient during my fabric reorganization project. He napped with various piles of fabric waiting to be folded as in the photo I shared in my previous post:
So here’s a question for the crafters reading this post: Do any of you store your fabric vertically like this; or do you store you fabric in flat folds?
So what became of the hanging shelves in the closet in my studio where I was storing my fabric?
Well I repurposed them to hold batting and interfacing:
As a follow up to my previous post Morning Walk in Black and White, where I mentioned that I am now living in a house and have a new quilting studio, in this post I am sharing photos of my new studio.
When I moved into my new housing situation earlier this summer, the first thing my new roommate did was build a design wall in the back bedroom he offered to me as my studio:
One of his hobbies is wood working and he also offered to build me a center cutting table. I said “let me use what I brought with me for now (fold up tables) and see how the rooms develops”.
The rest of this post is a photo tour of my new studio. You may notice the strong turquoise like color on the wall. The room came with that color and since someday my roommate is thinking of selling his home and us possibly moving to a new home together, I declined his offer to paint the room a neutral color at this time.
To embrace the turquoise color for now, I hung my Tula Pink All Stars fabric quilt (which has a LOT of turquoise and aqua in it) on the wall as you will see in the images below. If you are new to this blog, the saga of its quilt is in this series of posts – Tula Time!. By the way – my friends Judy and Dana have also finished their Tula Pink quilts and I will share images in a future post.
So here is the photo tour of my “temporary” new studio. If we end up moving to a new home together someday, I am going to design my new studio to be my dream studio this time (if I learned anything from the tragic and sudden loss of my husband in 2018, it is that life is short and you need to live your dreams, do not wait!). Since my roommate, who I should actually start referring to as “my partner”, loves to build things, I plan to take full advantage of his skills for my dream studio design!
As you can see in several of the photos above, I repurposed an old armoire into crafting and fat quarter storage. I also repurposed an old card table found in the basement’s storage room into a center table.
That table also serves as a Mike the Miniature Schnauzer nesting space!
You might also remember in the photos above (but I am posting it below also), a short long black bookcase looking thing. This was an old CD/DVD storage bookshelf I found in my partner’s basement storage room that I repurposed to hold my favorite fat quarters (I have an obscenely large collection of fat quarters as I confessed in the post Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III (re-post))
In my preceding photos, you might have noticed a work in progress on the design wall. I will discuss it in a future post as I continue my series of posts What’s on the Design Wall.
Here is an additional photo I took during my photo shoot for this post of some of the recycled home decor fabrics I am considering for this piece (actually a series of pieces):
If you’ve been following my blog for a long time and have a scary supernatural level of memory, you might remember these pieces from this post – What’s Simmering on the Design Wall.
My friend Judy got me into quilting (I have her to blame for all this…smile).
Recently she shared a couple photos of her re-organized sewing room and gave me permission to share on my blog. However, I cannot share her photos without briefly mentioning her “Jelly Roll Love” (notice I am using the term “Love” and not “Addiction”, ha!) and that perhaps this is a love that I also share…
I met Judy years ago when she was a colleague at a job that seems like a lifetime ago. She is one of my “Quilting Sisters“. You know how I refer to my husband Terry as Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) – well Judy is my Number One Quilting Sister (after all she got me into quilting) and her new moniker is the “#1QS“!
I appreciate that non-quilters follow my blog and out of respect for those who’ve never heard of fabric “jelly rolls” (other than a delicious bakery delight) here is an image of a fabric jelly roll:
A jelly roll is a 42 piece collection of pre-cut 2.5 inch quilting fabric strips and are very popular among quilters (and quite addicting to collect). The appeal for quilters to use “pre-cuts” (pre-cut fabric collections) is that they are time saving and the fabrics are already coordinated.
In the late 2000s to early 2010s jelly rolls pre-cuts were gaining huge popularity with quilters. Numerous jelly roll fabric collections and books with patterns on creating quilts made with jelly rolls were flooding the market. I am guilty of buying several of these books myself as you can see in the image from my bookshelf below:
Judy’s Sewing Space & Jelly Roll Love
Judy, aka the #1QS, used to sew in a corner of her family room.
A couple of years ago, she emptied out a spare bedroom and turned it into her “Sewing Retreat”. Recently re-organized her sewing space and below are a couple photos include one of her drawer of jelly rolls that she has been collecting for years.
Projects, so many projects:
As you can tell, she will never grow bored with all those glorious sewing projects in queue!
Fabric Organized on “Mini-Bolts”
Judy uses cardboard bolts that fabric yardage comes on (like you see in fabric shops), cuts them in half and then used them to wrap her yardage and organize her fabric like a miniature quilt shop!
Another Quilting Sister Dana has done the same thing in her studio/sewing space:
I’ve been with Judy and Dana, during a quilt retreat, when they’ve asked a quilt shop owner for any empty fabric bolts they can spare. Many quilt shops just recycle the cardboard bolts so they are happy to give them to a quilter to use (at least the shops I’ve seen Judy and Dana ask for empty bolts from).
I think the effect of the mini bolts, besides nicely organizing yardage of fabric, is it makes your sewing room look like a mini Quilt Shop!
And Now For the Jelly Rolls
Judy stated this is not her only drawer of jelly rolls but she did not share a photo of her other drawer (or drawers?!?!?).
Judy is not alone in her “Jelly Roll Love”, I’ve been guilty of it myself:
I won’t tell you the container’s dimensions or just how filled with jelly rolls my “Tub-o-Jelly-Rolls” is: a girl has to keep some things private….
Continuing the momentum from my Quilting Studio Archaeology, each evening last week I have continued to evaluate what I have in my quilting studio/sew room.
I decided to take an honest and objective look at all the crafting paraphrenelia and projects in queue that have gathered over the years in my quilting studio closet. As a result I was able to unload and remove two tall rolling organizing/storage drawer sets. I donated them to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop along with some of their contents from my purging.
Here they are in my backseat awaiting their next adventure (I hope they go to a good home). They served me well for at least 15 years:
In one of the drawers I kept my large collection of art brush markers, gel pens and Sharpies. Most of these markers and pens came from a coworker in the early 2000s. She loved cool pens and markers at her local speciality stationary store and would impulsively buy pens. In the early 2000s I was into card making and she decided to purge her huge pen collection and give most of it to me for card making.
I moved all these pens with me from Seattle to Central Oregon in 2005 and most of them have just sat in a drawer since 2005, unused.
On a mission not to keep stuff that is not functional/does not work and that I do not love, I checked every single pen/art marker on Thursday evening (I know you are very envious that we have such wild evenings as “pen checking” in Central Oregon). I was able to toss 30 pens that had dried up.
Here is what remained (still a lot but they all work and I like the colors):
Terry the Quilting Husband and I are planning on doing some remodeling in our living room this Spring/Summer. We want to put in built-in bookcases/entertainment unit/fireplace along the largest wall of the living room. I have spent (or wasted) a lot of time on Pinterest looking at “bookcase porn”.
The plan is to repurpose 1 – 2 of the existing free standing bookcases in the living room as studio closet storage. To make this work, I will need to have less stuff in my quilt studio closet and removing the two storage units gets me a lot closer to that goal.
Recently I am quite inspired by a newer blog I follow – DEVISE.CREATE.CONCOCT – Finding frugal ways to live more with less (devisecreateconcoct.com). This blogger’s tips on managing your spending on the necessities of life have inspired me to also take an honest and objective look on how we spend money each month, beginning with January 2017.
Today I created an expense tracking spreadsheet and recorded expenses for 2017 year to date. It was very enlightening – for example, I did not realize how much we are spending on groceries!
In my post Craft Book Hoarder I mention my discovery that I now have 370+ craft books. If I have that many craft books, you might suspect I have a lot of crafting magazines.
I used to have a ridiculous amount of crafting magazines, especially quilting magazines. I had a subscription to 4-5 quilt magazine publications (plus the quarterly and annual special publications I would pick up at a quilt shop) and I would hold onto every issue in case there might be a pattern I might want to make someday or a helpful quilting tip. I had the same issue with Beading magazines and even for a while Scrapbooking magazines!
A couple of years ago, over a series of several weeks, I made myself go through every magazine and clip out only the patterns I would actually make and only the tips that I would refer to over and over again. Then I put them in a large binder in sheet protectors.
I was so proud. I thought I had conquered paper clutter.
Then this huge binder sat on the shelf, with all those nice patterns and tips inside, unloved, untouched, unused and gathering dust. I had started downloading free and purchased patterns from the internet and storing them on my laptop. I did cancel all my quilting magazine subscriptions (because seriously, how many new and unique patterns are there to find after a while?) but for any additional magazines that trickled in, I would just scan the pattern I wanted and then donate the magazine to the Humane Society Thrift Shop.
This past weekend I rediscovered the MEGA BINDER of patterns in sheet protectors. It was actually unwieldy to remove from the shelf. I realized I primarily use my laptop for storing patterns now and if I buy a new pattern I like to get it online. I also have a nice folder organization of patterns and quilting tips on my laptop…
IT WAS TIME TO GET RID OF THE PAPER!
So now a new huge project has commenced: I have removed all the paper patterns from the sheet protectors (donated the mega binder of sheet protectors to my favorite thrift shop for the next organization victim) and I am going to SCAN them all into my laptop and then recycle the paper! Then I can organize all the patterns for quick access..and…maybe actually USE them.
Last Thursday I took the day off from work and participated in a Fabric Surface Design Workshop (actually more like a play day!) through my local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) chapter. There were four workstations set up for the participants to watch demos on the following surface design techniques:
Fabric printing (using fabric ink and stamps)
Fabric painting (using special fabric paints to achieve a structured or an abstract watercolored-like designs)
Using decolorant to achieve unique surface designs (by removing color from different areas of a fabric in specific patterns)
Mono printing (one time printing using unique found items and special textile techniques)
All the techniques demonstrated were wonderful but I was most drawn to the fabric printing using fabric ink and stamps. The demo involved using manufactured stamps or designing and carving your own. After the demos were complete we had time to play with the new techniques. I ended up carving my own custom stamp with a with a special carving block and a linoleum cutter/carving tool. On SAQA member had a beautiful hand carved tree stamp I fell in love with so I tried to model my hand carved stamped after it.
Below are some photos from my play day! I have an idea already on the piece I am going to design around these printed squares…eventually…
I am addicted to “Studio Porn” – photos of artists’ and crafters’ studios. At least once a week I settle in with a cup of tea, in a cozy chair, and leaf through publications such as Studios and Where Women Create or various books on craft/art studio organization. These publications are filled inspirations on how to organize, design, and decorate your studio.
My studio is small, but I feel lucky to have a place in my home that I can dedicate to my crafting. It was designed as a bedroom and I removed the traditional bifold closet doors to open the space to organize and store supplies. I thought: “who needs closet doors when you can have more open space?”
Then I saw the studio of Jean Wells in the Better Homes and Gardens book Studio Spaces: Projects, Inspiration & Ideas for Your Creative Place (2011) and I saw what a closet can be in a studio! Ms. Wells turned one side of a closet door into an inspiration board and the other into a design wall. Her closet doors became my dream closet doors! Thanks to a generous gift from my mother-in-law, my dream studio closet doors have become a reality!
Cindi and Rob of CR Construction did an excellent job designing my new closet doors based on the photos from the book. They put sheet metal on the left door and wrapped Warm & Natural cotton batting on the right door. They designed a unique floating track system that allowed the doors to float over each other without touching when opened. This allows pieces on the design wall side not to be disturbed (who wants to redo their design wall every time they open their closet?). Cindi and Rob added strong bright lighting inside the closet – previously I had no light and would aim a lamp in the studio towards the closet to illuminate it in the evening.
My home studio is very simple and a mishmash of furniture and shelves thrown together, but my closet feels really special and inspires my creativity!