This week, instead of whining, I’m going to share my progress in setting up my new studio. It isn’t finished yet, but I can clearly see that it will be up and running shortly.
This is where I started with my plan. Yes, I still use graph paper rather than an online design program. The shame. Some things have changed already – the TV will be moved over to another wall, since it goes where the cable outlet is. I’m not sure I will be looking for a cutting table any time soon. I can use my dining room table, it is is large and square, and then I can hide fabric in there, too.
The first step was to clear out the boxes. (I was very surprised at the end of moving day when my studio was filled solid with boxes.) Plenty of these are fabric, but a lot of it is just random stuff I’ve accumulated in 15 years of quilting. I’ve always been a big fan of stuff, and the quilting industry gives me plenty of options. Also, there is a fair amount of random stuff from my other forays into crafting – knitting stuff, scrapbooking stuff, and just weird random things. The guest room closet and the front hall closet will be acting as a parking spot for my hoard until I manage to whittle it down. My husband isn’t too inquisitive about closets, and I’m fairly certain he doesn’t read the blog, so I should be fine with stealthily taking over the whole house.
In going through the boxes, I was happy to discover my rulers and ruler holder. My ruler holder is very special – my Dad made it for me. Way back in the mists of time I was visiting him and showed him a ruler holder I had picked up – it was a board with slots to hold three rulers standing up on a table. Dad went into the basement and found a piece of oak plank left over from when he made his water bed (!!), planed it, and cut slots in it at an angle, so I could hang it on the wall. It still has bark on it, which is probably why this piece was left off of the bed. It is a treasure, all the more so because my Dad passed away. I’m glad I have something useful he made for me to remind me of him every day.
This is my Davenport desk. It was a gift from my mother. It is dangerous – it has so many little drawers and cubbies. I use it to corral my EPP supplies. I dream of having the drawers labeled, but for now they are just stuffed and closed. I am very lucky she buys cool old furniture that won’t fit in her house and gives it to me.
I was able to get two sections of my design walls up. The design walls are made of a piece of insulation board – they come in 4′ x 8′ pieces of styrofoam covered in foil. They are cheap and easy to work with. I use spray adhesive to attach a piece of polar fleece to one side, then wrap it around and tape it to the back. I mount the whole thing to the wall with screws in the corners. I did cut out openings for the AC vent and the power outlet.
I have one more board that is white that will be put up on the opposite wall, but it needs to be trimmed a bit. I had a huge studio in my home in Texas, and I liked being able to see how different fabrics would look with different backgrounds. I am thrilled I can still use all three in this new, more compact studio. I cannot imagine quilting without my design walls. Being able to put the pieces up allows me to better evaluate color and value distribution, and not having my dogs destroy the layout or the pieces is just so awesome. There have been plenty of projects that spent weeks on the wall, with me tinkering a bit with layout every day until it was just right.
I’ve also been working on emptying out boxes and sorting old fabrics. I wrote about my fabric storage technique here. The shelving units need to be moved around a little bit, and I have one more small section to add in to fill up the wall. I’m hoping to be surrounded by a rainbow while I work.
There are still a few more things to do, but I am really hoping to get back to quilting on my machine next week. My life feels empty without access to the sewing machine. It is very odd. I do both hand work and machine quilting, and I HAVE to do both. Not just one or the other. I need to have the slow masterpiece coming along, and I also need to bang out something more utilitarian and have a finish every now and then.