Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Brief Studio Tour

I spent some time this evening taking photos of my sewing studio. It is located in the basement of our home. When I go down there to sew, I can easily relax and lose all track of time. I have revamped this area several times and never quite been happy with the way everything is positioned. But now, with this floorplan, I enjoy the space very much. I would still like to tweak my studio a bit further - to try to make it less cluttered looking - and to beautify it a bit more. Everything is fairly easy access and is basically organized. As I work my way through more of my stash I will be able to shift some things around for even better utilization of the space and materials.

I pre-washed fabric. Now it needs to be ironed!Just the other day I threw these pieces of fabric into the wash to get them ready for quilting. Now that they are pre-washed I need to iron them. If you'll remember, these are the background selections for the Rattlesnake Quilt that I selected last week. Quite a pile, wouldn't you say? What a jumbled mess! I didn't take the time to serge the edges of the fabric with my serger. Because of that, I ended up with lots of long strings and threads that unraveled. Thus, the washing and drying made the fabric even more twisted and tied up than it looks here. This will be ironed flat in no time; then on with the quilting.

Here's a view of cotton quilting fabric on my shelf.Here's a little bit wider view of the shelf that holds most of my quilting fabric. I have a bit more fabric than this cut as fat quarters that is stored in another location. I like mixing and matching colors of fabric. That's half the fun of quilting. These pieces are cut to a variety of lengths. The mini bolts of fabric on the upper shelf are some of the longer lengths.

I have been working on wrapping any longer chunks of fabric on boards so I can access them better. I cut up foam core boards into four smaller 10"x14" boards. This makes a great size for fabric storage. I fold the fabric in half (selvage and folded edges together) along the length of the fabric, then wrap the fabric around the board. I use quilter's pins to secure the end.

Hey, did you know selvage could also be spelled selvedge? Learn something new every day! I had to look it up as I was writing since it looked funny to me.

I usually sit in this office chair with access to my sewing machines with an easy spin of the chair.And here's a bit of a bird's eye view showing where I sit when I sew. I held the camera up high to try to get as much into the picture as possible. I like to sit in this swivel office chair so I can turn to any one of my machines when I am sewing. Sometimes I get both of the larger embroidery machines going at the same time. Depending upon how many stitches each color sequence has, I may be bouncing from one machine to another fairly quickly. Often I try to run one of them with a single color job like a redwork or lace pattern that takes a while to stitch out. Then things are not so hectic. Other times I just get an embroidery design going and sew or quilt on another machine.

Across from my seating area is another spot for a sewing visitor to sit. When a sewing friend and I get together at my house, my friend sits across from me so we can see each other while we sew and chat. It makes for an enjoyable afternoon. I've got so many machines right now because I never traded any in when I purchased a new one. I think it would be great to get my small business going to a point where I can hire employees who could use some of these machines. That will be awhile.

My cutting table and shelves with garment fabric.The view of my fabric cutting table is obscured a bit by all the stuff I've got sitting on it. I will be making curtains from the black and pink swirl fabric over the next couple days. It's a project for someone's scrapbook room that I am helping to arrange and decorate. The shelf on the left is mostly garment fabric with a few other flannels and other odds and ends thrown in. There is a lot going on in my studio - lots for the eye to take in - but it is organized with like things grouped together.

Want to come over and sew? This is usually where my visitors sit.Shifting to another viewpoint here, you can see the extra sewing machine set up on the right for any sewing visitors to use. Also featured here are my serger and a punching (felting) machine. I like to sew garments occassionally on the serger. Unfortunately I have not used my felting machine for some time. But I have it set out, instead of in the box, and plugged in for easy access if I do choose to use it. I'll have to make a point of using it more often - at least once or twice a month! How about that for a challenge? I downloaded some of the free patterns from the Pfaff website, but haven't made those yet. There are also great felting patterns at Husqvarn Viking's site, too.

Have to have a little decorative spot with some favorite sewing accent pieces.Let's Sew! I got this flag type banner at a Husqvarna Viking Convention one year. That was a fun convention. I like the bright color highlighting one of my favorite activities. The mermaid is a cloth doll/cloth book I told you about here. I had hoped to make over my studio with a bit more decorative bling. Once I got all the absolute, must-have things placed into their positions I wasn't left with much room to decorate. This room is really packed - thus it looks so cluttered. As I work on using up some of my stuff I want to tweak things to be a bit more decorative and stylish. Over the years I have sewn lots of items that would be fun to have on display, but one can only show off a limited amount of stuff at a time. Maybe I'll have to rotate stuff from time-to-time to refresh it occassionally.

They're piling up! Quilt tops waiting to be quilted.I am getting a small pile of quilt tops finished. They are ready to be quilted any time I decide to get going on that. Plus there are at least six to eight more quilts in progress in my studio right now. I'm real good at starting projects, but more slow to finish them. That's what has been on my mind a lot lately - getting more of my quilt tops and projects finished. At some point I'll have to go into a frenzy and put them on my quilting frame, one right after another, to complete the whole lot of them. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the process. And I always find more projects that look interesting. There's always another great project do sew. Ideas seem endless!

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