Working on the Studio

When I returned home from this long trip, my living room was completed! That meant that I could start moving some of the stored furniture out of the studio, and start to see the studio as a real studio, not a furniture warehouse and substitute living room! Its taken a few days, but I’ve got the bare bones worked out. Decorating will come later. I’ve got a few of my small quilts and other pieces of art put aside to use in the studio.

This picture shows the design wall. I took it off of my bedroom wall, and the covering (some type of fleece/flannel stuff that I got at Walmart) looked a little dingy. And it had gotten a little stretched out of shape from the removal process. So I decided to take that fabric off and try washing it. It came out great. I am hoping to get the design wall actually put up today. Its an awkward job, but I think I’ve got a plan! It will be a 7 foot by 8 foot design wall. My track lighting will go where that bare lightbulb is, and I am hoping that it will be useful in trying to get good photographs of my quilts.

You can also see the arrangement of working furniture in this picture. Of course my sewing table is under the window. And the work surface/cutting table/desk is right there in the middle. But the smaller piece of furniture that is a little taller than the desk is a really useful piece that I bought at a quilt show a few years ago. It is a light table, that has a small ironing board that pulls out (that I use ALL THE TIME,) and it also has 4 drawers that house my regular thread collection. I am thrilled that it fits in this position. It means that I will be able to easily iron small pieces and seams as I am working at my sewing machine.

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Here it is with the little ironing board pulled out (needs to be recovered!)

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 The sewing table, already a little cluttered, as I attempt to get back in the swing of things. And next to it is my grandpa’s cupboard that will house most of my stash. I wanted to get something to set it on, but am having trouble finding something with just the right dimensions. So for now it sits empty on a piece of cardboard. I won’t fill it with fabric before I find its final resting place!

 

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And a view of my hand sewing corner with my comfy chair, the doggie bed nearby, and the former CD cabinet that will be great for storing all those small bits and pieces that we quilters end up with (I believe they are called notions in the stores…)

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The next time I write, I hope I will be reporting on a correctly installed design wall and a new bit of creative work!

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A Couple of Most Worthy Shops

I got the chance to visit a couple of really great shops on this last trip, and thought I would share those experiences here, just in case any of you might be in that area of Texas and looking for a fix! Lone Star Quiltworks is right in the town where my friend lives–College Station, TX. Their website says they have 5000 bolts of fabric, and I believe it. Best of all was the layout of the store. Open and airy, with really great lighting. You could see all the fabric easily. The sales ladies were helpful and friendly, but not overbearing. It made for a really nice shopping experience.

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Best of all, they had a full cabinet of my favorite perle cotton thread–Finca. It comes in a huge variety of colors, and they even had a good selection of size 5 and size 3 perle cotton. I mostly work with size 8, but its nice to have some thicker threads once in a while.

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The next day my friend took me over to a neighboring town, Navasota. W.C. Mercantile is a wonderful knitting and spinning shop. The young proprietress had a wonderful color sense, and she specialized in making wonderful multi-color batts that could be used for spinning or felting. She had gone to the Houston quilt show with the batts, showing quilters how they could incorporate this special felt into their quilting.

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After we had our fill of shopping at MC Mercantile, we headed about 5 miles out of town to a truly wonderful sandwich and pie shop, Love Pies.

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Honestly, that was one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever had, and followed up by one of their mini-pies, with a cup of really great coffee–what a wonderful experience.

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And now I’m home again, starting to get my studio into shape. I’ve sewed one whole seam since I’ve been home. Maybe tomorrow will be the day….

The Last Quilt and the First Stitch

Haha. The title is much more dramatic than the mundane reality of moving an entire studio from one location to another. The new studio is finished, and furniture is moved in. Some of the fabric has been brought in, but none of it is in exactly the right place.

Anyway, last weekend I took a couple of days off, just to get out of the house and the endless construction, and went to a hotel for a little personal quilt retreat. I found my box of good scraps under my bed, and chose some fabrics I liked, and then found a piece of “fabric I love” and grabbed that to go along with. I looked through my Gees Bend book for inspiration, and found one of the housetop quilts that I thought would be fun and easy to construct.

I managed to make 9 blocks while I was gone, and finished the other seven after I got home. So this is the very last quilt to be on my design wall in my bedroom.

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Its nothing spectacular, but it was fun to play with those fabrics I like, and very relaxing. It doesn’t look finished to me. I might add another row to it, or embellish it a bit. You can probably see that its not very straight. That’s what happens sometimes when you work improvisationally  and quickly. But its cloth, and it’ll all come out fine in the wash. Literally haha.

When I got home from that trip, the studio was completely finished! I posted a lot of pictures on my other blog . In case you only read my quilt blog, you can click here to see those pictures.

And here is the very first stitch I am taking on my sewing machine in my new studio. How fun.

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I was just putting some borders on an orphan block to take with me as my travel quilt for this next trip.

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I am headed to Haiti and to Texas! I can hardly wait to get home and really get my studio set up the way I want it to be.