I put the term 'studio' in inverted commas because I utilise several areas of the house and whilst I do use the term 'studio' from time to time, really I am still dreaming of having a dedicated studio. But until then, this is where I am.....
It contains:top (open) shelf - Box with green yarns in, box containing a WiP ( an ANC/ Nelson Mandela themed quilt) Files containing patterns, quilt pictures and articles culled from magazines. Pictures are glued onto black card, articles in plastic sleeves.
CD Rack Cd's. (obviously). This is my entire collection and consists of eighties and South African music in the main. I like music but I have other fabric, I mean, things to spend my money on.
Ikea Wicker baskets Scrim, foils, jute, leads for MP3, camera etc
Fourth shelf down on the left a mock leather box with boxes/ bags of beads in and on top thread boxes with embroidery threads wrapped around paper bobbins. To the right three Really Useful boxes, one for sheers, one for beads and buttons and one for felts, specialist embroidery fabrics etc.
Firth shelf down Box of brown/ neutral yarns and 2 leather boxes with bits of un-assemmbled Project Linus quilts in.
Sixth shelf down Blue yarn box, pink yarn box, box of trims and general doodah's
Bottom shelf - back issues of quilting magazines
The dining room table, covered with table protector functions as my work area. usually an embellisher sits at the far end but it has gone on holiday to my Best Quilting Buddy for a few months. The quilt that is there awaits the binding hand stitching down but I can't show you more yet because it is a gift. I sew on an Janome 6600 Memorycraft and always have the extension table up. The chair is my old office chair from the study (3rd bedroom) upstairs which gives me an ergonomic height the dining chairs do not.
The cutting box on the near end of the table was designed by me and built my my Dad. It has storage for rulers, markers, scissors etc around the edges and gives an ergonomic height for cutting. (I am five foot ten). It is only good for small pieces though because of its size, so if cutting strips from the whole width for example I still use the bigger mat and just stretch from time to time.
On the other side it has 2 Ikea storage boxes ( which are useless if you want the lids to stay on your boxes) which function as rubbish bins/ scrap storage. As I cut I toss the odd bits into one of these which I just slide part way out. There or on the floor. Whichever. If I am quilting ( as opposed to piecing) I can lift the box off onto the floor or down the other end of the table and I get a really fabulous table to stake all the weight of the quilt which is perhaps why I am not fazed by machine quilting King Sized quilts. (that and the extra throat space of the Janome).
In an attempt to create an L shaped layout I bought rolling plastic drawers and put them to the right side of me as I sew.Pin cushion, threads I am using, sharps tin for discarded pins and needles and cups of tea go on top. There is a cutting board on there are very occasionally I use it as a trimming/ pressing area with a mini iron for foundation piecing. It contains: Righthand drawers: Top - machine feet, quiting gloves, machine needles second embroidery samples for C&G Third In progress experimental samples for C&G ( But I don't like what I have done so they may have to go!) Fourth Play products from shows I have not tried yet - like shrink plastic, rubbing plates etc. left drawers: Top - bobbin boxes and seam unrippers Second whole mess of various metallic related products and I am slowly sampling for a C&G wall hanging idea Third Project Linus records (I am a regional co-ordinator although a very quiet one) Fourth - design books and WiPs for kits for The African Fabric Shop.
To my right, backing onto the part wall back into the library is the second IKEA cabinet. It contains: Top open shelf Quilts in the quilting process/ flimsys. Basket of 505 spray, starch and furniture polish ( to get traces of 505 spray off the machine casing).
CD rack. Roving to go with the embellisher which is not here!
Ikea baskets on both shelves _ threads stored in categories: King Tut, masterpiece, YLI Quilting, Superiors Rainbows, Embroidery, Metallic and a box of quilting related DVDs and one of extra roving.
Fifth shelf down has thread racks taken from one of those boxes with them inside. these are fairly useless as they only hold nice thin Gutterman threads without losing space or looking jumbled. Mostly on these are the threads I bought in the first year before I found my preferred brands and I am gradually using them up and will probably then reorganise
The little blue drawers i bought on holiday in Vilamoura, Portgugal years ago in a kitchen shop. they store packets of needles, saftey pins and grommets.
Some of the boxes in this cupboard are empty as I finish up WiPs ready for travelling ( and coming back with new ideas I hope). The bottom shelf has boxes for :fusibles. applique iron and sheet, odd tools and gizmos, interfacings and the magazazine racks store freezer paper A4 sheets, catalogues, show entry forms etc.
This being a dining room there are too many chairs for a studio. I have banished one carver to the Hall where it acts as coat and bag repository. The other is at the end of the table out of the way and the four normal chairs are lined up under this quilt. I wish there were not there but they are and at least I can use it as a bench to sit on from tine to time with a little handsewing and I can store stuff under the seats. All that is there at the moment is extension cords. My rolled Pelmet Vilene and fast 2 Fuse is in the corner tucked behind the china cabinet with my wedding china in ( my, my what a traditional girl I am)! I would move that in a flash If I had anywhere else to put the plates!
The good thing about this room is that I have room to work on big quilts with ease, it is a part of my house as quiting is a part of my life and that all I have to do for guests is roll the drawers and office chair out through the patio doors to the garage, lift the cutting box down and bring the chairs out. On sunny days I like having the patio doors open and it feels almost like quilting outside. I dislike the fact that my fabric is elsewhere ( bear with me _ Ill take you) and that I don't really have other inspiring pieces of art around me. I do have this basket from the African Fabric shop which at the moment contains the part worked lasy daisy stitch sample for my C&G course. The photo frames are of two of the five children we sponsor.
The A3 Pink Pig books I am using for C&G design and sample books sit on top of the china cabinet.
To iron I run an extension cord from under the quit covered chairs out to the library. the ironing board is kept in a cupboard in the hall. the blue rug on the floor is there to cover the iron shaped burn in the carpet where I dropped it. Oops! I also dislike fact that I don't have space for a permanent design board. I do have a large pair of large freestanding boards which clip together to provide board about 6 x 5 feet on a frame smilar to a flip chart easel stand, covered with wadding which I store in the garage and can set up in the libray but I use it sparingly because it impedes Denn's access to his books.If I want to do messy work like dyeing and fabric painting I have to go to the garage which you can see behind my chair. We had one of those de clutter days were you put every single item in the garage on the drive and sort into piles to keep and to chuck. Dennis went in for a cup of tea and when he came out I had created a 'wet studio' area furnished with the pasting table and ancient shelves and cabinets that are worse for wear. All my Procion dyes and fabric paints are here
As you can see it is an unholy mess so let's not loiter there. Come back into the house and I'll show you the fabric stash. We have to go upstairs to the second bedroom which is located right over where you just saw the ironing board. This is the major pain of my not-a-real-studio set up. On the positive side I have good storage but I hate that if I need a piece of fabric I have to go and hunt upstairs. I end up bringing boxes down and littering the quilted chairs/ the floor with them just so I have choice as I work. I use baskets to have a place to throw things in that need to go up or down as there is always something in the wrong room.
But, on the other hand I do have another room to use, Come in!
The window is on the right as you come in through the door which is just next to the mirror. The mirror is a sign of my total laziness. My Gran gave it to us years ago and it got put down there and there is stayed. There is a socket behind it and I sit on the floor cushion on the floor to do my hair because that is where the mirror is! This book case houses most of my textile related book collection. (Novels etc are either in my study or up in the loft). The sofa pulls out into a guest bed. The bear on top of the shelves is my first teddy bear from childhood called Edward Montgombeary ( previously known as Teddy Edward). The white table to the side of the sofa collapses and the idea was to store it out of view behind the sofa because its not exactly beautiful. (It is a plastic camping table ordered to be the height I needed for the purposes shown in the photo below) But I get lazy..... and besides it covers the not so beautiful yoga ball too! The wicker baskets were found in a shop in Northern Ireland. One contains batiks, the other fabric from The African Fabric Shop ( have you worked out yet hat I love that shop). The little girl next door likes to come and play in my house and to open drawers etc. She found this basket the other day and, with her hand poised on the top said, "What's in here?" "Open it and see," I told her. She did and her eyes rounded as she whispered reverently, "Treasure!". Treasure indeed!
The wall with the drawers on it to the left as you walk in and the doors facing you. the basket was bought from a Berber woman in Morocco and is none of my art things up and down baskets. The wicker casket has sketchbooks in. The top drawer has some fabrics, threads and trims collected together for a project I might take with me when we travel. Second drawer my Twelve by Twelve stuff and the rest is all workout cloths, yoga blocks etc. On top are more un-read textile related books.
And inside - the stash. The cupboard goes back on the left to the wall so there are lots and lost of boxes in there although you have to pull the visible ones out to get to the back ones. The boxes are too deep towards the back of the wardrobe. I have them labelled and a little cart on the divider wallas to where I put stuff. On the right side of the divider in the boxes are my finished quilts and then some out of season coat storage. There are another 2 shelves you can't see at the top of the cupboard. The rolling drawers have art stuff in and pull out to create....
my mobile design studio space!
Now, the burning question: does it always look like this? Well, I am the words most organised untidy person so no, not always. I tend to make the most of time to do things and I prioritise well. So I will work on stuff right until the moment I have stop and the tidying up can wait until later. I also create in a bit of a mess because I am so focused on what I am doing and the vision in my head that I don't see the scattered products around me. However, I do not like to live in a mess (even though I make them all the time)so it does get tidied up and it certainly helps that I have a very good cleaner who comes once a week, does not complain about stray needles and is great at finding missing things. But to give you an idea: this was my table before I tidied for these photos:This is my current to-go-back-upstairs- pile sitting in the library.So, I hope you enjoyed that. I'd love to know what bits you like and what you didn't. Do you have any ideas for making my space more art orintetated? Now, I am off to scout around the net and see what other studios are up for viewing! Shall we go together? Here is the list of participating studios. Don't forget to leave me a comment before you go!