This is what my studio looks like when it's clean. Which is hardly ever and only lasts a few hours. I find I am reluctant to enter my studio when it's clean, because I don't want to mess it up. So I tend to NOT clean it until I finish a project or it reaches a state I am sure you all know as "Critical Mess."
My studio is smallish, (about 11' by 12') poorly lit, doesn't have very much wall space and has no closet. It connects to my living room by a pair of French doors. They are a royal PITA because I am always opening and closing them to get at what's behind them. The biggest advantage the studio has is a design wall. The second biggest advantage is that I can see into the living room and the TV. (See yesterday's post.) I usually have it on when I work in the sewing studio. I love to watch tennis on the TV. I don't really WATCH, I just listen. Remember, I live alone, so the TV provides background noise.
When you walk into the studio and turn to the left, you see the thread racks on the backs of the French doors, and the bulletin board where I hang my most used cutting rulers and the design wall. I'm only five feet tall, so I need the small step stool to reach high up on the design wall. To the right of the design wall is my sewing machine.
My sewing machine sits on an old student desk. Inside the desk are a couple of bowls with sewing machine tools and a bowl of prewound bobbins. I use grey thread for all my piecing, so when I get down to my last full bobbin or two, I wind about a dozen more. The plastic bin on the floor is for all the pieces to fall into when I'm chain-sewing.
This drawer in the taboret next to my sewing machine holds my most commonly used tools, my rotary cutters, seam rippers, rulers, blades, and other stuff. I always put these things away, because it makes it easier to find these when I am ready to work. I also put them away because I use tilted work tables and stuff falls off, and because I have a cat.
Need I say more?
This is my small work table. It is a drafting table, and set at an angle. The sewing machine is behind me, and I set up a small portable ironing board so I never have to get up. It makes for a very efficient work triangle. I use a small decorative box as a tabletop wastebasket for threads and tiny scraps. My pins are in the large tin, and I keep a lint roller handy for when I need to rip out a seam.
This is my big cutting/work table. Before the arthritis in my back flared up, I did all my work here (and I did it standing up). Now I use it for cutting large pieces and straightening up my long free pieced word blocks.
To the right of the ironing table is what I call my "inspiration" wall, but really it's letters and emails from friends for whom I've made quilts. Whenever I'm feeling lost, I look up at the wall and read the letters of joy, and it gives me the courage to keep going. The house quilt was made by my Aussie friend, Helen. The blue ribbon was given to me by my friend Julie for encouraging her to get way way out of the box when she was making her See Rock City quilt. She's since won a Best in Show award for it.
Across from the large work table I have some of my favorite things on display. The large quilt of color names is my Nine x Nine surrounded by one of my paintings and some other quilts by friends and photos of things I like.
Digital Pinwheel blocks on the chair?) and the sock kitty Millies that travel with me...
|See? I told you she was famous!|
Spools quilt I sent to my son and his fiancee for Christmas. Yeah, I know I should pick it up, and separate the fabric from the batting and fold it and put it away...
On top of the bookcase are plastic bins filled with leftover bits and oddballs. All my fabric is stored where I can see it, and all the bins are clear because I'm the kind of person where if I can't see it, it doesn't exist. So everything is out in the open. In a way it's all inspiration.
Way at the far end of the studio, beyond the big work table is a special spot for my cat, Millie, She can lie there undisturbed, and she has a perfect view out the window. Millie does all the Quality Assurance work on my quilts. She checks them for softness, kindness, love and warmth.
Every quilting studio needs a cat.
Update: Because everybody wanted to know how I fit it all in... Here is the plan I made when I first decided to put the sewing studio in this room three years ago. I've moved a few things around, but you get the idea.
The solution: graph paper. One square = one foot. I measured everything I wanted to put in the room, measured the doors, and windows, and located the electrical outlets.