Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 Essential things in my studio

I am sure we can all make a list of the most important things in our studio. Here is my list:

Design Wall
My quilts are planned but are then worked out and changed on the design wall. For me this is the most important thing in my studio. In fact I have more than one design wall. I have a smaller transportable design wall that can fold open and that I have next to a cupboard if I have more than one project going. I can also place it on my easel to have it at a better height. I have  black felt on some of my cupboards to display small projects in process.
Made in a class with Elise Nel- on my cupboard design wall

Cutting table
I have a lovely sturdy cutting table that I put on wheels at the beginning of the year to get it on a more comfortable height. My cutting table have been in different configurations during the years but the most ideal for me is when it stand as an island. The only drawback of the table is that it is to big. So part of it becomes a place to stack things. These stacks then sometimes spill over to my cutting surface.

Iron and Ironing board
I am a "pressing with steam" quilter. Therefore I have a powerful iron that can press any block to obedience. A normal ironing board is also to narrow for me. I have made a wider board that I first placed on my ironing board. In my old sewing room was a freezer cabinet. I had the ironing board on this and then saw how ideal this height is. I made an even wider ironing board for pressing my big quilts. (this is me- now it is to big and also become a stacking place so that only half of it is available for use.

Organisational system
My studio is in serious need of "Good Housekeeping". Fortunately I have the systems to make it possible to have a near ideal situation. I have deep shelves for storing my fabric. I had my cupboards custom built. I requested glass doors so that I can see and be inspired by my fabrics. I had to choose between protecting my fabrics against light and being available for me to enjoy. At least it is protected against dust. The cupboards with black felt are used to store quilt backing fabrics, batting and half finished projects.

My threads are organized in two drawer cabinets on wheels that I had custom made. I had a lot of thread for machine quilting but since I start machine embroidery this collection became very big. I have a drawer for each colour.

I have a lot of shelves on the walls not used for the cupboards or design wall. At the moment they are very unneat and disorganized so I will start there tomorrow to create more order. Half completed projects are stored in boxes on the very top shelf. They are well marked with a colour photo of what is inside.

Work surface
I have experience that one should not have more work space than you really need- otherwise it just became a place to stack things. I have several sewing machines and I do different things. I have an L shaped table for machine quilting. This will also change in future. I used my industrial Bernina for this. Now that I have a BSR I want to use that. I have to design and have a sturdy table built for the heavy Bernina 830 so that the machine can be lower than the table top- I need the sewing area on the same level as the surrounding tables. I also need to be able to lift the machine on the table top when I use it for machine embroidery.

My Artista 160 is in a cabinet and I use this for piecing. I also have an over locker and smaller Bernina's that I sometimes use on a separate table. I use it seldom and it is now buried under fabric- so major organization will be needed.

What have I left out.
I did not name my machines under a separate heading- my machines are an extension of me. If you wish, I will add it in the number one position. My studio is in a separate building 15 yard from my back door. I love the fact that it is a "sanctuary" like Cindy said. I can be there concentrating 100 % without disturbances.

Two years ago I asked my husband if I can have the whole room. (His half was just a storing space.) It is about 6 yard by 6 yard. Originally I planned to have my Bernina frame in the room as well- but luckily it was to big to fit in. The room is even to small for me without it! There was a brown, good quality carpet in the room. It was only clean right after it was vacuumed and it always looked terrible. I have replaced it with a underfloor heated, tile floor. The building is old and had a wooden ceiling. A lot of dust came through the ceiling in the room. So I added a second white ceiling to solve this problem and to reflect the light better. I have three windows in the room that provide natural light. I also have good fluorescent lighting. For the summer I have a air conditioner. It get so hot with us- I should actually have added this to my list of essential things.

I know I am very fortunate to have a room of my own. I do appreciate it every day. Although I am almost daily in my sewing room my quilting activities isn't limited to this room. The Bernina frame is in part of my very big sitting/dining room behind a cupboard.

I have found many years ago that computers and sewing do not go well together. The papers are either in the way of my sewing or the fabric cover the computer. I have a bookcase in my bedroom with many quilt books. I also have four more bookcases in various parts of the house. My chair in the sitting room is next to a good "spotlight" lamp for my hand sewing.

I have found with my applique that I need to work on a table. I have now cleared a table in our "office " part near the computer and in front of a window. I hope I will enjoy working here and not get the papers and fabric mixed up.

So give me your list?


  1. Great post. I love the idea of taking a picture of what's inside the box.
    I wanted to stop by here to thank you for commenting on the framed pincushion post. I emailed you back, but realized your comment is a " no reply". No one can respond back to you. If you ever want to change that I have a post on my right side bar to change your settings. it's labeled No Reply.
    Take care,

  2. Very organized. Wouldn't mind coming to rummage through those cupboards and drawers!

  3. Wow a drawer for every colour thread! What I dream of!

  4. Ok, I have 'official thread drawer envy'! Will an aspirin help?


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