Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Beginnings

In the three years since I started quilting, I've gone from this--

to this--

--in one little 10' x 12' room. I started out with one sewing machine, my incredibly reliable  22-year-old Husqvarna Viking 630. I made my first three quilts (landscapes) on it, and then after reading Leah Day's blog at the Free Motion Quilting Project, I upgraded to the even more amazing Janome Horizon 7700.

I quickly realized, once the new machine got settled in its new table, that I really didn't want to cart this big mama to classes. Enter the Janome Sewist 500 (at left, under cover) which is much smaller and lighter, and allows me to piece or embroider one landscape while another is being quilted on the larger machine.

Add to all this the various supplies and the fabric stash I've amassed in three years, and the room has become depressingly cluttered that there is now a path to the bed and a path to the computer (not in the photo). That's it. I can barely design, cut, glue, sew, or even move around. Storage is at full capacity--a closet shelf and various plastic tubs and drawer units tucked into any available space. I am nothing if not spatially efficient and economical, but at this point, it's all filled--although none of it is waist-high yet, thank goodness.

Nor will it ever be. Enter EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. This could have been a bad thing, and yes, it was somewhat emotional for me, but when my youngest child moved out in September of last year, the entire top floor became available. Sounds great, huh? Yeah, well, here's what it looked like several days after my husband had patched all the nail holes in the walls and started repainting them pale green. See the turquoise wall on the right? The entire room looked like this after he finished patching. This room had been our boys' room, together as tykes, separately in later years, for 20+ years altogether. Quite obviously, we allowed them to hang posters, photos, etc. anywhere they chose.

We didn't allow drawing on the walls, but apparently we were not clear about this. Consequently, this little gem (below) appeared next to a light switch. I insist now that it remain untouched (don't ask me who or what it is, I have no idea...South Park character, maybe?) as a nostalgic part of my studio. The son who executed this little illustration in his pre-teen years has since become an artist and musician--as has our other son, along with their 'regular' jobs. Not much of a coincidence, I guess, as my husband and I met at art school.

At this point in the renovations, I started getting really excited. This is actually going to happen, my heretofore cautious (and barely patient) inner quilter whispered. You are really going to have a studio! I worked out a floorplan, measurements and every piece of furniture and equipment (and every inch of space) accounted for, and enjoyed every moment of it. Yep, I had the easy part, by far. My husband has put weeks of labor and sweat and, yes, love, into this project. (Thank you, Mark. :)
Here's how the walls are looking now:

Needless to say, the carpet is going bye-bye, along with all remnants of my older son's painting spills during high school. (Fortunately for his new wife, he is totally into music now.) We'll be replacing that carpet as soon as my husband repairs the rotting plumbing under the bathroom sink (the house is 60 years old, so I guess it shouldn't have surprised us). After that--all quilting-related equipment and supplies get moved up here. I can't wait!!

But I will.  :)


  1. I can't wait to see the final product! I don't know how can stand waiting. I am so impatient.

  2. You will be the first woman up there, sweetie! (besides me :)

  3. Oh, HOW EXCITING!!! Your probably going to feel so free when you have your space finished!! I've just settled into my very own sewing room after being crammed into a corner for years! It changes everything. I hope to see your final space, and hope you really get to enjoy it :)

  4. very exciting! Enjoy every moment ;-)

  5. Ohhhh, nice space! My kids walls make me cringe when I look at them. I have told my husband when our oldest moves out, I'm claiming his room. He asked where he'd sleep if he came back. I said, "the laundry room"(where I sew now)lol

    1. Bravo, I think that's what I'd say, too!!! LOL

  6. So nice! We should all have so much room for a personal studio! Ah, maybe one day.... : )

  7. Thanks everyone. :) It was a guest room before the kids were born, although I did use a tiny area of it for sewing during that time. This will be a first, getting to use the whole space. Of course if and when GRANDKIDS come along, some of that space may have to go. It'll be worth it, though!

  8. How exciting to get your own studio space! I had to wait until we bought a new house to get a real quilting studio, not a shared room. That was last winter and I'm still getting settled in. Partly because I spend most of my time in there sewing, who wants to reorganize when they can sew instead?


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