Friday, May 24, 2013

Breaking the Ice

After posting photos of the new quilting studio last week, I was anxious to get up there and start work. However, I'd forgotten one 'minor' detail: the bedroom from which much of this equipment and all these supplies came was now a disaster. Granted, it was a disaster with a lot more space, but it was still a disaster. There were areas that had been so blocked in before, that dusting and vacuuming had become difficult if not impossible. Also, there were things I had modified for quilting and storage that could now go back to their original purpose. Until this old space got cleaned and reorganized (not nearly as fun as prepping the new space), it would be an unpleasant sight to go to bed to and especially to wake up to (pardon the prepositional ending). So mostly, that's what's been happening this week.
The bedroom went from these two views...

...back to this (minus the curtains I still need to wash and re-hang):

Ok, yay. I mean, YAY, "whoop whoop!" as Sarah would say! (And I've gotta paint that old chair something other than blue.) But I'm nothing if not stubborn, so even before any of that happened, I thought, all right, I'll just do one little thing in the new studio and then I'll get to work in the old bedroom. I trotted upstairs, sat down at the sewing machine and looked around--and realized that after all of this anticipation, work, and reorganization, I was feeling intimidated by the new space. What?? This was unexpected, a splash of cold water in my face. It was as if the new studio was saying, "Ok, kiddo, let's see what you can do, now that you've got me!" Yikes. So, pretending to be unconcerned, I pulled Lida the bird out to work on--and then remembered that, in all the hubbub with moving, I hadn't gotten around to buying the shiny black thread needed to outline her feathers. Crap. Back Lida went, into her plastic bag.

Nor did I feel ready to unroll the lizard mandala quilt-top or the lake quilt-top (and I know better than to force myself to work on something that isn't jiving with me at the moment). Looking around, my eyes lit on a box I hadn't opened since it was purchased over a year ago--the circular sewing attachment for my machine. Immediately, I thought of the fat quarter I had used a while back to experiment with Shiva Paintstiks. It had rubbings of sycamore and dogwood leaves from my front yard AND a circular design in the middle--a rubbing from a ceramic, Zodiac ash tray given to me in my smoking days of the 1970s. Circular...perfect! I used a variegated YLI thread in the top, and a solid Isacord in the bobbin. They stitched beautifully together.

 It's hard to tell without clicking on the photo, but the attachment worked great. It's not free-motion stitching, of course, but the rest of the piece will be.
The main thing is, this simple exercise not only taught me something new, it also broke the ice. No more intimidation!
In the meantime, my husband has been busy adding some things to the room. (I'm starting to think this should be his blog. :) First is the little table he made to fill in the space to the left of the sewing table:  

It turned out perfectly flush with the sewing table and the big maple table behind it. His measures are never off; he is amazingly thorough and precise. I know, I'm very fortunate! The next thing he did was frame a piece of pegboard and hang it above the cutting table. Here's the weird thing: just like the fat-quarter shelves, the yardage shelves and the thread shelves, the pegboard turned out to be exactly the size that was needed, just large enough for everything to fit. We had no way of knowing this beforehand. It just worked out, like the proverbial pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Then again, I don't believe in coincidence.
Then he hung the wall gecko that my son and daughter-in-law gave me for Mother's Day. As I mentioned in my last post, lizard is my totem animal. It symbolizes The Dreamer in some Native American folklore, so it seems very appropriate to have her mounted over the drawing table, where dreams becomes designs and designs eventually become quilts.
All that's left to do now is put up a design wall. We're working on putting materials together on the cheap for that--styrofoam insulation panels, corrugated board backing, and flannel covering. Meanwhile, I bought my shiny black thread and will resume work on Lida Luna, so there should be some actual free-motion quilting to show next time--it's been too long.
Hooking up here with Leah Day's new blog entry on FMQ Friday, 'Stitch for Fun, Not Perfection.' Good advice for me and I'm sure for many other quilters, as well. When you finish reading that (and viewing her amazing Duchess Reigns), be sure to look at the other quilters who are hooked up there; you'll see some amazing work. They never fail to inspire me. As do the hookups at Sarah's Whoop Whoop Friday blog. Sarah has just reorganized her quilting studio, too, and judging from everything she's quilted this week, she was not intimidated by it AT ALL. (I'm following her example from now on.) Check it out!


  1. Nothing beats rearranging, particularly when it's our studio.

    1. Amen! So much more fun than a closet or cabinets.

  2. Your bedroom looks great - I'm still dealing with the aftermath of my studio redo, but I had to get back to quilting - they were piling up! Whoop whoop for you!!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. It's so nice to sleep in a peaceful, uncluttered room again. I love your redo, by the way!


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