Friday, May 17, 2013

Everything Old Is New Again

The new quilting studio is (except for a design wall and some pegboard and a little table my husband is building) FINISHED! After 5 grueling but oh-so-fun days of arranging and organizing this wonderful space my very talented and hardworking husband has labored so hard to refurbish, I can actually start working up there tomorrow (between washing the loads of laundry I ignored all week). Maybe Lida the (Diva) Moonbird will finally get some feathers! Anyway, for those of you who expressed your congratulations (thank you!) and for everyone who saw the old studio (bedroom) photo, here are some shots I took this morning of the new studio (including the adjoining bathroom :). But first, the 'before' shot, on the left:
What strikes me most about this room is that probably 95% of what's in it was given to us over the years, bought at thrift stores, or has been repurposed from its original use years ago.
Our younger son's old CD shelves are now my fat quarter shelves. (And I adopted the old boom box he abandoned.) The Singer cabinet holds my late mother-in-law's pride and joy, her 1962 Singer Slant-o-Matic 503, which is now Machine #2 in the room. The Martha Washington sewing cabinet was my grandma's and then my mom's.

This next shelf unit was the toy cubby that my husband Mark made for our sons when they were babies. The computer desk was my aunt's and then my mom's. The wooden wine box holding the quilting magazines is from our older son's wedding reception last year.


And here we have our younger son's old Hot Wheels shelves, also made years ago by my husband Mark:


And remember this little guy? I picked him up at Habitat Restore, and who woulda thunk it...he wound up fitting right in the corner between the bathroom door and the attic door! Not only that, but he holds all of my larger yardage--every single piece I had. Tell me he wasn't meant to come home with me...

(The little 6-drawer cabinet on top of him was a thrift store find for $5. And it's green!! As is the old paint paddle I used to shim the bottom of the shelf unit and make it lean against the wall instead of leaning outward--which it started to do after I loaded it with fabric :).
The next photo is the cutting and pressing station. The rulers will eventually hang on a piece of pegboard, and I can use my thread rack for thread again. I've had the cutting table since 1986 and the chiffarobe was our younger son's dresser as he grew up. The cutting table extends another two feet on the left, but is in its convenient drop-down position here.
This shows a part of Machine #1. Mark is building a table that will fit in the space to the left of the white sewing table. My aunt gave me the maple table in 1972, and Mark refinished it. The chair was $20 at Habitat Restore, the basket on the table was $2. The pie basket on the floor holds batting and flannel scraps, and cost $5 at an estate auction 30 years ago. The magazine rack, which holds books on stitching and the machine manual, once belonged to Mark's grandparents.

 Machine Number 3 fills in the corner at the top of the stairs, the only area where everything is fairly new. This one is used mostly for piecing and embroidery/thread painting (Machine #1 is generally tied up with quilting and Machine #2 is reserved for clothing and more industrial work). That's another $20 chair from Habitat Restore. They had about 30 of them.


I enlarge sketches and paint fabric on this drafting table, made by Mark for our older son during his high school years. My old cutting mat fits perfectly! Due to the new carpet and the proximity of a bathroom up here, I'll probaby rig a painting setup over the tub from now on, where, as mentioned in my last post, I can just rinse the whole mess down the drain.

The bathroom is a bathroom, what can you say, but Mark worked very hard to restore the tile and repaint the walls and woodwork. The cabinet and tank-top shelf was built by him years ago. The pitcher and platter and the candle holder are recent thrift store finds. All I need is a candle.

 In the niche near the bottom of the stairs I've put one of my Mother's Day gifts from our older son and his wife. Lizard is my animal totem, and this wall gecko is just beautiful. This may not be her permanent home, but it will do for now.

Which is a good segue into what may be the project that follows Lida Luna. I started a lizard mandala quilt almost two years ago and then put it away. Re-inspired by seeing Suzanne's serpent quilt at her Gardener-Quilter blog, I pulled it back out of my stash, along with another unfinished quilt top (a lake scene), and am hoping to get both of these sandwiched and free-motion quilted shortly.

Leah Day, my favorite blogger, is asking what we've been up to this week, so I'm hooking up to her newest blog entry along with several of her talented readers. Also hooking up to Whoop-whoop Friday on another very fun blog I just recently discovered, where Sarah has been doing some amazing organizing of her own this week!

Holy cow, it's way past my bedtime. Goodnight, and happy quilting (or organizing)!


p.s. A shout-out to the great songwriter Peter Allen for his composition, Everything Old Is New Again, from All That Jazz


  1. Wow, your room has really come together and all with pieces of furniture you already had. Yet it looks and will porobably function like these fancy custom made units.
    Can't wait to see how your projects progress.
    I am inspired to tweak my sewing space too.
    That will have to be after the spring garden seasons frenzy slows.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. The room is wonderful. Repurposing the various furniture pieces was an amazing job. I envy you the hot wheels shelves. Perfect for thread. Like just about anyone with hobbies I've always spent time thinking about what would work. My thread has outgrown the drawer I'm keeping it in and I can't actually see the colors I have in there. Need to figure something else out.

  3. It's just wonderful having a handy DH; I've got one too; he's just carved out a corner of his shop for a dye center for me. We are lucky girls.

  4. Whoop whoop, Linda!! Your new space looks fabulous!!!!

  5. Thanks, everybody! It's a dream come true, that's for sure, and I'm so grateful to my husband for all of his amazing, hard work (past AND present). Now I'm cleaning and reorganizing the bedroom that so much of this came out of, back to a nice, peaceful place to sleep. :)

  6. I love it! How wonderful for you. I liked that you have machine 1, machine 2... for different tasks. I was mentioning that to friends who aren't quilters and they just didn't understand. I need that set up myself as I DO understand how helpful to progress it is.

    1. Absolutely...when one machine is all set up with special feet and settings for a particular job, or even has a quilt under the needle temporarily paused so you can finish up something else, another machine is almost a must. At least, that's the way I look at it! lol (Also the big machine is not a good one to be hauling to classes. The small one is soooo much easier to transport.)


Comment moderation has been enabled merely to prevent spam. Your comment should show up within a day or two. Thank you for your patience.