Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Things Every Quilting Room Needs - Off the Wall Friday

Since I spent my creative time this week sewing together the watercolor quilt.  I had a lot of quiet time to think in my studio.  Over the last year and a half, my studio has become my favorite room in the house.  Its ironic since for the first 20 years that I live in this Victorian, I never went in there.  I think part of the reason is because it has all the things I need to create.

10 Things Every  Quilting Room Needs

1.  A Good sturdy work table.  Now I'm not talking about one that is pretty and perfect.  I'm talking about one that is big enough and strong enough to help you get things done.  The one I have I rescued from my old job's dumpster.  They had rescued it from a school's dumpster.   Obviously it still has plenty of life left in it!

2.  Muslin.  I know, you're saying, Muslin?  Yes with all the pretty prints out there taking the credit in the world of cotton, muslin gets over looked.  I always keep at least 5 yards on hand in my studio because you can use it for a bunch of stuff like. . . foundations, test quilt sandwiches, white strips for blocking, mock ups, etc. etc

3. Sharp Scissors.  OMG don't buy cheapie scissors.  Invest in a good pair of shears (that's the big ones with the bigger thumb loop), scissors (that's the smaller ones), and snips. Sharpen them regularly (I do mine biannually).  Divorce any man who uses them on anything but fabric.

4. 16" square ruler.  Now every quilter has a 6" square and a 24" by 6" ruler but 16" square makes life easier.  Not only is it perfect for rotary cutting those big squares, but you can use it help square up your quilt.  Not to mention it makes a great lap desk.

5. Plentiful Lighting.  Once again it doesn't have to be fancy but there has to be a lot of it.  I have all sorts of lights in my studio - indirect, direct, track lighting and I still don't think I have enough some days!  

6.  Speakers. Most quilters I know listen to music when they work (at least once in a while).  I always do - that or a good book (this week is The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews).  I originally had a cd player in my sewing hole but with good speakers in my studio I can plug in any audio device to it (a mp3 player, phone, my kindle, my laptop)

7.  Thread storage.  Now this is tricky because you gotta find a system that works for you.  I can probably say that throwing them all in a messy basket might not be a the best choice.  Right  now I have my thread board (since my studio doesn't get direct light) and 5 big plastic thread boxes on a designated shelf.  I can always find the right color easily. (Love Maria Elkin's idea - might have to do this sometime!)

8.   Sharpies.  In lots of colors.  In fine point, extra fine point, ultra fine point.  I mean who doesn't love sharpies?  They come in super handy in so many ways.  And even though they are permanent, I did manage to clean it off my sewing machine when my then 3 yr old daughter colored it black! (Rubbing alcohol)

9. Design Board.  Having a decent design board has changed my life.  Make sure its big enough and sturdy enough to fit scale you create in.  It can be permanent like mine, or temporary that can be stashed away when you're not using it.

10.  A Sewing Machine and a good dealer/technician to go with it.  Getting the right machine for you is essential.  Look at what you sew, how you sew, where you sew and THEN look for a machine that will fit those needs.  Price shouldn't be an issue to begin with.  You can always do what I did, find the machine and then save the money (yes, just like when you were a kid).  My first computerized machine  (an Elna Quilter's Dream), I bought with the money from the first quilt I sold.  13 years later, I saved for a year and  bought my Janome 7700 because I needed a bigger yoke space, more lightening and my beloved thread cutter. Still love it - although it can be a bit finicky.

So What have I left out??  What is Essential to your Quilting Room?

And what have you been up to creatively? 


Regina B Dunn said...

A reading area with all my reference magazines, art and quilt books, sketch books, computer how-to books, and hand sewing supplies there, too.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

I agree with Regina-a reading nook would be nice (I don't have one) and what a great design wall you have!

The Inside Stori said...

Maybe we could all find a box that could be opened once we are in our sewing rooms that stops time.....or at least adds severa extra hours to the day!

Susan Lenz said...

Hi! Thanks for the insights into how you work. Since I only have five of the ten, I'll be thinking about how I might want to change a few things in the coming weeks!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Now that is a neat table! Great post too!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

LOL LOL LOL I have it ALL!

I grew up with a mother who did couture sewing. We KNEW not to touch those scissors! As does my daughter and hubby! LOL. Just what it is, family, just what it is!

Nina Marie said...

You know I had to move all my books and such out of my studio because its just not big enough for it. I do have them in my old sewing hold - with a nice loveseat. Maybe when I re-make our carriage house into a studio loft I can add a wet studio - reading nook as well as a dry studio - sighhhhh - a girl can dream right?

dq said...

My sewing room absolutely MUST HAVE: freezer paper and Elmer's washable clear glue. I have also recently discovered heat erasable pens that I LOVE!

Nina Marie said...

I totally agree with freezer paper and I can't wait to look into erasable pens. Now that I think about I would add a roll of tracing paper to the list.