Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My haven

We had company last night, family. It was their first time in our home. I forgot they were coming, and when I realized it was their first time here, I felt bad about not having cleaned up in preparation for their visit. My house isn't a disaster area, but it wouldn't be featured in any magazines either. I just find it so exhausting to clean, especially with two kids, a dog, a husband and a brother in law all inhabiting the same space. You know the feeling of futility when it comes to cleaning and then others come through and mess it up again?

The one place I don't experience that sense of futility is in my quilting studio. We finished our basement last fall, and since then I have been steadily settling into my space. MY SPACE. No one else uses this space. They might come keep me company, but there is nothing in there that I didn't specifically choose to put in there, and when I leave and return, it is exactly as I left it. I think everyone needs a place like that, don't you think?

So some of you who've been with me a while have seen this space, but if you've not...


When you open the door (well, walk through the door - I never actually close the door), you can see that the room is flooded with natural light. It is a wonderful place to sew. Looking out the windows and the doors gives me inspiration from our beautiful natural surroundings (well, when you can see past the dust on the glass), and I love being able to walk right outside for a break.

To my left, a rocker next to my bookshelf where I sit and flip through pages when I need inspiration.

On the wall, my t-shirt quilt from my father's t-shirts is finally at home with me (it has been traveling from family member to family member since I made it two or three years ago). My Ulmer Frame is ready for a bed-sized quilt, but I've been working on little projects lately, so right now it is just draped with a project that needs some contemplation before I move on.

To my right is my cutting table (ignore the bowl of Wheatena on there - I took photos while eating breakfast this morning).

I love my little challenge quilt on the wall. I need to find another way to store my rulers. As it is, they are just propped against the wall, and they fall into my cutting space at very inopportune times. Next to the cutting station is the ironing station. A friend gave me a Big Board that her husband had made for her which I laid across my ironing board, and I LOVE it! Pile of scraps at the end of the ironing board. So many scraps, not enough places to store them. A couple WIPs are stored under the ironing board - my Great Grandmother's Quilt that I am re-making, my flannel buzzsaw quilt, and a quilted sweatshirt I started making for my mother and for some reason, stopped.

Directly ahead of me is my big frame, draped with a quilt that I can't get enough of. I just love looking at it.
Piled on the back of the frame are more scraps and small FQs etc that again, I don't really have a place to store. Beside the radio is Anne of Green Gables on cassette - I just started listening last night. (thanks for the inspiration Nancy-Rose!) I loved the books as a girl, and decided to see if I still like them as an adult. So far, the answer is YES!

To the left of the frame is my armoire, stuffed with scrap bags, UFOS, completed tops, diaper wipe containers full of thread, and on top, my scrap square tins, every half inch size from 1.5" to 5". I use those fabric squares in my quilting more than anything else, I think. I love the convenience of pre-cut squares.

To the right of my frame is my sewing station and design wall.

Why the ladder, you ask? Well, I stand 5'0" in my shoes, and I can't reach the top of the design wall, so I need the ladder when I am working on a bed-sized quilt. Hopefully, this is the last you will see that quilt on the design wall - I VOW to finish putting those rows together THIS WEEK! That funny shaped door goes into my closet, filled to the brim with batting and tubs of flannel and other hard-to-categorize fabrics. Stencils are hanging on the inside of the closet door.

Beside my design wall and sewing station is my mini design wall which holds blocks and directions and inspiration. Then there is the bulk of my yardage stash (as opposed to scrap stash) in those two plastic container thingies.

And then, looking back on the door where we entered, you can see my bookshelf with my quilt fiction and my reference books.

Jason's stash is in that little basket - I have to keep it separate so I don't use it. And see that beautiful blue fabric?

My Kaufmann fabric winnings came yesterday. I was expecting the Candy Corn colorstory, but I am not at all disappointed for receiving these beautiful blues. Eventually, I will wash and use them, but for now, they are decoration. (Em, see the candle you sent me? See how it is burnt down from hours of fragrant use? Thanks, again!)

So this is where the magic happens. This is my haven, my creative space, my place to decorate as I want without consulting others, to clean or not clean as I see fit, and to recharge when the stresses of being so much for so many people gets me feeling overwhelmed or down.

Thanks for visiting! Come quilt with me anytime!


Becky said...

Wonderful space!! Plenty of windows and lots of inspiration! I love it!

Sandy said...

I love your space. You have so much room to spread out in. I can see why you have that quilt draped on the frame, it's pretty cool. I would love to have ONE room just for my quilting and sewing. Right now, I sew in the kitchen, lot and lots of windows, fabric is in the office and in the closet (we don't tell hubby about ALL that). Anyway, great place, love it.

Angela said...

Thanks for the tour! You really have a lovely space there!

Char said...

Loved the tour Erin. Your space is wonderful and so large. I especially like the floors, as I have carpet. Yuck. I like the quilt that's draped over your frame also . It's very pretty, love all the color.
I know what you mean about cleaning when you want, I usually keep my door closed. My excuse is it keeps the cats out!

cozy quilter said...

You have a great space for creating your beautiful quilts! I am in the midst of cleaning out and organizing my sewing room. I love your pick and choose quilt. It is on my list of quilts to make soon. Your blog is inspirational!

Cheryl Willis said...

wonderful tour, thanks for letting us see your space. Makes me want to go downstairs and clean my 'studio' up a bit. (I'll get over the feeling) cw

Rhoda said...

Great tour of your great space! Isn't it nice to have roooooom? I love all your projects around for inspiration, and those windows are the envy of everyone, I'm sure!

Cindy said...

What a lovely and bright place to sew in. I only wish I had such a space. Mine is a small corner in my livingroom but I make due with it. Thank you for sharing your space with us.

Auntie Em said...

Wow, what a wonderful work space. It's so nice to have a room of one's own to make magic.
Here's to many pleasant and productive hours in your haven.

quiltfool said...

Ahhhh. Don't you just love a private space? Just yours to enjoy, and work, and think. I love my sewing room, too. Lane

Seams to Sew and Quilt said...

erin... thanks for sharing your space with us.. it's wonderful.. wish I had all those windows..

Shirleymac said...

Gosh I love your space, especially the light! And the room you have too. Mine is a little room like a baby size room.

Love that quilt on the rack too.

Thanks for the visit.

Janet said...

What a fabulous space! And you have so many beautiful works in there, finished and ongoing. My DH made me a special shelf for my rulers. I had them in a slotted piece of wood sitting on the window sill. He wanted me to move them off the window sill so he could look out at the mountain top and watch the sheep. So voila! I got my little shelf. It's great. I have a little ladder much like yours so I can reach the top of my design wall too.

Annette said...

I love your haven. So much space. You have some awesome projects going too. Especially the big quilt (by the window and radio). Super!! Thanks for the tour.

Vickie E said...

Glad your fabric arrived...I didn't realize they were sending the blue either! I thought they were sending your choice..odd and interesting LOL