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!