Saturday, I opened my studio for tours as part of a fundraising drive for Big Sky Quilt Retreat. For this reason, I tidied up quite a bit, deep cleaned and hung some finished work on my design wall. I thought I would share some pictures of my workspace and tell you a bit about my arrangement.
My workspace is not a showplace. Although it is roomy, it has been outfitted with a mishmash of salvaged fixtures that have been cobbled together. While it is not very beautiful - it is extremely functional.
My worktables are Formica laminate - rescued from the dumpster behind TJ Maxx - which was remodeling. The drawers beneath the tables are old Hallmark drawers that Joe found on the curb in front of a store that went out of business. He constructed racks for my thread spools and bead strands out of dowels inset into drilled plywood. These are terrific and I have three large ones - all full, of course.
One 5' x 8' surface is set up to the correct height for me to work comfortably while standing. The other end is lower (just a little smaller), set up for my sewing machine with a big table for machine quilting.
I am currently in the process of switching from a desktop - to a laptop and I have a computer station at each end of the room.
My Janome 6500 has been recessed so that the bed of the machine is flush with the table top and this allows for smooth movement during quilting.
My design wall is large. I have one 8' square wall and another that is 4' square right next to it. This allows me to work on a number of different pieces at once. There is a track lighting system installed on the ceiling above the design wall and the bulbs are super bright - especially for photography. This is where I shoot most of my entry photos.
I picked up these two vintage silk dupioni upholstered chairs at an antique shop that was going out of business. This corner is set up for me to do my journaling, reading, and hand stitching. I love these chairs.
The window along the west wall allows a good view of the trees and sunsets. This sofa is a hide-a-bed, as cast off from another room and there was no place else for it to go. The lighting in the room consists of daylight fluorescent - three fixtures with four tubes in each. The room is very bright. I never have a problem seeing what I am doing.
My ironing surface is 3/4" particle board covered with foil, two layers of cotton batting, and covered with a cotton canvas grid. Joe attached it to the wall with hinges and the two front legs fold up, so if I ever wanted to - I could fold it flat against the wall. Instead, I have used the space beneath it as storage for my flat boxes of fabrics, etc.
I also have a mangle - awesome for ironing dyed fabrics, (not shown) which sits just to the right of my flat ironing table.
I keep a narrow 12' slat hanging above my ironing surface, and this is where I hang finished work - often while it is waiting to be sent off to a show.
In the picture above, at the far left is the doorway into my 9' x 11' wet studio. The picture below starts the tour of my wet studio.
The wet studio is also equipped with salvaged fixtures. Everything from the sink to the shelving to the pegboard on the wall came from somewhere else and was free. I am pleased to have a dedicated washing machine, sink, and microwave in this little workspace. Oh, and a thermofax machine, too! Yay!
I really like this little 4 x 2' folding table. I keep three sheets of 3/8" OSB (fiberboard) stashed behind it and pull them up when I need a portable work surface. The OSB is cut to 3 x 4' sizes and one has heavy plastic stretched over it - I use this when I want to paint fabric or paper. Another is covered with two layers of batting - and this one I use for stamping on fabric. With these multiple portable surfaces - I can easily switch from one task to another, setting one aside to dry while I work on the other one - a system I have used for about 8 years - very efficient.
I don't remember where Joe got these narrow shelves, but they appeared one day and he insisted I needed them. I reluctantly agreed and now I cannot imagine how I stored my dye before I had these!
My studio is also equipped with a woodburning stove and has a door leading directly outdoors. Unfortunately, it is the first door a person sees when approaching our house from the cul de sac so it is used much more often than I would like.