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Saturday
May262012

Welcome to my studio

I have been dreading the coming of ‘my day’ on the blog hop.

I have been watching everyone else’s blogs and spotless white-surfaced studios and every time I see one my stomach churns a little more.

My room is messy. My process is messy too. I pull out lots of fabric – usually about four times what I will actually use. In fact it is more than that –as I will not even pick up a quarter of the pieces I get out – and even then I often only use little bits.

I work in a system of piles, and they teeter and even fall over occasionally. I have less space than I have objects to fill it. I have a biggish room but I have big tables, and bookshelves and lots and lots of books and magazines. Now and again I decide to clean some out – and they go in a box – and stay there. My son heard me explain this and muttered about ‘archiving’ so now I have a museum term for my storage that does not quite rate a place on a shelf.

At the moment I am racing to finish a quilt for Sydney – not helped by the fact that I have three bookings in other places before then and so six days are out of the equation.

Anyway – I decided to let you see what it looks like – usually. I have cleaned up a few piles. I am going to concentrate on showing you things I really like about the space and ignore the mutterings about how messy I can be. If you like you can think that it is because I am trying to make every messy worker feel better about themselves and their process – but in fact – I am too busy to clean it up before the photos.

So here we are - this is my favourite time to go in - at night as it is like walking into a jewelled cave. I am a night owl and spend long hours here in the evenings, often finishing at 2.00am.

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I have to walk outside to get to my studio - we built it as a Granny Flat for my then 18 year old.

I thought I would simply show you some of the things I love in my studio.

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The photo is terrible - sorry about that. I love my two little SewEzi tables and change the configuration as I wish to use them. I also have a really big table to that sits on 3 very strong, stable carpenter's trestles that were built to fit it exactly. My husband dropped the big table to the height of the little ones, so all line up exactly.

Below you see it set up for pinning.

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I like having a big design wall - and it would be even bigger if I could get rid of the small bookshelf. It even extends on to the door of the stash room - but it would be unfortunate if anyone opened it from inside when things are pinned right across.

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This is the door to the area under the house which was wasted space between garage and some unlined storage - and my husband made shelves for it. It looks very untidy but it is actually quite well sorted.

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Fabric in baskets is sorted by colour but not necessarily value. The baskets stack well and are light - unlike heavy boxes I have seen that some use for fabric. I can bring them out quickly and easily and then select fabric on the table when I wish.

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This is a selection used for a recent portrait...

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This little stand is one of the very best things I have bought. It is on wheels, and I had thought of using it for threads. My husband assembled the flat pack and put it just inside the door. I put my coffee on it that morning and it never moved again. I have pens and writing things in the top drawer, then sharps - cutters and scissors, sewing machine accessories and so on. I even have a drawer for all the remotes, and my Ipod dock sits on top. My big bolt of batting sits behind it. I use Matilda's Own 60/40 wool/poly as I love it.

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I have another around the corner for thread in colour coded drawers.

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I really like having a power source above the table as it means no cords to trip over.

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And - just for fun - a detail of a printer's tray that is mounted above the sink in the tiny kitchen - in place of a window.

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I would love more space, but suspect that I would simply fill that too - and it would simply be easier to lose things.

 

 

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Reader Comments (16)

Oh! I am in heaven! I just love your space! Thank you so much for not tidying up! I feel so much better now about the way I work! Thank you too, for the the peep at the new quilt!

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally Westcott

Jenny, our organizational patterns are similar. My cutting table has very little cutting space once I'm in the middle of something. I also work best at night - love the peace of night time.

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne Marklin

I really liked seeing your space and felt right at home in the mess.

I especially enjoyed seeing your work in process. Very interesting. I think this portrait will be very effective. I love the way you pieced the background with very low contrast fabrics.

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Lindner

Jenny - you do realise, don't you, that people who never achieve anything NEVER make a mess ! I find it a comforting concept, anyway;-p

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralison schwabe

Jenny,

I feel at home in your studio and I have never been there! Looks real!

A bigger space would be good, until you have to look for stuff AFTER you have tidied up ... there would be so many extra places to look for your scissors, thread, not to mentin that little piece of fabric you put somewhere special so you could find it!

Judy B

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVirtual Quilter

It is SO rich and luxurious. Just makes me feel like getting in there and wallowing. Bring on the next masterpiece. Thanks for sharing.

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Corry

Thanks for sharing your delightfully messy workroom - organised chaos. I have no doubt you can put your hand on exactly what you want at any time - unlike me!! I do love your Australian theme quilt - glorious colours. Just beautiful.

May 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Needle

Love the coloured trays for thread storage- great idea. Thanks for sharing your studio with us. I didn't find it too messy- perhaps that says more about my own studio LOL!

May 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue Dennis

Love your studio Jenny, mess and all. It shows how busy you are. Like you, I love working at night - peaceful and my brain seems to work better at night - I'm not a morning person, probably why I like the night to sew. Thank you for showing us through your special space.

May 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Vale

Thanks for letting us into your studio Jenny. It was very inspiring and just made me want to go and create.

May 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Steele

Still very tidy and well organised compared to my space.

May 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelenDucker

Jenny

I suspect that there are as many working styles (and thusly studio/work area organization) as there are learning styles and personal preferences. My area is quite congested at present as I have too many projects underway--but I have to clean it up from time to time so I can see bare surfaces. I also line up my tools in a certain way when I finish for the day---so I can tell when someone else has been in my space. I crave open spaces, my best friends likes being enclosed in 'things'. I suspect it may be part of the difference between introverts and extroverts.

June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia Weir

OMG I had the pleasure of being a part of the quilt hanging for the exhibition and I didn't realise that 2 of the quilts I was lusting after are yours. *swoon*

Seriously, your work is amazing. I'm in awe. Awe!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngie @ GnomeAngel

Thank you so much for showing your sewing/studio area...totally inspiring to see some of your work in progress...thanks for sharing

January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Thank you for the studio tour. Cool use of the rolling carts!

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Thank you for posting that.....maybe there is hope for me after all.
I love your later comment about not having too large containers. While I am happy with my crates with lids that fit into my pigeon holes.....large pigeons....I now find they are harder to lift down than before I had shoulders replaced. Age has its issues and joys.

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterglenice

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