Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lofty Ambitions

OK, I admit it; I’m a loft hog.

We bought our house for many reasons but one of the main ones was a light filled large loft space on the second floor. It’s supposed to be a shared space, and it is, kind of, but let’s face it, it’s become my studio.

I moved in slowly, at first it was just my desk, computer, and printers. That was fine because I was working from home and it seemed like the most logical place for me to set up. Then the creeping takeover began.

My husband knew going in that I was a quilter, that I had a lot of fabric and craft supplies. I suspect that he thought I might make an end-run at the space and for a while he resisted my little intrusions. He still wanted his comfy chair and his guitars and all of his fishing and woodworking books and magazines in the sunny loft space.

But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Once I started my own graphic design business I really needed the space, so I moved the comfy chair, the guitars, and his stereo system to the smaller space on the other side of the stairs.

Now I have the whole space to myself!

It’s a work in progress and sometimes it’s just a mess. I try to keep it up because it is a space everyone has to look at every day. But when I’m in the midst of big project, or I’m in a piecing frenzy, it looks more like something you’d see on that hoarder show on A&E.

Above is a photo of my space from the top of the stairs so you can see how open it is. It seemed so big before I crammed everything into it and it still is when I take down my worktable.

Right now it’s not too bad. My design business is just starting to pick up after the usual summer doldrums, so I need to keep my desk clear. If I don’t I lose important stuff and since I do event graphics, it wouldn’t do to forget to send a bride’s escort cards! So, the desk has to stay clean.

The best thing about my desk is that it sits in the corner. In the fall I can watch the geese migrating, and watch what happens on the street below. I’m kind of the Mrs. Kravitz of the neighborhood, (remember her from Bewitched?), which would be more exciting if more exciting things happened here . . . although lately it hasn’t been so dull, (see my “Crazy People” post).

One side of my desk is all graphic design, including my massive Xerox phaser printer, which takes up half of one side. The other side has a shelf where I store my little Janome machine. Below it I have an Amy Butler workbasket that I use to store the pedal and accessories. I need to make a dust cover for it.

On the other side of the room from my desk is a set of three cabinets that I use for storing my embellishments, threads, and miscellaneous quilting items. I also use one cabinet for my graphic design supplies. On top is the ruler holder that my husband made me, and my Ikea notions cabinet.
At the foot of the cabinets is an old rolling file cart that I use for pieces that are in progress. To the side of the cabinets is a series of plastic drawers that I use for a lot of my odds and ends, as well as my son’s school papers and supplies. I even have a small sill in front of a little window where I can display a few of my favorite things.

Next to the plastic drawers is my fabric-case, which I’ve sorted and keep up as best I can. I used to be able to remember all of the fabrics I had, but menopause has thrown me a wrench. . .I actually bought a fabric twice a couple of months ago, something I’d never done before!

Above the case is a stack of white plastic baskets. These I use when I have multiple graphic projects going. I throw everything I need for each project in a basket, stick a label on the front and then I can find things easily. It’s also a great idea if you’re working on more than one piecing project at a time.

In the middle of the room is my worktable. This is where I cut, press, and sew. It’s also where I assemble favors, cut menus, and create whatever my clients want. Oh, and of course this is where my son does his homework. It can get a little crowded sometimes

At one end of the table are a couple of plastic baskets where I store fabric that I need to cut and put away, or pieces I’ve already used that need to be put away. I also store my cutters and templates for various projects in the tall plastic baskets and tool holder. It’s also always covered with my cutting mat and my tabletop ironing board.

This cart has twenty drawers that I use to store all of my precut squares and strips. They’re sorted by size, and it makes it easy to find what I want when I want to do a quick piecing project. Above that is more graphic design storage as well as a stack of magazines I really need to go through . . . yikes!

Next to the cart is where I store all of my shipping supplies, which I need to have on hand. They’re a pain in the neck but when someone needs something the next day the last thing I want to spend my time on is going out to get the right sized box.

Behind my desk is a wall of bookcases. The first case has all of my stuff, and next to it is my paper sorter and cabinet, and above that a shelf that belonged to my great grandmother. I use it to store my ribbon, miscellaneous supplies, and my CDs and DVDs, (in the toile patterned cylindrical box).

I feel fortunate to have my space and to be able to find things when I need them. The hardest part is keeping it neat and putting things away in a timely manner. I can be lazy about that sometimes and I always pay for it when I get a last minute order and I have to scramble to find space on my worktable!

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my studio, I’m glad you got to see it when it was fairly neat as that’s when I enjoy it most. It’s great to have a clean slate to work on!

Happy Stitching!



West Michigan Quilter said...

I am so envious. You are so organized. And you have all that beautiful space! I love it. Lucky you!

Fiesta said...

Susan your loft is charming. Wish I had that kind of space. ( and fabrics of course)

magpiesmumblings said...

Your space is a real treat to see! I love all the natural light you have and it looks like everything is so well organized. Lovely! Thanks for inviting us.
Mary Anne

virtuallori said...

It's a wonderful, colorful, organized space -- thanks for sharing!

TJ said...

All that folded and sorted fabric is absolutely amazing! happy creations from tj in germany

Cathy Tyler said...

Thanks for your tour! Your organizing techniques are excellent. Every house should be built with at least one studio-suitable space; preferably two!

Judi B said...

Wow! Now that's what I call a fabric stash! And I love that you have the ability to see it all. Great tour. Thanks for sharing! If you have time, stop by my virtual studio and share a virtual pot of tea with me!

paperkitty said...

What a wonderful space! I love all the colors of the fabric. So inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

Grace said...

Love the wide open bright space you have. I can understand why you have to have it so organized with your graphics business.

The fact that hubby eventually had to go elsewhere,mmmh, it's not as if he didn't see all all the stuff you were accumulating....I mean c'mon, we quilters can acquire new stuff just by thinking about it sometimes. lol.

Thanks for sharing.

di from di-did-it said...

Ok, I'm drooling over all that well lit space.... so colorfully organized. Thanks so much for opening your studio doors to us! Lots of eye candy...

Magpie Sue said...

I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets lazy about putting stuff away after a project! It looks like a great place to make a mess though ;- )

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Love the bookcase with the fabric, I love seeing my fabric and thinking about how it's going to be used. Having it viewable is creative. Also, like 'computer command central', great having it all in one room.

Ruth Anne Olson said...

All I can say is WOW!