Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to my studio!

This weekend, I’m participating in a virtual studio tour hosted by a group of blogging quilt designers. In this post, I’m giving you a peek inside my studio. To see more studios, simply click “Next” in the “Blog Tour” icon in my sidebar on the right-hand side of my blog. The tour officially starts Friday, April 10.

So... Let’s get started! Here is the door into my studio. Antique quilts (including some made by my grandmother and great-grandmother, and some purchased on eBay) are displayed on a ladder outside my door. My studio is located in what used to be the guest bedroom in my house. We live in a 1916 Queen Anne/Craftsman cottage, with a very long central hall that is painted green.

My studio is painted bright cherry red, with white trim on the original wainscotting. That’s a buffet-height dining table I purchased for $99 on sale at Pier One in the center. It’s the perfect height for working and cutting, and for accommodating a lot of storage containers underneath. I got the wire units (a total of 12 squares, six on each side) for about $30 at Target. Great for storing fabric and plastic containers for batting, fusibles, fibers and other necessary stuff.

I’m very big on light, and don’t like curtains much, but I made cute little valences to dress things up a bit. The green checkered bulletin board is made from sheathing (a lightweight building material available at Home Depot) with fabric wrapped around and staple-gunned to the back. It holds lots of projects in progress, and show ribbons.

Here’s where I sew. I love my Horn sewing machine cabinet! I almost always have it fully extended for maximum work area. The old dresser to the right of my sewing cabinet holds more projects in various stages of completion, and the top of the dresser displays threads and other fun stuff I’ve made or collected.

I wasn’t all that thrilled about the utilitarian-looking black computer chair I bought at Staples to use at my sewing machine. But it was cheap, functional and comfortable. I made it a flirty skirt and cover, and now it looks right at home.

I have a huge design wall (made from the same sheathing material as my bulletin board, but covered with white flannel) on the wall above my sewing machine. I use it to keep works in progress right in front of me, to encourage me to finish them up.

Every bit of space is used. These beads (stored in old spice containers) glow in the light on my windowsill.

I have a closet full of my batiks and hand-dyeds, but I like to sort my commercial print fabrics by color. They are stored on a bookshelf, with lots of other stuff to inspire. The apple pastel is by a former co-worker, Kathy Crowe. The blue paper doll to the right of it is by my friend Grace Howes. I purchased the yellow piece on the bottom shelf by Michelle Verbeek through FiberArt for a Cause.

I love and collect old and new stuff with nostalgic, old-fashioned graphics.

My style is a mix of contemporary and folksy. I collect buttons in Ball and Atlas glass canning jars.

An old wire sieve displays wool yarn and a funny heart-shaped face made of paper mache.

Finger puppets from my children’s early years (I couldn’t bear to give them away!) now sit atop paintbrushes.

Bowls, baskets and biscuit jars hold perle cotton, felt balls, and the threads pulled off yardage as it comes out of the dryer. (Yes, I have used it in some of my work!)

I wish I had the time to make more of the wonderful things created by my favorite designers! The pillow is a Sue Spargo design, the doll design is by Gail Wilson, and the heart pincushion is by Vickie Clontz.

A storage unit on my cutting table holds brushes, pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.

An angel doll I made from a pattern by Vickie Clontz perches atop an old school desk bench. I made the rag rug behind her.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my studio. Don’t forget to check out the other quilt designers’ studios on the tour!


  1. Hi Susan! A lovely, feminine space; thanks for the tour.

  2. What a gorgeous room! Thank you for showing us :)

  3. What a magical and cheerful place to create! Thanks for the tour!

  4. What a wonderful place to create! It has such personality--I love that! My space is lacking personality now--I'm thinking of a turquoise or terracotta wall! And all the little goodies you have around are wondrous.

  5. What a wonderful place to create! It has such personality--I love that! My space is lacking personality now--I'm thinking of a turquoise or terracotta wall! And all the little goodies you have around are wondrous.

  6. Love your studio! The red walls are scrumptious! What a great idea for disguising on office chair.

  7. Way cool. This is the happiest studio I've ever seen and reflects your personality so well. I love it!
    Ellen. xoxox

  8. Susan, your neat work space puts me to shame..... mine is such a mess. Congrats on being a finalist in the QA calendar contest. I am 'Miss July' in the 2009 calendar but didn't make the cut this year. You can see my entry on my blog.....Judy

  9. Judy, I LOVE your piece for July in the 2009 QA calendar. It was my favorite. I couldn't believe that it was made with puff paint! I have always hated that stuff, as my only experience with it was tacky kindergarten crafts. :-) As soon as I saw your piece and read your description, I went out and bought some puff paint to try, but I have not had a chance yet. When I get around to it, I might be writing you for advice.

    "B is for Beets" is fantastic. They must have had some amazing entries if yours didn't make the finalist list.

    I see you are from Marietta. Are you a member of East Cobb Quilters' Guild? I am scheduled to do a program and two workshops there in March 2010... perhaps we will get to meet face to face!?


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