A Creative Climate

Just a few short years ago, I lived in a teeny tiny apartment with almost no closet space, and my sewing area was set up in a small area at the foot of my bed.  It was not a great creative climate, and incidently, I created far less art than I do now.  To me, having the space to create is just as important as having the tools to create!

Now, even though we live in a small condo, I am fortunate enough to have the entire second bedroom as my studio.  Every thing about this room makes me happy…

My Ikea Expedit bookcase and desk was a dream come true….as was the new Janome that sits atop it…

The vintage items that line the top of the bookcase just make me smile.  The box used to store my Mom’s oil paints and brushes (today it stores small jars of beads), the wood finials are from my Grandpa’s workbench, the mini iron was an antique store find, and the spools and hem marker were gifts from my friend, Toni.   Everything I chose to display, store, or hang in this room gives me a sense of joy and peace, either because of who it is/was connected to, the colors/patterns that give it visual appeal, or the what it represents.

I don’t know who made this gorgeous crazy quilt of 1950s and 1960s fabrics, but it reminds me a quilts my grandmother made, all types of fabrics mixed together, colors wildly combined that somehow “work”, it’s just a happy quilt. 

In 1950, my grandma would have been the same age I am today.  I like to think she might have created something like this quilt when she was just facing her middle age…as I am now.  On the shelf is a photo of my Grandma in her rose garden, when she was about ten years old.  She’s wearing a fabulous 1920s sailor dress and has a hideous short bobbed haircut–it’s priceless!  And, at the right is her thimble collection. 

On the other side of the room is drop table that usually holds my 1978 Bernina, today it is providing a spot for a nap for my furry friend…

Above that table hangs a stained glass window that came from my great-grandfather’s farmhouse, with a favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that I added to it…

And in the corner is my stash, housed in Ikea Antonius baskets…which looks nice and tidy right now, because I just cleaned it out to do some destashing via Etsy.

The fat quarters are displayed prettily in this Eddie Bauer Home bathroom fixture, which hangs above my cutting table…

That’s a little tour of my studio, my fabulous aqua blue, filled with joy and happiness, “creative climate”. 

To see more spaces and creative climates, visit Karen’s blog

Spring to Finish, Finit.

I finished 11 items on my Spring to Finish list from last month.

You’ve seen the Mother’s Day gift… and the Valentine Runners…. the Girlish Charm Quilt…. the batik swing jacket…. the Shining Star quilt… Karen’s 30s block and Lisa’s medallion border (sorry, no pics, top secret for now!)… Three closets cleaned out (I didn’t think you’d want to see pics of my closets…)

I also finished these three canvasses for my sewing studio:

Made from my favorite Alexander Henry sewing print…

and a shower curtain, made from Amy Butler pink Martini (on top) and an upcycled Liz Claiborne Dahlia comforter:

My sweetie painted this bathroom in September to coordinate with this fabric. It’s about time I got the curtain hung!

So, the seven items I did not finish get carried over to June’s To-Do list:

1) Quilt & Bind B&W quilt
2) Finish six Nearly Insane blocks that are cut
3) Finish Chrysanthemum quilt
4) Finish Birthday quilt top
5) Finish Flying Geese runner
6) Finish vintage sewing machine table
7) C’s baby quilt

I have a new addition that is going to help me with the quilting of some of these items. More on that next time!


Happy Hour

Still packing, selling off and giving away extra stuff we won’t have room for in the new place, and working six days a week–but I did sneak in a little sewing time last night….my Happy Hour! I’m working on a shop sample from the Atkinson Designs book above. The cutting for this quilt took less than an hour, quite possibly the easiest pattern I’ve ever used (of course, I usually gravitate towards the challenging ones, and since this is a shop sample, I didn’t choose it!) The fabric is from the Kiwi line by Timeless Treasures:
I’m using the solid lime green in the top photo for the binding. I managed to get all 20 blocks sewn up in no time at all last night…I also finished quilting this, a mini quilt for my Guild’s small quilt auction at the October AQS Show in Des Moines:
and, finally, an update on my new studio. My sweetie picked this number up for me on his trip to the Twin Cities last week, and we assembled it together on Sunday (and he installed a ceiling fan for me):I love Ikea, and I’ve been admiring this Expedit bookcase and desk set for a long time. This will be my new sewing table. I think it’s big enough to have my Pfaff on one side and my Featherweight on the opposite side. I’m loving the idea of filling up all those cubby holes with books, fabric, and other goodies!

Studio 5(30)4…

No creating happened this weekend, but the sewing studio in my soon to be new “home” got painted a lovely shade of aqua and moving in will commence soon:
I so love that color! I’m not looking forward to moving all of my loot, but I have a period of six weeks to accomplish getting it all moved, so I can do a little at a time. And the fresh paint job in my studio and new bathroom definitely make the idea much more appealing! and I got to meet this little sweetheart…my grand-niece who made her first trip to Iowa this week. Look at those cute little curly toes! This is the recipient of my French Roses Quilt. She was born in May, and is a Tennessee belle. Hopefully, one day, she moves closer!

A few of my favorite things…

I spent some pleasant days sewing and creating this past weekend, but I can’t show you what I am making because there are some gifts involved for people that might see their surprise exposed here on the blog. So…I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things about my relaxing, peaceful, lovely two-day break from everyday life…

Having two full days to do whatever I wanted to do…and choosing to spend it in my studio, surrounded by my artwork and things that make me smile…

The scent of one of my favorite flowers, peonies, wafting in from the next room…

The site of my grandmother’s pin money jar (click on the photo to enlarge) holding the cut peonies…

lots of bindings waiting to be sewn onto the quilts as soon as they are finished…

And a kitty cat peacefully sleeping on a pile of fabric…

Here’s wishing you two days of freedom to do whatever you’d like to do…