Behind My Studio Door…

hangs my original design wall, a flannel backed plastic tablecloth. Right next to it is my new design wall, the fleece covered insulation board I received for Christmas. I hadn’t considered how often I’m in this room until my husband said to me during our recent vacation, “I don’t think you realize how much time you spend in there.” All I know is it’s my happy place where I spend a lot of time staring at the walls. On occasion my husband pops in and says, “studying things again, eh?”

My modestly sized studio is 12 by 14 feet. It holds a work table on bed risers, a bookcase, my fold out sewing cabinet with drawers and lots of surface area, a chair and a stool, two cabinets that hold fabric and other raw materials, an ironing board, a plastic tub, a round basket filled with batting, a plastic trolley for fat quarters, and loads of other boxed raw materials such as ribbons, yarns, paints, stamps, brushes and markers. The closet is filled with fabric. It’s getting a bit crowded.




If I could bring myself to throw out items like the big roll of craft paper or the bag of poly stuffing I would have more room. But somehow the day always comes when I find I need that stuff. I cut templates from the craft paper and improvise pillow forms with the stuffing and batting.

It would help if I rearranged items, but then I wouldn’t remember where I put stuff. My brain doesn’t deal with updates as well as Microsoft Windows does. It always reverts to an earlier version.

If I could wave a fairy wand there’s some aspects I’d change. First, and top priority, would be the lighting. I have two Ott lamps – one floor, one table. I move them around as best I can given the location of electric outlets. The ceiling fixture is the usual feeble bedroom kind. I thought of replacing the bulbs with higher wattage ones, but the fixture warns not to use bulbs higher than 60 watts. So, I want skylights for lots of natural light and wall lighting.

Then, I want an ironing table. Ironing boards are made for pressing shirts, not fabric yardage or 72 inch wide quilted tops. I’d also add a heavy duty steam iron with the  gravity feed. I use one for theatrical costume work and I’m sold on it. Forget those Rowentas and Olisos.

gravity feed ironMoving on to storage, I’d like built in open shelving for my fabrics with adjustable blinds or curtains to protect them from light and dust. And, as long as the builders are in, I’d have them plumb and install a utility sink and drainboard for wet work.

After reading this wish list over, I believe it would be easier just to build a new house with my perfect studio than to retrofit my current room. In the meantime I’ll strive to emulate my favorite artist, Paul Klee.




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18 responses to “Behind My Studio Door…

  1. I am very envious of your iron that hangs from above. Do you know the brand? I really really want one of those. I just don’t tell my husband about things I screw into the walls especially an eyebolt in the ceiling. He might get ideas about that… hmmm, I better not put the eyebolt into the joist until after the iron arrives.

  2. debby

    Loved seeing your studio space too. I wonder if making an ironing top for your work table would be helpful? I got an old desk for my studio for a cutting board, and then I made an ironing topper for it out of plywood, layers of batting, etc. I keep it in the closet when its not in use. Not ideal, but it is great to have a big ironing surface when I need it.

    • That’s a good idea, except for the closet space to store it. I guess I didn’t mention the closet filled with fabric. I may try to make a smaller ironing mat, once I get my hands on a piece of plywood. My husband is excellent at many things – cooking, window washing, etc. – but he is so not a woodworker.

  3. I love seeing your workspace! It looks very conducive to interesting work, although I can also enjoy the fun of fantasizing about the changes you’d like to make. And I have that exact same Shaker-style pin cushion with blue fabric!

  4. I can see why you spend so much time in your studio. It looks wonderful, though of course there are always things to improve in any space. If I had a magic wand, I would also like an ironing table (not to mention an actual quilting room). I find standard ironing boards are not only the wrong size and shape (and height!), they are not firm or flat enough for good quilts. I alternate between imagining my son’s room as a quilt studio and thinking of taking over the entire dining room!

  5. I can so relate to not being able to find anything if I move it! I had some giant art books and decided to use them to lift my printer to a higher level — then I needed one of the art books and searched for hours, finally gave up and found it weeks later in the spot I had put it to be useful.
    Sometimes I swear someone has broken in and taken only 3 damask table cloths and a spool of metallic thread.
    I enjoyed the studio tour!

    • Don’t you just hate it when you try to be streamlined and logical in deploying your stuff, and then you lose track of it? I’ve resorted to having large baskets that are my dumping areas. Rather than file papers, I just shove them into a blue basket. If I need that receipt I just go there, rather than try to figure out where I might have filed it. My husband so doesn’t understand this system.

      • I do the basket thing too – and it works until I go on an organizing bin and combine two partially full baskets into one. I have even started a spreadsheet called “Where Stuff Is” but then I never update it. sigh

  6. Your post made my day, it’s so fun to see other people’s studios. It looks like a great space and obviously you have produced wonderful things there. I think many of your pieces are reminiscent of your favorite artist! I hadn’t thought of it until you mentioned it, I have a skylight in my studio (former rarely used front room), and though not perfect, that is truly one of the things that makes it a better space.

    • I’m glad this post brought you enjoyment. And there’s not one piece of Ikea furniture in the whole place! I love the light skylights give. You don’t get the direct rays of the sun and you get natural light longer. I’ve reached the point where I can’t work with dark fabrics at night, no matter how bright the artificial light.

  7. Looks like a great studio. But lights and water, essential, esp for the work you do. Lights: I have GREAT lights now. I recommend you look into 4′ long double-tube LED lights, and hang one near the top of the wall on either side of the room. They will not be pretty, with cord hanging down to plug into an outlet. But man what a huge difference it would make for you! As to water, that’s a whole different kind of project…

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