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I don’t like that word : “studio” – for me, it’s a bit pretentious and grandios. I think it’s perfectly appropriate for established artists, commercial handicraft people maybe – but not for me… So, the “for me” area of the house is simply called “the upstairs” (it is the only room in the house on the second floor).

First, the bad news: this is what it looks like, when I am getting close to done with any project:


Absolute chaos! (And I have not shown you the floor). This was the state of things yesterday. I decided to go to work cleaning things up; Now I can show you how nice, comfortable and cozy it really is up there.

I started with the ledge and landing coming up the stairs. I cleaned the ledge and put the coaster that usually sits there back on it. The coaster was a Christmas present from a friend and is totally hand stitched (it reminds me of how kind hearted she is every time I set my water on it). The red bin is the “things that belong somewhere else” bin. Mostly, I put things in there that need to go to my guild friends.


Next, the sewing machine area (the table is my old desk painted white). On top of the desk (and under the acrylic table is a “mini trash can” (repurposed plastic ice cream container). The other container you see in the picture holds the feet to my machine – it is a re purposes pill organizer. Above the desk (on the ledge) are three terra cotta pots that hold colored pencils, markers and pens. Other tools (scissors, rotary cutters, stilettos) are in the right hand drawer if the desk.


From there I moved on to the ironing area. The ironing “board” is our old china cabinet without the top part (hutch). We had to take the top off because the walls up there are slanted and it won’t fit – you’ll see the top in the next paragraph. This cabinet holds fabrics, the drawers hold leftover pieces of binding. On the hooks above are pieces of cheesecloth, ironing sheet, a pair of scissors and an extra cutting mat. BHE got me a timer;’when I go upstairs, I plug the iron in, and if I forget to unplug it before I go back downstairs the timer turns it off automatically at 8 o’clock.


Next, is the top of the china cabinet; because it would not fit on top of the hutch, I took it off and flipped it upside down (so it would not tip over).  BHE then built a new “top” for it, that I have yet to paint white.  The shelves hold a variety of items – in the basket on the bottom left are things (mine, not customers) that need to be quilted (table runners, quilts, etc.).  On the bottom right, are “orphan” blocks (pieces that I have made as samples, that I have found or have been given to me – these will end up in a quilt (someday).  On the shelves immediately above, are works in progress (Bianca’s quilt and my table setting mats for example.  Above that are smaller items (used frequently)….IMG_5010

Directly across from the hutch is my Long Arm (you can use the AC/heat unti seen in both pictures as a reference point).  The “husband” chair is located next to it.  The chair is dedicated to BHE and is there for the rare occasions that he ventures up here. Nothing is to be laid on it at any time, so that it is ready for his derriere at any given moment!

Behind the Long Arm is a Greek Flag (I don’t have an Austrian one or it would be hanging there too) and my ribbons.  The ribbon display is temporary – I will eventually take them down and put them in a box…

BHE improved my lighting greatly by mounting track lights above the Long Arm; this made a world of a difference as before that I could not quilt up there in the evenings!

The lamp above my cutting table is my old desk lamp (can you tell I LOVE re-purposing stuff?)  All my rulers are mounted on the wall (just a picture hanging nail in the wall and voila)…I wrote the size of the ruler in pencil under the nail, so I would know which ruler goes where…the cutting table itself will be discussed in a separate post, because it is just THAT great!  The wire that you see just beyond the cutting table, hanging on the slanted part of the wall, used to be my design wall.  Now, I hang things on it that I want to keep on the fore front of my mind but do not want to work on right now (you can see several Dear Jane blocks hanging on it).


Last but not least my design wall:


The room only has one wall that is taller than 48″, and that wall has two closet doors on it.  BHE mounted a dowel above it and we hung the design wall on shower curtain rings – this way when I need to open the closet door, I just push the design wall aside and can easily access either closet.  To the right of the design wall is a clock I looooove; to the left is a mini quilt I looooove – the mini quilt was made by an Australian designer I admire (Quiet Play).

I love this room just as much as Charlie loves his (several) man caves.  We both believe that each of us having a separate space somewhere – no matter how little is vitally important to our maintaining a good relationship.  And believe me, when we first moved in together, our respective “alone” spaces were really, really, really tiny.  There is only one rule: I don’t mess with his and he does not mess with mine!  Occasionally, I am allowed in his to clean 🙂