Preparations for New Quilting Studio

April 4, 2011 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

Over 10 years ago, my youngest daughter graduated from high school and moved on to college.  Once I got used to the empty nest, I had great expectations that I would clean all the clutter that had accumulated over the years.  I wanted clean closets, clean walls, nothing stashed away in bags under beds.  I even pressured my daughters to go through their memorabilia and take what they wanted with the understanding that was was left could be given away. I had dreams of a lovely guest room……..

Ha!  Over the past eleven years, my spare bed room and closet filled with tote boxes of puppets, props, costumes, portable stages, silk flowers and containers for church arrangements, and miscellaneous clutter.  I couldn’t even see the top of the bed!

Over the years, I spent hundred’s of dollars on those puppets and flowers!  The sad thing is, though I am no longer actively leading a puppet ministry at my church, and I no longer make silk arrangements  regularly, I am still holding on to everything.  Puppets can’t be stored in hot or humid areas or they will disintegrate, so I can’t put these seldom used items in the garage or attic.  Sometimes I think I would love to pass these on to an energetic new puppet director and find a new home for (or sell) the flowers.

Nevertheless, I am determined to clear this room!  And I have actually made progress.  The puppet boxes and silk flowers are now categorized and stacked neatly in the closet. The bed has been disassembled and stored elsewhere. Props have been sorted, throwing out many, storing others neatly in three mirror cartons.  I plan to lable the outside of the prop cartons, maybe include a photo of what is in each.

And I am going through my puppet costume closet, putting the best costumes into labled gallon ziplocks, for storage in a tote box.  There are still a lot of clothes (did you know puppets wear size 2 or 3 T clothes?) that I plan to offer to my daughters, and then maybe sell the rest.

What sparked this frenzy of organization? In the near future, I plan on taking the plunge to purchase a midarm quilting machine, and I will need a quilting studio to house it.  Since I don’t know how long we will continue living here–my local daughter may move to another town–logic says to purchase something that could be used in a smaller home, should we move to follow either of our daughters elsewhere.  That probably translates to a sit-down model.  But it is so much FUN to drive a frame quilter!

I have been looking at midarms for over a year.   I will be going to the Cincinnatti quilt show in a few days and will test drive several systems. Cost and size are the critical limiting factors in what I choose. I am leaning heavily toward Tin Lizzie 18’s as we have a good dealer/repair shop about 1 hour away. Here’s a picture from the Tin Lizzie website.  Their latest model, introduced last fall, now has an automatic needle up/down capability, something that previously had to be achieved by toe-taps.  Being able to set the machine to automatically stop needle down is a must-have feature for me. The table has a dropleaf that opens up to approximately 48″ square, and it can be put against a wall or into a corner if needs be.

I may still consider a frame quilter that can be set up for baby quilt size, but frankly, putting quilts on a frame (and the anticipated extra cloth needed for backing/batting on the frame) makes me reluctant to go this route.  I know I will need extra space all around the frame, too, which concerns me.  Still, I will try out various quilting systems at the show, looking at Tin Lizzie DLS on a frame, the TL Sit Down, and also the Crystal Quilter in a frame.  The CQ is only 16 inches, but it has some really innovative features, for a midarm.  Besides the up/down needle, they also have an automatic needle threader, thread cutter and presser foot down sensor!

Anyway, I need some time to plan this studio room.  I’m really glad for the online course on studio design!  Here is my current quilting area in our TV room.  It’s an improvement over what I had previously, but a 6′ by 9′ area is not large enough to add the midarm, and I’d like to have quilting, cutting and ironing in the same room. I will get out my notes and see what I can do!

Regarding furniture, my DH says I can have the heirloom 5-legged oak dining room table, which extends from 45″ square to almost 10 feet long.  Its a great size–my baby and art quilts won’t have to flop over the edge!  We also have an nice old high boy dresser that I can use for fabric storage, as well as two trunks for batting and quilt storage.  I really want a clean, uncluttered look to the room, with plenty of design wall space.  I can use this to put up finished art quilts, as well as works in progress.

I’m not sure what color for the walls.  The floor is golden oak.  I know I want to get rid of the dark green wallpaper and chair rail!  Since there are only two small windows looking east and north, I need to keep the wall color light.


Entry filed under: Quilt Studio. Tags: , , , , , .

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