Monday, November 28, 2005

And Now, the Camera Will Pan Around the Studio

My dear quilters, you have been tuning into this blog, lo these many months, because it says right up there in the header, "quilting", and over and over, you have been disappointed, because there is nothing but knitting.

Well, wait no longer, we have some quilting going on. PBS is coming to my house in three weeks (!!!!) to interview me and film me working. (!!!!) For a show about art quilting. (You can see my work here.)

When they contacted me about two weeks ago, I said yes immediately (duh) and waited a few hours for the goosebumps to wear off before I figured out exactly how I would make this happen. Hmm, lets examine the details: two kids that need to get to school that morning (different schools, different times), a baby at home, a studio caked in years of clutter, and, did I mention there was no quilting?!

Here is the plan of action:
1. Kids--Dave is taking off that day to play Mr. Mom.
2. Quilts--Must get bones into studio every night and be determined. It's happening. Progress photos to follow shortly.
3. Studio--This may seem irrational, but this is my biggest hurdle. I am prepared to shove stuff into bins and haul to the attic the night before, if necessary. But I am kind of enjoying this unexpected opportunity to give my studio a makeover, and would like to enlist the help of you creative individuals.

I will now take you on a tour of my studio, unedited. These pictures are not 100% true "before" pictures, because I did a few days of frantic tidying up before I came to my senses and realized that this must be blogged properly. Furthermore, I have done some more work since I took these pictures, so they are sort of an in-between stage.

So, I bring you "pretty bad, but not as bad as it really was, and worse than it looks now":

Above, on the left, is my design wall, blank. Across the room is my ironing table (table covered with batting and fabric) that doubles as a blocking board, and sometimes, clutter catcher.

Moving to the right:

That set of shelves holds boxes of photos at the top, camera equiptment and button boxes, tv and knitting magazines, yarn and fabric in the bins on the bottom. That's another bin yarn (current projects) under the window, and then my new (old) filing cabinet.

I love the filing cabinet, it was in my grandparents farmhouse, and I've had is since my grandpa died in March. But it needs a better place, it's obscuring the hand-dyed fabric shelf. Those are bins of sewing patterns on top of the fabric shelf. That is my sewing table, jutting out from the windows in the middle of the room. The two sewing machines are always set up, but I do usually have to clear away clutter to use them. How many times can I use the word clutter in this post, you ask. Plenty, I assure you.

Panning further right, see below, to the other side of the room, the light blue cabinet is an old dental school cabinet that I bought at a yard sale. It holds sewing notions, scissors, bobbins, stuff that you need to have on hand. The serger is on top. The next shelf is mostly books, and binders of slides of quilts, show entry forms, paperwork stuff. The makeshift desk holds my computer and printer. (And, I'm afraid, is the worst offender in the clutter category). I can twist in my chair and be sewing on one side, reading e-mail on the other side. Not necessarily a good thing!

Looking at that picture, do I always have so many totes filled with knitting projects sitting around? Hah! Most times I have more!

Moving on, I have a closet (no one's gonna see in there) and the door on the far right, the one that is open, is the door we came in.

See, here's the door again, with the design wall on the right.

Questions and comments about the studio welcome. Ideas on how to improve, supremely welcome. "After" pictures, to come. And photos of my new quilt in progress.

**Added later: Looking at the pictures again, I realize something that has bothered me is that they are so dark. I see that I didn't have my track lighting on, I don't know why. Normally it is brighter, with double the amount of light on, and with the curtains open during the day. (Although that window faces north, so there isn't a ton of natural light, which is why I have track lighting over the sewing area and daylight fixtures over the design wall. Just so you know.
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Blogger Valeri said...

Fascinating! I love looking at other people's workrooms. And you have so much space! I wish! When I did a clear up recently as I was spreading over two rooms the first thing I did before putting anything away was to go through everything and chuck anything I didn't absolutely need, or want for something specific. Some things went in the attic because although not necessary were unreplaceable but mostly the junk items were things I'd hoarded, mostly 'what ifs'. That made it easier to put things away in designated places so that I could actually find them again. That is always a problem after a clear up! Good luck!

3:14 AM  
Anonymous Kristin La Flamme said...

I find that moving every two years or so does a great job of keeping the clutter in order. That and doubling the sewing room as an actual guest room with guests every three months or so. That also helps.

The really great news, though, is that PBS is coming to you!!!!! What a great impetus to get back in the studio and do some quilting. Deadlines are great motivators. I can't wait to see what you come up with, as I love your knitting projects, so I'm sure the quilting will be great too.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous caro said...

How cool that PBS is coming! That's such an honour. Way to go.
As for the organisation? I think it's fine to have knitting totes all around (maybe because I have them too haha) but definitely go for clean surfaces for a camera crew. Workspaces are so personal - it's hard to tidy up AND work. Best of luck!

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Emily, what wonderful news! But I'm doing a little mental math and it would seem they're coming, um, like, the week before Christmas!!?
I suppose that's what separates the pros from the rest of us...being ready when opportunity knocks! ;-)

7:56 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

Really Em, that looks pretty darn good already. I know you can get something wonderful up on the wall in no time. I think I have discovered that having a room for sewing/quilting and a different room entirely for knitting is the big secret. I think the living room is a great room to add shelves full of yarn. Why not? It is soft and colorful and makes good insulation. And requires no batteries, very little dusting and if it falls off the shelf, rarely if ever breaks.

8:46 AM  

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