Quilts for Sale

Monday, November 5, 2007

Can This Studio Survive?

After 35 years in the same house, I'm rethinking my use of space. I'm committed to getting my studio in good shape so that I can WORK! It is so full to the brim and cluttered that I must shift piles and boxes each time I enter. I close my eyes and imagine a very clean, zen-like retreat; a place I can enter in peace.

Here's a glimpse of what I've accomplished so far.

Fabric is stored in four bookcases on the west wall. In the center is a small chest topped with a faux stained glass window which helps diffuse the afternoon sun.

Detail of the second bookcase.

With the addition of the small chest in the center, my bookcases fit perfectly two by two. The stained glass window was a thrift store find. I've had the little chest since the late '60's.

This is the second pair of bookcases.

I've found I can fit so much more fabric on my shelves by lining it up vertically. And I really like not having to disturb a huge pile of fabric by grabbing the piece from the bottom. This system keeps things somewhat tidy.

Can this studio survive, or more correctly - can I survive this studio revamp? Now that the outside of our house has been completed, it's time to get cracking on the interior.

My present studio is 12x12' with the great northern light I prefer. I considered moving into the 12x15'room across the hall but its southwest exposure makes it hot in the summer with a harsh light. Although I could gain an extra 3' by moving back to what was my original studio, just looking at all the mess I'd have to deal with is a great deterrant.

The solution? Get rid of things I've held onto but have little probability of using and make better use of the space I do have.

I've been going through fabric off and on all summer. Two or three boxes of early calicos were donated to a church with a quilt ministry, some really "questionable" stuff went to the thrift store while I've saved a small box for ebay. The rest of my stash is being organized, refolded and arranged by color on laminate bookshelves.

I'd love to hear how other artists arrange their spaces. Feel free to share your organizational tips. I, and I'm sure my dear readers, would welcome them.

Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go. I'll post updates and photos as things are accomplished.


Grace said...


Love the bright white cabinets and the burst of colour in your fabrics. I too need to revamp and redo my studio but unfortunately it won't be happening anytime soon. For right now I'll live vicariously thru your redo. Good start girl!

Rachel said...

Ellen, the reorganization of your studio is looking really good. An inspiration to those of us in (great) need of doing the same thing.