Tuesday, August 13, 2013

my new studio

I mentioned a while ago that we moved into a new house, but I haven't shared many photos of my new studio with you. Jennifer and Heather asked me to participate in their Studio Spotlight series, so I'm glad to share more with you now as part of that. 

Without a doubt my favorite thing in my new space (besides the great natural light) is my vintage industrial Singer sewing machine. It's a Singer 281-1 from the 1960s I was lucky enough to come across it this past spring, when I found out that the downtown Cincinnati location of Brooks Brothers was closing and getting rid of their machines. I was out of town at the time, in Cleveland shooting for Quilting Arts, but thankfully I made it home in time to rent a truck with my husband and pick one up. We moved it to our new house, even though we weren't living here at the time. We were still doing renovations, but we knew that we didn't want to have to move this thing twice. It's heavy!!!

This thing is no joke. It has a speed up to 1500 stitches per minute and a an oil pan below the table top. It's a solid machine.

This large improv patchwork block was the first thing that I sewed on it last month, to try to get the hang of the machine. It's fairly easy to use, although it has taken a bit of time to get used to its speed.

To the left of my machine is a large industrial metal shelving unit that holds some of my fabric and books. I've got some scraps and works in progress stored in some plastic bins, and larger cuts of fabric on bolts. I've also arranged some of my smaller cuts of solids in color order on one of the shelves.

To the left of the metal unit is my large cutting table and more fabric storage. As you can see, the table is a popular place for one of my helpers to hang out. And honestly, it's not usually that clean, although I'm certainly trying to keep it that way. I've got some supplies in this fun metal cart from Ikea.

Beneath the cutting table are two storage units from Ikea that house a lot of my printed fabric stash. It took a long time to fold all of this, but I think the end result was worth all of the effort.

And next to the cutting table is my desk, which also came from Ikea. I really love this desk because it's really a drafting table, so I can adjust the height and angle of the top when I draw and paint. It's also got a bit of storage underneath it on two shelves, which is great. I keep most of my threads on three thread hangers that I've mounted to the wall. 

Behind my desk is a vintage striped chair that I picked up at a thrift store and a couple of old wooden baskets where I keep more scraps. My husband built the large quilt ladder where I keep finished quilts. It's getting quite full so we definitely need to make a few more for the house, and I'm working on a tutorial for that project that I hope to be able to share with you soon as well.

And next to the chair is my design wall. You can see how I made those here, although I recently recovered them with batting instead of flannel. And you can see that the chair is also a popular spot for my helpers.

And finally, coming around next to my sewing machine is a series of metal shelves from Ikea. I've got some of my favorite books and magazines there, as well as some other fun things like my vintage sewing basket and a handmade doll that I picked up at a flea market in Tennessee last year.

I've also got this lovely stack of fabrics that was a gift from a friend, and some fun vintage glasses for inspiration.

Thanks so much for stopping by my visit on the Studio Spotlight series by The Sewing Loft and Ellison Lane Quilts. Be sure to check out all of the great stops on the tour this month as well!


TheSewingLoft said...

That machine is no joke. I have stitched on it before while training factory workers in NYC. 1500 stitches per minute passes by in a flash!
Love that you even made room for helpers. Thank you so much for sharing your space with us.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Thank you Heather for showing your beautiful studio! Looks so inspiring and practical. You have decorated it lovely! x Teje

charlotte said...

Great space. I love the baskets next to the chair. Wish I had room for a chair like that.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Thanks for sharing your space. Your chair is motivating me to do something about my not so pretty studio chair.

Pétra said...

I love seeing other studios and your's looks amazing it must feel so nice to sew in!

momiji said...

I'm working on redoing my studio, and yours offers plenty of inspiration. Thanks for sharing, and yes, please, do post that quilt ladder tutorial before too long!

Margaret said...

I have that machine too and I love it. It is fast and the table is great. I have learned over the years to control the speed. I use it to piece most of my quilt. I use my other machine a Janome to paper piece and to free motion since my singer doesnt have a needle down postition. Love your studio.

Cathy Johnson said...

Where did you get that beautiful turquoise bar stool?

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said...

It was so fun peeking into your space Heather. Thanks for the tour! I love how bright and open your space feels and I can imagine how lovely it would be to sew in there! Thanks again for being part of our tour!

kbo said...

I just purchased an industrial machine but mainly to create a tent trailer & boat cover. But honestly quilt piecing would be more enjoyable!

Ginny said...

Love your space so open and bright! Looking forward to the quilt ladder tutorial-love to display all the love and hard work we put into our quilts!

leanne said...

love your studio and your cute helpers ! having used flannel and now batting for your design wall do you think the batting is better ?

Nicky said...

Your quilts look beautiful on display! How inspiring to see where you have been while thinking about where you are going to!

Melle@featheredruffles.com said...


fabric all tidy and neat in stacks and rows just makes my heart go pitter pat!!!

straythreads said...

What a wonderful workspace and your machine sigh. lucky you

PatSloan said...

awesome new space Heather! I have that industrial metal shelf too. Mine is on rollers! And the machine looks great in it's home. I could move right in.. wink!

Anonymous said...

Very inspirational! In my house, however, cats have learned that if they are caught on the sewing table, they become part of a project! ;)

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