First Friday Studio Tour – Heather Lair

This month we travel to Canada to visit Heather Lair.  Heather answers the questions I originally posed to start the series and also treats us to photos of her participation in an actual studio tour.

Do you call it a studio or a sewing room?

I call it a studio.  Has been forever!  It is a business and a passion.

Sometimes I hold classes in my studio.

What do you have in the room?

In my room:  3 tables, desk for one machine, fabric, shelves, thread/notions cupboard, piles of fabric on floor, bolts of interfacing/batting.  Dresser with paints, etc.  Rolls of quilts, trunks of quilts.  Shelves of products to sell.

This is my studio on a busy workday. My sewing machine is in the center of the ironing board – cutting table – thread cupboard and fabric stash. Nice north facing windows.

This table in my studio is piled with things I have made. I am getting ready for a craft fair. Lots of new fabric postcards!

How are your supplies organized?

Fabric is organized by color and type:  landscape, backings, silks, flannels, etc.  I actually don’t have a huge stash, as I use it up as fast as I get it!  Thread is organized by color and type.

My husband made this thread and notions cupboard for me.  There are shelves on the doors for the large spools of thread, and I use magazine holders and zip lock bags to keep snaps, ribbons and elastics all organized.  I try to put a label on every box as I store things!

Do you have anything, supplies, more machines, etc. tucked away in any other rooms of the house? How many other rooms?

I keep bags, boxes and containers of extra stuff in the attic.  I have my hoop set up in the living room so I can listen to talking books on the computer while I quilt.  Twice a year I cover the whole house in quilts for an Artist Studio tour.

Sometimes there is not enough room in my studio to unroll all my quilts. Here I have my bed covered with art quilts as I decide which ones to take for a lecture. I took most of them.

We built a special shelf in the powder room to display fabric postcards and other trinkets. Just out of view is a large pottery bowl with more cards.

Quilt on hoop in the living room.

How much horizontal surface do you have and is it ever enough?

 My work table is usually clear for my 24″ x 36″ cutting mat.  The back half of the table is covered in layers of stuff. 6″ – 8″ deep in tools, fabric, pencils, etc.

Here I have cleaned out my studio to dry painted sky fabric.

Do you straighten as you go, putting each fabric away as you cut, or do you clean up after a project.  How many projects do you work on at a time and how do you keep them organized?

I have a cupboard for UFO’s.  Once a linen cupboard, It was rescued from the back lane and repainted.  There are packages of unfinished quilts here and there throughout my studio,  I will often have a few projects going on at one time.

This past summer I had a commission to make a 3D quilted volcano. This is what my worktable looked like when the quilt was finished–much like the volcano.

Anything more you want to add about your studio?

I love being in my studio.  I quilt, sew, paint fabric, design quilts and visit with other quilters on groups like this one all the time.

I finally found a picture of my studio clean! This does not happen very often.

  Wave Artist Studio Tour

In addition to giving us a virtual tour, Heather has provided photos of her house during an actual tour.

Every year I participate in the Wave Artist Studio Tour. Here I have quilts on the front of my house and by the front door to welcome people into my studio.

The dining room covered with quilts for the studio tour.
The living room during the studio tour.

Another view of the living room during the tour. My daughter and friend are waiting for the crowds to arrive.

Thank you so much to Heather for inviting us to visit her studio.

Quilting on my hoop in the dining room.

Heather lives and quilts in Gimli, Manitoba.  Her quilts have appeared in several movies and she was featured in the September 2010 issue of American Quilter. Her website is

Next month: Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone

5 thoughts on “First Friday Studio Tour – Heather Lair

  1. Thanks for giving us a peek into Heather’s studio! I have long been an admirer, and it’s always so nice to see someone else’s workspace. I only wish mine were as large and nice!

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