First Friday Studio Tour – Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone

This month we are visiting Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone in Coarsegold, California. Vivian said that answering the questions I posed was a fun way to review her studio and she hopes the result is an interesting read for you.  She says….

Coarsegold is located in the rolling hills near Yosemite National Park. They say above the fog and below the snow… most of the time. My husband and I live on 8+ acres — Boot Tree Ranch is the name of our place. The llamas are welcoming. Patches is the “baby” that was a surprise birth and a wonderful addition.

We have seven cats, four llamas and one dog.

I am a mixed-media fiber/quilt artist who loves to work with gourds and jewelry. We designed the house with the studio in mind so it is near the kitchen/great room with a Dutch door that allows me to close it off. There is a bathroom nearby and a space with a washer and dryer on either side of a deep sink – all necessary for fabric dyeing classes. I also have a covered area just outside the studio which is wonderful on those hot summer mornings when students gather.

Entry to my studio – yes, I call it a studio — is through the blue barn doors and then through a sliding glass door.

Welcome. I designed a sliding/movable design wall thinking it would travel easily to other areas of the house but its height makes that impractical.  I use both sides of the wall: one side has the projects I am working on, the other side has some of the jewelry that will go to the galleries. I typically work on multiple projects simultaneously. Right now there are four projects layered on the design wall.

I create both traditional and art quilts. I love working on a variety of projects and ideas. As a member of Timberline Gallery I am creating new work to hang every two months. Keeps me on my toes! January’s theme is Animal Totems.

My quilting area has the cutting table and an area for my sewing machine. I have two Pfaff, one Brother and a Singer Feather Weight that was my mothers. None of the machines are fancy.  Rolling storage units hold beads, fabric with iron-on backing, threads, pigma pens, bobbins, pins, extra cutting blades, scissors, and more. Electrical plugs are at desk height and in the ceiling.

The ironing board is on top of book cases.

I am known for my white binders and organization: I file each class I’ve taken in a labeled binder — most have samples and photographs. I also file interesting articles about teachers I’ve studied with, and magazine articles of particular interest by topic. There are notebooks with ideas, colors, designs, sketches. I often revisit the notebooks to flesh out ideas.

I organize in plastic containers by color, topic, or UFO. These are stacked behind the white doors. The boxes on top contain lighter items such as yarn, silk, zippers and other odds and ends.

We have two guest rooms that are often layered with my quilts. Here are some of the kite series I’m creating using Day of the Dead for inspiration.

The hallway does not have any direct light so I keep folded quilts in that area. When guests come to stay there is a bit of a scramble to put the quilts in other areas.

I work on gourds and jewelry in another area of the studio. I set one project aside, allowing paint to dry, and work on a second project. You can see the second paint table needs some cleaning up.

There are never enough horizontal surfaces, as hard as I try something hops up to clutter the area. I do have a strict rule about the dining room table — that usually is clear.But we don’t eat at it, just looks nice that way. The coffee table by the T.V. is fair game: books, magazines, quilting and knitting are all in piles. Thankfully, nothing fazes my husband. And yes, I have taken over most of the house. He has the garage for his toys.

Even my cutting table and ironing board have a tendency to collect anything that does not have a logical place. It happened when I started to collect rusty things and items that I could screen print. If anyone has a good idea how to store these, I would love to hear about it. I have lots of tubs on the floor.

I have even lost my rocking chair under items that are going into a dye bath. I try to clean up after every project, but…

My New Year goal is to complete some of the UFO’s. Maybe I should make another quilt with all the “starts” from the classes I have taken. The first time I did that the quilt landed in a quilting magazine.

English Paper Piecing samples and patterns take up another table. These will eventually end up on Etsy. My neighbor and I designed a quilt pattern for a class using English Paper Piecing, piecing, and applique. My reminder board is above my cutting table. It also has gifts from friends, and a muse designed by my friend, Julie Mitchell.

Another wall holds some of my smaller quilts from challenges with my YoYo Sewciety Circle and shows.

You can learn more about the associations I belong to and what I’m up to in my studio by popping by my blog.

Next Month: Kay Laboda

12 thoughts on “First Friday Studio Tour – Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone

  1. Wow! I LOVE your space! It’s great how you have separate areas for different tasks, and how well you have things organized. I love the idea of book shelves to support your ironing surface…. That is one idea my studio could really use… I have some bulky things with no good homes that could be stored in what is now a mostly wasted space. Now to just get my hubby to put something together for me, or find out what lumber is “legal” for me to use from his stash and do it myself…. Then the ironing board supporting the big ironing surface I have could be placed elsewhere for my hubby to iron his shirts easier (without having to disturb my piles…. and I do iron a bit of clothing rarely myself… not that easy on a wide board).

  2. How wonderful! I love seeing the studios, homes and how each of you create! I’m envious of all of the space and projects! Thanks for opening your lovely home and studio to all of us!

  3. I enjoyed a tour of your studio and life-how beautifully creative you are! I loved the idea of a binder for each class you take-I’m stealing that idea!

    • Jenny, I was fortunate when I started quilting that some one suggested binders! And they have grown… but I do use them, especially when I see a teacher I have had in the past.. I also used to put articles about that teacher later on and added it to my collection.. fun to see how some of them have changed.. also use it for the UFO…just in case I did not finish all the patterns are there!

  4. What a delightful and informative tour. Your entire home and grounds are filled with delights. I know this for a fact first hand and your works are a reflection of this environment you have created.

  5. You’re so organized! I have the same problem with not having enough space. I often organize and declutter, but it seems the more space I create the more I need!

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