First Friday Studio Tour – Dian Stanley

This month we are in Overland Park Kansas, to visit with Dian Stanley.

Do you call it a studio or sewing room? To yourself, to friends and family? Why do you think this is so? Difference in starting point between quilting and art? Thinking of this as a business rather than a hobby?

I don’t consistently call my space a studio or a sewing room, probably because I’m still working on calling myself an artist. I didn’t start out as a quilter.  Like most of us, I’ve sewn since I was a little girl, starting with doll clothes and graduating to clothing and finally to art quilting. I skipped the traditional quilting stage. I do think of this as a business, and I have it compartmentalized in my head in four parts. I work part-time for Indygo Junction, designing patterns and making samples. I am a member of Eclectics Gallery where I exhibit my purses, jewelry, art quilts, and any other piece of art I feel like creating. I teach at Harper’s Fabric Company and the occasional quilt guild. The fourth part is my art quilting, and sometimes it gets squeezed out by the other three parts which do help pay the bills.

What do you have in the room? Machines, supplies, fabrics, paints, etc. Anything that might surprise the rest of us?

We live in a 4 bedroom house and I have taken over 3 of them. Don‘t feel sorry for my husband. He’s an artist and has taken over the entire basement and half the kitchen. I have one room with my two sewing machines, serger, cutting table, ironing board, TV and my thread stash. Dian Stanley Sewing Room Dian Stanley Sewing Machines

One room is “my computer room.” It has my 2 printers, my computer and laptop along with my bead collection and about a quarter of my fabric.Dian Stanley Computer, Printers, Fabric

The third room is mostly storage and not organized at all. (The fire department might consider it a fire hazard.) I can find things, but nobody else can. I collect sewing, weaving and beading books, and all three rooms have their fair share of the collection.Dian Staley One Bookcase

There’s nothing that might surprise anyone, but I have started a collection of antique toy sewing machines. So far I have 8.Dian Stanley Toy Sewing Machines & Ribbon Storage

I also love collecting scissors, new or old.Dian Stanley Scissors Collection

How is your “stuff” organized? How do you organize your fabric? By color? Amount? Any separate categories (batiks, hand dyes)? How do you organize your thread (color, weight)?

My fabric is organized by color on shelves in parts of three walk-in closets and in plastic drawer units that fit under my computer desk. Last summer something came over me and I actually organized my scraps by color. My thread is organized by color and type. I am a machine embroidery fanatic and I have a lot of thread! My husband built the main cabinet for me and I quickly outgrew it and now also have 6 additional drawers and a Madeira Thread Chest.Dian Stanley Thread Collection

I think the storage for my ribbon stash is rather unique. It is stored on a bobbin rack that was originally for my loom. That’s probably not so strange, but the fact that the rack sits in the bathtub in the Jack & Jill bathroom between the computer room and my sewing room is probably unusual.Dian Stanley Ribbon Storage

Do you have anything tucked away in any other parts of the house?

Of course I have things stashed in other places, don’t we all? We have a walk-in linen closet that houses very few linens but all of my yarn and art pieces. The armoire in our bedroom has “fashion fabric” instead of clothes. Our living room has always been home to my loom.

Do you straighten/organize as you go, putting each fabric away as you cut, or do you clean up after a project?

I clean up after a project is finished or, if it’s really messy, I’ll stop and clean.

How many projects do you work on at a time and how do you keep them organized?

I work on multiple things at once from all four of my “compartments.” I have a shelf devoted to projects in process, and sometimes if I think it might be awhile before I get back to a project I’ll assign it a home in a plastic tub (I have a lot of those!).

Anything more you want to add about your studio, organization, working methods, etc., please do.

I never met something with drawers that I didn’t love.

Thank you Dian for letting us visit.  I love the tub storage idea.  Dian’s work can be seen at  Indygo Junction and Eclectics Gallery

Next month: Sarah Ann Smith Visit her website or blog

4 thoughts on “First Friday Studio Tour – Dian Stanley

  1. Your space is inviting, Dian…love the pale yellow wall color that compliments everything so well. Lucky you for a creative husband who understands. I have one of those too! Thanks for the tour of your beautiful creative digs.

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