This month we are traveling to Singapore to visit with Heather Long
I moved from New Zealand back to Singapore just over one year ago but this time we came without our house load of “things”. This meant I was allowed a small shipment of the “I-cannot-live-without” things. Of course these were my crafting and sewing items! I then went through the many boxes of fabrics and realized I was never going to get close to using a lot of the fabrics I had collected over the many years. It was a tough decision but necessary, so I sold off a lot of my stash and arrived in Singapore with the essentials, and the knowledge that we had good shops to pick up the bits I really needed.
Do you call it a Studio of a Sewing Room?
Interesting that this is my first question to answer, since I needed to call my blog Heather’s Sewing Room as the name Heather’s Studio was already taken. I grew up in a home that had a place designated for sewing and as I entered the clothing trade as a profession I always had a sewing room. As my crafting skills branched out into other crafts, the room has become more than just a sewing room; so I now consider it a Studio.
How did you go about setting up your Studio?
Thankfully our apartment was not short on space, so I was able to take a room all to myself. I went to Ikea and purchased 2 tables with adjustable legs so that I could have one at a standing height and another at a lower height for my sewing machine. I positioned these lengthways in front of the window so my sewing machine gets the most natural light.
I can then also glance out the window from time to time at the view of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.
The room had a double and a small single wardrobe built in so I removed the hanging rail and inserted extra shelves to hold my supplies of batting, fabric, patterns, ribbons, beads, glues, paints, pens, cutting tools, brushes, and so on.
In the drawers I have papers, a selection of plain and hand dyed fabrics and elastics, tapes and haberdashery.
I found a drawer set in a hardware store that was perfect for holding my sewing threads — organized by colour — so this hides in the single wardrobe along with the few books I was able to bring with me.
How much horizontal space do you have?
I have managed to fit 3 tables into the studio. This gives me a good amount of horizontal space, which I love. The long table is great for cutting garments on and a place to put “stuff”. Sometimes with all that space I still end up working in a space the size of my cutting mat!
By putting all the furniture in the centre of the room I freed up the wall space so I could make a design wall. I bought 4 large sheets of core board from the art shop and with sticky Velcro I attached them to the wall and covered it with cotton batting. It is so great to work on.
In this corner I have my book binding cloth, papers and also some card stock for making boxes and bookbinding. My iron and ironing board also live in this space.
Do you straighten/organize as you go, putting each fabric away as you cut, or do you clean up after a project?
As I have a separate room to create in I like to leave everything out as I work on a project. Once the project is finished I will then do a clean up before starting on the next project.
How many projects do you work on at a time and how do you keep them organized?
I usually have more than one project happening at once. I will try to get a project to a level where I can pack it away for a time. If the time involved in one project is short then I like to finish it off completely. With making quilts the timing can be long, so I tend to pack it away to finish a more urgent project. In other words, I juggle! My goal is to finish all projects.
Where do you feel the difference is in the starting point between quilting and art?
I feel that you cannot totally separate Quilting and Art as quilting is a form of art. Years ago a quilt was something that was made for the purpose of keeping you warm in bed. Quilts are still designed and made for this reason by sewing and quilting fabric and batting together. Once you hang designs made from fabric on the wall or use it for other purposes, it enters into the world of Art and they become Art Quilts.
Thanks for the visit to my studio.
Thank you Heather for the delightful tour. I think we will all be a little envious of the view from your window.
Next Month: Lynn Woll