This month we travel to Wales to visit with Gill Clark.
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?
Until the middle of October it was the dining room! Our youngest daughter flew the nest in May, and her bedroom has now become my studio. It sounds posher than sewing room, but I still call it “Catrin’s Room” most of the time. I guess it’ll be a hard habit to break.
I’ve always been into arts and crafts, everything from painting to card making, knitting and sewing. When my kids were small I made most of their clothes as well as my own. I’ve only been quilting for about four years. It’s something I always fancied putting my hand to but twenty years of teaching put it on hold.
About three years ago I was in a position to start up a small business with some government funding to pay for equipment. So I have two types of sewing going on, the things I make to sell via a local craft shop and the things I do for me. Needless to say the me things tend to be more arty, hence joining up with Postmark’d Art.
What do you have in the room? machines, supplies, fabrics, paints, etc. Anything that might surprise the rest of us?
Even though I now have a studio, it’s still a very compact space, not much more than a box room really. If I put my folding chair up, I can reach everything I need while still sitting down. I keep as much stuff as possible in there. I have two machines, one just straight stitches and is my workhorse especially for making things that are for the shop, the other is more versatile and I use that for more creative things. I also like to do lots of handwork….but that’s usually in front of the TV.
The workhorse lives in a cabinet behind which I can hide loads of batting. Threads in one door and cutting tools in the shelves. An old pine table is the base for my cutting surface.
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)?
Because my space is quite small I don’t have bolts and bolts of fabric like I see some have. I tend to buy for specific projects. Larger pieces get stored in my silver mini trunk which doubles a place to keep the iron and my rubbish bin! Smaller pieces are sorted by colour and stored in stacking boxes. The strips and scraps I use a lot are also colour sorted, this time in the old sweet and biscuit tins.
Do you have anything, supplies, more machines, etc. tucked away in any other rooms of the house. How many other rooms? (My husband likes to talk about that one.) Has a family member or significant other ever accused you of “taking over” the entire house? If you have a separate building, we want lots of pictures.
Oh yes! There’s a corner in our living room where the latest handwork lives, stock for fayres and the shop is in stacking boxes in our bedroom, as well as in boxes under the bed. And some quilting stencils and hoops haven’t made it from the study to the studio quite yet. No complaints from my husband though he’s a very patient man.
How much horizontal surface do you have, and is it ever enough? Do you have to move piles of stuff to cut anything bigger than a fat quarter?
I think the more surface you have the more piles of stuff you end up with so less is good. I tend to be quite methodical when I work and will do lots of cutting at once, helpful as the cutting surface is the base for my second machine.
Do you straighten/organize 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?
Yes I do tend to straighten and organize as I go, otherwise there’s no space to work. It doesn’t mean I do one project at a time though. I store projects in stacking boxes and tins of various sizes, anything with a lid to keep the work clean and dust free.
Anything more you want to add about your studio, organization, working methods, etc., please do.
You’ve come to visit what is really my blank canvas. Over the next few weeks I’m getting my miniqulits up on the walls along with creating a design wall for all my inspirations. As they say, watch this space…….
Thank you Gill, for letting us tour your space. Please invite us back for another tour when you have your studio decorated as you want it.
Visit Gill’s website
Next month: Gurli Gregersen