First Friday Studio Tour – Gurli Gregersen

Once again we are visiting with one of our European members.  This month we travel to Tilst, Denmark to see Gurli Gregersen.

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?

My blog says I have a studio, but it is a virtual studio. To my family and friends it is my sewing room. To me it is not just a sewing room, as I use it for most of my hobby activities: of course sewing but also design, printing, stencilling, painting, felting etc. The room was previously used as bedroom, so it is difficult for me to call it a studio. I just call it “my room.”

It was my home office when working from home until I stopped working a year and a half ago. For working purposes I had 2 height-adjustable tables set up. Well, one for work and the other for sewing machines, work table etc. Today I normally stand up when sewing. It is very nice to be able to decide for yourself whether to stand or sit.

Though I love the old traditional quilt patterns, I have only made two large quilts 30-40 years ago and a little baby quilt 20 years ago. I always want to change patterns and/or make my own – and not in a traditional style, though I have an idea that I sometime in the future will use traditional patterns as inspiration for new quilts. So I believe it is more art than quilting I do as my hobby – not business.Gurli studio 3

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

I have nearly everything I use for my activities. The room is filled with machines and all sorts of materials. I have an ordinary sewing machine, an embroidery machine, an embellisher, a serger, a thermofax, PC and printer, an old projector, a new digital projector, two laminators (cool and warm), a blender and an iron with a steam station. Gurli studio 9

One wall has a design surface and I have a smaller separate and moveable design board/work table (e.g. on top of the ironing board).Gurli studio 1

Bookcases are filled with books and magazines, buttons, thread, many different kinds of paint, paper, beads, zippers, ribbons etc.Gurli studio 4

In 3 of 4 closets I have fabric: old, new, lace, knit, cotton, polyester, commercial and hand-dyed – and yarn.Gurli studio 2

One of my tables is reserved for sewing and work that needs space. On the other table I have my PC, printer and some archive boxes.Gurli studio 5

Gurli studio 6

In a corner I have cardboard and plastic tubes (plastic tubes for shibori), tripod for my camera and projector, a roll of something like bondaweb, pattern paper, a large ruler (1×1 m), paper and cardboard.Gurli studio 7

Under my sewing machine table are the machines that are not in use on top of the table and some big boxes with little pieces of fabric, tools for painting, dyeing, printing etc.Gurli studio 8

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 thread is pretty organized by brand and color. I keep some of my fabric organized in hand dyed and commercial but when I start a new project I often have to pull out so many different fabrics that I have to start organizing again afterwards. I find it difficult to organize my fabric to suit my different projects. I must admit that I sometimes know that I have a certain kind of fabric I want to use, but I am unable to find it.

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.

I have my MX dye in our laundry room, my finished quilts on top of a closet in our smaller bedroom and some plastic, batting and fabric in the attic. If I have to do some hand embroidery or quilting I often bring that into our living room.

The smaller bedroom was at first my hobby room. I then had my home working PC in our larger bedroom. So my husband suggested that I could have the large room with all my things as I also use my PC for design. Who would not accept that kind of offer?

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?

Never enough! And I always have to move piles of stuff before starting a new project. Sometimes I go to a long, narrow table in our bathroom, where I can cut fabric and do some printing.

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?

I handle this very differently from time to time and project to project, but I tend to use my time up to the last possible minute with my project and save straightening and organizing till later.

I always have some UFO’s but they are kept in a certain place in the closet. Normally I am sewing on one project but working with design of more projects.

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

Apart from all the above mentioned, I have some software I like to use: PS Elements, EQ7, (Electric Quilt for quilt design which I use once in a while), PE Design (machine embroidery) and Collectorz for books (and videos).

Thank you Gurli for a great tour.

Visit Gurli’s blog

Next Month: Laurie Dhandapani