Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love Where You Work

And you'll love what you do.

Your workspace doesn't have to be all about form and function. I like to think that if you surround yourself with pretty things, it's an inspiration to make pretty things.

One of my favorite (and most inspirational) 'decorations' in my studio is this Hawaiian applique pillow cover that I picked up on a business trip to Honolulu that the hubs had framed for me.

And I also enjoy the paper 'quilts' I created when I first became a quilter, to test out two quilt projects I wanted to undertake:
This one tested my theory about strip piecing on a foundation to create a false border.
And this one was what I thought Ricky Tims' 'Conversion quilting' might have been, before my book arrived (clearly it is not what Ricky had in mind, but I really liked the outcome of this and plan to put this to the fabric test in a Victoria Findlay Wolfe workshop next month).

It wasn't expensive to pick up a couple of matted frames from Michaels, use a piece of handmade paper for a background and turn them into wall art.

In addition to the many decorative accents I have filled my workspace with, I have also found a way to display some of my everyday items in an artful way.

I've put these little display cubes and some extra spice jars to use holding different types of interesting pins (which are mostly for use in my pincushion collection).

We've all got those hard to store items on hand....Wonder Under, 6 different types of stabilizers for embroidery, freezer paper, fusible grids, exam paper to free motion quilt through, clear plastic....the rolls are all different sizes and don't fit in any existing drawers, so what to do?
If you're me, you've scrounged up some cylindrical vases, swapped out their rubber bands for ribbons and tucked them into a corner. (And I'm tossing empty thread spools into the clear container as an additional decorative element--at least until some art or preschool teacher has a need for spools).

It's probably safe to say that we can all lay our hands on a basket or two, right? Especially now, after Christmas...from the pears Aunt Rose sent, or that the Hickory Farms cheese spread that came to the office. Instead of tossing them in the kitchen cabinet to use next time you serve bread for dinner, stuff them full of the fabrics and pattern for upcoming projects. Tuck them into empty spaces on bookshelves, or in the closet, or just set them on your sewing table.

Much prettier than random stacks of blocks, or plastic grocery bags of projects. And as a side benefit (trust me on this), it's a lot easier to keep your workspace clean and organized when you've got good (and pretty) places to keep your stuff.

Create a space you want to be in. Make it pretty, functional, and clutter-free. Keep it neat. When I'm done for the day, I tidy up. Scissors back in the spinner, rotary cutters in their storage box, project I'm working on back in the basket it came out of. I wouldn't leave the mess from tonight's dinner out on the counters, the table, the stove, and the dishes in the sink when I'm done, so why would I treat this workspace any differently?

It's a great feeling to open the door to my studio in the morning and see everything's in it's place, the sun is streaming in, and my favorite collectibles are on display. It makes me want to spend the day sewing. It's my favorite room in the house.

How about yours?

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I appreciate and look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading. Happy quilting!