Friday, August 10, 2018

A finish and a tour



I cleaned up my studio last week and decided it was a good time to take a few photos and invite you in for a tour. A number of people have recently asked to see how I quilt on a boat. I wrote about my studio a couple of years ago here, but there have a been a few changes.



But first, the finish! This super scrappy string quilt top was pieced almost a year ago. I just recently decided to add navy borders to make it the right size for the double/full size bed in our guest stateroom. The mattress sits on a platform and is surrounded by a built in railing to keep it from moving while we are underway. I wanted the quilt to just fit inside the railing. I'm happy with how the bright yellow inner border shows along the edges.

The guest stateroom is also my quilting studio. It's pretty small, with about 2 feet on average around each side of the double bed. It's in the bow of the boat, so the room is a little triangular, narrowing significantly up near the head of the bed. I wish I could take better photos of the space, but the combination of dark wood walls, tiny (8" x 18") windows, and no way to step back for perspective makes taking pictures difficult.



The bed itself is my main work space. At the foot of the bed, it is about counter height. By adding a piece of thin plywood over the firm mattress, I have a good surface for my cutting mat and folding ironing board. I really like how I don't have to bend over to cut and iron. I also like having room for a 24"x36" mat. The iron is cordless, which is a good choice for a moving vessel. Less chance of getting tangled or caught if the boat lurches.



My Juki TL2010Q sewing machine sits on a small built in table on the starboard side of the room. The table is covered with dark brown vinyl so it's hard to see but easy to clean. It's wedged in tightly and bolted to the wall, and can be removed if we have guests. The surface of the bed acts like an extension of the table, supporting pieces as I quilt them. There's just enough room for me to sit on an adjustable stool in front of the machine, but not enough room for the stool to have a back. That's OK, I try to only spend about 20 minutes at a time sewing, then move to ironing or other activities.



Most of my tools are hanging on the wall next to the Juki for easy access. The rectangular brown basket holds the stuff I use the most often. The glass door to the right in this photo is the en suite shower, which is where I store batting in big plastic bags. There's another window in the shower, so I get a little extra light that way.



My stash is stored in every nook and cranny of the room, including inside the small attached bathroom. See the stainless steel sink? This is my scrap strings and crumbs storage area. Spray baste, starch and an extra iron are stored under the sink with the toilet paper and bottles of wine. No wasted space on a boat!



Here is the port side of the room. You can see some of the plastic storage boxes to keep out dust and salt air out of the fabric. There's a spring loaded curtain rod running between two shelves under the window to hold WIPs. More of those live on hangers behind the door and in my clothes closet. Because really, who needs more clothes?



Two of the four drawers under the bed contain ziplock bags with fabric sorted by color or theme. Equipment under the bed (the bow thruster) generates black graphite dust, so this fabric needs extra protection. Keep those ziplocks zipped!


These two larger bins on the floor next to the bed are all my yardage bigger than fat quarters. The woven basket crammed in behind that holds pieces large enough to use as backings.
 

The wall space is extremely limited because of all the doors and cabinets, but I hang up my frequently used rulers wherever there's a bit of room. 3M Command hooks work well and don't damage the woodwork. There's no way I can have a design wall, so I use the top of the queen size bed in the master stateroom.

So there you go, my little nautical studio! I love having all my quilting stuff close at hand and spend many happy hours here. It may be small and salty and constantly moving, but that gives me a built in excuse for any wobbly free motion stitching. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

28 comments:

Debbie said...

Amazing. You have figured out how to make the space work. And I love the new quilt. You can never go wrong with a string quilt.

BrendaLou said...

Thanks for the tour! We can all make use of some of your space-saving ideas!

Liz said...

I've so enjoyed the tour of your studio! You are living my dream life :)

Nicki said...

Your string quilt is beautiful. I never cared for string quilts in the past because they sort of did strange things to my eyes. Over this past year I have learned to love them & am even thinking of making one...go figure!
Wowzer! My quilting room looks like a mansion compared to what you have to work with. I will never complain of not having enough room/space again. I really like how you've utilized every nook & cranny in your room. The plywood on the bed was a brilliant idea.
P.S. That's beautiful woodwork in your guest stateroom.

Carol E. said...

So interesting! Great space-saving ideas. What do you do with all the stuff when you have guests who need that bedroom, especially the batting that's in the shower? (I love that, BTW.)

Jo said...

Well I guess I should stop complaining that I need more space for my hobbies! I just need to be more orgsnized and tidy with the space I have using many of the lessons in your post.

Lynn said...

Oh that is so impressive, such a great use of space, I think we can learn a thing or two to see how productive you are and not hindered by space, or its lack!

Heide said...

Beautiful quilt it looks so pretty on the bed. I have to admit I was one of the inquiring minds that thought "where the heck do you make all those great quilts"! I love getting the peek into you quilting space.

Lisa J. said...

Wow Louise, the amount of organization you need in this little space is amazing. I am happy that your cutting and ironing space is at counter height as I am experiencing a physical problem at the moment which is making cutting at any other level very difficult. I love your excuse for wobbly fmq.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Fascinating!!! You are so organized. Thank you for sharing all those photos. I love that yellow around the edges of your new finish! I guess my question is, how often do you have guests? (Sorry if that's too nosy!) It would take a bit of magic to get that all moved out of the way.

piecefulwendy said...

Thanks, Louise, for this fun tour! It just goes to show that quilting can be done just about anywhere, and you have figured out how to use your space well! I like that I can now visualize where you are when you are making all those fun quilts, including that beauty on the guest bedroom bed! Did anyone else not notice that you have the wine close at hand?? Pretty clever, I'd say! Haha!

Needled Mom said...

Your space is used so efficiently as is evidenced by your beautiful work. I am so impressed with how well organized you are. Thank you for the tour.

JanineMarie said...

Such a pretty finish—I love how the yellow bands go from one border to the other. And then you go and cover it up to quilt—but that’s okay because that’s a wonderful work surface. At first I thought it would be uncomfortable and then I saw how high the bed is with the storage under it. I could learn a lot from your storage solutions!

Kathleen said...

So impressed with the use of space! I love the way you have a place for everything-can’t complain now about my space. You have figured it all out so it works and you can get gorgeous quilts made. Hooray.f

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Fun and fascinating to see how you make your space work! I love the curtain rod between the cupboards for hanging WiPs on - great idea! Your latest finish is beautiful, too. I like the way the colors flow in it!

KatieQ said...

Thanks for the tour of your sewing space. It's amazing to see all the inventive ways you have developed for storing your quilting tools and fabric. I always wondered how you had enough space to cut fabric.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Great string quilt!
Your use of space in your studio is amazing. So many creative and functional ways you've organized everything! Thanks for the tour.

Vicki in MN said...

Too funny you store the wine with the TP! Love the tour and can now see you sewing away in your very creative space. Love your finish too! It is amazing all the ways to store the things we love to work with.

Mystic Quilter said...

Enjoyed the tour Louise and love the quilt! Ingenious solutions to make the available space work for you, makes me look at my set up with different eyes.

Cathy said...

Oh wow, it’s so fun to see your studio! You’re so resourceful to use every nook and cranny, even the shower! The bed quilt turned out really lovely and makes a great, bright focal point in the room. Thanks for sharing with us, Louise!

Kate said...

Congrats on a beautiful finish! Looks like you've made good use of every spare inch of storage. I get seasick (very), so it's hard for me to imagine stitching while traveling by boat, but it definitely works for you. Happy stitching in your freshly reorganized space.

Sandy Panagos said...

Well, I guess that forces you to be organized, doesn't it? You do know how to make it work. It sure doesn't seem to hinder your quilt production any!

Tish Stemple said...

You are a master at making use of space! This is really cool because I admit to wondering what quilting on a boat would look like.

Dresden Quilter said...

Incredible! I love seeing your space. It makes me want to rethink mine.

Bernie Kringel said...

This tour was really fun Louise. Being in a small space seems to work well for you - I am impressed by your ability to organize - you have everything you need right at hand. Thanks for sharing with us!!

Quilter Kathy said...

How fun to have a tour around your quilty boat!

Val's Creative Life said...

Thanks for letting us inside your boating sewing life! I LOVED it....and laughed outloud at the batting storage in the shower...no space left alone when you are a quilter! I can just see you sewing away there!!

FlashinScissors said...

Wow, Louise! I enjoyed the tour! Great storage ideas, and I love your string quilt ..... the yellow borders really suit the quilt!

I love your setup for sewing! It’ll be nice to know just where you are sitting making all your wonderful quilts in future!

Barbara x