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.