Monday, March 30, 2020

Workshop Tour

My sewing studio-Atelier 54

I am so excited to share my sewing space with you!  After months of working a bit at a time, my workshop, Atelier 54, is mostly ready to go.  I still have some finishing touches to do, but it is organized and set to sew! 

I'm blessed to have a large room in our basement to work with.  My husband wanted me to paint the walls a bright color, but I wanted to stick with white.  That way the true colors of the fabrics are seen and not compromised when I take pictures.  My office upstairs is painted apricot and every picture taken there has an orange tinge.

My sewing desk was in the room when we bought the house.  It must have been built in the room, because it is too big to fit through the door.  I  painted it and added a vintage sewing picture to the front.

Against the wall, i placed a board over another desk to hold a cutting board for  trimming and a small press mat.  In the corner of the two desks, I have a filing cabinet for patterns.

 Vintage thread and ironing advertisement decorate the walls with shelves for sewing treasures and supplies.

There is a pegboard in the corner to hold my quilting stencils.

The pressing station is a board covered with batting and heavy canvas set on top of a dresser.  The top drawer contains pressing aids and the bottom two has hopeful projects and UFO's.

The back wall has quilting fabrics colorized with the black fabric bins holding smaller pieces.

Backing fabrics  are in the black shelves with serger, on top.

Novelty fabrics are housed in cubbies with thread  racks on top and small see through tubes that contain notions.

Under shelf is storage for interfacing, batting, bins for yarn and needlework projects, etc.

I'm not a fabric hoarder.
 I am the curator of an extensive textile collection!

Cutting area has pegboard for rulers and cutting tools.  I also have clips to hang notes and book holder if I am using pattern from book or a magazine.

Next to the cutting area is my design area.  The design wall was made from foam board, batting and covered it in flannel.

Completing the design area is a desk for quilt design, art journaling and scrapbooking.

There was an old fashioned pencil sharpener  already mounted to the wall.  That is perfect since I am always losing my sharpeners.

A bookcase holds my collection of quilting and sewing books and magazines.

I hope this tour inspires you and gives you some ideas for your space.  I can't wait to get started sewing in this space!  You can see a bit of my first project on the design wall, a quilt I'm calling Fan Dance.
I'll post here when the pattern and quilt is available.

Until next time...

Monday, March 23, 2020

You are shopping and go to the paper isle to pick up toilet paper and Kleenex, but the shelves are empty!   The fear of the coronavirus has created a strange shortage in toilet paper, tissues, and paper napkins.  Now what?  You are about to save the day with your superpowers and fabric stash!

I have cloth napkins we have used for everyday.  They are just squares of cotton weavers cloth I serged around. I seldom use paper towels since we prefer cloth. I also have cloth handkerchiefs but haven't really used them a lot.  And to be honest, I never even considered using cloth toilet paper.

For years, many of the "green" community have been using what is called family cloths as a toilet paper alternative.  These are 6-8 inch pieces of fabric that is used as toilet paper, washed, and reused. If you think that is gross, think of soiled under ware or cloth diapers.  You launder the family cloths just like you would those.  Of course, handkerchiefs and cloth napkins have never disappeared.  Handkerchiefs are best made from 100% cotton and are usually 12" x 12".  Napkin can be cotton or linen, or a blend of the two.  Standard sizes are 16", 18" or 20" squares. Cut squared one inch larger if you are going to hem. For everyday use I  just serge around the edges.  If using a knit that won't ravel, just cut and it is ready to use.

Soft, absorbent fabrics work the best.  Fabrics such as cotton flannel, tee-shirt knit, toweling work the best. If you are going to use quilting cotton, be sure to wash it a couple times first to make sure all the sizing is gone. You can also use wash clothes.  If the fabric is thin, like flannels or knit, you may want to sew or serge two pieces together. To help your family transition from paper and get over the "eww, that’s gross factor, use fun prints if you have them.

For the family cloths, you can store the cloths in a basket on the back of the toilet or on a nearby shelf.  If the sink is not nearby, add a spray bottle of water.  Spritz to dampen the cloth before it is used as a wet cloth is more comfortable.  If needed, rinse cloth in clean toilet water to remove any solids left on the cloth, you don't want that mess in your washer!  Keep a bucket with a lid partially full of water next to the toilet to toss used clothes into.  Add a little baking soda or laundry detergent in the water to eliminate any odors.  Launder cloths and change water every 3-4 days.

You can place hankies in baskets around the house like you do the tissue boxes.  Keep a zip lock baggie with it to keep used tissues until laundered.  I also keep cloth napkins in a basket, and have a bin for rags and kitchen towels.

We quilters and crafters are often made fun of because of our stashes.  It is times like these we show our wisdom by keeping up that stash.  With our superpowers and few pieces from that stash, we can keep our families clean, healthy, and happy.

Do not question the size of my fabric stash, unless you think it should be bigger!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Abe's Birthday at the David Davis Mansion

 The David Davis Mansion was built in 1872 for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis. Davis who also served in the U.S. Senate was a friend and political ally of Abraham Lincoln.  His influence on Abraham Lincoln's legal and political career was crucial to President Lincoln's success.  His wife Sarah's influence on her husband shaped his political career and their lives.

My daughter and I celebrated Abraham Lincoln's birthday at the home of his friend, David Davis.  After cake and punch, Abe regaled us with stories of his life as a circuit judge in Illinois.  Then we were given a tour of Judge David and Sarah's home.  I took some pictures of the quilts she had on their beds so I could share with you.

This bed was covered in a lace top, not a quilt.  But check out the sewing machine sitting by the bed.  The sewing machine was invented around 1830.  1880's they sold for about $100.00, that would be about $2000.00 today.
This room was their daughter, Sally's.  The quilt is appliqued.  The room was roped off so I couldn't get closer to take the picture.

The Churn Dash is a very old 9-Patch quilt block pattern, originating between 1800 and 1849. Its name is a result of the resemblance of the triangle and rectangle perimeter of the block to a butter churn and the center square to the stick (or “dash”) of the butter churn.

This one is Aunt Eliza Star with sawtooth borders. Beautiful!

I love the hand quilting.  I hope you enjoyed the tour. 
Until next time,

A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Purge is Done!

I'm so excited to announce that step one of reclaiming my space is done.  All fabrics have been gone thru twice.  The first  time was an easy sort.  The second was a little bit harder.  I didn't want to give up ANY piece of fabric, but I decided I couldn't keep it all.  So I asked myself these questions…

  • Do I like it?
  • Do I love it?
  • Will I use it in the next 2 years?
  • Is it big enough for a project?
  • Why am I keeping it?
  • Can someone else use it?

I ended up purging about 1/3 of my fashion fabrics, which was easier than my quilting cottons.  I only purged about 1/8 of my those fabrics.  As I organize what is left, I'll probably be able to let go of some more.  My goal is to know what I have and make room for more of what I will actually use.
I'll be sending some of the fabrics to a group that make quilts for charity and the rest will go to the Idea Store.
Now onto step two, getting it all organized!  I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas and will report back to you what works and doesn't work.
 Until then, 

The best kind of sleep beneath heaven above
Is a under a quilt, handmade with love.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Prayer for the Anointing of Bezalel

Lord, I ask for wisdom and skill, intelligence and understanding, and knowledge in skilled craft of quilting. Guide my heart and hands that I may preform this work with excellence. As the opportunity to teach others comes, I ask for the ability to teach with clarity, patience, and compassion. 

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom and skill, with intelligence and understanding, and with knowledge in all [areas of] craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 33 and in the cutting of stones for setting and in the carving of wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 He has also put in Bezalel’s heart [the willingness] to teach [others the same skills], both he and Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do the work of an engraver, of a designer, and of an embroiderer, in blue, purple, and scarlet fabric, and in fine linen, and of a weaver; makers of every work and embroiderers of [excellent] designs.

Atelier 54

 I am so blessed to have a space for a craft/sewing/?? studio.  I have named it Atelier 54.

Atelier is a word that means artistic workshop or studio. 

In biblical numbers, the number 5 is for Grace, the number 4 is Creative Works.  5 plus 4 equals 9 with is the number for completion.

Therefore, Atelier 54 is my artistic workshop where there is grace for creative works to be completed for God's plan and purpose.

In this blog, I'll share the projects that come from there, tips and tricks I learn along the way, and whatever i feel God is leading me to do.

I hope you will join me on this new journey!