Putting it Together – THE BOOKS!

You never really realize how many books you have until you have to pack them and then unpack them.  Well, I finally have unpacked all my quilt book I think – there are a few mystery boxes of “don’t know what’s inside”- so a few more might show up.  My task yesterday was to organize my bookcases.

(FYI – the wires etc hanging down on the left are from the lighting I had on the bookcases in NYC – not sure if it will work here, but I am going to try and fit some of it in.)

My friend Michelle Tade Banton asked me on Facebook – how did I organize mine – by author, publisher, color, size, or ??????

I organize mine according to topic/technique.  When I am working on a project  or getting ready to teach or develop a class I need a book that has a particular focus.  So, I have several sections. The bookcases are from IKEA

So I have a section that contains some of my books on historical and state quilt books.

And a section that has resources for basic block patterns

And a section that deals with basic quilting techniques

And a section for embroidery/beading/sashimi

Above those books I have my various supplies stored (small scissors, needles, embroidery threads and beads.) I have to pull out my label maker and make some new labels for these boxes – some things got rearranged – I wanted to do this back in NYC but never got to it – so going to do it now.

I have them in these great bamboo containers that I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond in NYC – I also found them at the Container Store in NYC. They hide some of the mess but are also great because you can pull them out and carry them to where you are working.

I have a section that has my Applique books and a stack of my Quiltmania magazines (can’t part with those) and a few Marti Michell resources (love her stuff)

I have a section which has various books on various techniques (yes – that is MY Fisher Price music box from when I was a child – and YES it still works!)

I have collected a lot of old plant containers over the  years – in NYC I had them on a shelf in my bathroom as decoration. Here I am going to try and use them for some storage.  So I have one sitting on some books and it contains some reproduction charm packs.

Just noticed – wouldn’t that design on the flower pot make a great background filler quilting design?? (Look for ideas EVERYWHERE!)

And on top of my bookcase I have a doll my brother brought back from Japan when he was stationed there in the 60s when he was in the Air Force.  Next to it on the left are some Shaker Reproduction boxes that I have purchased at various shows – and they contain some goodies – on the right is a basket I bought in Amish Country in Lancaster and right now it has my cones of Aurifil Thtread.

There are more sections – my Japanese Quilt magazines, Kaffe books, Amish/Mennonite books, Quilting patterns/Longarm quilting etc….

You ask what is behind the doors – well – that is where I stash some of my stash – but you will have to wait for that reveal!

Big Rig on the Road – Fall 2013

The move from New York City to Rochester also means new opportunities for teaching, and I will also be on the road giving talks and teaching.  Here is a look at where I will be this fall – click on the various links for more details about the classes and events.

September 17

Village Square Quilters
Scarsdale, NY
Talk: “Yes, Men do Quilt” and Trunk Show

September 24, October 1, October 15

Infinite Possibilites: Drunkard’s Path with a Twist
6pm – 8 pm

October 5, 2013 & November 2

Infinite Possibilites: Drunkard’s Path with a Twist
10 am – 1pm
See images above
Kaleidoscope: Kaleidomania
2pm – 5pm

October 9

Modern View
10 am – 4pm
October 17 & November 7
Kaleidoscopes: Kaleido-Mania
10 am – 1pm

See images above

October 25 – 28
Book Launch for new imprint from Kansas City Star Quilts
My Stars: A New Tradition
October 25 – Schoolhouse  (Time TBA)
October 27 – Book Signing – Kansas City Star (12:30 pm)
November 9
Holiday Gathering (Table Runner/Table Topper)
10 am – 1pm
December 1
2 pm
Trunk Show in conjunction with the exhibit Quilts=Art=Quilts

The Studio – Putting it Together

It is hard to believe that all our worldly possessions landed here just 3 weeks ago. We have been busy unpacking and continue to marvel how we fit everything we have into our two small (600 sq ft) apartments in NYC. The upstairs of the house is semi-functional but I needed to move quickly to getting my studio together. This is how it looked at the end of moving-in day – PRETTY SCARY!!!

The first task was to paint the room.  It is in the basement and it had previously been used as as family room. It was painted a medium tan color and it would be great for a family room.

With the limited natural light that comes into the room I knew that I needed to lighten up the walls a bit, so I checked in with my online friends and there were several suggestions.  I went with a very light grey.  I will be honest when I say that it looks a bit darker on the walls than it did on the paint swatch and I was a bit worried that it might be too dark, but I think it will be just fine.

I have the longarm on the wall I had originally planned – but I thought I had measured accurately – but I didn’t so it proved to be a tight fit. I was going to move it to the side wall (which is longer) but the ceiling dips a bit as it covers the support beam and heating duct.  I find that when I walk from one side of the room I kept ducking worrying that I am going to hit the ceiling (which is not the case). So, I decided to leave it on the far wall feeling it would be better to deal with the tight space than having the sense that I would be hitting the ceiling everytime I made a pass on the machine.

My Ikea bookcases just squeak in – they are almost too tall. Unfortunately I can’t use the extenders I had on top of them in NYC – but they will be reused somewhere else in the house for storage.  At this point I just unpacked my books (in the top) and my fabric (hidden behind the doors).  The goal was just to get it out of the boxes.  As time goes on it will become better organized.

I set up my sewing cabinet (Horn cabinet) in the little nook.  I was playing around with different orientations and felt this would be the best.  In this position I can look at my design wall (yet to be constructed) as I sew, it will also allow me to open up the extension when I need to use it.

This is the view from my sewing machine to the wall that will hold my design wall.

I also found a place for my mother’s Singer – yes it works!

I have my work counter set up – the shelves underneath have my UFOs (well most of them).  I use the top of it for cutting fabric and other design work.

I have more fabric stored under my longarm in containers from The Container Store.

The office area is in rough shape. I did manage to get my door to put over the two filing cabinets so I have a desk area where I can work on my computer. I need to finish putting up some shelving and emptying the boxes into the file cabinets and onto the shelves.

So far so good – but there is a way to go – lighting needs to be added to the main room. I have the fixtures – now to wait for the electrician to install them.

No more work on the organization this week. Have to get busy sewing samples for my upcoming classes.  I did find my Aurifil Cones and Marti Michell templates – now to pull out some fabric and get to work!

So two questions  – what is it that you wish you had in your own studio space? AND – What is the best thing that you like about your studio space?

As the character George sings in Stephen Sondheim’s show Sunday in the Park with George:

Bit by bit,
Putting it together…
Piece by Piece-
Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision’s no solution,
Everything depends on execution:
Putting it together-
That’s what counts!

The Big Move

You may know that for the past 18 years I have lived in New York City – I moved there thinking I might stay there one or two, maybe three years at the max.  How did it happen that I was there for 18?  Well I had a good run in NYC doing great things. But it came time to leave the big city and move elsewhere.  Time to leave the crazy pace of Manhattan and find some more space where I could spread out and do my work. So Ray and I packed up our stuff (he lived there for 38 years) and moved to Rochester, NY.

I am originally from the Buffalo, NY area and I lived in Rochester for a period of time. It is a beautiful part of NY State and a great city.  So pack up we did.

The boxes were piled high in my apartment.

Then the movers came and started moving things out.

Leave it to me to find beauty and design ideas in moving blankets!

Then it was empty!



The final few precious things await the car for the drive to Rochester.

Alas, the last sunset from my apartment in midtown Manhattan.

The next day the trucks arrived (one from Ray’s apartment, one from mine – NO they were not both full, only about half-full!

And the boxes began to find a new home

And more boxes…..

And more boxes…..

Where did they all come from???  (I think something happened between all these boxes in the van – especially the fabric –  there seem to be more here than there were in NYC)

The trucks are empty.

Now the task of unpacking begins and the fun of setting up my sewing studio.  (Yes this is a shot of what the studio looked like on moving day – it’s not much better today!)

Things are great and we are loving our new home.  Stay tuned for unpack the studio!!!!

Big Rig in Print!

I am excited to share this with all of you – I have a quilt that I designed that will be included in a new book that will be out this fall. It will be published by Kansas City Star Quilts.  They are starting a new imprint as part of their publishing line that will feature quilts with a more modern look. The book is called Classic Modern Quilts and it should be available in late fall.

Have a look at their blog post about the book (CLICK HERE)– I really like the location they picked for the photo shoot. Sorry that you don’t see full shots of any of the quilts – just a bit of a tease to get you interested. Take some time to look at other posts about the book in their blog – there are interviews with the designers that are featured in the book.

Here is a two blocks that are in my quilt.

It is an adaptation of the Spider Web Block. I used Marti Michell’s Large Kaleido Ruler to cut the components of the block and the fabric is the Spin line by Windham Fabrics.

Stay tuned for more information about the book and the release date!   If you happen to be a shop owner and are heading to Quilt Market in Houston be on the lookout for a schoolhouse session and also come by the book signing on Saturday at 12:30 to say hello! (If you aren’t a shop owner – make sure you tell your favorite shop owner to be on the lookout for the book at market!)