Before & After (Part 1)

My body is having an off day so I decided it was best to stay home and prepare my supplies for Open Studios and my Fabric Postcard workshops for Create On The Spot! next week at Quilt Festival/Cincinnati. (Much, much more on that tomorrow!)

Problem was, this past year I have downsized from a sizable studio into a 10′ x 10′ guest bedroom space, and frankly, I just haven’t created much at all because I can’t ever find anything! So today, I started to expand my studio into other parts of my house in efforts to get organized.

Here’s an instance of that…

Before:

before after

And after:

photo

Fabric trumps food.

 

 

 

Tips for Assembling a New Sewing Cabinet (& Quilt Book Giveaway)!

A few weeks ago while at Quilt Market, I ordered a couple of sewing tables: one was the Gidgit II, a portable sewing table on wheels that folds up for easy storage. I unpacked it this past weekend and was thrilled there was no assembly required. This is really a great portable sewing table, and it can even take the weight and size of some of the larger sewing machines, like the Bernina 830 series. Below is Gidget in my family room. I can imagine I will be sewing a lot on my back porch, and also at night in my family room where I can watch movies with my boys!

Gidget II by Arrow Cabinets

I also bought a sewing cabinet for my home studio, a space that is much smaller than my previous studio, so I needed something compact with good storage. I wanted a cabinet that was contemporary in style, with an air-lift mechanism to raise and lower my sewing machine, and I found just what I needed in the Sewnatra Cabinet by Arrow. Isn’t it adorable? I love the shuttered door!

The Sewnatra opened:

This Sewnatra  sewing cabinet does require assembly. Here’s what my family room floor looked like on Saturday morning:

And the hardware seemed a little overwhelming at first in the big plastic bag, so I opened it up and sorted the metal and plastic bits all onto a tray:

I have put together a lot of furniture over the past few months–even an entire bedroom set from scratch–so I thought I had this in the bag. (And I almost did.)

Attaching the storage bins, thread holders, and hinges onto the back of the shuttered door.

Some tips for sewing cabinet assembly:

1. Read ALL of the directions first, and really familiarize yourself with all of the hardware.

2. If there is an online video, watch it from start to finish, first. Then while assembling, pause it in places as you assemble your cabinet.

3. When in doubt, reread the directions or re-watch the video. Never assume you think you have it right until confirming, and remember that slow and steady win the race.

3. If they say you need two people to assemble it, take heed. This is because the cabinet—as you assemble it—is unwieldy, and especially when you have the top cover opened, a panel or part of the cabinet cannot support the full weight of the cabinet. Unfortunately I had most of the cabinet assembled, but then it started to fall, and I quickly grabbed the front piece, which then promptly cracked in half.

At that point I decided to take a pool break with my assistant.

The good news? I called Arrow and they are getting a replacement front piece to me ASAP. I will need to partially take apart the cabinet to replace the front panel, but then I should be good to go. Furthermore, Arrow was very helpful on the phone, offering tips and advice to complete the assembly.

I have the vision: I see this Sewnatra cabinet in my sewing room. It is going to look so adorable in there and I know I will enjoy it. The price–let alone its sheer cuteness–are well worth the minor set back, and even though I goofed during assembly, there is something about taking pride in having assembled a sewing cabinet (mostly) by myself!

Weeks Ringle’s Latest Modern Quilt Book Giveaway!

So how was your weekend? Did you quilt? Let me know what you did in the comments area and I’ll randomly choose a winner on Wednesday to win Weeks Ringle’s and Bill Kerr’s latest book!

Free Quilt Book! (and quilt-y light bulb moments)

I had a nice weekend. Did you? I had grand plans going into it of all I would accomplish: I wanted to assemble the porch chairs that came in while I was away in Cincinnati, find cushions for them, clean my grill (I had never done that before), finish a quilt project, plant about five pots of flowers, get in a couple of focused workouts, work on my art journal, watch the first two seasons of “Downton Abbey,” finish reading The House of Tyneford, write a blog entry, buy some work clothes, run with Clarence, catch up with laundry, make a Sephora run, and pay bills. Most important on this list was that Sephora run, and I did do that as well as watch “Downton Abbey,” finish the book I was reading, and do some gardening.

Here’s my Little Man, Louie, posing in front of my newly planted snapdragons:

I also went to a favorite consignment furniture store in my neighborhood called Alabama Furniture and stumbled across this little number:

I was looking for a piece of furniture that could serve as a linen cabinet to store sheets and towels for my upstairs hallway, but this vintage piece just grabbed me. I couldn’t decide whether it was super cool or super ugly, so I snapped a shot of it on my iPhone and sent it to my Facebook friends to poll them. They agreed with me that it was actually super cool (minus the sun stencils), so I bought it, and two hours later…

I had it delivered to my house and sorted my journaling and painting goods. I am really thrilled with this piece of furniture as it adds a lot of character to my studio and hides all of my messy jars of paints and things, and has a little fold-up writing desk for me to place my works-in-progress. It meant that I had to move my design wall outside of my studio, and that is when I had a light bulb moment: Why am I trying to stuff all of my studio things into one 10′ x 10′ guest bedroom when I have an entire house? Why am I so hesitant to spread my studio throughout my house and celebrate my quilt-y self everywhere? So I decided I am going to put a wooden frame around my design wall, stain it, and feature it in my living room. If anything, it will give people something to talk about when the conversation slows. (i.e. “What the heck was she thinking when she started that ugly thing?)

I also took my bookshelf of embellishments and dragged it around the corner from my studio and into my guest bathroom so people can admire my pin cushion collection and jars and jars of buttons. I’ll keep my dye supplies in my kitchen, and one of my bedrooms upstairs I may turn into a second sewing studio.

When I get more settled, maybe I will share pictures of my studio and house to show how I’m storing and featuring all of my quilting things.

Maudlin-Free Monday Giveaway

So it is time for my giveaway. Today I have a book that I am guessing a lot of people may want: Modern Minimal by Alissa Haight Carlton, a popular quilter who helped launch the Modern Quilt movement.

All you have to do is answer the following question and on this Friday I will randomly choose a winner and announce on my blog.

My giveaway question: Is there a piece of furniture or tool that had you thinking in a new way, or gave you a light bulb moment about your approach to quilting or your creative process?

Happy Monday!

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