Indispensable Tools, Tutorials

Studio Space and Design Walls

Until just recently my sewing/art/studio shared space with our guest room. A lot of you  know the drill:  Company’s coming, start wheeling out the portable carts, last minute putting away of supplies (that you can’t find for weeks after your company goes home) and no access to your machine for a week.  So along with my decision to go on “hiatus” from real estate I decided to convert my home office to a dedicated art studio. Number one requirement – a design wall – so sorely needed. Current design wall being the sliding doors of the guest room closet or a sheet on the floor for larger projects.  The futon had to go and the ideal spot for it was my husband’s study.  Of course he didn’t know anything about that but it didn’t take long to convince him that it was a wonderful idea :-).  So I helped clear space for the futon and we proceeded to take it apart.

And that’s when the fun began.

Picture this – a queen size mattress – a relatively narrow door – 2 height challenged people

So we each have an end of the mattress – John’s pulling I’m pushing and he starts doing some deep cleansing “labor” type breathing – saying “now push” breathe – Well I lost it – rolling on the floor lost it.

Shortly thereafter, with the mattress out of the room I left John to tackle the job of dismantling the frame. I couldn’t watch.  It was like watching a scary movie.

Next step was to turn that now beautifully empty wall into my dream design wall.  I had purchased some fiber board and proceeded to put it up using double sided tape to adhere it to the wall.

Measure your space carefully before you buy the fiber board.  It comes in a variety of sizes and I decided on the 30″ by 20″ size, easier to handle and more versatile so far as filling the space. You can get it in one of the chain crafts stores.  I was lucky to find it on sale.       You also want to note where your electrical outlets are so that you don’t cover them up.  I started at the top because I didn’t want to run out of wall space with leftover fiber board to trim if possible. I figured that I would use the space at the top more readily than near the floor anyway.


My other purchase was a length of white cotton flannel yardage. I calculated the width of the board and multiplied by 2. Then I cut the yardage in half so that I ended up with 2 lengths the width of the design board.  I used a staple gun to attach the flannel to the fiber board being careful to keep it taut and straight.

The last touch was to add a sturdy curtain rod across the top.  This will be used to hang quilts for photographing.  This design wall is now in constant use and I have found the hanging rod to be a necessary tool as well.

If you have any questions about how I did this please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to provide an answer.

Art Quilt, Fiber Art, Haiku, Haiku, Journal Size, Poetry, Poetry and Photography, Quilts

A Soft Day in Ireland Haiku Art for May 2011


The prompt word this month is “soft”.  Now this will be interesting to see – how many directions will the artists go with this word.  The possibilities are endless.

This one didn’t require too much deliberation on my part.  During a trip to Ireland a few years back I latched on to the phrase “soft Irish day”.  It really captured my imagination.
It rains a lot in Ireland.  Sometimes it rains hard; sometimes the rain settles over the earth like a misty blanket. They call this a “soft day”.
steady gentle rain
Irish hills shrouded in mist
another soft day
I used fairly vivid commercial quilt cottons for the stylized hills then couched the edges with decorative fibers.  Then I quilted the whole thing with 40 wt. variegated cotton in shades of green.

I arranged a piece of tulle over the quilt and tacked it down with vintage buttons. Finally I topped it with a piece of lace (Irish lace?) .

another fun Haiku Art challenge
Art Quilts, Fiber Art, Indispensable Tools, Quilts

On My Design Wall


Just took a fresh look at my “design wall” and decided what to finish up this weekend. I’ll have the house to myself  – no excuses not to finish at least one of these projects.
This is Beach Buddies.
Almost finished the quilting – just the sky and details of the clothing.  Then I will bind it and attach a hanging sleeve.
This is an original design based on some photography that I did a few years ago.

I’ve got mostly handwork left on this watery, fishy piece so it’ll be a good one to work on too.

And if I need a break from the stitching I’ll pull out my paints and get back to work on KR.  He really needs to be finished.


Busy Week –

I didn’t make much progress with my Art Quilting projects this week but nevertheless it was a good week.

  • I did make progress on a quilt that I’m making for my youngest granddaughter. Kind of a cute story – we were talking on the phone a few weeks ago and I was trying to explain the project that I was working on for a class.  It is a seascape and has all kinds of embellishments including cellophane. (It was an online class with Linda Schmidt – “creating the elements”. Great class!)  Granddaughter first asked me who the quilt is for – then commented that it wouldn’t be a very “softy” quilt. She proceeded to give me a detailed explanation as to how I could get all the special ocean effects that I wanted just by using fabric and thread. Thus ending up with a quilt that would still be “softy.”  So I’m making her a special “softy sea” quilt as a special surprise.
  • My “day job” is real estate and it’s getting more important than ever to get a special designation to list and sell so-called “distressed” properties – such as foreclosures and short sales.  So I’ve been busy taking a class that will culminate with the CDPE designation: Certified Distressed Property Expert. It’s actually quite interesting and I will be finishing up this weekend.
  • I am participating in an online group that was formed to bring Haiku and Fiber Art together.  The group was established this past week by A. Carole Grant, a Canadian Mixed Media/Fiber Artist that I “met” on the Quilt Art list.  I am very excited to be a part of this and am looking forward to some “stretching” and growth as an artist.
  • We had our Book Club meeting this week and a good discussion on “The House at Riverton”.  This was a very good read!  Kind of Upstairs Downstairs meets The Thirteenth Tale – with a little Remains of the Day thrown in for good measure!

It’s supposed to rain here all day tomorrow and I plan to sew, sew, sew!!!