Monday, January 21, 2013

What I Found

In all the cleaning out and moving, I found lots of old stuff that I had forgotten about. In particular, many old quilts. Some of them weren't worth saving, so they are gone now. But then I came across a piece that I made when I turned 50. As I remember, it was a pretty traumatic event. Now, as I am about to turn 65, I would much rather be turning 50 instead. This piece is titled Oh No! 50! A little bit of editing with paint and now it more accurately reflects the times.

The signature required an amendment also.

This makes me wonder where I will be and what will I be doing in 15 more years. Sort of a scary thought.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quilt Storage

After more than 2 decades of making quilts, I have amassed quite a closet gallery. Actually, it outgrew the closet many years ago and expanded into a former bedroom that also happened to be my photography room. Occasionally it served as a guest room, but there was always the hazard of pins that had fallen into the carpet. Now, with my new studio, my goal was to consolidate all my quilts into one of the storage areas under the eaves. I thought about a storage system for a long time and finally came up with the idea of making rolling racks that would slide in and out of the closet area. The challenge was to make sure that the rack would fit through the elf door. And it also had to accommodate the sloping ceiling. I needed to make two racks: one to hold quilts narrower than 4 feet, and one for the wider quilts. I store my quilts rolled onto pipe insulation and inside a custom made bag. The majority of quilts are in the less than 4 feet wide category, so this needed to be the larger rack. Larger in the sense that it had more shelves.

So here it is - 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 3 feet high. Masonite boards cut to fit make the base of each shelf. Each shelf has 3 cross bars, which you can sort of see where the T-joints are.

Here it is loaded up with quilts. See how nicely it fits through the door? From the masonite that was left over, my husband cut 6" tall pieces. These help prevent the quilts from rolling off the edges.

The other rack is 6' long and also has 3 cross bars on each shelf, but it only has 2 shelves. It's narrower and lower because it has to fit in the closet where the ceiling is lower to the floor. The shelves on this longer one sag a bit. I couldn't figure out how to make a truss to support the pvc. 

I should make some sort of chart where I can note the location of each quilt. All the bags are labeled with the title of the quilt, but rifling through all those bag ends is tedious. But really, I need a chart that tells me where I've put everything in the studio. I tried to be logical and store things according to how often I use them and also put them close to similar items, but I'm still opening and closing lots of drawers and boxes. Eventually I will remember where everything is. I hope.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Moving In

It's been a busy few weeks, what with Christmas preparations and celebrations, and moving my studio. I've been working on the moving for at least two weeks and it's nearly complete. I haven't moved my quilts over yet because the storage racks have yet to be built, but that will happen real soon now. Most everything else has made the trip, and I have the sore knees to prove it.  Six steps up from the basement, out the back door, in the studio door, and up 15 steps, carrying boxes and stuff. Wow, do I have a lot of stuff.

These cabinets are for the wet studio area. I filled them up with paints, dyes, brushes, measuring cups, chemicals, syringes. I thought I would have enough room to also store all the stamps and other marking tools in these cabinets also, but that was a delusion. That stuff filled up two rolling metal basket carts.

Inside the larger closet. The builders left the roll ends of tyvek, and I used it to cover part of the walls. There was heavy aluminum foil covering the insulation and the tyvek will prevent me accidentally punching a hole in that when moving stuff around. Notice the nice shelves at the far end, courtesy of my dear husband. Behind the rolling carts are boxes with seldom used stuff. I need to make a map of where I've stashed things because I've already spent time trying to find stuff because I can't remember where I put it.

The view from the top of the stairs.

Same view, but now the work tables and sewing table are in place. I've ordered one more table.

The fabric stash.

Home Depot (where we have spent a lot of time and money lately) has these plastic shelves that are quite inexpensive, very easy to assemble, easy to move around (while not holding anything), and will hold a remarkable amount of stuff. They come in various sizes. There is a white one tucked into the corner in the previous picture, and then I also bought this one. This is going to be the spot where I dump stuff. Previously the only place I could do that was on my work surface, and it rapidly became so cluttered I was always moving stuff around  to open up enough area to work. Now there is a dedicated space.

I covered four 4x8 insulation boards with white fleece and put them on the long wall. This is a huge amount of design wall space and right now it's giving me artist block. I need to put something on it. Yesterday I made curtains for the windows that face the street, as I was feeling rather exposed up there. And I have to figure out the  "work flow" - where to put the things I use so that they are close to where I use them. In the basement studio, everything was very close at hand since the space was pretty confined. Now, everything is more spread out and I don't want to spend too much time and too many steps to find my rulers and rotary cutters. It's a very nice problem to have.