Often times people have asked me about how I got into this work and what its like to make my living from creating art. There are numerous ways to go about that and I've had years and years of learning and I'm STILL learning. I have a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Michigan and I've taken textile and surface design courses at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. I still take classes to improve and expand my skills and knowledge. I expect I always will since learning is something I love and I strive to continually improve. But It would take a lot of effort to put what I've learned about making a career out of my art into a course for other people- a task that is beyond what I can take on. However, I am happy to share some info with those of you searching for this information...that I know of someone I greatly respect who IS now doing just that! Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber is sharing her creative energy to help you grow!
This is Stacie Bloomfield and I at Quilt Market a few years ago. Stacie also designs textile collections for Moda Fabrics and she is one of the wonderful designers I've gotten to know through exhibiting at Quilt Market. Sometimes at market we have some time to discuss and share and get to know each other more. Its one of the special treats of market- time to share with other designers. After getting to know Stacie more, I was blown away by her creative energy, sensitivity, enthusiasm, knowledge and drive. This picture at her booth shows some of her many adorable designs. ALL the wonderful images in the post are from Stacie at Gingiber.
Stacie is a creative powerhouse. She runs a successful business based on her art and designs. She has a brick and mortar store and creative workshop space. She licenses her designs to numerous companies as well as manufacturing products herself. She knows how to approach companies, make the pitch, develop her portfolio and adapt to market trends. She boldly shares the ups and downs, the disappointments and the victories, the motivation and structure needed to make this world of creative work be something that DOES WORK. I have tremendous respect for her and I'm in awe of what she has created as her business.
Stacie has a free class you can take that actually starts today- a mini course called "Creative Powerhouse- How to leverage your creativity into a career". This is what she does. I believe the class is open this whole week and its delivered to your email inbox. This is a link to get to her free class or click the box below:
I'm going to be putting this Creative Powerhouse painter image up on my wall at my desk to remind myself of the business that Stacie has created and to reinforce my own commitment to what I am working at creating. By the way, its one of the things that I love about Stacie- she creates great images to empower and encourage and to shine!
Thanks Stacie for making a class that shares some of this information with other artists and designers! Enjoy the class and your own creative journey!
#creativepowerhouse #partnerprogram #gingibercreates #artlicensing
This week's block, XOXO from Lissa Alexander can be found at the Moda blog archive of Blockheads blocks. This is a great resource place to get your blocks and catch up on any you missed.
I'm still doing some browns this week so I've added a pop of orange to liven it up, and a little gray for a cooler balance. I intended to do this block with tan background corners and just white centers in the O's but I forgot and my blocks were done before I remembered. I'm sticking with these!
For my mixed print this week I 'm using V&Co Ombre Confetti. I just love this fabric! The density change with the dots to go with the lighter or darker value of the color is just perfect. I love that little pop of celebration and movement. And those little leopard print handle Gingher scissors...they are the first scissors I got with fun handles. I got them about 18 years ago and they were a special birthday treat I gave myself.
Soooooo...want to see some color studies?? First I have my basic browns and orange. I made this in the first version since it went in with my rainbow row theme. I like looking at the richness when you add dark colors along with the light colors into those stitch-and-flip corners. And more orange, and how about playing with the orange and switching it up within the Xs and Os? If I were making the block for a fun pillow I would probably do something more mixed, like the right one on the second row. This stays with color stories- greens on top, yellow and oranges on the bottom. But each one is a mix of values within those colors and it feels like a lively mix of movement.
The all-green blocks have a different feel. The one on the left has the OXXO go from light on top to dark on bottom while the background does the reverse, dark to light going down each row. And next to it, the lights and darks stay the same in the top and bottom and the 2 middle rows. This emphasizes the feeling of mountains and valleys vs letters.
On the last row, I've played with the browns making a center square by using one corner of each X, O block. Then consistent color above and below that, to the sides and in the corners. It creates a feeling of banded color or a transparent film of color layed over the Xs and Os. And lastly, by alternating the insides and outsides (so a chartreuse center has turquoise corners and the next one has a turquoise center with chartreuse corners) we get a continuation of the angled shape from block to block, creating a composition on angled lines that form new diamonds. The little white triangles in the center are a focal point and a bow on the package! This one really has a strong directional movement to the way the blocks read as a continual sections. This is the other one I think I'd make as an experiment.
Check back on Saturday when I post some of the blocks I've been catching up on. I am really excited to share my applique bird and urn from a couple weeks ago and I did Joanna Figueroa's alternate flower too.
See you soon!
If it's easier to see my posts on a feed, I am also on Bloglovin at https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/robin-pickens-blog-20472215
Thank you to Lisa Bongean for a wonderful block for this week's Moda Blockheads. You can access the block pattern on her blog at this link:
This week I was making the first of my blocks for my BROWN row in my rainbow row quilt. I don't work with brown a whole lot so this is a good exercise for stretching myself beyond my go-to colors. AND I decided to work in some of my new SOLANA fabric to the mixed prints block so it made it even more fun. But first...a little color/contrast study with the block...
I love the illusion of a square on point made from those flying geese when you keep the same color on all the flying geese and the small corner squares in the center. I also liked keeping a little shading difference between the center square and the star points surrounding it. But its interesting to see how playing with the outside half square triangles and making them a different color from the flying geese can give the block an overall octagonal feeling. And if you play with different colors for the flying geese on the larger and smaller blocks, it separates the inner square vs the illusion of the square on point. The example with the darkest corners on the large flying geese emphasizes a giant plus sign behind the on-point square. And in the bottom row I started playing with adding some orange, thinking a scrappier mix of colors and I like how the white corners and flying geese centers work together as a band of on-point border. The one with orange one might be my favorite of the color studies. But I think that is partly because I really like orange as a color.
My all-Thatched version is using the Cocoa and Oatmeal brown Thatched with a center square of Cream. The star points around the center are the Oatmeal from the back side for subtle difference.
For my version with prints, I am using the scenic print from the group in the corners with the criss cross ratan plaid, sunflower seeds on yellow and varietals on cream in the center. Solana doesn't have brown as a colorway but I think these browns from Thatched go with it quite well since the whole group has a warm, earthy feel. Makes me want to get out in the garden and start planting.
I love how perfectly these blocks go with my latest vintage Singer acquisition- this two tone 301. When I saw the two-tone colors I fell in love with this one. I just got it at Road to California in January from Aspire Sewing from Anaheim. She is lovely. I haven't named her yet (keep thinking "Mabel").
Please stop by the other Moda Blockheads designers' blogs and check out what they are all up to. I'm happy to be back to posting on time this week! Still catching up with a few so stay tuned for more to come this week! Want to follow me on Bloglovin'? If so, click this link! https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/robin-pickens-blog-20472215
At the time Corey Yoder's Starry Eyed block was released for Moda Blockheads, I was deep in Quilt Market sewing. Finally this weeked I've had a little time to do the blocks! Here is Corey's post if you want to get the pattern:
Blue, blue, lovely blue! The main blues here used from Thatched Basics are Royal 96 (corners and background) and Sky 93 (bright medium light blue). For the lightest blue I flipped Sky and used the backside. I wanted the effect of shading or dimension, so even though the pattern used a single square in the middle top, bottom and sides, I used triangles.
The dark center is Navy 94 and the white is Cream 36 in Thatched. I did some color studies on the computer the week of the block release and if you didn't get a chance to see those, it is at this link:
For my block made with prints, I decided to use my NEW Solana line that is shipping to shops in October! The blue here is a more tealish blue with green undertones. I switched up the dark center this time for a lighter center with my happy ladybugs!
In Solana, there are two blues- Pond, the lighter medium blue and Horizon, the deeper darker blue. I love how the yellow sunflowers really pop on that Horizon Blue. The other prints in the Starry Eyed block are the Criss Cross print based on Ratan and Varietals, which are linear illustrations celebrating the varieties of Sunflowers.
I'm so glad we add in more Thatched blenders with each group to have more color range to play with. As for whether or not they stay on as basics depends on the popularity of the color and if it is different enough from the other basics of Thatched. I like how the Solana colors work really well with Marine and Turquoise and Peacock in the Thatched Basics.
Really hoping to get another set of blocks done tomorrow and get closer to catching up. Happy sewing, have a wonderful Memorial Day and stay safe and well!
Today I get to share my newest fabric line for Moda Fabrics, SOLANA. It is based on sunflowers and warm, happy colors. When I designed this fabric, I had no idea how much I would need and enjoy working with this optimistic group of fabrics at this particular time.
Solana is a Spanish word for "the sunny side" of a mount or valley. This seemed like a perfect name for a group about sunflowers because they are always looking to the sunny side, always reaching up to that sunshine.
This collection feels like it celebrates simple pleasures. Ladybugs crawling on leaves, tall blooms looking pretty yet bold, linear illustrations of fanciful sunflower centers... It does remind me of being on family vacations in the summer, driving across country with the windows down and the warm air rushing at my face. I've included a painting of a rural scene in this collection that reminds me of those car trips and seeing miles of farmland and fields.
Solana includes 4 main colorways of cream/buttercup, green, peach/clementine, and pond and horizon blues. The large florals are accompanied by a criss cross ratan pattern, tall stalks, ladybugs, varietals illustrations, sunflower seeds, and of course more Thatched blenders. This collection will be shipping to quilt shops in October 2020.
A very exciting addition to the line this time are two PANELS! Each of these panels have a quote in the center and are a yard in width. Want to have some fun with free-motion quilting? Or add blocks for borders and make these the center of a bigger quilt? I can't wait to experiment more with these and share my progress with them!
The quotes are "Wherever life plants you, Bloom with Grace" (French Proverb) and "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what Sunflowers do." by Helen Keller.
It's been a different experience to prepare for Quilt Market in a virtual way. Today I would have been back home, just arriving from a late night flight after seeing all you wonderful quilty peeps at Market. I miss that experience. It's like reuniting with family. But I am learning new ways of connecting with people over the internet and video. Speaking of video...this is what my dining room ended up looking like to make my market video! I'm still cleaning up...
I'll post more about my quilts with this group, as well as my progress with my panels. I hope you are all finding some sunny inspiration in your days and can look to the bright side!
I was able to get some more Village houses done in between other projects. I hope that I am able to keep making these fun little houses here and there and will have a full village in time for Christmas.
My mother sent me some little fabric pieces she had too so I included some of those for some doors. I've been using fabrics from Sweetwater, Gingiber, Zenchic, Deb Strain, Natalia Bonner, Bonnie and Camille, my Thatched and Splendid, along with other pieces from my stash.
I'm so glad that Moda and Miss Rosie's Quilt Company made this pattern available to us during this time of staying at home. It is fun to sew these village blocks. You can view my previous post for more info on getting the pattern https://www.robinpickens.com/blog/the-village-in-christmas-cheer
Happy Blockheads Wednesday! I squeezed a few flying geese in here or there while I was doing other sewing this week. I love the balance and movement in this Crossroads block from Betsy Chutchian. You can get the pattern by visiting her blog here:
This week I am playing with ORANGES and it is such a lively color. Orange and purple, orange and green, orange and yellow, orange and pink...these are all ways I love to see orange pair up with other colors. I've used a mix of Abby Rose and Dandi Annie and Thatched on my mixed print block. Before I show more pictures of those, would you like to see some COLOR PLAY with this block design?
I liked the idea of the flying geese changing color as they moved closer to the square in the center. The top two image have darker geese on the outer perimeter with colors getting lighter as they march towards the center. The one on the left also mimics the dark to light movement with the triangles in the corners of the geese units as well, with a very dark background moving to a dark to medium pinks for the geese backgrounds. On the row right under that, its fun to see how the large corner blocks all becoming that same dark background makes the outer geese look like horns blowing out in all four directions. My next one was just color play to see the blocks in all different colors. Then on the bottom row I tried mixed colors within the geese, keeping my rows in a more pinky horizontal row and more purple vertical row, with a pop of orange for the center. The white large squares keeps all the focus on those flying geese rows. The very last image feels like 3 vertical columns with orange, red and gold reading in a stronger vertically banded composition.
Since my overall quilt plan is to go from darker blocks on the left to lighter blocks on the right, I thought I would borrrow from this last color study idea. My Thatched-only block has the Tangerine color to the left large squares and I'm envisioning the light movement by making my right squares the lighter Apricot color. I think I'm going to have to fix that seam on the left or replace that upper left block to give myself a better seam allowance when I join these together. But that is for another day...
I also used the idea of the dark perimeter geese moving into the lighter/more yellow colors as we get to the center. I feel like it is pointing to the sunshine!
Visit the other Blockheads designers to see their blocks this week!
Corey Yoder - https://corianderquilts.com/
Sherri McConnell - https://www.aquiltinglife.com/
Betsy Chutchian - http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/
Jan Patek - http://janpatek.blogspot.com/
Brigitte Heitland - https://www.brigitteheitland.de/blog
Lisa Bongean - https://lisabongean.com/
Lissa Alexander - http://modalissa.com/
Laurie Simpson - http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/
Vanessa Goertzen - https://lellaboutique.blogspot.com/
Stacy Iest Hsu - https://www.stacyiesthsu.com/blog/
Robin Pickens - https://www.robinpickens.com/
Janet Clare - http://janetclare.co.uk/blog/
Jen Kingwell - www.jenkingwelldesigns.com/blog
Joanna Figueroa - https://blog.figtreeandcompany.com/
On another note, I'll be sharing a new fabric line coming in a few weeks! I'm busy sewing and so excited to share so I hope you check back in. Till next week, happy sewing everyone!
This week I made my first PURPLE block for my purple row in my Moda Blockheads3 quilt! I love that the name of this block by Sherri McConnell is "Dream" since I think purple can be a dreamy kind of color.
In the purple colors I used here, the darker Thatched purple and more plum-ish red purple color are both basics. The lighter purple was done specifically with my Sweet Pea & Lily line and I like this lighter background with the darker lines a lot. I'm hoping we can add a lighter purple to the basics like this!
For some reason I was having a hard time getting my points to match up today when I was sewing. Some days are just like that. When that happens, I rip it out, and I re-sew starting right at the middle point where the points are meeting, going out to the side, then flip the block and sew the other half from that middle point (instead of from one side to the other). That usually will allow me to match those points meeting in the center better.
For my Thatched with prints version, I used all purple fabrics from Sweet Pea & Lily and I was reminded how fun it is to do some playing in purples. This block is also fun because I could create some other shapes within the blocks by changing the light and dark placements in the half square triangles. Want to see some color play??
The first one is my initial color mockup and it is the one I decided to go with since it works well with the overall ratio of light to dark within my bigger quilt plan. The next one over is trying the colors all getting lighter as the triangles move from left to right. Then flipping to see how that looks on a dark background. In the second row, the large half square triangles make new shapes if they are the same color as the smaller HSTs. I keep seeing arrows in the one on the left if I squint my eyes. And the two next to it make me think of bowties. The angled movement is strong in these. The bottom row is more dimensional with the additional shades. Are they large angled diamonds...no, they are Amethysts! I am so intrigued by the darkest one and am wondering if perhaps another Dream block is in my future?
But I had one other idea I HAD to try! Wouldn't it be fun to do a little pillow with fun golden fishes, kissing in the sea? I'd need to embroider on some little eyes. I also just liked trying this with bright, bold, summery colors with lots of energy.
Thanks to Sherri McConnell for this versatile and fun block. You can get the pattern at her blog at
A Quilting Life. And just a note about those purple scissors. They are made by Kai Scissors and are serrated edged and are great to use! Love them.
And one more piece of news...CONGRATULATIONS JANE KIMBERLING! You are my winner for an ebook of Moda Blockheads 1 from Martingale Publishing! I've emailed you and I hope you love the book!
Check out my fellow designers for their Moda Blockhead posts:
Happy Moda Blockheads Wednesday and happy GIVEAWAY NEWS! First, the block! We are starting ROUND 2 of the blocks from the 14 designers. This week's block is STARRY EYED by Corey Yoder. You can get the block pattern on Corey's bog.
I am busy pulling colors today for another project but will get to sewing, hopefully this afternoon! Once I have my block I'll post an update here. But for my start, I did some color studies with the block to figure out what I am doing.
I am doing a block that will live on the blue stripe of my rainbow row quilt. I sometimes pull colors from the other rows in to the blocks in bits and pieces and since the blue and green are next to each other I could put in some green accents too. I liked the idea of making a little optical illusion on that top left one by having a light blue next to a medium blue in the outer ring of quarter square triangles. I feel like it gives it a shaddow look, as if the sun were coming from the left and casting a shadow on 3-dimensional diamonds.
On the block to the right, the four quadrants are each home to blue or green families with a light white and gray center that sets them off. And green takes more prominence in the lower left. This is too much green for my blue row, however I like how graphic and strong this one looks. And the last one is the idea of lightness emanating from the center, with the quarter square triangles and stitch and flip triangles making the directional rays reaching out into the dark. I also really like the strength of this block but I wonder if it will pull TOO much attention since that light radiating center is so focused. Which one to make? I make a plan like this and the blocks do evolve a bit on their own as I sew and depending on my fabric scraps.
But while I am figuring that out, I wanted to share my mockups and also let you start entering the MODA BLOCKHEADS BOOK GIVEAWAY from Martingale Publishing! There are a couple versions you can possibly win. Martingale is giving away a PRINTED book and you can leave a message on their page (click the box below) AND you can possibly win a digital version of the book from one of this year's Moda Blockhead designers! Each of us has our own giveaway to do with a digital version of the book from Blockheads 1!
I started doing Blockheads, sewing along and not as one of the designers, on Blockheads 2. So I am also really excited about this book since I haven't made these blocks yet! And no, I can't win my own giveaway. That would be cheating! But one of you can!
How to enter my digital giveaway of Moda Blockheads 1 book from Martingale? Leave me a message below in the comments about what you have learned so far doing Blockheads. Doesn't have to be long. One thing I've learned is how much I like my different seam rippers! Ha, ha, I'm sure some of you can relate. I do like how I've tried new things and learned so much (triangle paper, applique techniques to name a couple).
I will pick a winner next Wednesday morning, just in time for the next block from Sherri McConnell.
Here's a couple more images to get you excited for the book!
Check out the other Blockheads designers to see how to enter for more chances to win a digital book!
Happy sewing everyone!
4.22 – Corey Yoder <–this week's designer and pattern blog
4.29 – Sherri McConnell
5.6 – Betsy Chutchian
5.13 – Jan Patek
5.20 – Brigitte Heitland
5.27 – Lisa Bongean
6.03 – Lissa Alexander
6.10 – Laurie Simpson
6.17– Vanessa Goertzen
6.24 – Stacy Iest Hsu
7.1 – Robin Pickens
7.8 – Janet Clare
7.15 – Jen Kingwell
7.22 – Joanna Figueroa
I've had requests to show my sewing space and I've shown it in bits and pieces before but thought it was time for a better tour! My daughter was home this past weekend and she spent a day helping me clean it up so it was presentable to share. We made a video and posted it to youtube and I'm sharing that here. I'm also giving a little more info on some specifics of my setup and things I use.
This space has gone through a lot of changes and rearranging. When we first moved into this house this room was carpeted and had wood paneling on the walls that had been painted a peachy color and turquoise formica cupboards and counter built into the end wall. Those came out. We put in drywall and wood floors, but after water damage downstairs, years later, we moved everything out and the room was tiled. I've rearranged this room many times and at one point it had 5 large desks in it, along with numerous bookcases, chairs, boxes of samples, etc. My husband has commented that I couldn't possibly get more furniture into the room. Of course that is when I decided to add a longarm. I was determined. I can make it fit. That whole plan and journey is really deserving of it's own blog post, so I'll just say here that this is the new and improved layout with more things moved to the walls (and my daughter's room since she is at college), leaving space in the center for the longarm. Welcome!
I spend a lot of time at this desk. It is actually a dining table from Ikea. It is the "TORSBY" table and I see they have it now with a high gloss white top. My table has a glass top which is painted white on the underside. I like having a larger desk surface by using a dining table, plus I like the clean modern look of this. This table measures 53" x 33 1/2" so I can spread out. I like the fact that the top surface is glass because sometimes I do watercolor painting here (or in the kitchen) and when I do, I can clean off the surface of the glass easily. I tucked a Ikea Alex drawer unit under the table/desk. This holds my pens, envelopes for orders, postage, packing tape, plastic bags for kits, office supplies, etc. It fits really nicely. I also have some holders on the desk top for my notebooks, calculators, business cards and clip boards. The magnet boards are also from Ikea. Just so you know now- I have a LOT from Ikea. I love their creative solutions with furniture and all the options they have.
In the corner I have an antique chest that was my Aunt Doris'. She was the only relative living out here when I moved to California so it seems appropriate that I use it to house things that feel like sentimental treasures to me. I've got the fat quarter bundles and jelly rolls for each of my collections with Moda. I also keep some Christmas giftware little critter figurines I did for One Hundred 80 degrees and lovely pincushions. I like to hunt for vintage sewing things so old thimbles, spools, rulers, sewing machine oil and parts, along with buttons and some vintage cameras live here. When you close the glass door it makes a creaking noise, like the chest is talking to you. I covered the shelves with some removable peel and stick wall covering in white with gold metallic animal spots because it felt fun and fresh (by Valspar and found at Target). I also rotate the vintage sewing machines I display on the chest. The brown one is my newest and I got that from Aspire Sewing in Anaheim at the Road to California show. I love the two-tone tan. Under the sewing machine cover I have a beautiful hand crank Singer that my husband gave me as a gift. How great that I can machine sew even if the power goes out!! Add in some artwork on the wall from Crafted Moon and a sewing notions clock from Moda and I'd have to say this is a really happy corner of the room for me! By the way, the quilt on the wall is STARLET in the medium size, made in Dear Mum fabrics. And the sewing machine cover is a pattern in Jenelle Kent's FARMHOUSE FRESH book using her toweling fabric.
When planning out the rearranging to fit the longarm, I knew a priority to me was to have a longer cutting space. I used two desk tops from previous desks with a cupboard that was left over from our kitchen renovation (I mentioned water damage...well, it started in the kitchen and we had to redo that too) and a Kallax shelf unit from Ikea as an end support. This gives me storage and cutting table support and is a good height. I can measure out over 2 1/2 yards at once from a bolt on this surface and that is a great help when I am making kits or doing backings for quilts. Having a longer cutting table is a great thing to have in a quilting work space! Since my longarm is right behind me when I am working at this cutting table, I can always turn and use it as a counter space for compiling kits too. This area has become a very efficient work space.
On my cutting matts, I have acrylic stands that hold my numerous rulers. They are from A. T. Enterprises and I found them at Road to California. The grooves make the rulers stand up straight. I have a lot of Creative Grids Rulers. No matter what others I try, these seem to be my favorites that I use the most. I use Bloc Loc for trimming my half square triangles and flying geese units, but Creative Grids has become my GO-TO rulers for cutting. When I have blocks that need eighth measures, I use the Primitive Gatherings Creative Grids Itty Bitty Eighths Square and for most of my general cutting, I use the Creative Grids stripology ruler (designed by Gudrun Erla) and 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" ruler, 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" ruler and the big 8 1/2" x 24" ruler for cutting width-of-fabric cuts. So I keep these handy and at the cutting table, vs the other specialty ones that I keep on the wall shelf. I have the perfect 10 ruler too and use that for layer cake projects, but the ones I just mentioned are my normal daily rulers ( the 3 1/2", 4, 1/2" and 8 1/2" long one). For rotary cutters, I usually use Olfa Splash or Martelli Ergonomic (Ergo 2000 which is kinder to my wrist) rotary cutter.
I try to utilize space under my furniture as much as possible. A little further down, under the cutting surface, I keep plastic bins of my fabric stash that I have collected through the years. I keep the stacked bins with fabrics by color and genre, so mid-century fabrics are together, batiks are together, woven plaids together, etc. I can pull out the tubs as I need them.
I also keep my scraps for projects in some tubs and containers I can easily access as I'm doing sewalongs and other scrappy projects. These Variera containers from Ikea provide a nice space to fold up and store my Thatched Basics fabrics in scraps as I work on numerous projects. I keep some of these on shelves or on rolling carts, where they are easily accessed. I put the colors in according to the rainbow ramp of colors I have used. It is easy to pull out a bin, use scraps, put the remaining back, and keep some order to the studio.
This Raskog cart holds the bins of fabric scraps well and I like how it can roll over to the table or cutting surface easily. I have another cart for other sewing notions but I keep this one for fabrics near the cutting table. I can take the tubs of fabric out and replace them as needed and roll it to where I am working. This is where I pull most of my fabrics for my Moda Blockheads3 blocks each week. Since I am doing a quilt with rainbow bands of color for this sew-along, keeping the scraps in color groupings makes this very easy to assemble and play with the options. One of my quilts will be made in all Thatched basics and the other in Thatched plus prints so I like to keep that Thatched bin very handy.
Speaking of Moda Blockheads, I am making 8" blocks (with occasional smaller blocks for other projects) and I found these great project boxes at Target to store my blocks. I love them because they are 11.8" x 11.8" so if you are making any blocks that are 10" or smaller, the pieces and finished blocks fit really well! These boxes are only about $2 or $3 a piece so they are very affordable and I stack them on top of bookcases with other projects in progress. I've got about 9 or 10 of these boxes for my different WIP. The box to the left of the Blockheads blocks above has my Moda Village #modavillage blocks for Christmas and Abby Rose versions. This pattern is from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company by Carrie Nelson and is lots of fun! Want to read more about that? Check out my blog post on my Christmas village.
I think as the Moda Blockheads progresses, I'll need to get the taller versions of this box. There is also a 10" high one and I just might have to go for that taller size to hold my growing blocks!
In the corner I have a lovely corner for sewing and piecing. Some nights, when things are dark in the rest of the house, this little corner is glowing and humming with the activities of late night sewing. The cupboards along the wall hold various cans of spray basting, paint brushes, stationery, and color swatches. The shelf below holds containers for strip piecing, extra rulers, magazines and works in progress. My sewing corner is lit up by a light from Costco with multiple brightness settings and a little fan to blow cool air on me on hot summer days. The corner desk is from (again) Ikea with a curved side that gives me extra space for a desktop ironing board, my Oliso iron, a bulletin board, and my peg board with notions is on the wall in front of me as I sew. I love sewing at my trusty sewing machine, my Juki TL2200. This straight-stitch machine is my daily helper and workhorse. I also have a Bernina 125 for classes and a Juki HZL-F600 for other fancy stitches. But this Juki TL2200 is my bestie in the sewing room.
I got this machine at the Quiltcon in Savanah from SewingMachinesPlus.com and it has run like a dream. I recently ordered more bobbins and needles from them and have had excellent customer service from Sewingmachinesplus.com. I've also faced this machine perpendicular to me and put an extended table on the desk and done free motion quilting on this machine with great results. I love my Juki!
This is the Skadis pegboard system from Ikea that holds a lot of my sewing notions. I have pegs for embroidery hoops, rulers and things I want to hang. The little slide-in containers hold my push pins, safety pins, measuring tapes, bias tape makers, pins, thimbles, needles, clips and marking chalks. I find it is so easy to have these things get lost and mixed in with other things that having this wall system really puts some order and structure to my organization. The shelves hold large threads, bobbin buddies, pins, starches and other notions. The cups hold pens, markers, needles, rulers, pliers, and snips. I've got two boards stacked one on top of the other and there is a little extra room. I think if I had one it would have not been enough so I'm happy to have some higher space that I don't use as much to have that extra storage.
The shelf on the wall holds some of my scraps as well as the cart. I use the smaller Samla bins from Ikea for strips that measure 1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2" and so on so I can easily pull down containers and access leftover strips for projects. I print out the size labels on my computer and slide a printout into the front side to easily identify my organization bins.
When I'm at the longarm, this is my view. I can see my sewing space and my window. I've got a Daylight Company floor light that also helps to light up my longarm space as well as can lights in the ceiling. Good lighting is important. I'm still learning the Bernina Q24 but it's coming along!
To the side and behind the longarm I have Billy Bookcases that work really well for bolts of fabric. I have overflow of fabric bolts upstairs (as well as bagged and unbagged patterns and other supplies). Most of the fabrics I use for daily sewing and cutting kits are down here in this space. The Billy Bookcases work well in the tall size for two shelves of standing bolts with some middle sections of sample fabric yardage placed horizontally. I store totes and project boxes on the tops of the shelves. My husband also converted a tv nook in the wall into shelving storage for my art supplies and extra quilts. We close it off with curtains to keep the room looking a little neater. When we added the shelving for bolts to the perimeter of the two walls of the room I lost my design wall for quilt blocks. Something has to give, right? I now use the floor of the foyer as a "design wall" and I walk up the stairs and look over at the blocks in their arrangements from above. It works.
This is my space and I love it. It is a work in progress. It continues to evolve and change. If you have questions, let me know. I'm including link below to some of the items here in case you are interested in them. They don't pay me, although sometimes a company will give me something to try. I'm sharing what I use on a regular basis. If you want a walk through of the space, watch my youtube video below and check out more videos on my youtube channel. If you want to be notified when new videos come out, select the "subscribe" button on youtube.
I hope you have a space that brings you as much joy as my space brings me! Keep creating and sewing!
Torsby Dining Table
Ikea Alex Drawer Unit
Kallax shelving cubes
Variera storage box
Skadis pegboard for wall organization
Samla plastic storage boxes with lids for scraps
Raskog rolling cart
Sewing Machine Cover in book Farmhouse Fresh by Jenelle Kent of Pieces to Treasure
Acrylic Ruler Stands
Target project boxes (11.8 x 11.8" square) with lids
Juki TL2200 QVP Mini
Bernina Q24 Longarm
Starlet quilt pattern
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Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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