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Group One
In & Out of Studio 3D
Monday, 19 February 2024
New Tour of the Sewing Studio
Topic: In the studio
Today I thought I’d show the final result of rearranging my sewing studio and adding a piece of furniture to it. My room is a former bedroom which measures 13' x 13' including a 'largish' closet.

Having come in the door, on the left is a rolling wooden cabinet with extensions on each end. On top is the Accuquilt machine (fabric cutter) which would be opened up for use.

Inside the drawers on the left are thread, sewing trims, zippers, other notions.

In the cupboard on the right are the tall dies for the Accuquilt (to cut strips, to cut setting triangles for on-point blocks, and one that cuts all the pieces of a complicated block). They all have ‘tabs’ to make pulling the right one easier.

Next along the same wall is a folding table that fits right into the corner. On top of it are the sets of cutting dies for the Accuquilt. I have them for 6”, 8”, 9”, 10” and 12” blocks.

Turning the corner, sitting straight ahead when you walk in the door, is the new cabinet that we ordered from Home Depot and built for the space. It is set up to be used as an ironing station which will accommodate yardage, quilt tops, backings, etc. It is 22” x 48” and is topped with a layer of InsulBright (protects surface from heat) and a 1/2” thick wool pressing mat.

Inside the lower cupboards are stored my old sewing machine, an embroidery machine and the serger. In the drawers are supplies like press cloths, fusible, and other things I might need at the ironing board. The lamp on the left is in the same power strip as the iron as a reminder to turn both off when leaving the room.

To the right of this new station is a folding tray where the iron 'lives' along with a small thread catcher and a winder for strips and bindings. Above it, a chain allows for a roll of batting to be mounted from the ceiling. I am short enough to walk under it.

Further to the right, under the window, is the sewing station. My machine lives here with a clear extension table for a larger workspace.

We added a 4’ power strip with 12 plugs mounted under the windowsill. This allows for a stereo, mini-iron, computer, iPhone, sewing machine and lights to enhance my space.

The cutting tablesits against the window and extends into the middle of the room. It is 6’ x 4’ and has two 36” x 48” cutting mats on top. At the back are racks of rulers, and bins with 'kits' of projects I have cut out.

The table is held up by 4 Walmart bookcases. These contain tools and notions that need to be immediately at hand.

The end one contains books and binders with a record of all the quilts I've made.

The third side has fusibles, printables, and other 'assembly' materials.

There is a space for some storage bins underneath one side.

Facing this is the closet which contains multiple ‘iris carts’ with the wheels off. This is fabric storage, sorted by color. The far right section is for ‘themes’ and the containers on top are for projects.

And there you have it! I am delighted with how it all came together - all with the addition of one cabinet and a power strip.


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 4:29 PM PST
Saturday, 1 April 2017
Great Wall
Topic: In the studio

I've got a great new addition in the quilt studio! I first found this item in the Nancy's Notions catalog but, while at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo the end of February, I found it at a better price.

In my studio, I have no room for a design wall without moving out half the furniture. But this portable wall comes in several sizes. I got the 72x72 size. 

Not only is it free-standing, it is light and portable. It breaks down in about 5 minutes and all fits in its own little duffel bag that is about 6 inches across and 18 inches long.

You can see the wall here from the front.

It has a flannel cover, four outer braces, two cross-braces, and two legs with their own braces.

Here is a view from the other side.

In this side view you can see the legs and braces.

In this back view, you can see the cross-braces that hold it taut.

Because it breaks down so easily, I can leave it up while at home but take it along to set up at quilt workshop days and on retreat.

Sure easier than trying to arrange blocks on the bed or floor.

I set it just outside the quilt room on an unused basement wall.


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 10:51 PM PDT
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
End Of An Era
Topic: In the studio

I'm making this font larger because this is BIG NEWS!

As of today, I have been posting on this blog for 9 full years - with posts every single day. 

I have reached a point now where I feel like I am creating art just to 'feed the blog' and therefore making projects that I am not really passionate about just to have something to post.

I'm not sure how many people even read the blog as nobody ever comments on the postings. Maybe I'm just posting for myself at this point.

Since I have reached this milestone, I've decided that now is a good time to make some changes.

Henceforth, I will create art as I am inspired to and post whenever I have something to show. That might be weekly, monthly or even daily on occasion.

This will allow me time to work on long-term projects like updating my website, learning how to use video on the blog, training myself on my electronic die-cutting machine, learning how to use my embroidery machine, and investigating new materials and techniques without the goal of producing a finished piece.

I'd like to also investigate publishing some of my original designs.

So, I'll see you when I see you. Rest assured, I will be creating something, somewhere, and when that 'something' is done you'll see it here.

As you hear on Sewing With Nancy, "Bye for now!"


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Room Re-Do
Topic: In the studio

Due to the need to have a lower surface for sewing I gave in and rearranged my quilt studio.

Several goals - move as little furniture as possible, overhead batting must remain accessible, all machines must be near the (scarce) outlets, need to close up the work triangle, don't lose access to the bookcases.

I measured and made a scale drawing of the room on graph paper. Then I did the same with all the pieces of furniture. I colored the furniture with highlighter and then cut them all out. I arranged the paper furniture in the paper room and took a photo with my phone. I repeated this about a dozen times and then I could scroll through them until I settled on one.



The plan I decided to use allowed me to leave the large cutting table with its support bookcases in place. YAY! But, alas, I wanted more seating room after I had done it this way and ended up moving the whole thing 8 inches.

Here is the view from the door as you enter:

Once inside the room, along the left wall is a desk that houses an embroidery machine and my old Janome. If I want to use one of these it can be moved over to the work table. Next is my loom that I've had for over 40 years. It has not been used for about 30 years though.

Back in the corner is a set of end tables with a lamp that illuminates the ironing board. Continuing around the corner to the right is the ironing board. You can just see the bottom edge of the batting roll mounted up next to the ceiling.

Continuing on to the right - in the other corner - is the new sewing station. It is a standard height table.

To the right of this is the cutting table. For this photo I moved back to the other side of it, which is the side I used to cut from. Now I cut from the same side as the sewing station which makes my work triangle (cut, sew, press) all together.

This table is essentially a 3/4 inch plywood sheet cut down to 4 x 7 feet and covered with a flannel-backed vinyl. It is supported by 4 bookcases which raises it to a comfortable height for cutting. I use them for supplies and actually cleaned them all out and organized them as part of the room renovation.

Under the table, in an open area, I store large plastic bins of odd (non-quilting) fabrics and random bits of batting.

That clear plastic case you see on top of the bins is where I keep kits. When I have selected a pattern and all the fabrics for a quilt, I cut and label all the pieces and put it in a gallon ziplock bag. When I want to sew I can just grab a bag and get right to it. Here are the 7 kits I currently have prepped.

When standing at the table, if you turn around you will be facing a closet. In these top two drawers are scraps sorted by color and the bottom two have yardage I haven't decided what to do with.

I actually took every bit of the scraps out, sorted each bin so matching fabrics were together, pressed every piece and put them back neatly, Gained me a lot of breathing room in the folders.

On the bottom of the closet I have some bins with stash of fabrics that are 1 yard and over and have been used for a project already.

And that's the big room finish! I was hankering to get back to the machine so I did some paper piecing, assembled some blocks, bordered a project and then used the table to sandwich and pin-baste the two projects that I have been working on (no sneak peeks as one of them is a gift that is not ready to reveal)


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PST
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Colorblock Studio
Topic: In the studio

Sometimes you come across an idea that seems really neat even though it serves no earthly purpose. Such was the case when I surfed from one blog to another and came across this studio picture from www.madiganmade.com.

I guess it does serve the purpose of hiding all the junk stuff contained in the iris carts - and, besides that, it just looks cool.

I decided to spiff up my studio the same way and set to work selecting some colorways for my 'paint chips'. I have a LOT of iris carts in a variety of sizes and I also have some clear plastic bins that contain supplies.

Fortunately I had my bins marked with printed labels already so it was just a matter of measuring, cutting and installing. Each of the colored cardstock pieces is tacked to the inside front of the bin with doublestick tape.

Each drawer 'set' is in a separate colorway.



The stacked drawers on the far right are in sets of 4 drawers instead of only 3 so I had to expand the colorway by one step.

I did the two under-counter carts as well.

This cleans up the look of the studio so much. I really like it!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PST
Saturday, 14 June 2014
Kid Art
Topic: In the studio

Disclaimer: I did not make art for today.

Grandson's nearly first question when coming to our house is 'do you think we can do some art while we're here?'. After doing the panda carving shown yesterday I only made off-limits the stamp carving tools and the paper cutter. 

With the understanding that all the supplies are available TO BE USED I gave him full reign to use whatever he came across. Several times a day he would disappear down the stairs to work on one thing or another. Occasionally I would get a request (got any google eyes? What's the best glue for this? Can I really use these wooden birdhouses?) but mostly he was self-guided (he is almost 9).

He was fascinated with the bins of papers - especially one labeled WOW papers and my handcarved stamps.

Here is a 12 x 12 page on which he used various background papers and carved stamps to create a nature scene. He did this while I carved the panda.

He and a cousin made art from the 'test stamps' on the tabletop scratch paper.

And they used Distress Markers to 'paint' birdhouses.

The other grandson's talents lie in the technology and humor areas so he would use his ipad to film the artists and create little movie and movie trailers that are hysterical.

Good to know that my studio can be creative, even when I'm nowhere near it!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Fab File
Topic: In the studio

Boy, it doesn't take long for fabric scraps to take over when you start a quilting hobby. After stashing and tucking and stuffing and piling I decided I really needed to get organized. So I came up with a plan...

First I sorted out all my fabrics, no matter how much or little there was, into complementary groups. Then I went through my binder of patterns and pulled out one for each collection.

I had two plastic file crates and some hanging file folders so I tucked a set of fabrics in each folder:

Placed the selected pattern in the front of the folder:

And filed them - in no particular older:

Some of these are projects I bought fabric for specific projects, but most are donated fabrics, leftovers from previous projects, or a combination of the two. Including a separate bin of nothing but strips in bags of color duos and another bin with all the fabrics for a king-sized quilt, I now have 'kits' for 18 quilting projects!

These will undoubtedly spawn more scrappy combinations when cut and stitched, but they are corraled in the interim and it will be easy to grab a file to start a project when the time comes to quilt.


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2012 9:35 PM PST
Friday, 28 December 2012
Box on a Box
Topic: In the studio

From the time I bought my portable photo booth I've moved it from place to place trying to find the right spot - convenient and functional. Sometimes, I've folded it up and stored it because there was no good way to use it.

When I packed up the spare bedroom to create the quilt studio was one of those times that the photo booth got stored. Then I suddenly realized that a little bedside cabinet was still in the quilt studio and not being used for anything. So I hauled the cabinet out and shuffled it to the craft studio where it found a corner vacated by the sewing table in the big move.

The photo booth exactly fits on the top of the cabinet! The little lights on stands do NOT fit though so I rigged them up to shine from the top rim.

I have three types of stands to support objects for their pictures and a couple of fabrics to use as backdrops. These can live in the cabinet drawers, along with anything else I might want to use as photo props.

Ready for my close-up...


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PST
Sunday, 4 November 2012
What's Your Impression of this!
Topic: In the studio

When you work in a library for 38 years you have a tendency to want to organize and catalog things. Just because you retire, that tendency does not go away.

I've been just keeping my embossing folders in a drawer and rummaging through them to find one that might suit the project I have in hand. So, I got them ALL out and made an impression of each on plain white cardstock. On the back I wrote the manufacturer and the folder name. Then I hole-punched them all and strung them on ball-chain.

I have them sorted by the style: dots, swirls, fabrics, grid, borders, oversize, mini, and many more categories.

I have these hanging over my work area so I can quickly find an appropriate design and then go find the folder to mak it on my project.


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Friday, 2 November 2012
Ah One, and a Two
Topic: In the studio

Here is another way I have gathered together inspiration for myself. I have great intentions of doing scrapbooking but other things always take first place and it gets set aside over and over.

But I have collected lots of scrapbook sketches and transfered them to 3 x 5 cards. I file these by how many photos they will display and keep them in a file box.



Here's one for 7 photos (see the number above the sketch so I can file it back in the right place.

and here's one for 4 photos

Someday I will be ready to scrapbook.




Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Picture This - On a Card
Topic: In the studio

We're back to 'inspirations' today. I have collected many photos that I use (or plan to use) as inspiration for cards. I chose them for their patterns, colors, layout, or just because I like them. Sometimes I get inspired by a single element in the photo and sometimes try to replicate the design as closely as possible. Some of these I have shown along with their resulting cards on this blog.


















































Whew! That's a lot of inspiration!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Topic: In the studio

Lacking any new work to show today I thought I'd answer a question that has not been asked... "Where do you get inspiration?"

Much of the time the materials at hand - stamp images, clip art, papers, etc - inspire me but I also use challenges and references on a variety of websites and blogs as a jumping-off point for projects. In many cases I have printed 'catalogs' of these inspirations and can thumb through them to find ideas to work from.

One of these is a catalog of color challenges. I have a section for the color challenges I have created:

A section that includes the full run of challenges from Color Throwdown blog includes their variety of presentation methods as well.

I like this new way as they show you the picture that inspired them to choose that color combination

I also have a catalog of card sketches. This has all the Operation Write Home sketches,,,

Card Positioning Systems (which is now discontinuing)

A blog called RetroSketches

And my own sketches

For stamping inspiration I have the binder of instructions and classes from the recent class Stretch Your Stamps.

This includes 12 classes focusing on different categories of stamps and the miriad ways to use them.

I have TWO binders of Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas series. I formatted each lesson into a Word document to save paper and printed them all up.

All of the ideas can be translated to cards and other projects. Tim uses mostly his own brands of products so there are lots of ideas on using Ranger, Adriondak, Stampers Anonymous, Alterations, etc.





I also have reference books on card making, stamping and other paper crafts to use as inspiration.

So many Ideas - so little time!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Sunday, 16 September 2012
As Seen On TV
Topic: In the studio

I have been moving my alcohol inks from place to place and from one kind of rack/box/shelf to another. Then I was walking through the store the other day and came to the section for 'as seen on TV' products. There I found a spice storage rack that has two sections that slide out and rotate to make the items accessible.

Well, I thought that looked like just the thing for the alcohol inks, and for $10 I brought it home.

I used the inks to color up 1/4" dots for the tops of the lids and divided them up into color groups.

Here is the unit closed:

When I want a bottle I just slide one of the sides forward and rotate it to make it fully accessible.

I just want to label the fronts of the units to indicate the color groups that are on each shelf so I open the right side the first time.




Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
A Takeover
Topic: In the studio

As quilting has taken over more and more of my time it has also taken up more and more of my studio space. It also started spreading to other parts of the house so I was doing cutting in the studio, pressing at the ironing board in the family room, piecing at a desk in the studio, sandwiching the quilt on a bed in a guest room, and quilting on the dining room table with all the leaves in it. Now that's just silly!

So we decided to cut back to having only one guest bedroom and use the other as a new quilt studio. We got rid of the bedroom set and I moved into the room with the sewing cabinet, ironing board, and fabric stash. I purchased four bookcases, a sheet of plywood (cut to 4 x 7 feet) and a piece of flannel-backed tablecloth plastic. From this I built a large table that is of a height for cutting fabric, sandwiching quilts and also quilting where the whole quilt has a place to rest without dragging.

Here's a view as you come in the door:

At the far side you can see the desk where the sewing machine sits most of the time and where I will do piecing. If you turn to the left wall there is a desk (which will eventually go elsewhere) with a bulletin board (that will stay) and the ironing board for pressing fabric.

From the pressing area, looking to the right you see the corner of the sewing table and you can see the open area in the table that allows for sitting here for sewing - just move the sewing machine over. Over on the far right you see the closet which has nothing quilt related at all. I bought a tension rod and some fabric to make curtains for this opening. The window will also get a matching valance.

The bookcases supporting the table will be used for my few quilting books as well as supplies. There is an open bay area for stacking bins with my fabric stash. I also installed a floor lamp for better lighting on the table.

Here's a view of the first quilt being finished off in the new quilt studio. Notice that I also installed a holder for my rulers under the window.

Now when the topic tag says 'in the studio' I might have to be more specific!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Drying Out
Topic: In the studio

I thought I'd share today how I use a drying rack in my studio. It is really a wire CD holder that I picked up at Goodwill.

I sue it mainly when I've used Stickles on card fronts as I can dry 10 at once without covering my work surface or having them stick to each other. It works best when I put the fold of the card OVER a divider and let the card open into the two neighboring slots.

So what am I drying? 10 thank-you cards for the people who took part in the Christmas program I told you about yesterday. 

These are napkin fronts that have been stuck down to a cardstock piece that has gone thru the Xyron for dry adhesive. I trimmed them down to cut off the top and bottom red border but include a portion of the borders on the right and left. Then I mounted on folded cream cardstock and traced out scrolls and dots on the ornaments and one ribbon with gold Stickles. I placed a gold peel off "Thank You" sticker and traced it out with gold stickles as well... Times ten and into the drying rack.




Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 6:00 AM PST
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Studio Storage
Topic: In the studio

Another posted entry gone who-knows-where? Annoying!

I have been 'tweaking' the storage in the studio to make things more handy, organized, attractive, and versatile. So with those goals in mind, these are the changes I have made:

Added two wire racks on top of a cabinet to sort out printed cardstock by color groups. The left rack has full sheets and the right rack has cuts and pieces. I use the top of the rack for boxes that have collage elements separated by colors and/or themes. I had room in the bottom of the rack for some colored paper and some equipment.

Inside the cabinet I built this stamp pad storage unit out of foamcore board and hot glue. The wells were designed specifically for the distress ink pads. They are stored upside-down and their blending pads sit in with them. Each has the color name on the side along with a smear of the ink for easy selection. I had room left over for my other ink pads which are all stored and marked in the same manner. There was even room for re-inkers!

To the right of the cabinet I have a CD holder in which I store empty cd cases repurposed as acrylic stamp holders. Acrylic blocks fit in here as well.

Then to the right again, there is a tiered spice rack that I used to store/display bottles of alcohol inks. Each shelf will hold two rows (front and back). They are shelved in color groups.

Over on the other side of those wire racks storing printed cardstock are 4 'iris' cabinets that each have 6 slots. These hold boxes instead of open drawers and I am using them for rubber stamps. They are separated by 'theme' so I have drawers with Flowers, Trees, Animals, Ethnic, Greetings, Hand-Carved, etc. Some themes require more than one bin. Down at the bottom I have 4 bins with punches.

On top of these I have the two cassette storage racks that I turned on their ends and use for ribbon storage. Guess what? They are arranged in color groups and by special types. Sheers are together, plaids are together, satins are together, colors are together within a type. (I can't help myself!)

So, there you go - all the new, repurposed and improved storage/display solutions I've added to the studio. These help me work more efficiently (more crafts in less time).


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 10:35 AM PDT
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Designing for Dollars
Topic: In the studio

Last spring I was contacted about becoming a paid designer for CardMaker Kit-of-the-Month Club and I readily agreed. The first assignment came up in June and I had a lot of fun putting together the samples and instructions for 8 card projects.

Since that time the designs have been incorporated into their advertising, though they have not been distributed to the kit subscribers. I first saw them on their website and then, the other day, got an advertising packet in the mail wasnting me to subscribe. Imagine the thrill I got seeing the designs right on the envelope in my own mailbox!

If you go over to their website (www.cardmakerkitclub.com/projects.php) you'll see my paper embroidery set as the first feature on the left side (blue and green).

I feel like a proud mama!


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 6:00 AM PDT
Monday, 23 February 2009
Recycling Storage
Topic: In the studio

I stopped in at the thrift store and bought two cassette tape holders for $1 each. In my studio I gave them a new lease on life by standing them on their ends, tipping them back just a little and loading them up with all my spools of ribbon. 

While I was at it I arranged all the ribbon in color families to make it easier to select just the right one. I also put all the satin together, all the grosgrain, all the sheers, etc.

The plastic tub on the left has all the cut pieces - short and long - mixed together. Many times I can just stir around in this and find a suitable piece for a project without whacking off a new length from the spools.



Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 6:00 AM PST
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Improving the Photo
Topic: In the studio

At my specific request I got this portable photo studio for Christmas. It comes with everything you see here (except the football!) and folds into itself to form a carrying case with pockets for the two lights and the tripod. 

It does take a fair bit of room so I am challenged to find a place to leave it set up. I got it to take better pictures of my art work so expect to see changes!



Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 6:00 AM PST
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Window Cartoon 7
Topic: In the studio

Tomorrow the photos of the actual panels will start going up.

Ddd studio3d@ccwebster.net

Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 6:00 AM PST

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