Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Studio space

An artist's studio can be a playground. A space to fill with inspirational pictures, good music, and tons of supplies. I've seen many a photo of floor to ceiling shelves with sorted fabrics or yarns just begging to be chosen for the next new project. Large work tables fill the center of the room, one for fabric cutting, one for the sewing machine, and space to layout full-size designs. A large empty wall stands in to hang finished pieces for photographs. Sunlight streams through windows to light the area. Any one of those features would be part of an artist's dream space.

What if there is no dedicated room? What if the work table is also where meals are eaten? What if the light is from an 18" skylight and a couple of 6" x12" ports? What if the fabric storage is less than half a cubic yard? This is when "tiny" really shines.

Organization is key in a tiny studio. Here is the inventory for my tiny quilts studio:

1. a small tool box with scissors, needles, rotary cutter and all the essentials
2. a 45-pound industrial sewing machine stored under the companionway ladder
3. fabric, thread and batting stowed in zip plastic bags under and behind the setee in front of the table
4. an iPad and sketch books for inspiration and notes
5. a headlamp. I prep work at night that needs daylight to execute.
6. a cutting mat to protect the table surface
7. a zip bag with all the supplies needed for the current project

One project in progress at a time, only one.

The tiny tool box

The space behing the couch. Yes, the fuel filters and spare plumbing parts share the bin.

I'm so glad there is room to store the essentials. I'll use every inch of my dream studio, especially the open cockpit where I can sew on a calm, sunny day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


This tiny quilt was in response to a reader's challenge in Quilting Arts magazine with the theme "Passages". The theme was posed as "It could be journey or an attained stage of life". Serendipity strikes! Both those general definitions apply to this past year in my life. 

Having quilted most of my life, I had a bit of fabric stashed away. In the process of selling our house and downsizing to a sailboat, most of that fabric was given to other homes. I carried with me a single gallon zip bag of small pieces that I thought I might use someday if the sewing bug bit me. One piece was navy with stars, one piece was some Asian waves that I used 25 years ago to appliqué Godzilla on a denim jacket for my small son. One was a pinky, purply batik. And there is always some white aboard. Just the fabrics I needed to make a "Passages" tiny quilt!

Here it is with the description I submitted.

"Dawn Watch"
2013, 10" x 10", hand appliquéd and quilted

Last year, my husband and I quit our jobs, sold everything we couldn't take with us and moved aboard our sailboat to travel full-time. The Passages theme worked two-fold for me; not only the movement from land to water, but "passages" refers to sea journeys of one or more days. This piece is my attempt at rendering the splendor of dawn after a night at sea. I always choose the dawn watch because it's so beautiful.

It didn't get selected, but it was fun entering. I look forward to seeing the chosen tiny quilts in a later issue.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Triptych variations

Just some ideas on making tiny quilts in multiples. Circles could be used in the joined variations also. Vertical arrangements would work also.

Here's an example of variation number two.

"Green Dot Mutation"
2013, 27.5" x 11" hand appliquéd, pieced and quilted. For sale.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Floating Leaf's tiny quilt

Who is Floating Leaf anyway?

She's my alter ego. She's wise and compassionate. She's often silent. She doesn't criticize. She moves through life with acceptance and grace. Like me, she also likes to cook, take long walks and make tiny quilts.

Here's one for her.