Odd Characters in the Studio

Mostly I work alone in my studio, but it often feels filled with lots of company because of the dress forms, toys and other odd characters I have hanging around. Yesterday I took this photo after wrapping up a day of quilting and had to laugh, because it looked like two headless woman and PaMdora watching over my work.

The hole above my quilting frame is my attempt this hot summer to improve the air-conditioning in my studio by cutting a hole through my photography wall and adding two fans:)

rdi-quilt-wip2Wait, I’m wrong. On closer look, one of the headless women has a very small head!



Some people on my SAQA email list are talking about staying motivated when you hit a design block, and I was thinking how I try to make my studio a fun place to be. I try to tidy up between big projects, but still have toys, collections of vintage stuff, and left-over cutouts that sometimes I just play around with for the heck of it. Not really to make anything — it’s just sort of like having a ‘recess for the mind.’

Little swatches


Usually I think that once the quilt top has been designed and cut out and pieced together, it’s all downhill. Not in a bad way, but a sort of you-did-the-work-and-climbed-the-hill-and-now-you’re-on-top-and-ready-to-sail-down-on-your-sled/bike/snowboard-squealing-weeee kind of downhill. Mostly it’s like that, mostly it’s easy, fun and satisfying. But there are usually a few places that require some tough choices, a bit of nail-biting, and a lot of faith.

For those, I make test swatches to try out new ideas or stitch designs and threads to see how they interact with the patterns and colors of the fabric. But then when it comes to the real deal, it’s still a performance that requires practice, attitude, and spontaneity.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Evacuate


Well, I thought I was tough anyway, sweating it out all summer in my studio with no air conditioning. But truthfully, it has been a mild summer…..until last weekend. Finally it got so hot, and add to that no windows to vent all the heat of my overhead lights and an iron that is constantly on HOT, that I knuckled and resorted to my emergency heat evacuation plan.

I moved my sewing machines to the newly redone gallery, love that bamboo floor! But even better, the now all-white walls and big open space. Formerly a meeting room and kitchen, we redesigned this room to be more of a multi-purpose room, and now it seems a wise investment.


The lighting’s not as even as my studio, but it’s cool! And I have all sorts of interesting new thoughts when I look up from my sewing and see the Russ RuBert beautiful sculptures. What a yummy place to work!