I have said on this blog many times that I am function over form when it comes to my work spaces. After the last 2 days I am sure that you believe me now! I don't like spending a lot of money on my studio spaces unless it's for the tools and supplies. Furniture and storage is as cheap as I can get. It's important to me to be as productive as possible and having space is the most important thing for that. In one day I can dye in the morning, spend and hour cutting glass, quilt for an hour and then piece for a few minutes at the end of the day. It's a nice luxury. Also, because I don't spend a lot for my furniture and storage I can change things around ot dispose of things that don't funtion well without any thought to the original cost.
It's clear from yesterday's photos that the basement is due for a cleanout. I do actually reorganize and clean up the basement about once a year. This year it will happen after the Christmas decorations are put away. They are kept in the basement too. Since I have to clean up after that I usually go ahead and gut the whole basement.
I did forget one thing about my dye process. One of the important things about my dyeing process is consistency in all steps. I measure and weight my dye powder and concentrates and I make sure that the batching temperature is consistent. I do that with this sauna that Chris abandoned a few years ago. He bought it for himself and used it for a few years but it never got as hot as he wanted. It's perfect for batching dyes though so we kept it and now it's my batching cabin. This is in the same area of the basement as the kiln.
Now on to Willie's Room.
Willie is my 2005 APQS Millennium. Before Willie I had a 2000 Handiquilter frame with my Juki sewing machine. I had that just long enough to know that I loved stand up quilting and that gave me the confidence to go ahead an invest in Willie.
Willie is named after my Granddaddy Dove. When my brother and I were in elementary school Granddaddy Dove got a job as the school's janitor so that he coud see us each day. I loved seeing him when I was at school and I remember feeling really sorry for him once when I saw him cleaning up some kid's vomit. But he always made sure he was cleaning somewhere near where we would be when going to lunch or recess.
Fast forward 30+ years and I was working at an insurance company as a project manager. Another PM, Robert, from the LA office and I developed a reputation and career as people who could fix things. In 2005 we were working on a project in New Jersey that had become a complete disaster. In the bar after work one day we were joking about how we were really nothing more than corporate janitors. I had a sudden flashback to my Granddaddy Dove sweeping the floors outside my classroom. Since my job as a corprate janitor paid for my new longarm I decided to name him after my Granddaddy, Willie Richard Dove.
Here's a photo of young Will Dove before he ever considers having children, much less grandchildren.
But let's get back to my Willie and his room. This "room" is behind the dye studio. If you are facing my house from the outside this is the back left corner. Like the rest of the basement it's totally unfinished.
I'll give you the tour moving around the room from the right as you walk in the doorway. Immediately to the right is thread heaven. This is one of those bookslenves salvaged from the living room. I like having lots of thread and lots of colors and buy a few cones when I get some spare cash. I like having a good stash so tha I can quilt whatever I want without waiting for thread to arrive. It's taken since 2005 to collect all of this and I continue to collect since Superior Threads insists on continually adding new colors and products. Almost every cone here is from Superior Threads. From the top each shelf is a different type: Masterpiece, King Tut, trilobal polys, So Fine and Bottom Line on the bottom. The featherweight is used when I sew in the basement.
The window sashes are actually for the dye studio. I salvaged them when we replaced the windows in the house and I use these for monoprinting.
This glider used to be on the back porch but now it's piled with batting and backing that belongs to Country School Quilters. I keep their stuff separate so I don't accidentally use it for my own quilts. The finished quilt is one that I use to insulate my homemade soaps when I batch the soap for the first 24 hours.
Friends have given me some really nice quilts over the years and I hang a lot of them down here. It makes me happy to have them here to brighten up this otherwise dull space.
Behind Willie, on the back wall, are the things tha I use when quilting. The cart has my rags and supplies for cleaning the rails and wheels. The 26 year old microwave cart has the tools and supplies (bobbins, chalk...) that I use while quilting.
Next to the microwave cart is a 3-drawer lateral cabinet that I got at the office sale. It holds backing fabrics, batting and pantographs. The 3-drawer unit holds tools and my Mom gave me the ruler rack....I love that.
Chris built the simple batting rack. I cover the rolls with old sheets to keep the dust off the batting.
On the interior stud wall are more shelves with lots of stuff: the TV, small ironing board and iron, the drawers that have dye supplies, EZ Quilt pattern boards and batting. Under that floral fabric are the quilts ready to be quilted...those with backs that are trimmed and ready to load.
Currently there are only 2 quilts with prepared backs. Upstairs there are several tops that need backs and to be moved here.
Back around to the other side of the doorway is another folding table. Sometimes I work on symmetry quilts here but right now I have batches of soap curing and a pile of batting scraps to piece for veterans quilts.
Under Willie are 4 bins of fabric. These are all of my symmetry fabrics for my kaleidoscope quilts. I like working on the symmetry quilts down here where I can spread the fabric all over the floor and it's not in the way of anything else.
Did you notice the carpet in any of the photos? It's a large leftover piece from my sewing room and, yes, it's held down with duct tape. I'ts ugly but works like a charm! In the front and back of Willie I have extra padding under the carpet where I stand to quilt.
There's one last thing to show you in the basement. In the other quadrant is where you can find the kiln and fabric batching station (sauna). That's the area where there's a door to the outside. It's also where I have my exercise bike that I ride for an hour every morning......except right now because the bike broke and I'm waiting for Costco to get new ones in stock next week.
I also have a makeshift photo studio in the basement. I hung 2 poles from the exposed floor beams. The rod in the back has this white drape cloth. It's extra long and wide so that I can hang it down and it extends out at least 4 feet in front of the quilt. Behind this are more of those salvaged bookshelves. This is where most of the Christmas decorations are stored.
The front pole is adjustable (height) and has clip hooks for holding quilts. The gray fabric hanging at the top is used to help when editing the photos to correct the color. (See my tutorial here for using color correction cards).
Here you can see how I set up the quilt pole to be adjustable and another swatch of gray fabric that can hang beside the quilt. I have two sets of lights to properly light the quilt for photography.
Whew! That was a long tour! You have now seen my basement studios: Glass Shop, Dye Studio and Willie's Room. Tomorrow I'll show you the Sewing Room and I can't wait to see yours too!
There's still time to link up your favorite storage method to last week's post.