A Tour of My Quilt Studio: Celebrating One Year in the New House!

Dear Friends–

       What an eventful year this has been! My son and I were so stressed a year ago as we moved to our new place on the hottest day in July and began to settle in, right before the AC broke down. I’ve shared some of my adventures on social media, including the ways I’ve decorated my living space upstairs with a mix of old and new. I can honestly say the best thing that has happened to me in the past two years (my husband died July 16, 2015) is this new house. I’ve found so much joy in making it mine in every way, and that especially goes for the basement studio/office. This anniversary seemed like a good time to give you a virtual tour of my happy place. 

       I’ll start with the office part. Here is “command central,” my computer and desk, which affords me a view of a gorgeous wooded yard (and when the trees are bare, I can see the D & R Canal and Lake Carnegie from my computer). 



             Right behind my computer here are two file cabinets, table and a bookcase with some of my quilt books. The wall is decorated with some of my collection of mini quilts, a changing show. These five were all Quilt Alliance contest quilts that I bought at auction. 



               Something I just added is a bulletin board: I ordered the fabric from Spoonflower and it’s just glued to some insulation board from Home Depot (3/4 inch thick) and bolted to the wall. 


         And who doesn’t love pushpins in the shape of no. 2 pencils? (I have to thank Laura Chapman, head of communications for the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, NE for the maxim.)


   The most spacious and wondrous part of this finished basement space is my quilt studio, separated from my office by a double set of French doors. I bought shelving from Ikea for stash storage and an Ikea kitchen work station for my cutting table, but everything else I already had. Except for the design wall: my first. Which is covered in that awesome gridded gray flannel that you can buy from Liza Lucy @ Glorious Color online. The 2-inch squares mean you can always tell if your blocks and quilt tops are straight. 


          Wait, I have a photo here somewhere showing the design wall: on it is the Stephen Sondheim “Into the Words” quilt that I made for an episode of The Quilt Show, for a Broadway challenge (I’ll let you know when it airs in September.)


             And here’s the view from the cutting table going back to my office (different day, messier cutting table top.)


             I won’t go through all the categories of stash and whatnot, but here is one of my fun baskets: I love words in quilts and I keep my stash of word fabrics here. This is my name tag for the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild. 


              Another favorite thing in the studio is my work table, a circular butcher block that was in my old kitchen for decades. It got pretty stained and pitted, but it’s a great work surface for drafting patterns, block-printing and embellishing by hand. 


          Another amazing feature of this big wonderful space is a sitting area behind my stash bookcase. My son loves to come down here to read because it’s cooler downstairs than up. And the sofa pulls out into a bed for overnight guests (there is also a guest bedroom and full bath on this lower floor.) On the wall above the sofa are some more of my favorite small quilts: in this case, house-shaped quilts from several Alliance contests. 



               I think you can see why I am so in love with this space! I also have special little mementoes scattered around to remind me of loved ones. There is actually a sink in the office too, with shelves above it where I keep copies of my own books and various treasures, like these childhood toys (my husband had whole armies of metal soldiers). And a little keepsake from our wedding day. Dick also had a ton of toy cars (see taxi). The cement mixer was from the Max collection of tiny trucks, and the two construction dudes, who were called Tex and Dave, each had their own construction vehicles, a backhoe and a dump truck. The wind-up duck and doggie were little toys I bought when I first moved to NYC in the early ’80s: I kept them on my desk at the Wall Street Journal.



             In short, life is good right now. Max and I feel truly, happily at home. Max is headed back to college in the Fall, and we’re both just eating up this glorious summer together. I think Dick would be so happy for us. Thanks for all the support, dear ones!!!!!




  1. Sally Harcum Maxwell says:

    What a wonderful space, Meg! My wish for you is to get it MESSY–LOL! You have a great collection of memorabilia and plenty of room for things to come. ENJOY it 🙂

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