State of the Studio – 2020

Every year on December 31st, I stop and look back over the work that has happened (or not happened) in my studio during the year.

Although 2020 was tough in many respects and we suffered disappointments with trips and other events being cancelled, it was an amazing year for the Studio!!

First of all, it gained about 75% more space. The before and after photos say it all…..

Now I find it really hard to believe that I was able to create anything at all in the space that I had previously!!

And then came the addition of Julio……

He has really spiced up my quilting!!

I have had a bunch of finishes this year…..

I made two tops for charity quilts…..

Three tops for Quilts of Valor…..

….and lots of hours practicing quilting on various charity quilts..

I moved one quilt from the UFO bin to the trash can and haven’t thought twice about doing it!!!!

I have spent a LOT of time working with Ruler Quilting and am super happy with the advancements that I have made in my skill level…..

I shared my studio with several people during the year and had fun teaching Kaitlyn to quilt…..

I have designed two new quilts and almost have a pattern ready for one of those…..

Probably the biggest change in 2020 has been the establishment of my brand…..FrancesQuilts, complete with new logo….

I have published 248 Blog Posts, including daily posts since July 21st and have produced 28 instructional videos.

When I look back over the year, part of me feels that I should have completed more projects, but I am honestly proudest of the “FrancesQuilts” portion of the year. From comments that I have heard, I believe that I have been able to provide information, inspiration, assistance and encouragement to quilters around the world, and that is about as exciting as it gets!!

…..And there are lots more exciting things in the works for 2021. Come back tomorrow for those!!

So as we HAPPILY say goodbye to 2020, here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve…..

shutterstock image

The Importance of Lighting

We all know how important lighting is in a studio. And, as I get older and my eyes get weaker, it is becoming even more important!!

The other day I purchased light bulbs but accidentally bought “daylight” versions instead of the usual “soft white”….

When I replaced a bulb in the den, it looked like I was sitting in an operating room rather than a family gathering place.

At first I was frustrated that I had bought the wrong thing but then started thinking about other places that these bulbs might work. I am sure that it comes as no surprise that my first thought was …..MY STUDIO!!!

I first replaced one of the bulbs and tried to take a photo to show the difference, but that didn’t work well. However, after I had changed three of them, I noticed the reflection in one of the tables so took that photo instead…..

LOOK how much difference it makes.

So now my studio is even brighter and I am elated!!

Is there a way that you can you brighten your work area?

Can I get a Hallelujah!!!!

A little over 11 weeks after moving everything out of my studio, I can say that EVERYTHING is finished and back in order and that creating can begin again!!!!

And that deserves a HALLELUJAH!!!!

The actual construction took a bit over 3 weeks and I have spent the last 7-1/2 weeks putting everything back into place, with most time being spent at the ironing board, working thru all of the fabrics.

The cleaning and organizing process might have been faster if I had kept this advice…..

But today, I put the last piece onto the shelves and did the final re-organization. This is the rainbow result….

Fabric color walls

In the end, I moved the fabric stacks around some to get the colors that I use more often in the easiest spots. I also found that some of the earlier colors were stacked too high, meaning that it was really hard to get things in and out of the cubbies. So, as I moved things around I also split some into shorter stacks.

The shelves on the far right contain boxes of unfinished projects. I am hoping that, if they are out in the open, I might actually get them finished……time will tell!!!

My room is now divided into two areas…. cutting and sewing……

Here is a wide view of the entire room. Enjoy it now because it will NEVER be this clean again…..

The wide view of the clean studio

My first project is a Quilt-of-Valor using one of the patterns that I showed last week…..

Quilt of Valor quilt pattern

It was so much fun to finally start using the room in the manner in which it was intended…..

….although I was a bit nervous and wondered if I really remembered how to cut and piece!!!

It was a relief to find out that I did remember the basics!!!

Corona Viruses are everywhere….

While happily ironing and folding the last of the green fabrics, I came across a Corona Virus fabric…….

I wonder….should I socially distance it from the others. I mean, it COULD go on a shelf by itself!!!

I have now finished the greens……

…..and am about 3/4 of the way finished with the browns!!!

My friend, Sue, reminded me that I didn’t HAVE to finish folding before I could start on a project. But I honestly think that something this mindless is the perfect thing to do to relax from a day in my office!!!!

I am really happy with how the first set of shelves looks……

When it is all finished I plan to do some rearranging so that the colors that I use most are the easiest to get to!!!

Hope you are finding enjoyable things to do while you are sheltering in place!!!

What color is it??

Since we are pretty much stuck at the house, I am splitting my time between doing tax returns and folding fabric.

I started with the blacks and whites and quickly got them organized…..

I then moved to yellows and golds……

Then I hit the orange boxes and the trouble began……

Are these yellows or oranges???? And, for that matter, where do all of these fit……

Are they yellows, golds, oranges or browns!!!!

I am hoping that it will all sort itself out (pun intended) when they are on the shelf…… we will see!!

Actually, yellow is an appropriate color right now as the Pine Trees are dropping their pollen and EVERYTHING has taken on a yellow tinge…..even the bird bath…..

I hope that you are all surviving this pandemic and finding time to be creative in some way.