As I was hand quilting last night, it occurred to me how little sewing actually takes place in my sewing room. My thoughts started to roam as I considered all the other places in the house where I sew.
I have a well-organised and spacious sewing room. Over the past year, I have sorted and rearranged practically everything in it. My stash is there, as is my sewing machine and cutting table. All my quilting magazines and books are stored there and there is a flannelette design sheet on the end wall. So why don’t I spend more time creating in that room?
Well, it depends on what I am doing. Dreaming and sketching can be done any place, any time. I have a notebook in which I jot down ideas and draw wildly inaccurate layout diagrams for future designs. Quite often, these never result in quilts or articles but the act of recording them sometimes triggers other, more useful, thoughts later. It also allows me to clear things out of my head – a very handy technique that ensures I don’t forget too many matters.
Sometimes I prefer to draw up more precise layouts or to create templates by using software on my computer. It is fun shading designs on the screen so that I can audition colours easily without having to cut fabric. This means I have to sit where the computer is – and that is not the sewing room.
There are different parts of the house that aid particular stages of quilt construction. I prefer to stand when I am cutting fabric strips, so the bench in my sewing room is the perfect height for this. Cutting around templates usually gets done at the dining table. I have even been known to balance a cutting mat on my knees while I am sitting on the couch and rotary cut around templates that way. I switch on the television and, a few hours later, find that not only have I caught up with my favourite programs, but there is also a neat pile of fabric shapes ready for stitching.
I usually do hand sewing and quilting while sitting in my ‘sewing chair’ – a comfortable, high-backed cane chair that is near a window. Any stitching on the machine is usually completed in the sewing room although, since my machine is housed in a portable table, I sometimes move it to another room where I can watch movies or how-to DVDs on quilting topics while stitching.
Being adaptable is my sewing philosophy and I’m guessing many of you think the same way. I never understood why I should restrict myself to sewing in a single room when there is a complete house full of places to be used!