Saturday, April 13, 2019

Quilt Studio Renovation

The Great Renovation Begins

There should be a sign on the studio:

New Hours: Severely Limited

or more appropriately labeled,

Warning! Construction Zone
Enter at Your Own Risk!

The Big Bang
a.k.a., The Big Squeeze & Creating Space

I claimed this space in May, 2015, when I outgrew my basement sewing room, and was seeking daylight. I was tired of running up the stairs to check color samples, and had no sense of time working underground. Later that year I purchased a HandiQuilter Avante longarm, and it changed how I thought about, and made quilts. Finding limits with how far I could advance with my Avante prompted me to upgrade my machine. One with more working frame/throat space, and added automation would be a game changer for me. Loads of research later, I made my decision, but I'll keep that secret for now.

Where Will I Put It?

Mind you, nothing is easy when you have a studio packed with fabric and tools, and adding a (second) machine with a giant (8' x 15') footprint is mind-boggling. I joked that this was like those plastic sliding puzzles we played with as kids. Remember the 8 tiles you shuffled around the square to make a picture? I was terrible at them then, too.

At the far end were a couple pinball and arcade games leftover from the days when our house was full of children. They were first on the list to go. But wait! It's not as easy as it sounds. The studio is a loft on the second floor with a long stairway. We had to bring in the big guns for this operation. Everything big on this floor went out the French doors on a pallet, and was taken down with a man lift. 

Yes, seriously. 

With the arcade games finally removed, we stepped back to reassess the space. For the first time ever, I didn't have to share. My husband piped up, "If you're ever going to put down floor covering, this is the time." He was both kind and honest about this, but oh, the work that would take! I debated the pros and cons, and how working on concrete the next 20 or so years with cold floors and no cushioning. It was time to price carpet before I did anything else.

Floor Coverings for a Fabric Studio

My factors for deciding appropriate carpet were: 

1. Must show pins! I work in my socks or bare feet. I took several kinds of pins with me to the showrooms, and threw them on the samples.

2. Must be cushy, but not loose napped. Pins get buried in deep pile not to mention needles. Also, most of my storage is on castors to move and re-position it for classes or other work. They are safely balanced, but I don't want a chance of something becoming unsteady.

3. Longarm accuracy depends on the machine staying level. My dealer said I could use anything on the floor, but we felt firm was better than fluffy. My husband and I had spent a lot of time leveling and re-leveling the last machine on a more plush carpet that used to be in the kids' toy room. Frequent, minute adjustments over the seasons were necessary, and I would have problems with my stitching as soon as there was a change. Our buildings all breathe and move in slight ways, and adjustments on the thick carpet made it harder also. I wanted something easier this time, if that was possible.

I picked the lightest color at bottom left, but any would have worked. This carpet is thinner so all my racks on wheels will still roll, and it's Stainmaster so I know it will clean up well. Coffee drips are not unheard of.

*I hate shopping under pressure, and a tight budget. With that said, always get several estimates. When one store says "Free Installation", and the next has a "Deeply Discounted" product, it's hard to tell until you weigh everything. I learned a lesson on customer service with this experience, too. Price is not always the bottom line. 

My husband says I must have carried something 
up the stairs every trip I made. 
He might be right.

I'm finally down to this point with another pallet ready to go, and several lighter items to carry down. The carpet will be installed Saturday, and the long arm arrives on Monday. I've packed my little heart out for 2 weeks, and I'm tired, but still found a little time to sew between boxes.

One more K.I.S.S. quilt to show that I squeezed in. 

20 four patches
12 half square triangles
4 solids

Wish us all luck this weekend.
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


Linda Swanekamp said...

Know your pain. Had to empty out my family room, dining room, kitchen and entry to get the floors refinished. Then had to endure scaffolding (cathedral ceiling),priming over oil, masking, plasticing off, and painting twice. Now big furniture is back in, everything else still in boxes. And drive 280 miles both ways to pick up a buffet. Your studio will be so worth it and you will enjoy the space- your space to do your creative work. Now if I can just empty another box or two. Can't wait to hear about your longarm!

KaHolly said...

What a fantabulous studio space! Can’t wait to see it all out back together!

patty a. said...

Your space is going to be fabulous! It is a lot of work and I feel your pain. I had to empty out two bedrooms and the living room for a guy to come and refinish my floors. What a job that was, but the floors are done. I am looking forward to seeing the carpet installed.

Angie in SoCal said...

Wow! Major creative space growing there. It will be fabulous.

audrey said...

I'm so glad you went with the carpeting. Your legs will thank you long term! Love that you have such a large studio. I am just a teensy bit jealous!:) I'm assuming this space is not at your home?

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

A lot of work now for lots of gain later. I love this little quilt.