Down-Under Design

12 May 2009

When we feature artists' studios in STUDIOS, we ask for a floor plan so readers can get a better idea of how the studio is laid out, the flow of work, etc. It's funny how many of these amazingly talented art quilters and mixed-media artists blanche at the thought of drawing a floor plan. Many worry we want something akin to an architect's rendering. I always assure them that a quick pencil sketch with the basic shape of the room, dimensions, and placement of the major pieces of furniture is fine. Some artists do send in a precise, to-scale drawing. But either way, our STUDIOS designer, Christina Williams, transforms each one in the computer so all of the floor plan designs have a uniform style within the context of the magazine.

However, when I received award-winning Australian quilter Helen Godden's floor plan, I wanted to laugh--or maybe cry. Instead of a rough sketch or a tightly drawn rendering, Helen sent an illustration of her studio, aka "The Zone," in her own irrepressible style. It's complete with a key to the coded shapes, captions, and an outline of her beloved dog Kosci, "asleep, not dead" in the middle of the floor. That's the part that made me laugh. What made me want to cry was that a) it had taken a circuitous route to our Stow, Mass., offices and therefore arrived after press time and b) we wouldn't have been able to use the floor plan in the format Helen had sent, anyway. So no one would see it.

But wait...QA community to the rescue! I could show Helen's floor plan here.

And so you have it. Be sure to get your copy of the Summer 2009 issue of STUDIOS to see the photos of Helen's studio and read her hilarious description of "The Zone."

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Pokey wrote
on 12 May 2009 3:03 PM

I love the sleeping dog. Hysterical. Good on ya,' Helen!

Whidbey2 wrote
on 12 May 2009 5:55 PM

I love the ZONE.   There must be a dog sprawled out on the floor or a cat laying on the sewing machine of course.

thank you for sharing


Lyric Kinard wrote
on 15 May 2009 1:41 PM

my "zone" would have to include me chasing children out - the little one currently thinks it's great fun to use my paint jars as blocks - stacking towers. Hey - at least he's learning colors and small motor skills right? I'm just waiting for one of the jars to break all over the place when he knocks them down.

Jane LaFazio wrote
on 18 May 2009 6:33 AM

I love it! Makes me want to draw one of my studio!

SewFun262 wrote
on 18 May 2009 5:08 PM

Am very impressed by the lay-out.  Mine is but a dream.  Am adding a "yard sale" page to my blog in order to thin out the accumulated loot - will use the money to paint and put up storage - that's the plan.  Hope it works better then going through the mags - pull out 5 - leaf through them and actually toss 2 - that's on a good day.  Oh to dream.....

moquilt wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 6:48 AM

My studio is fairly large and in a state of constant flux.  I will move my sewing table and cutting tables to take advantage of light or accommodate a varying number of fellow sewers or students.  What however is a constant for me is an outline on the floor using painter's masking tape of a 60" x 80" rectangle.  This is the size of a queen bed and helps me or clients visualize the size and drop of a bed quilt.  It's also a safe spot to store the piles necessary for multiple projects.  

merrielyn wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 7:07 AM

Hey Look!!  there is a special area designated for STUFF!  Wonder if I could get mine to fit in that spot -  or would need the entire 11 x 20 room?  I can see that the big overstuffed chair i a MUST

on 5 Jun 2009 8:16 AM

I too have a room that is the "war Zone".  I have spent the past 3 days sorting, throwing and fondling things.  But it is getting better and I can at least see part of the counter.  Now to finish up the altering, unfinished clothing from class 2 years ago and I'll be ready to mess it up again!!


lornashepard wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 8:18 AM

I recently added a gammill to my workspace (I finally took over the entire family room downstairs) and while the paint was still fresh enough, I really needed to find a little more efficiency with the behemoth now in place - major restructuring of fabric, design wall, cutting tables, and computer workspace!  I love my new workspace and it works better than before!  My "Zone"  would like very much like this except much more messy!

Jfulcher wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 9:17 AM

What a great floor plan! I wish I had an extra room! Since I've had children and they've taken up all my spare space, I've been banished to sew in my closet! Yes, I'm the closet quilter! Any ideas on how to use a really tiny space for big sewing adventure?

Aster wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 12:34 PM

Beautiful plan!  I bet the finished room is gorgeous.  

colorific wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 4:34 PM

I am loving the colored desks! And, I would love to have so much storage. A room so cool that it has it's own logo. Can't beat that.

morningDove2 wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 6:43 PM

this reminds me of zentangles and grafitti for some reason.  either way i just love it.  and the dog looks familiar.

quiltertoo wrote
on 5 Jun 2009 8:36 PM

I love the illustration! It's always wonderful to see how others organize their stuff.


Amyrflores wrote
on 6 Jun 2009 10:59 AM

I love the layout.  I dream of my "zone"  One day Imight even get one.  Once the kids are gone... Ha... does that really happen?  Well good luch to all who are inspired by this.  I am with you in thought!

pjstitch wrote
on 6 Jun 2009 7:31 PM

It is so inspiring to see the studios that some people have.  This one is so thoroughly described that I can really picture it in my head.  It must be a wonderful environment for one to be inspired 24/7.  I have to admit that I am quite envious!  Enjoy your "little corner of the world"!

Linda Woods wrote
on 6 Jun 2009 8:39 PM

What I love best about Studios is the ever new ideas. As my art is ever evolving so is my studio. My mom laughs at me when I tell her I am redesigning my studio! Thank you for all the great ideas. One of these days I"ll send in one of my own ideas!

on 7 Jun 2009 5:44 PM

Love the dog and the groovy chair.  I can't let the dog in because he needs to see the Dpog Whisperer.  Anybody want  Chihuahua who wo't housebreak?