I may have mentioned a few weeks back that I found the perfect studio worktable. I scored a good price for it online and it looks great in our Colorado home. It's just the right height and width for spreading out and slicing up fabric.
Just one problem: it's our dining table.
Actually, that's not the problem. I'm perfectly happy to spread out my stash and work there. The problem is that my husband seems to think we should continue to use it for dining, and I should keep fabric and rotary cutters upstairs in my designated studio space. Seems he has an aversion to steak with a side of fusible. Also, he likes the downstairs to look presentable.
So, now I'm on the hunt for another studio worktable. (Unfortunately, it's not practical to just buy a copy of the dining table.) As I consider my options, I'm keeping the Winter issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios close by. There's an entire article in this issue on how to find the worktable that suits your physical, functional, and aesthetic needs. It includes these helpful shopping tips.
Tips on Table Choice
Will you typically be sitting or standing to work? Or, will you sometimes sit and other times stand?
How much time will you spend at your worktable?
Do you need to be able to move the table?
Do you want to be able to adjust the height?
What kind of surface(s) work best for the kind of art you create?
I have a make-do table in my studio right now, because I'm stitching up gifts and ornaments to put under the tree and deck our new halls with this year. I have been looking for easy tips and tricks to move the creative process along.
When I saw these instructions from Melody Ferris and Jill Russell on how to make a ruched flower in Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts, I immediately stuck it on my design board. You can whip up a bunch of these beauties in no time and use them as embellishments on an art quilt, as an accent on an accessory (such as a clutch or plain ballet flats), or just put a pin back on one and call it a brooch.
How to make a ruched ribbon flower
Pick a ribbon that is not too stiff. You don't need to cut a specific length as you will gather the ribbon as you go.
1. Using a needle and thread, start at one end of the ribbon and begin to stitch back and forth in a zigzag fashion, using small stitches. After you have sewn several inches, pull the thread to gather the ribbon.
2. Continue stitching along the length of the ribbon, gathering as you go. Use a matching thread if you don't want the stitching to show or a contrasting thread to add a little pizzazz to the flower.
3. Cut the ruched ribbon to the desired length and gather the ribbon into a flower.
4. Conceal the ribbon end and any loose threads within the flower and stitch to hold the shape.
I could even see a display of ruched ribbon ornaments hanging from the tree or in the window. I definitely need some new holiday home dec to make our new abode feel homey and festive over the holidays.
Ever since I was forced to wear uniforms throughout my school years, I've had an aversion to plaid. However, looking at all the new ways you can "do" plaid--especially in quilting--has me rethinking my tartan ban. I especially like the "Plaid Curves" patchwork table runner in the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Stitch. Stitching plaids together is one time you want to be matchy-matchy, so I was thankful to see several tips like these in the magazine.
Tips for Stitching Plaids
- Buy extra yardage for flexibility in matching plaids across seamlines. As a rule of thumb, purchase at least ¼ yard more than the pattern requirements.
- The larger the plaid, the more difficult it will be to match at the seams.
- A walking foot will keep the layers from shifting as the seams are sewn, for better matches across the seamline.
Come to think of it, that runner will look lovely on the new dining room table.
What are some of your quick stitching and studio tips? Share them in the comments section below!