How to Clean Up Your Work Area



 As you may have guessed, I am a total Neat Freak. And if you guessed this, you would be wrong. Cause I am neither neat, nor tidy, nor clean when I sew. There are fabric and thread clippings everywhere! 

But I do have a cleaning tip for you. Use batting. Place a small square of batting next to your sewing machine and drop your thread snips onto it. It’s a good way to keep the threads from slipping to the floor.


580CD0F9-77AE-4EC6-95CC-7C80A2FB8C09 Sweep up your work area with batting. I use it to dust my work tables and Teflon covered work table. You’d be surprised at how many fibers it collects. (No doubt my Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is in the mail.)


And here’s another use for batting. Make a small ball and throw it to your cat. My cats would go nuts over a ball of batting. Not sure why. Who knows what’s going on in the brain of a cat?

Another cat related item. A student in my class who loves cats had a bag that said “I’m just one cat short of crazy.” Keep that in mind all you cat lovers out there!

Studio Changes and Foreign Travel


Sewing studio before

In a spurt of energy I’ve rearranged my sewing studio. With only one sewing machine (my trusty BERNINA 750 QE), I realize I only need one sewing table.


Sewing studio after.

So I’ve placed the odd table against the wall and freed up a bunch of floor space. (Floor space for visiting grandchildren to set up a train set.) It looks very neat but don’t be deceived. Soon it will be a mess and a small locomotive with a small conductor will take over the room.

germanmagazinecoverAnd while I stay home and rearrange my studio, my quilts have been traveling to other lands. One quilt on the move is Arm Chair Gardener featured on the cover of Quilt & Textilkunst Patchwork Professional, a German quilt magazine. My high school German is very rusty but the article about my work is nicely illustrated. What an honor to be included in this lovely magazine!

Practicing Good Habits


Studio Clean Up Time: Before

I’m back in the studio for a few weeks and have to remind myself to practice good habits. Those habits seem to go out the window when I’m on the road. Good habits like brushing and flossing, eating right, and most importantly, looking both ways before crossing a street.

How to form that good habit? By repetition! (Or by getting hit by a car.)


Studio Clean Up Time: After

Here are a few life saving habits I practice when making art in my studio.They are the reason I am here today:

  • Closing the rotary cutter blades after cutting,
  • Turning off my iron when not in use,
  • Cleaning up the studio after each project,
  • Avoiding fabric sales at quilt shops,
  • And, my favorite, setting aside time to play.

Anything else I should be doing?

Studio Tour #3


While I’m out of town teaching at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) you get a view of my sewing studio back home. This is the fusing table where all the magic and mess happens. Note the piles of fused fabric scraps against the wall. There’s so much fabric I barely have room to make anything on the table top. Cleverly, the table top is covered with Teflon so I can fuse directly to it when making my art quilts. That is, when you can find the table top.

Studio Tour #2


Here’s how I left my studio before traveling to teach at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara CA. It’s a pit!

studio6But don’t worry. My sewing studio is in the basement of our home so no one really sees it……I hope. Note the stack of quilts next to my lovely BERNINA sewing machine. With any luck someone will finish quilting those for me while I’m gone. I’ve hired elves but they’re not very reliable.

Studio Tour #1

studio2015bI so long for my studio! This week I’m teaching at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara CA. One of the problems with teaching is that I don’t get to make anything, just watch others make art. It can be very frustrating!

So I long for my studio.

This is a view down the hall into my basement sewing studio. Before I left town, I packed boxes for the Artfabrik/Friestyle booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. The first thing I have to do upon my return home is ship out those boxes.

OK, maybe I don’t long for my studio.