Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Review: Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space

Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space: Sewing-Room Makeovers for Any Space And Any Budget by Lois L. Hallock contains practical advice for organizing your quilting space and eliminating clutter. Hallock focuses on ergonomics and efficiency. There are many good ideas in this book and I think it's going on my wish list.

Ergonomics are important to avoid pain and injury and have an enjoyable quilting experience. This book explains what furniture heights are appropriate for different tasks and gives low cost suggestions for improving the ergonomics of your workspace.

Hallock also emphasizes efficiency and feels an efficient work triangle of sewing, cutting and ironing stations is important. She suggests secondary cutting and pressing stations that can be reached while seated at the sewing machine. My quilt studio flunks the efficiency test, but I'm used to it.

The book presents a methodology for folding fabric and storing it on open shelves so that everything is visible. This makes a wonderful, uncluttered display. There are some good ideas on how to store fabric yardage, fat quarters and scraps, so they are neat and accessible. My long term storage is in a closet to prevent fading and I'm not keen on exposing my stash to daylight for an extended time.

The book is organized into 5 sections: the basics of quilt studio design, assessing your situation, finding the right solutions, turning your design into reality and real-life studio makeovers. The basics of quilt studio design include location, the work triangle, lighting and ergonomics. Assessing your situation covers determining your needs, including how much storage, and planning the layout. Finding the right solutions covers furniture and storage options and a design wall. Turning your design into a reality covers planning, budgeting and scheduling.

My favorite part of the book the examples of quilt studio makeovers. Seven makeovers are presented with before and after pictures, floor plans and budgets. Costs were $100 to $10,000. The $100 makeover rearranged the existing furniture and added a design wall and a cutting and pressing pad. The $10,000 makeover converted a 2-car garage into a 2-person quilt studio. The other makeovers cost 1 to 2,000 dollars. Lots of low cost and ready to assemble furniture was used.

If you quilt on a regular basis, this book is definately worth reading.

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