Saturday, September 25, 2010

Creative Spacing

Frances Dowell of the Off Kilter Quilter has been talking about creating personal spaces.  How important is your space to your creativity?  When I started quilting we only had one spare bedroom that was available to be used for something other than a guest bedroom.  My husband had already claimed it as his music room shortly after we moved into the house in 1997.  So it was already the home of 6 guitars, the guitar amps, penny whistles, and a few other interesting and obscure instruments.  Most of which were stored in the closet.  There was a book case for his music books, a music stand and a chair he used when he played.  So when I started quilting in 2001 there was room for a desk for my machine, a cutting table and a few plastic storage units for my then very small stash.  The other advantage is that we could be together while we were each "doing our thing". 

In those days, I was working on average 10 hours a day and had a 2 year old running around (literally).  So quilting time was pretty limited, sometimes only 15 minutes in the evening.  Which would have been OK, except I often spent those 15 minutes clearing music books and sheets of music off my sewing table, or moving guitars he had laid on the cutting table when he was done playing.   Trying to play or sew when the other was in the room proved frustrating.  He liked to sit in the middle of the room, which was right in the way of moving from the sewing machine to the cutting table where I ironed.  If we was playing acoustic guitar, he sometimes couldn't hear himself play with the sewing machine buzzing.    It's probably a good thing we moved when we did, I'm not sure we could have stayed married.

In 2006 we moved back to Oklahoma.  One of the requirements for the new house was for both of us to have enough space for our chosen creative outlets.  I now have my own room.  The entire closet is mine for storage (my stash has expanded to fill the available space).  I have room for two design walls, a small TV, a bookcase for my quilting books, and my writing desk where I can sit with the computer, in addition to what I had in TX. Dear husband has his music room down the hall, which I only enter only to vacuum and clean the attached bath. 

My sewing space

The toddler is now 11 and has made her own demands for creative space.  Lego's have been her thing for the last few years as our family room clearly shows.  (I won't show a picture because kiddo's idea of neatness don't match my own).  Recently she has decided to write a book, so she spends hours in her room on the computer listening to all kinds of music.  We disrupt her focus, so she can't write with us in the room. 

So my house is full of creative spaces.  Unfortunately, there is not enough room for a long arm quilting machine.   Hmm, what about the walk in attic?  Possibilities.  Maybe. 

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