This week, I’d like to tell you about my new studio. Since I started Amanda Jane Textiles (in September 2014), I have been working on the landing. My house is a converted Salvation Army Hall so the landing is a kind of mezzanine above the main living space. The banister along the front of the landing is really handy for hanging quilts – I use cycle clips to keep the quilt on (as seen below)! I’ve done this when working on a quilt, to check the lay-out and colour balance, and also used this method to hang up a finished quilt like this one (‘Winter Roses’ which decorated the house at Christmas.
The space on the landing was quite cramped, however, especially for sewing and for quilting large quilts. These activities often sent me down to work on the kitchen table (as in the photo below). I wrote about it here.
Then, in November last year, at the ‘Festival of Creativity’, organised by Jane Shaw of Create North which took place at Ushaw (mentioned in the blog post here), I heard about the proposal to rent out artists’ studios in the building. Ushaw is situated about a mile from my front door, so I was very interested. Ushaw was built in the 19th century as a college for the training of Catholic priests and it includes on the site, spectacular Georgian and Gothic Victorian architecture, including a chapel designed by Pugin. Ushaw now describes itself as ‘a Heritage, Tourism, Culture, Conference and Hospitality venue’. The buildings are set in a beautiful 500 acre site. It’s quite exciting to drive in to work! Here’s a photo of the entrance (taken on the snowy days at the end of January when I moved in):
Then the drive…
Then to the front of the main building (photographed in warmer weather)…
…and in through the front door.
My studio has a view over one of the large courtyards within the building. The window is large and the light is good.
Some of my quilts are hung on the walls. You can see ‘Colours of Mexico’ here (the one I was quilting on the dining room table in the photo above). There is plenty of room for my baskets of coloured fabric, for my boxes of sketchbooks – and much more.
There’s a huge desk placed down the centre of the room, end-to-end with a big table, to allow for maximum cutting out and sewing space. On the other side of the room is my ironing board with the ‘To and Fro’ quilt above it (made as a two-person quilt with my friend Alison Moore).
This is quite a big quilt (single bed size) and the ironing board is at it’s tallest, so you will gather from this that the ceilings are really high!
I have a useful sink and there is even a small cupboard for mugs.
Below the cupboard, on the towel rail are two of my tea-towel designs. If you’d like one yourself you can order linen/cotton Canvas Ultra fabric (this is the correct width fabric for the design) from Spoonflower:
the block-print roses design is here
the ‘Sewing Tools tea towel’ design is here
I’ll show you another photo when everything is moved in. For now, it’s a work in progress.
Where do you quilt?
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