I'm happy to say that the studio is looking a lot better than it was a month ago. I can't say I've gotten a lot done, but the room looks more like a working space than a dumping ground, and that's progress. And there's evidence of projects moving forward, and that's good news.
The ironing table is free of clutter. This is also a good sign. It means I need the full surface for ironing, which means fabric is being used and projects are being worked on. The cutting table is
also free of clutter; the only fabric on it is stuff I'm using for a current project. Everything else has found a different home, and I actually have room to put the different components that I'm using. It helps that I'm only working on one project right now that involves cutting; that doesn't happen all the time. But I'm liking the amount of space I have to actually work; I may do this more often.
The big news of the month of course was the arrival of Bertie. He is proving to be a very capable assistant, and I've been enjoying having him around this past week in particular now that Betsy is set up for free-motion quilting. His "home" still needs a bit of work. I need to find a place that the serger can live when not being used. That will give me more work area to the left of the machine, which is where it's most needed. I also need more light there. For now I'm making the lamp for the sewing table do double duty, which works, but I think I can do better. Moving the dehumidifier out from under the table will also help, as it's right in the place I want to put my feet. Those things will happen with time.
The design wall has been repaired, and the quilt on it is actually starting to look like a quilt. About half the components have been assembled and pinned up to begin to establish the size and the arrangement. I got the top edge established yesterday, and that made the whole thing feel more like a quilt and less like a hodge-podge of mismatched pieces.
But the star of this week is Betsy. As I said earlier in the week, I'm determined that I'm going to learn how to do free-motion quilting and get some of the thirty-odd unquilted tops lurking in the drawer under the cutting table turned into quilts and out into the world where they can do some good. I made some adjustments to how I set up the machine and got out some equipment I had bought but never used, and all of a sudden it seems to be working. Even on Monday there were parts that were looking good, and even the parts I wasn't happy with weren't terrible. Yesterday I practiced some more, and was all set up to practice more today when I decided it was time to get out a quilt top and start working on an actual quilt. This sampler is a quilt I had basted last year, so it was all ready to go. Today I put the walking foot on and stitched in the ditch between the blocks, so now everything is well stabilized. Tomorrow I'm going to try free-motion stitching in some of the blocks; nothing fancy, basically more stitch in the ditch but without having to rotate the whole quilt top every two inches. I also have those plain blocks where I can practice something a bit more exotic.
So February looks quite a bit different than January did. The possibility that I might finish a quilt this month is actually pretty exciting. And I feel like I'm starting to make some progress toward developing a skill that has eluded me for longer than I care to admit. Finishing that sampler will represent a major step forward for me as a quilter. Stay tuned.