Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Studio Makeover (and a little bit of Module 3 Chapter 4)

Since swapping my studio with the spare bedroom, I’ve found there is not nearly enough storage.  Trying to plan how to improve it gave me the chance to re-think the whole room, what I wanted to keep there and what I wanted to do there.
Functions I want in my studio:
  • space for art, fabric painting, dyeing
  • space for hand and machine sewing as well as storage for fabric, thread, Bondaweb and other “special effect” products
  • space for writing letters, paying bills and other paperwork
  • computer, printer and associated storage for CDs, printer ink and paper etc.
  • a comfortable sanctuary to read and listen to music
  • occasional use as a second spare bedroom
  • storage for books
  • storage for knitting yarns and patterns
A lot to ask of a space which is only 2.7m by 2.7 m!!
After a lot of thought here is the plan I came up with:
plan for desks and storage

east wall elevation
north wall elevation
south wall elevation

I contacted my joiner and showed him my plans.  The next step was to empty the room.  The contents filled every free space in every other room in the house!  Finally however, it was done:
studio emptied
Today, the joiner finished installing all the shelves:
shelves in place
We’ve had a quick trip into town to get paint and so tomorrow I’ll start painting it.  I was tempted to be lazy and get the painter to do the job, but he is tied up for the next couple of weeks with a really big job and I don’t have the patience to wait that long.  The painter recommended using emulsion paint as a primer for the bare mdf before painting it.  A useful tip.  I chose Crown Milk White for both walls and paintwork, a gentler, warmer white than Brilliant White, especially since the room is north facing and rather dark.   Can’t wait for tomorrow to see it all nice and bright and white.

Finally, here is a picture of the sofa bed I'm intending to buy.  Reviews are very good, getting 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5 with 27 reviews.  It's also simple, stylish and reasonably priced.

Luckily this has come at a time when my current Distant Stitch work is hand stitched spirals, so my studio can (temporarily) be in a small plastic box that I can carry around.  Here’s what I’ve done so far.

3.4.h1 detail a

3.4.h1 detail b

3.4.h1 detail c

3.4.h1 detail d


3.4.h2 detail a

3.4.h2 detail b

3.4.h2 detail c

I am really enjoying the hand stitching (and revisiting Mary Thomas dictionary of stitches) – an oasis of calm while chaos has been happening in the house around me.  The upheaval will be worth it though.


  1. Your spirals look great Catherine, and your workspace will be so useful I'm sure. One other thing, have you thought of having a board (maybe attached to the wall for flipping down) that can float on top of the sofabed? That way you could have another large flat area for cutting out,etc when you need it. a friend of mine finds that very useful.

    1. Sounds like a great idea. I'll ask my joiner about it. Thanks.

  2. Looks like you've been very busy both on your studio and the module.Will pop back to check your progress.

  3. How exciting. Can't wait to see your finished studio! Love the hand stitching. Its so rewarding to sit quietly with a needle, thread & Mary Thomas! enjoy x

  4. Catherine...would you please email me regarding one of the images of a Mola Blouse you have posted that is my photograph of a Mola in my collection. :) I could not find an email address to contact you privately.

    Sherry Thorup

    1. Hi Sherry,

      I'm sorry if I have inadvertently broken copyright and used one of your photos without your permission. I usually try to be very careful about that. I thought it would be alright since I was using it as part of my research for a stitched textile course, but, of course, I'll remover it right away. Sorry once again.


  5. I'm sorry...I didn't include my email address...