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Thread: Building a New house w/ studio All Ideas welcome

  1. #1
    Senior Member suziehammond's Avatar
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    Building a New house w/ studio All Ideas welcome

    We get the frights and delights of building a new house here in Chile. I'd love every wishful idea you've ever had for a magic quilting space. Everything you'd like to have............

    We have an architect who speaks English but she doesn't have a clue about sewing/quilting.

    So far my list includes; Lots of space (it will be about 20x20) - lots of light and the view of the Andes out the front. So the front will be glass. There will be an attached bathroom and walk in closet at the back. (And curtains will be the first order of business to control light and heat

    So I need ideas for all the weird wonderful super fantastic things I can have done now at almost no cost. I've looked at a number of 'sewing rooms' in the home design sites but I am pretty sure the designers don't sew.

    Anyway, I was thinking the back closet should have a skylight for subdued but real color lighting and to pull fresh air thru the room? (Plus track lighting for night time

    I have seen factories that have the ironing electric line coming from the ceiling so it never gets tangled. (Doesn't cost anything to put it in when it's being wired at the start here) Is it a good idea or not so important? I have a LA quilt machine so maybe that line should be from the ceiling?

    I have a reg machine and an overlocker. Is a U shape the best for holding up fabric while sewing?

    Have and 8x8 design wall planned--2 full pieces of styrofoam covered and framed out with molding.

    So what else???? And thanks in advance for all your input. I know you guys will have tons of things I've not thought of.......
    Suzie
    Author; I Don't Know Where I Want to Be -But it Isn't Here!

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    having the power outlets in the ceiling is definitely a great idea. the space behind your quilt frame is a great place for your design wall as nothing else will go there anyway.... although i put kitchen cabinets up high on that wall for extra storage... i'm shorter, so it's easy to walk under them. i like fluorescent lights... but you can get the daylight lamps for them for the proper type of lighting. i love your idea of the skylight in the closet.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Oh how lucky!

    Love the outlets in the ceiling, been wishing I had them for my LA. I would suggest playing with your layout to see if you would like any outlets in the middle of the floor. I just put up some cabinets, love them. You've covered windows, what a view; closet; outlets.

    The only other thing I can think of for the construction process is your flooring choice. If you are in an area that gets very cold and you are going to use tile you might consider one of those hot water heating systems they put under them.

    Oooo I saw a quilt rack you might like to get put while the mess is in underway. It was wooden, it looked like a pole with wooden rails sticking out that could be swung around. Let me see if I can find a picture, my word picture is terrible!

  4. #4
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    Is there a spot to build in cupboards for your stash? I recommend doors on a cupboard to prevent fading on your fabric. I would like a wall with a thin but strong metal rod and ring system along the ceiling to display finished quilts or wallhangings. I would want a cutting area cupboard that is at a comfortable height for rotary cutting with nice cubbies underneath for batts and rulers. Are you going to order a roll of batting? A wall rod to feed directly to your longarm would be nice. A strip of lights shining directly down on your longarm frame.

  5. #5
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    I would suggest lots of electrical outlets and an ironing board that folds up into a cabinet in the wall. We had one in our kitchen grown up and it was super handy.

  6. #6
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    A ceiling fan--can be used summer to make you feel cooler while still not turning a/c up as high. For the winter, reverse the direction to push warm air down--same reason.

    I know it's easier/faster to be able to just turn to the ironing board to press a seam, but since I have RA and back issues, my board is a few steps away from the machine. I have to get up and move, which helps me from getting too stiff sitting for a length of time. Just something to consider if you have mobility issues.

    You are so lucky being able to design your dream sewing space.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I suggest lighting around the perimeter as well as center. When I first converted a room I had lighting just in the center. Well there were still shaddows since the work areas were around the perimenter and the light had to come over my back. I now have perimeter lighting( on a seperate switch). It made a big difference.
    When layout out space... use a method used by archtects. Write down each defined work space and storage area. Then in a column next to it write the adjacencies /relationship space.. example sewing machine whould have a relationship to Ironing, fabric storage to cutting table, etc. When it comes to storage its helpful to break this into mulitple categories and define the relationship of the specifics. This will help to ensure in the planning that the room is efficient . In a work space such as a studio.. it also helps it to stay neater .
    One thing I really wish I had not skimped on is a hand sink in the area. Everytime I work on white fabric( hand washing), or need to put water in my iron, or just want to dampen my cleaning cloth... I could just kick myself.
    Last edited by Lori S; 11-20-2012 at 06:59 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Envious of what you'll have when the project is finished...but not envious of the process!

    Skylight in the closet is a great idea; I have skylights in my workspace too and I love all of the light. I would be cautious about getting the skylights that can open - if not done perfectly they will leak. And definitely have a way of shading any skylights in your work space - they can throw bizarre shadows. I can't shade mine (way up high in a cathedral ceiling) and there are certain times of the day when my planning space is part in shade and part in sun, which is not ideal.

    A place to hang finished quilts you want to photograph where there is good light and you won't get them dirty (could be outside).

    Some sort of railing over which to hang partially finished quilts and cut lengths of fabric so they don't get creased while you aren't working on them. I have a 4 foot rod suspended from the side of a wall cabinet on one side and the door frame on the other about five feet off the floor, so it uses space behind the door which was otherwise wasted.

    You must be so excited!

    Alison

  9. #9
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    Here is the post that shows the quilt rack I mentioned.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission...k-t197934.html

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What are you going to keep in the closet? I like the skylight idea as long as you are not planning to store fabric in there. Light fades fabric fast, so if you want open shelving for fabric storage in your closet you would want to skip the skylight in favor of light that can be turned off when you don't need it.

    I would include a large double sink in case you ever want to dye your own fabric.

    It would definitely be nice to have ironing cords and longarm cords hanging from the ceiling. You need to check out photos on the net to see how to keep the hanging cords under control. I think they typically are either on tracks or are looped on some kind of bungee cord system.

    I would have separate sewing stations for the sewing machine and serger and, ideally, both would have U-shaped cabinets. For a sewing machine you want a wide area on the left to hold a large quilt top as you finish it, and a similar area on the right would be really nice for holding stacks of pieces in order. The serger station really only needs a flat area on the left, although having an area on the right as well could be nice for keeping everything organized and at hand.

    What about a sound system/tv/lounge chair/computer setup? I like to have tv or radio or music on when I am working, plus it would be nice to sit in a comfortable chair while watching quilting DVDs. These days I look up something about quilting on the computer many times a day, so it is nice having a computer setup in the same room.

  11. #11
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Sounds like an amazing opportunity. I would second the ceiling outlets, especially for your long arm. There's also a spring thing-y that retains the extra cord as the quilting head moves along the rail so you don't have all that extra cord laying around. Here's an example:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7174742434/
    Also, you might want to take a look at the special organization thread in the pictures section:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission-organization-f23/
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    Super Member ppquilter's Avatar
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    When I planned my sewing rm (27 X 30) I knew the quilt machine would be out away from the wall so YES, do get outlets in the ceiling, we bought the pull down extension cords from sears (just like DH has in his wood shop). So when not needed just pull on it to retract it. Since I have so many things around the walls of the rm, this works great to pull it down to run the vacume too! :P
    Born to Quilt, Forced to work.

  13. #13
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I'd be worried about your fabric fading if you have skylights in there. Just get some natural daylight lights instead
    I just added a 8' length of shop lighting in to my craft room and I love it. I don't know why I didn't push for it sooner. It is so much nicer than my old lights that's for sure! I can see now! My craft room is about the same size as the one you are getting and one length was good for me. It's 4 4' flourescent bulbs. It isn't the prettiest to look at but the light it gives off is fabulous. I know it sounds silly but I spent at least a half hour deciding what color temperature I wanted to put in there. I'm very happy with the one I got. It's 4100. For me that works. I felt it was easiest on my eyes and a good neutral-ish shade for looking at my fabric and whatnot.

    About the 8' design wall... if you have any way to make it wider than that, I would do it. If you make a really large quilt, you will really wish you had a wider area.

  14. #14
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    You are talking about a centre ceiling light why have everything looking at a wall. You sit by the wall and work with frame etc i front that way light from above will shine on work. Don't forget an area to store boxes with scraps ini would have a large centre cutting board and make a large ironing area which would be very useful for quilt back.what kind os seats? A quiet corner by window to hand stitch.
    Finished is better than a UFO

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    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I have no ideas to add, but it sure is fun reading about all of them!! Very envious here...you are going to have such a great space!! And with a view. How good can it get?

    Dina

  16. #16
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I am envious and still happy for you.

    Lots of electric outlets. You might even want some in the floor and covered til in use.

    I personally don't like skylights. I love Solar Tubes. They let in more light without letting in the cold or heat.

    Adjustable track lighting so you can rearrange you studio as desired. Just use the natural light bulbs.

    A large cutting table, accessible from all 4 sides! A friend used 2-4 Ikea cabinets as bases that are used for storage.

    A place for a big board on your ironing surface. If you don't want it up all the time then a place for storage when not in use ... could be in the walk-in closet.

    Curtains??? Maybe consider blinds or plantation shutters. Easier to dust and keep clean. Also can be opened for light or ventilation as needed.

    Consider your own personal preferences. For instance, I cannot feel comfortable with my back to the door [I read mysteries, can you tell, and have some cop friends] or facing a wall. I could maybe face a window, just not with my back to the doorway.

    A large door space into the studio if possible. Pocket or outer sliding barn style doors. Even screens could be used to separate it from the rest of the home if you want. I took off my French doors and bought a used sccreen to place across the doorway when entertaining other than quilting/sewing friends.


    Plan, plan, plan ... keeping in mind how you function best.

    Maybe even a little beverage area. And room for any friends who might sew/quilt and visit.

    Enjoy the journey. Maybe even keep a journal of the process including pictures.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member grammatjr's Avatar
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    First, congrats - how wonderful to get space dedicated to your quilting - and you get to do basically anything you want - wow!

    Recently Ricky Tims gave a tour of his new studio. Go down about half way to the 11/2/12 video. He has some cool tips. http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php

    There are tips her on the QB: http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission-organization-f23/

    And one of the QB members has a studio that I have kept in a file, for "someday, all time dream room" - but I cannot remember her name, but here is her flicker page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomesewing/2672674140/
    She give lots of details how she did it.

    Good luck with your new studio - be sure to show us.

  18. #18
    Junior Member SandiGrove's Avatar
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    The little sewing room that we added to the house we built several years ago ... I changed the curtains to shutters so I could manipulate the light worked way better than curtains - you get shutters that slide which are great so if its a cloudy day you can slide them to one side and have a fantastic view and the can be put on the doors and windows a central good height table, big sink
    love the idea of music! Enjoy all the planning!!


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    It sounds like your design is already planned but will mention a North facing window light is supposed to be 'pure' light with no shadows or glares. The idea of a wall mount ironing board sounds good but mine is a commercial style which is rather small and not as helpful for utility purposes. It would be great to have the cabinetmakers build a wall mount for you. A friend built a top/table to fit on our existing free stand ironing boards.

  20. #20
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Two suggesions------------put electrical outlets at just above counter height. If you are going to have sewing equipment OFF the walls, be sure to put in some outlets hanging from the ceiling. I'm reluctant to suggest outlets in the floor. Murphy's law prevails and it would only be a matter of time until a pin or needle lands in a floor outlet.

    If you don't want cords hanging down all the time, put them on a retracting wheel and just keep a lightweight chain or cord to pull the outlets down.

    If you are going to have several pieces of electrical stuff, you might also think about a couple breakers. Be sure to leave room for a radio/boom box and TV maybe. AND A VERY comfy chair for your handiwork. I'd use a lot of the CFLs if you have then in Chili. And be sure they are placed to your best advantage. YOU will have to specify what you want-------------YOU know, THEY don't.
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    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Do a search here on QB. Organization Sewing rooms. You'll see lots of great ideas.

  22. #22
    Vat
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    Use tile on the floor , not carpet. When you drop pins you may hear them hit the floor, whereas with carpet you want hear them. Peg is wonderful for hanging stuff. Rulers, extra things that will hang from a hook like in the stores, patterns, extra rotary blades etc. etc. etc.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    It sounds basic but you should make sure you think about your work triangle like they do in kitchens to save steps while you work. In the kitchen it's cook top to sink to fridge. I'd say in the sewing studio, it's sewing area to cutting area to ironing area. The smaller this triangle is, the better and more efficient. Also, I'd suggest adjustable tract lighting over the design wall if possible. I have that in the mountain house and it's wonderful. Also, if your windows face any direction except north, you'll want to consider putting a glare reducing film like 3M on them. This will reduce eye strain from all that direct sunlight especially if you have lots of windows. This will also protect fabric as well.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Quilter Day-by-Day's Avatar
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    lots and lots of cabinets and shelving,lighting,ceiling fan.
    Quilting is an addiction that you can be proud of and enjoy.
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    Lots of great tips so far.

    One I have not seen yet, relates to internet and telephone cabling. Make sure the best cabling is used and get multiple outlets, so you have the option of rearranging your space.

    Some one else mentioned a sound system. Get it hard wired in place.

    We have a couple light tubes in our house. They supply an incredible amount of light without glare.

    I would hesitate to put a skylight in a closet, you will get fabric fading.

    Plan your heating, cooling and humidity controls well.

    Your view sounds incredible. I would have a wall of windows too to enjoy it.

    Every time I rearrange a room in my house I use graph paper and make little cutouts of the various pieces of furniture I need to place. I switch things around several times with the paper, before putting my back into moving things for real. You could do that and then mark with needs to be in place for each machine, lighting, outlets, chairs etc.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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