Studio Spotlight 2015, Monday the 12th - The Fat Quarter Gypsy : How to fight Lex Luther using only fabric
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Studio Spotlight 2015, Monday the 12th - The Fat Quarter Gypsy

by Joanne Hillestad on 01/11/15


Studio Spotlight 2015

Monday the 12th -


The Fat Quarter


It is finally Monday (isn't that a weird thing to say?)!
Today I am your featured designer sharing my studio... good or bad! My studio is located in Pine City, MN above my husband's shop. The building we share is actually several building on half a city block all joined together through the years. The portion that I occupy is above the original dairy creamery from a long time ago. I am quite spoiled! My studio consists of 4 rooms, a storage closet, 2 bathrooms and a roof top that I can go out on during the summer months and get a tan! Across the rooftop is the old dance hall from 1925. It is haunted by a friendly ghost.  I call him Ed. Last summer he turned the lights on in the dance hall when my mother in-law and I were exploring over there. I was going to give you a tour of that, but it is winter, unheated and I would have had to go alone... I was okay with everything but going alone. Ed doesn't visit my studio... but he has been known to move things around in the areas below the dance floor during the night. We don't use the upper portions of the dance hall anymore except to store old cabinets and other odds and ends. But the area below was occupied by a renter for years and he has lots of odd stories to tell...
But that is another story... time to tell you about the area I use.
For years no one really used this space. It was a dirty set of rooms filled with old furniture and junk. When I decided to start The Fat Quarter Gypsy almost 2 years ago, it was the perfect location for me to use! Plus it had the added benefit of moving all of my sewing paraphernalia out of our home.

One tidbit before we begin... I hung quilts all over the place to hide ugly walls... some might look a little goofy... but it was better than what is behind them.  :) 

When you reach the top of the stairs, you are immediately in my teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy quilt shop. It isn't really a quilt shop... I don't have business hours or am open to the public. The only customers I have are quilters who visit for long arm services. The fabric selection is poor, at best, but that's okay.  Once in awhile I have just what someone needs and it gives me a place to sell my sister's extra fabric. Blondie, that's what I call my sister Diane, owns Whoopsa Daisy Farm. Right now the farm is being cleared and planned. One day she will have a farm animals, an orchard, pick your own veggies, fruit and herbs and a barn where she will teach classes on the "old" ways. Quilting, canning, soap making and more will be on the list of offerings... but until the farm is a reality, she has a teeny tiny online store.  So, that is the long story about why I have a quilt shop in my studio that no one shops at!

This main room also has a future classroom area where I hope to teach some beginning quilt classes.

The next room is my long arm Edith's home. She is an computer guided long arm that just purrs along while I design. I am relatively new in the business.  I have had a long arm for quite a few years, but I only just started taking in customer quilts.

Ok, the next room is NOT PHOTOGRAPHED!!!  It is my office.  I just didn't have time to clean that area up. I will describe it for your mind's eye to envision... here goes:
As she entered the room, there was a slight chill in the air. The abundance of drafty windows was most likely the cause... but she wasn't sure. Rumor was a ghost occupied the old dance hall across the rooftop. Ruby (that will be my heroine for this story) looked to the left and saw an old drafting table lowered until it was flat and overflowing with shipping supplies and half folded quilt patterns. Messy, but not exceptional... she continued her perusal stopping to admire the college dorm fridge and grimy old microwave that had seen better days.  Next, a retro desk in a pale yellow was piled high with graph paper notes and drawings, a massive computer monitor and 2 empty Starbucks cups. Obviously the designer in this office has a hankering for expensive coffee and furniture from the 1970s. Further scanning proved her suspicion... a horrendously ugly gold and maroon couch (University of MN Golden Gopher colors to be exact). The back couldn't have stood 2' high... and wow was it UGLY! Ruby was feeling chilled again, so she sat down on the couch, regardless of the germs that must lurk on the surface, only to discover it was remarkably comfortable and soon fell asleep under an adorable quilt.
The End
So, that is my office. And the couch is real and it is horribly ugly, short and comfortable!  My husband's Great Uncle Clarence purchased it brand new in 1972.
Next is my design space... yes, now we are getting to the good stuff! I warned many of you via Facebook that I thrive in clutter. This is VERY true! I try to be organized, but when I have a project in the designing stages, all bets are off about what you will find tossed here or there!

You are greeted by a lovely, old alteration table from a long ago department store in Downtown Duluth, MN.  My parents saved this beauty from the garbage heap over 25 years ago! The top was added, but still has the original drawers for thread, needles, etc and 3 sewing machine stations. It works wonderfully well as my cutting table.  Apparently I forgot to take a picture of it... oops!  You can see the corner of it in the picture above.
My machine sits on a long desktop with my ironing station just to the right. My two boys made me the pressing station for Christmas at least 5 years ago. I love it! 

I have a lot of fabric, so the shelves are filled up with fat quarters in those fun colorful bins.  The shelving unit was here in the room when I converted it to my studio.  It works... and is probably from the 70s as well. 
Along the next wall is my kid's old toy sorting cubes. Now that they are 15 and 17.99 year old (my eldest turns 18 on Friday), I took all the cubes as a way to organize all my scraps by color.  The owl has prints in it. This works fantastic and was a terrific use for the cubes.
My rulers are hung on the wall on a piece of pegboard and jazzed up with a little paint, then the door to my private bathroom.  It is vintage 1940s or 50s. The tile work is pretty retro and I love it... however, it is old and not something you would love to admire... LOL.
Last thing on this tour is my design wall. Again, my boys were the ones building this for me. I have 4 panels, but only 3 fit nicely on this wall. I can easily have 2 lap sized quilts in the works at any one time. Once in awhile they come falling down from the walls during the night (probably Ed the ghost).
So, that is the studio/long arm room/quilt shop. I hope you enjoyed the tour.
Time for a little harmless fun...

I have hidden a number of things that are not quite right in the pictures... How many can you find?

I think there are between 8 and 10... but I can't remember exactly and my notes are in my studio and I'm at home. Whoops! 

I'm sure you will all have fun commenting on what you think is wrong... some things might just be that way because this is an old building.

Happy hunting!
I have 2 new patterns coming out in January/February. The first is a fun table runner/placemat/bed runner pattern using a 30 degree triangle template called Tumbling Trees (FQG115). If you need a quick gift and have some fat quarters or larger scraps lying around... this table runner is a great option!

Available very soon!

Tumbling Trees Pattern FQG115
Add some embellishments for a holiday theme!
The second is called Sunset Stroll and it features
Horizon fabric collection by Kate Spain for Moda.

Expected release: February 2015.
Now for the really, really good stuff!!!

I have 2 prizes, if you comment on this blog before Midnight, CST on Monday, January 12, 2015... you will be entered to win a Tabitha pattern and a fun FQ bundle! I will need a way to get in touch with you after the blog, so you will need to post your email address or send it to me in an email (using my contact page).  Make sure you paste in your comment so I can match it all up!

Let me know if you would like to receive my newsletter... if so, I will add you to the list!

The 2nd prize involves Facebook.  If you like my post of this exact blog and share it, I will enter you in a drawing to win a Granny Dot pattern and a special custom ruler.  But wait... it gets better!  If my FB page reaches 1,000 likes by Midnight on January 23, 2015 (my birthday), then I will increase the prize to a lap size kit to make Granny Dot from batiks!  I will list which post to like and share so it is easy to find...

Thanks so much for visiting!
Computer Guided Longarm Services by The Fat Quarter Gypsy

Stacy, North Branch and Pine City, MN Area
Call for an appointment today!

--More Info--
Newsletter Signup
Where to buy...
Whoopsa Daisy Farm
Wholesale: Checker DistributorsBrewer Sewing & 
E. E. Schenck

Comments (17)

1. Cathy said on 1/12/15 - 05:30AM
The sideways owl caught my attention before I knew there were things out of place. I wanted to reach thru my monitor and correct it. I'll keep looking to see what I can find.
2. Laura said on 1/12/15 - 09:53AM
Please enter me in the draw. I sure had fun exploring your post. You have a great sense of humour. Love the quilt with the Kate Spain fabric. manninglm54 at gmail dot com
3. Nancy Hillestad said on 1/12/15 - 10:21AM
I'm very impressed! You did an amazing job of uncluttering. A very fun way to peek into someone's studio. I'll continue to look at the pics to find things out of place.
4. Verna A. said on 1/12/15 - 11:26AM
I noticed the letters on the bathroom door were scrambled. I just thought you liked having your own bathroom (MEOWN)! I really like the Tumbling Trees pattern, especially the blue one!
5. Joanne Maner said on 1/12/15 - 01:36PM
The only thing I saw was the cube with the owl turned sideways. But this is coming from someone who has half their house in their sewing room. So anything goes.
6. Joanne Maner said on 1/12/15 - 01:41PM
oops I forgot to leave my email addy with my post about the sideways owl basket. Our birthdays are the same day. Getting younger now every year hehehe
7. Elaine said on 1/12/15 - 04:11PM
Jo!!! You are totally spoiled you have so much space how awesome, I loved every inch! That Ed does not occupy. LOL I saw lots of things but I have tons of knick knacks in wrong places so not sure about that. I love the changing table idea, too bad I don't have one anymore but I'm planning! Your tumbling trees are fabulous! Here is the list of odd things I thought I saw...A mixer, an old school chair, a fire extinguisher, a bag of batting, and was that a mannequin arm?!?! LOL Really enjoyed the tour. I scrolled up and down several times. Thanks for sharing! I can see how we can be friends! LOL
8. The Fat Quarter Gypsy said on 1/12/15 - 04:30PM
A mannequin arm??? Say what?? You crack me up Elaine!! So far you have a big, fat zero in the goofy item department... look again :) P.S. A fire extinguisher is a good thing to have... especially when there is a ghost roaming around...
9. Tabitha K. said on 1/12/15 - 05:59PM
I love your sewing house, it is so big! I love the tour you gave, and I couldn't even begin to figure out what's out of place, I put things down all the time if I can't figure out what to do with them. Thanks for such a great giveaway!
10. Susanne B said on 1/12/15 - 11:13PM
I loved reading about your sewing rooms and the pictures. I noticed the owl was turned sideways, and everything else looks wonderful! One day I would love to have a large room to do my sewing. Right now it is all over the house. lol.
11. Morna said on 1/13/15 - 09:11AM
Jo, loved the tour, especially the Women's Room door - MEOW N - made me wonder if you shared the facility with cats!
12. The Fat Quarter Gypsy said on 1/13/15 - 12:45PM
And the winner was... Nancy Hillestad! But she is my mom-in-law... so I picked again! The new winner is Verna A! Congrats!! I will send you an email so I can get your mailing address for the Tabitha pattern, FQ bundle and soap!! Thanks to everyone who visited my blog!
13. Cathy said on 1/15/15 - 09:53AM
I just had to go back and find more of the mistakes. I finally realized the 'women' was a deliberate mistake, I thought 'me own' was a way to keep others out. There's a pattern under the presser foot of a machine and there is something that looked like a dried gourd laying on top of an open suitcase with fabrics, and a wine glass on the blue cart. I'm thinking there's something not quite right about the quilt on the long arm, but I'm not familiar with them enough to know what it is. I do love the wooden changing table like thing. I hope you tell us exactly where all the mistakes are.
14. FQ Gypsy said on 1/15/15 - 10:07AM
I will start revealing all the mistakes this afternoon....
15. Debbie M said on 1/15/15 - 11:09PM
I know it is too late for the giveaway but wanted to comment anyway. I love your newest quilt pattern- "Sunset Stroll"-the fabric is also wonderful! Also love the button rug-where ever did you find that? I did notice a few things out of place: 1)in the 1st picture-the sewing machine on top of the fabric shelf is upside down-2) the owl is sideways and 3) there is a pattern under the presser foot of the sewing machine.
16. Bunnie Cleland said on 1/18/15 - 09:22AM
I see a pattern upside down on the pattern rack!!
17. Debby E said on 1/20/15 - 08:53AM
What a fun tour! Thanks so much for sharing your space with us. And what a great idea using the changing table for storage! I did too until I got a larger cabinet!!! Thanks for the chances to win. Debby E

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