Saturday, June 26, 2021

Studio Tour: Let There Be Light! And Also, Thread! Upgrades From My Sweetie

You guys, I am SO EXCITED about the wire cable track lighting that my husband installed above my new Bernina long arm last night!  I LOVE IT! 💕💕💕

Wire Cable Track Lighting Installed Above My New Q24

The Bernina Q24 has plenty of bright LED lighting along the throat of the machine head itself, but I wanted the entire length of the frame lit up from one side to the other so I can inspect each section of a quilt as I'm advancing it on the frame.  Bright task lighting enables me to find and remove any pet fur or stray threads before they get quilted in, and makes it easier to notice things like open seams that my hopping foot could catch in if I didn't see them ahead of time.

Bright Lighting Helps Me Spot Problems Like This Open Seam

That photo above with an open seam was my own kaleidoscope quilt, by the way -- I am not a perfect piecer, either!  (When I see something like that as I'm quilting, I like to mark it with a hand stitched tailor tack in contrasting thread so it's easier to find it later when I want to hand stitch that spot closed).

Cable Track Lighting and Ruler Racks, Both Courtesy of My Sweetie

The wire cable lighting came as a kit that you can get on Amazon here.  It comes with low-voltage halogen accent lights, but we swapped the halogens out for these brighter, whiter LED bulbs that won't emit heat.  It was the perfect solution for this space where I have a steeply sloped ceiling with limited options for where lighting could be recessed, and it was all less than $200!  I also like the flexibility of being able to position the five bulbs wherever I want them along the length of the cables, in case we want to adjust the position of the frame at all when my Q-Matic and hydraulic lift are installed.  (Which will hopefully be SOON???...)

Bernie made me those wall racks for my long arm quilting rulers about a year ago, but we moved them to the other side of the window as we were tweaking my studio layout for the new machine.  They're still close at hand when I need them, but rulers won't be knocked off accidentally as easily.  (You can find a tutorial for making ruler racks like these here).  I'm looking forward to doing a lot more with those rulers on my new machine, once I get caught up with the customer quilts that have been accumulating during the transition.

I completely forgot to share the pictures from the day my new machine was delivered and set up.  Here's my wonderful Bernina dealer, Berry of Creative Sewing & Vacuums, unloading the truck.  Seeing the Bernina truck in your driveway is better than seeing Santa's sleigh on your roof!

When Good Things Come in BIG Packages

And here's my new machine after I got to cut the shipping carton open myself, like cutting an umbilical cord...  I know: I am SO cheesy...  😁

Welcome Home, Snazzy Quilt Beast!  Mommy Will Take Such Good Care of You

Berry was doing my installation himself in the evening after his store closed, so my husband Bernie and younger son Anders helped him get everything unloaded off the truck and upstairs to my second floor studio.  Here's my son Anders handing one of the frame rails up to my husband from my foyer:

Anders and Bernie Helping With Delivery

I love that picture!  Sometimes, you have to make those teenagers earn their keep!  

Okay, back to the studio tour.  I did get my sampler blocks back up on my design wall last week, and I'm hoping to get back to working on that project soon.  

Sampler Blocks Back On My Design Wall

Hooray For Thread Shelving!

...And, just to the left of my design wall, near my long arm machine, I now have custom oak shelving to hold all of my long arm quilting threads!  This was something I'd asked for back at Christmas.  It's like a candy store, except better because it's THREAD!  I love thread!😍

Custom Thread Shelving Made By Bernie

My thread is arranged first by fiber and weight and then by color within each thread range.  The very top shelf has my invisible monofilament, metallic, and 50 weight cotton threads, as well as extra mason jars and a couple boxes for collecting the recyclable magnetic bobbin cores from my prewound bobbins.  Below that is my 50 weight matte poly So Fine, then 40 weight poly Omni, and then 60 weight poly Bottom Line.  The mason jars hold prewound jumbo bobbins of 60 weight Glide thread, and below them are four shelves of 40 weight Glide cones and small containers of prewound 40 weight Glide bobbins.  The bottom shelf holds my collection of 40 weight variegated cotton machine quilting threads, both YLI and Superior's King Tut.  Now I can see exactly what I have when I'm selecting thread for a particular quilt, and it's also a lot easier to see where the "holes" are in my assortment of colors and neutrals when it's time to place a thread order.

All that remains to be tweaked in my studio now is sanding the patched drywall repairs smooth and touch-up painting.  My Bernina dealer thinks he'll have my hydraulic lift to install on my frame within another week.  The hydraulic lift will enable me to easily raise and lower the height of my frame all by myself with the touch of a button, without having to call in the menfolk and get out a level.  (The menfolk are glad that they will no longer be "on call" 24/7 for long arm frame adjustments, too).  And finally, FINALLY -- my Q-Matic computer robotics should come in and be installed on the new machine by the end of the month.  I believe the hold up is backordered computer chips for the Dell computer that the system runs on or something like that.  Waiting is AGONY; just sayin'...

By the way -- my 2013 APQS Millennium long arm quilting machine with 12' frame is still available for sale with local pickup in Charlotte, NC.  If you or anyone you know is in the market for a great deal, check out my Facebook Marketplace listing and please share!

This Week's To Do List:

That's it for me, for now!  This week, I'll be working on:

  • Client's vintage Economy quilt repairs & rebinding
  • Window treatment designs for an interior design client
  • More "Getting-to-Know-You" free-motion quilt doodling with my new long arm
  • Studying the Q-Matic owner's manual and watching training videos so I can hit the ground running when it gets here

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits


Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Wonderful studio with pretty lights, fabulous thread rack, and of course gorgeous new machine!
Magnifiques lumières, présentoirs à fils, et quelle belle nouvelle machine !
Thank you for sharing and linking up today ;)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

it all looks so wonderful and I know you are on cloud nine - it really is a new toy to play with but one you earn money on too! your whole set up looks great and yes we have to make teenagers (and older ones) earn all that they get from us! Love the lights and the shelves for thread too. Now that I see what your "chair" is I can see how they would be comfortable and maybe help the posture too?

Ivani said...

The oak shelving for your threads are wonderful. Your studio is beautiful, Rebecca. said...

Congratulations! That new machine set up with the extra overhead lights will be so appreciated when you are quilting! Loved your studio tour!

Katie said...

Congratulations!!! Bernina love! :-)

Gretchen Weaver said...

You are fortunate to have a husband talented in this type of home update! The thread shelves look so pretty and so handy to have out in the open. I'm glad to hear you are having so much fun with your new long arm, happy stitching!

piecefulwendy said...

Well, I am just very excited for you! Your studio is beautiful, by the way. I love the sampler quilt on your design wall, and all that beautiful thread in those yummy colors! Have fun with your new machine!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

You had me at "BERNINA truck in my driveway"! How cool is that? I love, love your studio - elegant, pretty, practical and so roomy. That lighting is pretty cool and not at all intrusive in appearance - nailed that one!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Nice thread shelf! Which size bobbin does your new LA use?

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

Wow, how beautiful! Thanks for the tour, and congrats on the new equipment and layout!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Wow, what awesome upgrades to a fabulous quilting space!

Vicki in MN said...

Your room is gorgeous! But that thread rack ooh la la!!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

I can tell that you have great organization skills. Lovely Studio for you and the new machine is beautiful! I know you will enjoy quilting on it. Hugs

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

It's always so fun to see other quilters' studios! Yours looks like a lovely place, and how exciting to get the new machine and great lighting for it, too. Definitely better than Christmas! Enjoy!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

How awesome!! You have a very lovely studio, Rebecca. I know you will enjoy it immensely!! Have fun with that new Bernina!

Darlene S said...

What an inviting studio. It would be hard to not spend time in it, it is so lovely. And those lights are absolutely perfect, better than I could have dreamed. Amazing how bright they are and how much they light up, even from the distance that they are hanging. Excellent choice. I think I now need to add a hydraulic lift to my Q24 dream wish list. Makes perfect sense as a must have and better sooner than later.

Kathleen said...

WOW is all I can say. That machine is gorgeous (space and $ made me choose something else, but those Bernina's, oh my. I love the lighting fix. I have a track that goes over the machine, but of course takes up space..and the thread shelves...I would love that. My ceilings are so weird in my space, a dormer window and beams make it all a bit tricky but everytime I see one I love, I get new ideas!

MissPat said...

Once again, Bernie has proved he is worth his weight in gold. Your studio is gorgeous.

LA Paylor said...

such a pretty working space! Love the lights, but do they cast a shadow as you stand below them? I need new lighting, mine is just one tiny overhead fan. I had great lighting installed in Maryland but these rooms are much much smaller and oddly positioned. Maybe your lighting would work... my studio is also over the garage and almost always too hot or too cold

Preeti said...

WHOA!!! What a space, Rebecca!!! All the rest of us who are working in tiny spare bedrooms, at kitchen tables and are trying to make do are supremely jealous!!! Well, I am happy that you have a state of the art studio for your perfect quilting services...but the jealousy is real too, honestly. And then you had three handsome men at your beck and call. GIRL!!! You win. Everything!!!
The first picture looks like you have a sewing studio under the sea, because the light looks almost turquoise.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats on the set-up of the new longarm and those fabulous thread storage shelves, Rebecca! Best of luck for not losing your mind waiting for the lift and computer. Waiting certainly makes me crazy so I feel your pain!!

Nann said...

What a lovely, bright space -- a great home for your new machine!

Allison said...

Fantastic! How lovely to be able to welcome such an impressive piece of equipment into your sewing space and have the opportunity for a bit of rearranging too. Enjoy!

Linda said...

I love a good studio tour, and yours is fantastic. It is wonderful to have a handy husband and son. :) Good luck selling your "old" longarm and with your new toys coming soon!

Cheree @ The Morning Latte said...

Congrats on the new Bernina. I toy with the idea of getting a new one but, unless I were to do it as a biz, I can't really see it just for fun--yet. Who knows? If I ever do, I am a Bernina fan so I'll be watching to see how you like yours over the next months. Love the lighting.

grammajudyb said...

Lighting is such a necessity in a quilting/sewing space! And a woodworker who loves you is a definite plus! You space is fabulous “

Sherrie said...

WOW!! What a great studio. Have a great day!

Karin said...

What a lovely room…so airy! Absolutely love (spell…envy) your set up. Looks fantastic!

Sharon Kwilter said...

I don't blame you for being excited. I'm probably going to end up getting the light rail for my new machine because mine is going to get set up in the dark basement. Your studio is looking amazing.

Marsha Cooper said...

All I can say is WOW! A studio like that would be a dream come true. I just have to be content and thankful for what I have :)

Kate said...

Congrats on the new lighting set up. Hope you get a chance to quilt under it a lot during the upcoming holiday weekend.

chrisknits said...

What fun!! I love the new lighting. Hope your system shows up soon. Thanks for linking up with To-Do Tuesday!

Judy Hansen said...

Wow Rebecca, your new machine looks wonderful, and I have never seen a more beautiful thread display! It’s functional storage and so pleasing to look at. Thanks for the tour, Hugs, Judy

dq said...

Rebecca, your sewing studio is so pretty! Oh, I could live in that one room and never leave.
Congrats on your new machine. It looks like you are having to trouble shoot a little to get it in.

dq said...

I forgot to mention that I like your system of marking fixer spots in the piecing.

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