Have you ever wanted to be kinda nosey and peek into someone else’s home to see how they’ve set everything up? You know, because you’re looking for clever storage inspiration and layout ideas? Thanks to the Quilted Joy Clubhouse, we’re doing exactly that! Join me each month for a Looky Loo Studio Tour as we take a peek into our members’s sewing spaces!
I think you’re really going to enjoy this Looky Loo tour with Liz Allard. I hear people say all the time that they couldn’t possibly fit a stand up longarm machine in their home. I know from experience that you don’t need to have a big, beautiful longarm studio with a lake front view. When I got my longarm, I was set up in my old basement, with those tiny basement windows and lots of wood paneling! It was not a pretty space, but it worked for me in that season of my life. Liz has an APQS Millie on a 12 foot table in her two bedroom apartment! Watch the video below to see Liz’s space for yourself! The video will start at the beginning of Liz’s tour from our December 2019 Quilted Joy Clubhouse meeting. You can also watch the whole meeting here!
I really loved this studio tour with Liz! Of course, I love that she’s doing so much in her 1100 square foot apartment. But she also has so many clever storage ideas! Who would have thought wine racks would make the perfect paper pantograph storage?
Let’s get to know Liz a little more!
Quilted Joy: How long have you been quilting?
Liz: Since the late 80s…when I was in college.
QJ: How long have you been longarm quilting?
L: I was in Angela’s second longarm certification class after she opened her studio in 2013.
QJ: How have you grown your skills?
L: I take as many classes as I can, whether in person or online. Angela has great studio guest teachers at least once a year, but I also go to shows and other longarm dealers for classes.
QJ: What is the most challenging part of quilting for you?
L: Sometimes I will have a creative block, usually when a customer’s tastes are extremely hard to draw out.
QJ: What do you love about your quilting space?
L: It’s just the right size. Everything is right where I need it to be, and you sure can’t beat the commute!
QJ: What would you change about your space if you could?
L: I wish I had a better indoor space for photography.
QJ: What advice would you give a new longarm quilter?
L: Practice on paper and on your machine. Practice, practice, practice! You won’t be perfect straight out of the gate, and you will have times where you aren’t growing as fast as other times. Make sure, though, that you save your first quilt so that you can see how far you’ve come!
QJ: What quilt project are you currently working on?
L: I’m working on my summer block-of-the-week projects from Primitive Gatherings currently, along with a relatively simple lap quilt from homespun fabrics for this fall. I have 63 unquilted tops of my own and hope to make a dent in them during my creative break at the end of this year! I just finished a quick and simple fundraiser quilt for a friend’s cousin whose son has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of childhood leukemia.
QJ: What quilt project is on your bucket list?
L: I’d like to go back and restart the Conway Album quilt that my mom and I started right after the pattern was published in 1992. (This quilt hangs in the National Quilt Museum.) I’d like to use a black background and bright batiks, though, as color tastes including my own have changed over the years!
QJ: How would you describe your quilting style?
L: First off, I am completely hand-driven – no robotics. I love rulerwork and like to draw ideas from nature. I walk almost daily and always have my phone with me to take pictures for my next quilting idea.
QJ: What is your favorite batting and thread?
L: Hobbs 80/20 or Quilters Dream wool over Hobbs 80/20; So Fine 50 with The Bottom Line bobbin thread. I wind my own bobbins.
QJ: What is your current favorite quilting gadget?
L: Oh, anything made of acrylic! Straight rulers, curved templates…
- Walking to get out in the fresh air.
- Journaling about thoughts, faith, anything that is on your mind. Obviously this includes quilting ideas! I journal daily.
- I love my Quilta light! Good lighting makes all the difference in quilting and in so many other endeavors.
- Taking time to be creative and to use your mind in different ways.
Thanks again to Liz for letting us take a peek into her sewing studio! If you’d like to connect with Liz and see what she’s working on, you can check out her website, Custom Quilting by Liz, or follow her on Instagram.