Hey Creative Friend, In my previous post, I told you about my decision to upgrade my thread painting machine. In this post, I’m going to tell you all about the preparation I made to welcome my new Handi Quilter Moxie. So, go grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and settle down to read all about Making Room for the Handi Quilter Moxie.
A Thread Painting Experiment
So, in the last post, I told you how my thorough research into which machine to buy for thread painting my large portrait pieces took an unexpected turn. I ended up choosing the Handi Quilter Moxie over the Handi Quilter Capri which was my initial favorite. Using the Hand Quilter Moxie to thread paint is going to be a real experiment for me. I have no experience in using a long arm machine nor did my research come up with anyone using a long arm to do the very detailed thread work I do on my portraits. So, all of this is novel to me and it’s really going to be an interesting ride. A true research experiment.
As a result, I want to take you on this adventure with me. How I got the machine, what I’m learning, how I’m adjusting or not and what I’m creating on my new Handi Quilter Moxie. Everything! Is that okay with you? Awesome! Let’s go!
So, when the good folks at Hand Quilter heard about my need for a larger machine, they graciously offered to support my work by providing me with one of their sewing machines. Yipee! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got that news.
When Thoughts of A New Machine Make You Dance
I mean I literally started dancing. Hands in the air and body swaying kind of dancing. 🙂 I danced on the zoom call with the folks from Handi Quilter – I mean folks I’d never met or spoken with before. Yes. I was that overjoyed.
Finally, after weeks of discussions, it was time for the Moxie to be shipped to me. If you’ve seen photos of my studio before, you know it wasn’t originally set up for a longarm machine. I have two large tables with storage underneath them in my studio. Each table is about 5 feet long. That’s pretty long – almost as long as the 8 foot frame that ships with the Handi Quilter Moxie. There was no way I could add the new machine without moving things around.
Let the Reorganization Begin for The Handi Quilter Moxie
So, move things around, I did. And boy, did it take me way too much time than I was willing to commit to that project or what? It took a full week of reorganizing to get things in a reasonable state. To be honest, I didn’t want to do that work, but I had to. I’d rather have used my time for something else. But there was no way around it. So, I devoted the time to it.
Originally, my studio had two distinct sections. One section was my sewing nook. It had my sewing machine, cutting table and shelves with fabrics. The other part of the room was my office/teaching/recording studio. It had my desk and computer, my recording equipment – studio lights, tripods, and other recording related materials and another large table.
Deciding where the Handi Quilter Moxie will live in my Studio
I decided that I wanted to add my new Handi Quilter Moxie to the sewing nook in my studio. I like to group similar activities together in my studio. It makes life easier. What that means though is that, I couldn’t keep the large table and all the shelving for my fabrics. So, I decided to keep one wall of shelves instead of two. So I took the fabrics down and removed the shelves on one of the walls. Moreover, I pushed the large table (it’s on casters – I couldn’t have done it otherwise) into the recording studio.
It was a mess.
I had stuff all over the place. Things that I had removed from one place which no longer had a place to go. I’ll look at the mess on several occasions and ask myself what did I get myself into. I have a ton of things on my plate. Reorganizing my studio is not one of them. Then, I’ll remind myself that organizing comes with the territory. If I want to get a new sewing machine, then, I’ve got to make room for my new longarm. It’s a mental game. In fact most things are.
It’s a Mental Game
If you can overcome the battle in your mind, half of the battle is won. I haven’t reorganized my space in years. So, I began to see this as an opportunity to fine tune how things worked around my studio. After that mindset shift, it was just a matter of showing up everyday and devoting several hours to the reorganization. Eventually, I got it done.
It involved partially tearing up the space, making new homes for displaced items, and then relocating displaced items into their new homes.
Finally, I was able to make room for my new Handi Quilter Moxie against one of the walls in my studio (Remember where I’d previously taken out the shelves for my fabrics? Yep!). Now, all that was left, was for the sewing machine to arrive. The day came when the delivery man arrived with three large boxes for me. Actually, I’d been waiting for the doorbell to ring. When it did, I was beyond myself. I was both anxious and excited. When I brought the boxes in, I decided to not open them until the Handi Quilter installation team had arrived.
Meanwhile, the team wasn’t scheduled to arrive for several days. So, it took a lot of self-control not to open the boxes prior to their arrival.
Here are some things I learned from re-organizing my studio.
7 Tips for Reorganizing your Studio
- Keep what is working. No need to tear down everything
- Create a home for new things and displaced items
- Group similar things together for easy retrieval
- Move displaced items into their new homes
- Let go of things which no longer fit into your new vision for your studio (donate or gift to others)
- Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for functionality.
- It’ll take you longer than you think (budget time for it)
Oil Paints and Supplies Giveaway
After Handi Quilter Moxie Reorganization
Talking about letting go, I had to let go of a lot of stuff. My painting supplies was number one on the list. I had a ton of painting supplies, brushes, oil paints, watercolor, acrylic paints, palettes, carrying case and so much more. I decided to let go of all the oil paints, cleaning agents, and most of my brushes. I’ve packed them up ready to be gifted to a deserving young artist. I also gave away two sewing machines which I’d never used. I knew that after years of not using them, there was very little chance that I’ll use them in the upcoming years. So, I donated them as well as some other tools. Hopefully, they’ll bring joy to someone else’s life.
I still need to find someone to give my oil paint supplies to. I want it to go to a young adult who loves art and who could really use the help in getting supplies to practice with. If you know someone like that, please let me know.
That’s it for now.
In the next post, I’ll tell you how installation day went.
PS: Here’s where to find every post on my new machine. My Moxie and Me Journal