Day 2 - 31 Day Blog Challenge and Grand Central Tidbit #2

Day 2 - Happy Monday!  What a yucky morning here in Connecticut....

The 31 Day Blog Challenge continues.  Many quilt designers are joining in on the fun.  Make sure to follow #31dayblogchallenge or #31dayblogchallenge2019.  The challenge is designed to give our blog followers a daily dose of information about ourselves, our art, our space, our process, etc.  

Today's Challenge topic is our sewing space, plus I will be giving the 2nd tidbit (fun fact), about Grand Central Terminal, to prepare you for my next Mystery Series, Grand Central, which starts in January.

My Space
I have two primary sewing spaces when I'm not in a hotel or inn.  Lol!  My Main Studio and my satellite Sunroom Studio.

My main studio is on the lower level of our house, with an entrance to the garage which comes in handy when I'm packing and loading for an event.  My Main Studio includes my fabric storage, my main cutting and ironing stations, along with my Longarm, secondary sewing area and fabric selection area.   18 months ago, I would have stated my primary sewing area was in my Main Studio, but since our Hunter was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy, I most often sew in my Sunroom Studio as it is on the main level.
Back in 2014, we renovated our Kitchen, the cabinets were in good shape, but I wanted something different.  I was able to "negotiate" having the kitchen renovated by stating we could re-purpose the cabinets in my Studio.  Why buy new cabinets for my Studio when we can get new for the kitchen and upcycle. 

I had to figure out the best way to reconfigure the cabinets, but it worked out  great. 
2014 Studio Renovation
We put a peg board in the one corner, where I place my "Studio" tools.

We also installed two design walls, using thin curtain tracks, that could be used to photograph quilts, or hang a flannel curtain creating a design wall.  Most of my quilt covers are photographed on the right track, with several photo lamps set up around the area. 

The Left Track is behind my Longarm and most often holds my favorite quilts that aren't on the road. 

 I have a Big Board with a great Daylight lamp to ensure the best  pressing.

I have a large TV that I'm most often have on HGTV.  My cutting area is huge, it actually holds two 24" x 44" mats and two 18" x 24" mats.  This is where most of my online shop packaging takes place, as well as my main cutting area.  Also, I "audition" most of my fabric selections here... there are usually "mounds" of fabric stacked up in piles when I'm trying to figure out the perfect fabric for a project.

I have my Studio Color Wheels in the corner, where I can quickly look at them to double check my fabric selection. 

My lower cabinets are packed with my blenders, most recently acquired fabric and "step-outs" for classes. 

Kaffe - well some of it LOL

Current Class - Steps outs
Of course my Class Step outs are on paper plates, inside my favorite medium project bags ready to be pulled to head out to class. 

My "pipeline" quilts, which are next in line to be sewn, are stored in the large project bags, on the counter top, in plain sight, to remind me to keep busy!
Twisted Twine, Dogwood Lane and Grand Central....
I also have a counter high computer space that allows me to stand up while I work.  While it is a bit of a mess, it really is usually a much bigger mess, just ask Stephen. 

What's underneath the computer area...  a mini German Shepard, lol, doesn't everyone have a pup underneath them while they work. 
I keep my Technique of the Month and Pattern Bookets within easy reach to package and send out as quick as possible.  The boxes house my patterns, in the printer boxes, until they are ready to package.   On most days we have anywhere from 100-500 in stock, of each of my patterns, depending on their current sales projections. 
The rest of my Online products and Fabric Stash are stored in my Fabric Closet, which is still too unsightly to photograph, another day.   My "working quilts" are actually stored in a Spare bedroom, laying flat on a bed, which typically has 20-70 quilts on it, depending on what is on loan or prepared for departure.   I'll cover that another day. 

The pups can usually be found in the Studio with me.  Cal insists on "helping" whenever I'm packing my Trunk Show.
When Stephen isn't home, Jax will follow me around, pushing the big ottman (on wheels), so that he can rest behind me while I cut, press or sew. 
I think that is it for my Main Studio.  My satellite Sunroom Studio is on the main level and off the Kitchen and Family Room.  I only have a small space in there, although I try and expand it daily.  LOL.

I have a Koala table which houses my machine, which I love. 

It provides me just enough storage area and I keep my favorite tools within an arm's reach.

I have a great view of our back yard.

The pups love hanging out in the seating area. 

The chair next to my sewing area, is always occupied by one dog or another. 

I have another Big Board, with a large wool mat, on legs that I set up behind my sewing table.  Shown below, set up for photo taking for the blog.

Once again, Bella can be found below the table.
My current cutting area, is in the Butler's pantry/Laundry Room... which allows me to get my steps in... but I'm always trying to negotiate purchasing a Koala Cutting Table for the Sunroom Studio. 
Cutting Mat set up for Photos for Blogging
I'm certain I've bored you today, with my Space, but hopefully there was something interesting in there.  Please feel free to post comments or questions. 

Now onto something more interesting...

Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series

If you are just joining, be sure to scroll through my last few posts to get caught up on my next Mystery!  Grand Central Mystery series will run from mid-January to mid-April.  Similar to last year's Sunset on the Sound series.

As discussed yesterday, the iconic beauty Grand Central Terminal, an historic world-famous landmark in Midtown Manhattan, is the inspiration for my next Mystery.

Today, I'm going to share the second of seven fun facts that were part of the inspiration for my Grand Central Mystery Quilt design.  If you pay attention, you might be able to envision some of the "shapes" that you might find in the mystery quilt.

The Main Concourse Celestial ceiling, it is just stunning!

  • The zodiac ceiling in the massive, cathedral-like Main Concourse features 12 constellations painted in gold leaf plus 2500 stars, 59 of them illuminated by LEDs. 
Grand Central Terminal Main Concourse
Even before the Grand Central Station opened in 1913, New Yorkers were teased with descriptions of the mural that had been painted on its vaulted ceiling, with the New York Times stating its “effect of illimitable space” and how “fortunately there are no chairs in the concourse or…some passengers might miss their trains while contemplating this starry picture.” While the effect the painting has on commuters today remains the same, the ceiling mural has undergone significant change, in fact, it’s not even the same mural.

The original Grand Central Terminal ceiling took dozens of people to create but was primarily the work of five men: architect Whitney Warren, French artist Paul Helleu, muralist J. Monroe Hewlett and painter Charles Basing of the Hewlett-Basing Studio in Brooklyn, as well as astronomer Dr. Harold Jacoby of Columbia University.   It is said that the team drew heavily from Johann Bayer’s 1603 star atlas Uranometria for the design of the Constellations, the mural was originally painted right onto the Terminal’s plaster vaulted ceiling.

Original vs Today
By 1924, just 11 years after it was painted, the mural was in sad shape. A leaky roof had filled the sky with stains and a mildewed.  Another twenty years later and the ceiling had “faded to a hue something like that of a khaki shirt overdosed with Navy blue” with “a vast brown streak near the center and most of the gold…flaked off the starbeams.”

In August of 1944 the scaffolds went up, both to repair the leaky roof and the moldy mural. In June, 1945 the mural was revealed to be “entirely restored.” Except that it wasn’t.  Rather than restore the original mural they simply painted a new one. Covering the entire ceiling with eight-foot by four-foot sheets of cement-and-asbestos board, an entirely new mural was painted from scratch. Looking up at the ceiling today, it’s easy to see the outlines of the boards.
Today ~ Grand Central Terminal Celestial Ceiling
Will the original mural ever be seen again? Who knows.  I happen to love the current one, but it is the only one I know.   Plus, it is uncertain how much of the original is even left underneath the “restoration” panels.  

In the meantime, while rushing from my GCT Train Track, through the Whispering Gallery, to the Subway, I get a sneak peak of Pegasus .
My commuting view of Pegasus
It adds a spring to my step everytime I see it. 

If you want more information on my Grand Central Mystery Quilt, stay tuned.

Here what you should know so far about my Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series: 
  • The Series will run from mid-January to mid-April
  • Two sizes to choose from; Large Throw or Queen
  • Required tools are the Studio 180 Design: 
  • Recommended tools are Studio 180 Design:
    • Tucker Trimmer II - for subcut - ideal for sub cutting strips ending in 1/4" and 3/4" 
  • I plan on releasing yardage over the next two weeks.  Make sure to subscribe to my Blog for more information this week.
  • New Grand Central Facebook group for those planning on participating in Grand Central Quilt Mystery Series.  Be sure to answer all the screening questions or you will be declined.  If you are a member, in good standing, of another one of my groups, you will not have to answer the questions. 

  • I will be sharing daily tibits on Grand Central Mystery each day in December.  If you are interested in keeping up on the details be sure to follow my Blog. To do this, look for the Subscribe button under my Blog Header.  Complete the information and you should be all set. 

Blog Topics, in December, in addition to the 31 Day Blog Challenge :
    • During this first week of December, I will contunie to talk about the inspiring architecture of Grand Central... 
    • The second week of December, I plan on taking you step-by-step through selecting the proper border for your Grand Central mystery quilt.
    • The third week of December, I plan on taking you step-by-step through selecting the proper fabric to go with that border.
    • The fourth week, we will see what I come up with!
Hope you've enjoyed today's post, please feel free to post comments.

Keep Stitching,


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