a place to study – with nice quilty bits
Thankyou so much for all the kind thoughts and encouragement you shared yesterday. I’m still all abuzz and really ready to get stuck in to my studies and pracs. I shall be sure to keep you well up to date. Just reading some of the stories you shared (midwife teachers trying to make red jello blood clots to represent the amount of blood loss during birth – hysterical!) suggests there’ll be plenty to amuse and amaze!
Naturally, along with attending lectures and pracs, there will be lots of studying at home over the next three years and I needed somewhere to do this. We live in a small but sweet Californian Bungalow here in Melbourne – a small living room, small dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms and one bathroom – and there was nowhere obvious to include a “study”.
We do have a spare room, but as you know, it’s filled with spare room furniture for our family when the come to stay – which is very important and lovely for us – and a small sewing desk squeezed into a corner with an IT bookshelf (that is, printer, scanner, hard drives, family computer and internet stuff). A study in here? No room.
The living and dining rooms see a lot of action so too noisy. We could make Abby sleep in the old sewing shed and take over her room but that would make us nasty parents of Grimm proportions! :-0 Kitchen and bathroom – obviously no. That just left our bedroom.
Now there is a large bay window in our bedroom and since moving in, we’ve never used it for anything nice – it’s been completely under appreciated. So, upon arrival home from Merimbula last weekend, Julian and I spent a good couple of hours shifting everything in the garage so that we could retrieve our old dining table – a dear little oak table with two fat turned legs at each end and pie crust edging. We were delighted with how perfectly it slid into the window bay – its far edge fitting under the window sill as if it had been carefully made for this purpose. This will be my desk – and Abby’s and Julian’s should they need somewhere quiet to sit and work – and a spare dining chair will be my desk chair.
Storage will be very limited. I shall arrange some paper trays and pencil holders on the desk as well as book ends to hold the current textbooks and folders. And for stashing – a chair bag. Remember these? I love chair bags and am very pleased to have a more everyday reason to make one.
I made this using a piece of fabric I thrifted last year from the Brotherhood of St. Laurence. It is a lovely weave – like a coarse linen – and very sturdy. I added a pieced block to the top half, with a piece of flannel from an old flannel cot sheet to give it a bit of oomph when I quilted the block. The pocket is trimmed with matching fabrics and the slip on the inside of the chair, is bound with the last piece of a fabric I love. I’m not sure what I’ve done with the rest of this fabric. Maybe I just didn’t buy enough to start with. The pocket is lovely and deep and I know it will be great place to shove things – photocopied articles and lecture notes and the like when I need to clear the desk. Besides, I adore chair bags – there’s something about cutting a long piece of fabric, folding it up one way and down the other that really turns me on. Weird huh!
I have a cushion for the chair and need to make a cover for it. I have some lovely soft blue corduroy which will be just right. With a nice little detail. Ahhh yes, it’s coming together in my head as I type.
Meantime, I’ve also made a runner for the desk. Just what all university students need – a quilted runner for their desk. Don’t you think!? I used some more of the thrifted fabric, quilted it onto a scrap of blanket left over from the growing quilt, and appliqued squares of the cotton from the bag onto it. They’re not dead square – I cut them to fit within the checked pattern of the background fabric. Then I quilted along the lines of the checks like mad. Up and down and back and forth. Immensely satisfying.
I was looking at it this morning, thinking that I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics I’ve used to bind it and that I’d have to visit Amitie to fetch more. (alright Julian, buy! buy more fabric!) Thankfully, I then read Katy’s post on scrappy binding and set to work stitching up my leftover pieces. Perfect!
And the lamps – the wee white one on the left is a plain one from Ikea that I found in a box in our garage shuffle – I added a pleated ruffle in a grey on grey floral from French General. And the funny rubber one on the right? That’s the family that lived in the shoe/boot. I found it on ebay a couple of years ago – its significance is obvious :-) However, it does need the magical touch of Julian the electrician to get it going again.
I think I shall probably pull the runner forward a bit – to put the books behind – and sit my pencil holders etc upon it. And I shall probably need a proper desk lamp too. We’ll see.
Until then, my place to study is sitting here waiting oh so peacefully – I don’t think I’ve ever managed to create a space in our home that looks so serene.