MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Friday, August 16, 2013

beyond the reef patterns Studio

"...thank you for including me....
...I would love to show your readers where I create...."
I said, when Heather and Jennifer contacted me.
thank you to
The Sewing Loft

for those of you who don't know me, I am Natalie Barnes
owner, designer and shipping clerk
I design quilt patterns
that can be seen in magazines, or fabric websites, or on occasion at a quilt show
most recently, I contributed to a wonderful Martingale book called Set the Table
now that we've met
let's take the tour

my studio is in a little 1940's shingled cottage in southern california
if you follow along with us on facebook, twitter or instagram (or pinterest)
you'll know that a lot of inspiration comes from outside of my studio as well as inside of my studio
as for sewing machines
I have a collection of old metal singer sewing machines to set up on the dining room table
when sewing with friends
(I do believe in team sewing!!)
but my day to day piecing and sewing is done on an industrial Bernina machine
I will put a small ironing board on my cutting table
or I will iron on the kitchen counter 
(the perfect height!!)
it's nice to get up and move around
you know, pet the dog, have some water, look at fabrics, take a picture, post, email
that kind of thing
then it's back to piecing

a good friend owns a really great French lifestyle boutique in Los Angeles
where I found this great piece...just the right height for a cutting board
(and yes, some storage too)
I am a multi-tasker-sewist
directly behind my sewing machine is a little round table that I use as my desk
there's a laptop and a basket full of things that normally would go into the drawers of a traditional desk
 I can see out the door of the studio and into the garden
if I need to rest my brain for a moment
or check to see what Buddy-dog is doing
I can answer an email, print a postage label (yes, we have an online shop)
or post a picture of a technique, fabric, or (ahem) a glaring mistake
and then get right back to the sewing machine
it is probably pretty obvious this is a place where creativity is fairly organic
I find a lot of inspiration from nature for shape, color, design

many of the things I use are repurposed
my pins live in jam jars carefully carried home from Hawaii
my threads are in old mismatched canning jars
my tools - scissors, seam rippers, rotary cutters - are in depression glass pitchers
(yes, that is my grandmother's button hook)
many things on the shelves have personal meaning to me
and give me pause to think about what it is that I am trying to achieve
 the bookcase along one side of the room not only contains travel titles and friends' books
but my grandmother's book ends, my father's creel, cards from friends, and my toy piano
and yes, some of the fabric I'm working with at the time

there is also space in the studio for hand work


 my background is in commercial/corporate interior design/architecture
the offices I designed for producers, engineers, and executives
were meant for people that came and went
they continued their lives in other places
or other people would continue their work in those same spaces

but this office, this studio, this peaceful place
is a place that I have come to stay
I am happy to call it home
thank you for giving me an opportunity to share with you 
a little bit about the
beyond the reef
please.....leave us a comment, or an additional question, if you have one

please visit


Simple Simon said...

Love, love, love your studio!!!!

TheSewingLoft said...

I am loving all the fun findings hidden on your shelves! Thank you so much for sharing a peek inside your studio space.

mascanlon said...

Love seeingmore of your space and all the treasures hidden in plain sight! Only thing missing was a glimpse of Buddy!

Beth said...

Thanks for inviting us in. Your "Love will save the day" signage brought tears to my eyes.

Qltr89 said...

Thank you for sharing your space. It sure looks like home, I love it!

Unknown said...

A great creative space with lots of aloha and inspiration. Thanks for sharing...

Pauline said...

Oh, Natalie! You have to know that I just love your guava jam jars! What a neat idea! Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us!

Fran said...

Your studio is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your creative space.

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said...

Thank you so much for sharing your space with us this week! I love your blue chest and those little jars are the perfect, colorful thread storage. I really liked your comment about your space being organic. That just resonated with me.
Thanks again for sharing your studio with us! It was lovely to take a peek!

Zanymouse said...

The chicken! Soooo cute!!