Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding the ultimate stitching house

Remember that I told you that last weekend my husband and I drove to Philadelphia to pick up some stereo equipment?  Dave loves stereo equipment.  He mostly buys speakers and receivers, but he'll also salivate over a nice turntable or tape deck.  So we drive here and there and pick up these things for him to play with....then probably trade or sell later, once he's decided to move on to some different piece of stereo equipment.    And I don't mind going with him, because these trips usually involve going somewhere new.  It's always an adventure and then we always arrange to have lunch or dinner somewhere nice.  It kind of feeds the gypsy-wanderer part of our personalities.

Anyway, so last weekend we went to this fellow's house.  As it turns out, he's a writer for a Stereophile Magazine and he reviews receivers and speakers for a living.   

Well gang, Dave thought he had died and gone to heaven.  I was sitting in the car stitching, and he came out and said, "Lee, you have to come in here.  If you think that I have a lot of stuff...wait till you see this!"  This man's house was completely outfitted for the purpose of listening to stereos and he managed successfully (mostly) to integrate these massive speakers and amplifiers and receivers (his test subjects) into all of his living areas.  It was all really amazing.  And the fellow?  Super nice guy and brilliant at what he does.

So this got me thinking....have I ever had that experience in the needlework world?  You know...when you walk into somebody's home and think to yourself, "This is a perfect house for stitching!"  And I'm happy to tell you, YES!

Back in April, when I was in Topeka, one of the women we shop-hopped with invited us to dinner at her house after a long day of shopping.  (She doesn't have a blog and she doesn't really put herself out there much in the internet world, so I feel like she's quite private.  Consequently, I won't mention her name here, so I can respect her privacy.)  Of course, being invited to dinner was marvelous.  Isn't it always great to return home to a meal after a day of stash shopping?  But her house?  Amazing.  And I'll tell you what made it so amazing.
1. The sheer number of stitched items in the house.  Her stitching was everywhere, and not only on the walls.  Yet it was beautifully and artfully arranged all around the house.  She is a very fast and very prolific stitcher, and chooses designs of almost every sort.  From tiny and intricate to big and simple.  From classical to whimsical.  Soft and pastel to bold and bright.  You get the picture, right?  And somehow, even with all of that diversity, it all worked.  

2.  Wonderful lighting and seating in the living room of the house.  Extraordinary large windows providing loads and loads of natural light.  Chairs arranged to take the most advantage of the light, yet still set about to make comfortable conversation groups.  Baskets of work in progress near the chairs, but it was attractive, not cluttered looking.  
3.  Extra seating and workspace in a downstairs area, so that if the upstairs was being used to entertain, there was still a stitching haven in another part of the house.  And this was only steps away from:
4.  A totally separate, awe-inspiring studio/storage area that was so incredibly organized, I almost fainted.  Shelving, filing cabinets, and bins all came together so that if you said, "Hey Amazing Friend, do you have (Insert any obscure stitching supply here)?", she could literally reach her hand out and touch it.  I can only imagine the work it took to create this storage area, and even the amount of time it takes to have it remain so organized, but think of the joy of knowing where your stuff is all the time!

So...there you have it.  A stitcher's dream house.   Perfect work spaces and living areas that surround you with the work of your hands.  

And I could have that, if I could only get rid of some of this damn stereo equipment...


  1. OMG!
    I could have written this myself!
    I would substitute the stereo eqpt for vintage amplifiers, and it would describe Keith!
    I am always looking to turn my house into the perfect stitching house, but unfortunately I am stuck with what I've got, tiny cluttered rooms with low light conditions!
    One can dream though!

  2. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a home devoted just to needlework! I'm envious of your even getting to check one out! :) I do feel your pain regarding bits of DH's hobby. In our home, it's carburators... Although, I imagine they are generally smaller than speakers or turntables!

  3. It's camera stuff in our house. I have often thought to myself that it would be nice to have a stitching room, but I am not sure how I would organize my stuff.... So getting organized is a gift we don't all have at any rate.
    I'd love to visit fellow stitcher's homes to see how they do it.

  4. I have my stitching room but, a WHOLE house?!??!!!

    My dream!

    Smiles - Denise

  5. Oh what I wouldn't have done to see that house. I can't even imagine having my stitching all over. I'll bet it looked wonderful. Did you come away feeling inspired?

  6. Okay, trying again. I love what you've done to your blog, did you do that yourself?
    I love her house too! She has show and tell for me to see tomorrow night! I'm looking forward to seeing what it might be!
    I hope you're having a good week, John too.

  7. I have been to her house twice, I was inspired both times. I love the natural light in the living room. And just wish I had that much room for all my stash, let alone be that organized. To have 2 or 3 tables to work on would be great. You did a nice job describing it.
    Always enjoy reading your post.
    I guess we have to give the guys a little room for their stuff...but it is hard giving up that space. LOL.

  8. I had a similar experience when I visited my friend Carol's house. Stitching was everywhere, all artfully arranged. It was honestly like the angels came out and sang the halleluia chorus when I walked in. Up until then, I had worried that my stitching was too much or overkill. It still might be--I don't have the talent to artfully arrange things--but it gave me the confidence to feel like it was okay for me. LOL about the stereo equipment! When we bought this house, I was able to hide some of the golf statues and trophies in boxes that my husband unknowingly hauled up into the new attic. We're now cleaning out some of the boxes and he's rediscovering them... along with the pics of his mother I put in the boxes to keep the golf stuff company. Yikes. LOL