Let There be Light!

On this gloomy winter day, as we North Easterners await the doom moniker-ed snow bombgenesis, I’ve been thinking a lot about light –how we use it, how it affects us, and how we need it.

I escaped from my no-windowed office into the greenhouse on campus and worked for about an hour today. I try to do this every couple of days because the greenery, the light, and the sounds of the koi pond make me happy. I was ecstatic to realize that there is a papaya tree in that space — I’ve been walking by it for years and never noticed it! I can resist picking the papayas — good thing it’s not a tomato or strawberry tree.


Like many quilter blogs I’ve been reading this week, I’m contemplating a reset of my sewing space. Alas, I am still without a cutting table (the “honorable” gentlemen featured in this blog post, did not live up to my expectations).  Some time ago I moved my machine so that it is directly underneath the window in my sewing room. I assumed that more light would be better. I’m not so sure. Sometimes the light from the window is too harsh. At night when I want to see the moon and the stars while sewing, the glare from the Ottlite floor lamp reflecting on the window pane is troublesome.  Not to mention that Boots has been mad at me ever since I moved the machine to the window, because it means his favorite chair is no longer in the best corner to catch a sunny cat nap.

How do you use natural light in your space? Where do you think is the best sewing tool to be placed near the window?


The winterscape from my sewing room window at 5:30pm –before the snow bomb goes off.

There are lots of benefits to winter — and I love the four seasons — but the dark long days make me crave Vitamin D and brightness. Now my quilting obsession turns to light and quirky themes. Here is a sneak peek at a table runner I’m working on for spring. It  features some up-cycled pretty spring flowers from a former Pottery Barn dust ruffle. You can read the original post about the dust ruffle here.


The lemon yellow border fabric was also a Salvo find — it will surely keep the sunshine flowing on this pattern!

May your Friday be filled with goodness and light!

12 thoughts on “Let There be Light!

  1. Gray Barn Designs says:

    My sewing machine is at an angle to my windows. I get to look out the windows but at an angle so I avoid some of the glare from my task light at night. I have a ceiling light and then several task lights; one on my cutting table, one near my ironing board and then one on my sewing machine table.

    I really like how you re-purposed that Pottery Barn dust ruffle. It gives me hope that spring will arrive…even though the wind chill in Ohio is expected to be well below zero tonight! Yikes! I need a spring project!

  2. Meg our-house-quilts says:

    I, and the rest of the world, have been reading about your ferocious weather. I hope all goes well for you.
    In Perth, we have plenty of light. I prefer my sewing machine at a window that faces east or south (that would be east or north for you), but I cannot actually achieve that. My cutting table is in the middle of the room with lots of overhead lights.

    • sandradny says:

      Meg: My window does face south, why do you prefer that? Good point on the overhead lighting, currently there is task lighting at the machine, a floor lamp to warm Boots while he’s napping in the chair and a desk lamp. The addition of overhead lighting might be what is needed. Thanks!

      • Meg our-house-quilts says:

        It would have to be North for you. No direct sunlight, but lots of diffuse indirect light, falling right onto the quilt without my shadow or the shadow of the sewing machine.
        Good luck with the weather tonight. Not here, but in Sydney, they are expecting 40+ deg C (that’s way over 100F). I’m glad I’m not Ohio or Sydney. 😉

      • sandradny says:

        Meg — you inspired me. I’ve spent the afternoon moving my sewing room around so I’m not fighting against that lovely natural light. I feel better already!

  3. Stephannie says:

    About 7 years ago I purchased too long tables from Ikea that could be adjusted for height. One went under the window and the other one went along the wall butted up against the window table (creating a very nice corner space). I had previously painted birch trees on the wall (a practice in Godly patience) and so as I sit at my sewing machine, I have the birch trees in front of me and when I’m working at the other table with crafts, I can look out the window through the trees outside. Soft light, no glare. I love my sewing room.

    • sandradny says:

      Stephanie: I love your idea for creating an “L” shape in the corner. That might really work in my narrow room. Alas, no IKEA nearby — I’ll have to look on-line. And you painted birches on your wall??? That sounds fantastic! I want to get to the point where I love my room too…

  4. Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

    My window faces north. I have my ironing table in front of the window. If I had my sewing machine there, I would be so distracted by even a bird on the tree in my front yard.
    I have a U-shaped small studio. The ironing board and shelves in front of the window, my sewing table against one wall, and my cutting table on the other wall. I have a tall floor lamp providing overhead light on my cutting table. I love the beautiful winter view from your window, although I do not think I could live with all that snow. I was complaining about three days of below freezing weather. Stay warm, and stay safe.

    • sandradny says:

      Chela: I moved my room around yesterday and I like the flow a lot better — my 17-year-old son event commented that it looks better. I’m hoping to make some better furniture decisions this year and maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in a cutting table later. Stay warm down in TX — in another month or so the wildflowers will pop out down there and you will be able to forget about all this nasty weather!

      • Chela's Colchas y Mas says:

        Sounds great. And an approval from your son proves it!
        My sewing room was once my home teacher office. I have a huge desk and hutch that I no longer need. It is a good piece of furniture, but no longer functional for me. I should get rid of it and then I would have a better opportunity to have the sewing studio I want. But, for now, I will be happy with what I have. The weather is better now. Cool and just right. Pretty soon I will be complaining about the heat! 🙂

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