Category Archives: Studio


Guess Who Decorated This Year’s Gingerbread House?

Guess who decorated the gingerbread house this year? I usually decorate with my sons, but they’re growing older and not as enthralled about doing crafts with mom as they used to be. So that meant I got to be really compulsive with my colors! Normally I’m totally hands off and let them play and put whatever they wanted on the house, but this year, it was all mine.

I was in a blue, red, and white palette mood for some reason, and I have been for a long time. Last year’s Christmas Cabin and Advent Tree table runners both used that color palette, and I’m still in love with it. So I gathered blue Dum-Dum suckers and crushed them for stained glass windows. Blue candy canes grace the roof and the path. Mentos dyed blue-green decorate the roof.

Then my eleven-year-old asked me to made tiny stockings for his cousins who are coming over on Christmas Eve, and since they’re all girls, they got the same palette. I couldn’t stop myself.

I’ve missed sharing with you over the past year. I haven’t been in my quilting studio as often as I’d like; in fact, I haven’t made a single quilt all year. Can you believe that? Life has its seasons, and I’m in one right now that calls me to a different place. That happened before, and Color Mastery was born. So who knows what’s in store for the future?

Until then, please keep in touch. I enjoy hearing from my readers, my subscribers, and friends. I’m on Facebook – Maria Hoath Peagler, on Twitter as SM_OnlineClass, Google+, and YouTube. Since I founded a social media training site, I’m pretty much everywhere. So join me!

My Studio’s New Look

Collage in office

We’ve decided to stay put in this house rather than move to the new one, so I wanted to rearrange the office area of my studio. I have a lovely writing table my husband made I use as a desk, but little space for papers or office supplies.

So, in the vein of making something from nothing, we went to Home Depot and Wal-Mart and bought some inexpensive shelving and office supplies, and here’s the result:

New Office Area

You can see what it looked like before here. Very little office space, just a table and a white board.

My favorite part of this new alcove is the collaged backgrounds I have on the wall. These were the result of an exercise I did in The Artist’s Way, and I remember thinking how juvenile and ridiculous cutting and pasting magazine photos was and how was this going to make me a better artist, yada, yada, yada. Well, I came to treasure these collages so much they lived in my bedroom closet when I didn’t have a studio. and they were prominently displayed on the walls when I finally got one.


Making something beautiful from nothing. An office, some art, a beautiful life.

Letting Go . . . Not!

UGA Backing

I couldn’t do it. I had the best of intentions, but when it came time to part with Emily’s UGA quilt top, I just knew it belonged to my hands to quilt. Not literally hand-quilting, but the quilting design and the machine quilting I wanted to do. So here it is, being basted. Normally a slow process anyway, but my younger son is home ill with a fever so it’s reaaaaally slow.

What are those things on the backing, you ask? What every resourceful girl would use when she’s out of bulldog clips: they’re clamps from my husband’s woodworking shop. Which echoes those words of wisdom from Norm Abrams:

“You can’t have too many clamps.”

He said this during an episode of New Yankee Workshop I happened to be watching with my husband eons ago. Norm was gluing together a piece of furniture, and literally the man must have had thirty clamps holding that piece together.

UGA Batting

Batting laid out.

Basting UGA quilt

Safety pins? Check. Kwik-Clip? Check. I’d better pull up a chair. I’m going to be here for a while.

Martha Stewart & Me

Have you seen the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine?  One of its headlines grabbed my attention and I just had to buy it:  “Martha’s New Craft Room.”  Now will that be the mother of all craft rooms or what?

Turns out her craft room is quite similar to mine in layout.  They are both upstairs extra rooms:  hers is an attic, mine a bonus room.  They both have gabled side walls that slope inward, so not much vertical space, but roomy nonetheless.

Here are photos of our craft rooms, side by side:

Martha’s                                                    Mine

Martha Stewart’s New Craft Room                                My Studio I

We’re practically twins, aren’t we?  How does she do it all?  Running Omnimedia and being a craft diva?  Even her craft supplies are pristine-looking:

Martha’s craft supplies             vs.                My Studio II

I love my studio, mess and all.  After all, who can get anything done if I’m constantly having to clean up?  And I do, weekly.  Mostly.  Unless another quilt is calling me, which I hear now . . . . . .