I’ve made it well known that over the last month or so I’ve had a HUGE push to try to my sewing room in order. It all started last year in March. I had enough of the mess that was my sewing room and decided that the time had come that I was going to quit “making do” with whatever missmatched things I had around and was going to try to update and redo my sewing room. Of course I had “visions of sugar plums” until reality set in. I dreamed of wonderful cupboards that everything perfectly fit in. What I got was something different….but for me it’s still VERY magical.
In a message I recently got a writer wrote:
“I can’t wait to see your sewing room when you get it just the way you want it. I just know you are going to have some ideas to help me organize my own room.”
That scared me. I don’t think I have a single idea….all I have is STUFF and the want to make it all fit.
I’ve showed pictures of my sewing room before and I’ve gotten some comments that were too much so I’m a little nervous to share photos. Before I do, I’d like to explain a few things.
1-quilting is not my business but it’s more than only a casual hobby.
2-In the past, my sewing room has been a small tiny cabinet with a sewing machine in my bedroom or the dining room table.
3-We don’t go on vacations or live a fancy life. All of my “mad” money is in this room.
4-Going to a store to get things is a minimum of 25 minutes away so I like to have things on hand.
When we remodeled the house, we planned a big craft room for me. Most people would use the space as a master bedroom. It’s 14 x 20 with a walk in closet. We aren’t done with it yet. We still need to put the wood trim up. It hasn’t bothered me a drop until now…it’s clean and now I notice the lack of trim. When it was a mess I didn’t notice it all.
The sewing room is upstairs at the end of a long hall…happily the bathroom is right next door. Entering the room I have machines and things to the left and my quilting machine to the right.
This is the left or south side of the room.
I keep a trio of sewing machines in the center of the room. I piece a lot on the white Pfaff…
This is my old Singer 99.
My Singer 15-91 is the other machine. I’ll get to that one in a minute. Starting by the door I have an ice box. This houses all my solid and muslin fabrics. My Singer 301 is on top. The cute red suitcase is my treasure box of ideas and inspiration of things I’d like to make at some point.
The picnic baskets all have things in them. Novelty prints are in one, orphan blocks in one, embroidery in another and pieces left over from Kalissa’s wedding quilt in the last one. If she ever has a baby girl, I think that baby will get a quilt from the scraps. I had four more picnic baskets but I eliminated them.
Next is my New Home treadle. On top is a wooden box with my needle punch things in.
My African Violets call this room home. It’s about the only room with good windows for plants. I added the piano bench to add space for more plants. I didn’t get all the way through my plants in my cleaning expedition. Many need to be repotted. That will wait for another day.
Next is this old piece. It’s my cutting table. I RARELY cut out anything up here. Not because I can’t but more because I can do that over naptime so I do it downstairs in the kitchen.
I used to try to keep neat fun little baskets under here to hold scraps. Then reality hit. What I was doing might be cute but it was not functional. Now I have totes. Totes work. Totes are functional…not cute but oh well.
Hubby redid this amazing cabinet for me. We bought it from a family here in town at an auction. I LOVE it. I wanted some open shelving for displays but again…reality set in. Displays are lovely but I need storage space. So many of the basket on the shelf are hiding things that are being stored…charm packs and the like.
The two cookie jar on the bottom to the left are from Ila (our blog reader). I adore them. One keeps my triangle trimmings, the other, leftover binding strips.My 15-91 is on this side of the room. It has quickly become the machine I love. When I snapped the picture I was working on string blocks for Hunter’s Star. I bought this big sewing basket on an auction for a couple dollars. It’s worked so nice. I put the color of strips I need in the box and make my string blocks.
It can quickly close up and….
…be shoved under the sewing machine extension. It’s wonderful. I had my awesome light at the Singer 99 but found myself sewing here more often so the light got moved.
This is where I iron. I had intended that I’d get rid of an ironing board. I thought the room would look so much neater if I only used a wool mat. Neater YES, but I’d find myself pulling out the ironing board WAY too often. The reality is that sometimes a quilt straight up needs an old fashioned ironing board. This one is vintage and was FREE on a garage sale!!
The three drawer here is projects that I’m currently juggling. The BOM is in one drawer, want to projects are the top drawer….another project in the remaining drawer.
My long arm takes up the north wall. See?
Again, this is where practicality took over. I wanted beautiful totes but the drawers from Wal-mart won out. Sometimes with storage all you can do is be practical.
Over the last month every time someone in our family went to Wal-Mart they bought a three drawer unit. This side of the machine houses my Civil War fabrics. There is a drawer for most colors…one green, blue, red but then a few share as I don’t have many of that color….pink, orange and yellows are one drawer. I primarily only have fat quarters of fabric.
To the right of the drawers is my fabric users system for Civil War-ish prints…then to the right of that is the “bright” colored fabric users system.
On the back side…more three drawer units. This is all for shirts and wool. There is a drawer for every color again….then there is a Scrap User’s System for shirts too. Each drawer with shirts have shirt backs folded like fat quarters.
I used to keep my shirts in under the bed totes. I found myself often not choosing to make a quilt from shirts as then I’d have to pull all the totes out. I know it wasn’t “that much work”….but still, I found myself making the excuse. Now the shirts and nicely organized and super easy to get to.
I know a Scrap User’s System for each color is a little excessive but, this is how I like it. Just like some people don’t want food touching on their plate, I typically don’t mix a lot of my fabrics…if I do want to, I know where to find them this way.
In the corner is quilt storage. My hope is to clean out a spare bedroom closet and put them there. These are all quilts that have been or will be submitted for publication.
This is my space for quilt tops that need to be quilted….and more quilt storage on the bottom. I think I have 8 or so here that need to be quilted. After taking the picture I realized I didn’t really straighten this up. It will happen soon.
Then is my walk in closet. Batting is straight ahead. I just bought a roll of Warm and Natural and Hobbs 80/20 just before Christmas. The sales were good and we were running low.
Yes, you guessed it…more three drawer units. These are for batiks. Yes they have their own Scrap User’s System too. The top drawer is for batik scraps. Batiks I mostly only have fat quarters of too. Fat quarters work so great in these 3 drawer units.
My batiks were in under the bed totes and again, I didn’t regularly pull them out….too much work. The totes would get covered in stuff and it was too much work. I am so looking forward to this. It’s easy now and easy is MUCH more important than fashionable.
Opposite the batiks are totes for brights. Each color has its own tote. These are not fat quarter cuts. They work better in totes. These are “dish pan totes”…found at Wal-Mart near the dish drainers. These totes are a nicer size and much cheaper than regular totes. They don’t come with a top though but that’s okay with me. I am not a lid girl.
In the back of the closed my Bernina and Featherweight live along with a tote to take if I’m going on retreat…along with other things like interfacing, quilt books, sewing notions like zippers and such.
That’s my sewing room. I realize that my space is big. I realize I have a lot. I’m very content with what I have. People laugh and joke saying that their stash is more than they could sew in a lifetime. I’ve never really thought of what I have in that context.
I want a space that I can easily find whatever it is I’m looking for. I want to be able to make the mystery quilt without having to go buy a bunch of fabric. I want to be able to make a zippered pouch without having to run to town for a zipper. I want to be able to bind a charity quilt without having to run to town for fabric. I have that. I also want to manage a space so that should I die, going through my things won’t be taxing on my girls. The way it is now, I really don’t think it would be. It’s very organized with all like things together.
So where do I go from here….happily sewing and I am going to try so hard to maintain the space with 5 minute tidy sessions and periodic weekend clean ups.
I’ve had a couple sewing sessions happen in the room since I cleaned it. I can tell you this. Giving up sewing time to get this room where it is now was TOTALLY-TOTALLY worth it. I am completely content with how things are…a little bit of antique furniture and some good practical storage too.
Here’s a picture of the family all hanging out in the sewing room with me. This happened while Karl was still home!! Never has everyone been able to be in my sewing room before. It was so fun! Seeing this alone made the work to clean it up all up worth it!!
If you’re looking for me and it’s not childcare hours, I’m likely in the sewing room now. It’s such a pleasant place to be….I do want to give some credit where credit is due. Reading the book Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White really helped me get in the mindset of decluttering. Reading her section on hobby rooms was what I needed to rethink some of the things I was storing and help me think how I would best like to store things.
I gave a lot of stuff away. LOTS. When I look at my sewing room now I can’t figure out how it all ever fit. It was such a mess. Giving stuff away was so freeing. SO FREEING.
I’m off…off to sew in my happy place. I can finally call my sewing room my happy place and mean it. I’ve told Hubby thanks and thanks again for being on board with me spending the money to make the room so much nicer. I highly recommend going on a fabric diet and using the saved money to make your sewing room the best place it can be!!