A few months ago, Jen @faithandfabricdesign asked if there was interest in participating in some blog hops this year on different topics. And I always love participating in a good blog hop. I feel very fortunate, because;
1. Although this blog topic was already filled with other bloggers, and I was on the waiting list, someone cancelled.
2. My husband and I just finished organizing this quilting room and space at the beginning of January, so I was excited to write, photograph and post about it. It took a while to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t, it was well worth the wait.
The Biggest Take-a-Way – It’s always going to be a work in progress.
I’m going to back track a little before I tell you the story of how this space evolved and is organized. For 21 years we lived in a small condo. The second bedroom wasn’t big enough to use as a real quilting room or sewing space. It spilled over onto the dinning room table. Of course it’s a challenge to pack it all up, and unpack it all everyday. So if no one was coming over for dinner, or we weren’t celebrating a holiday at our home, I would leave my sewing stuff on the table. Where did we dinner every night? You probably know the answer. The coffee table in front of the TV. I never wanted to become that.
I also purchased, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois L. Hallock. This book and planner is worth it’s weight in gold. Everything is thought out ergonomically. Lois’s blog and web site, Clearview Designs, is full of ideas to make your space efficient and comfortable.
I saved and saved, for either a much bigger condo or a small house in an HOA community. A little over a year ago, we found this house, which has become our home in a great HOA community. (It’s very family friendly too, which is important to me). Not only did it have an extra bedroom to change into a quilting and sewing room, but it also has a garage space for my husband and his workshop. He is an amazing furniture designer.
In 2014, we attended Fall Quilt Market in Houston. We had looked at lots of furniture, and were very impressed with Inspira. They offer a wide variety of quilting furniture. This was a new discovery to us. I knew I needed a big, long table for my Bernina 750. The table also needed space for cutting and measuring. It’s a big long table with two drawers, and it faces east. I get great light from the windows even after 12:00 PM noon. Below is a photo of the desk at night.
The room itself is big enough to house all my quilting stuff, plus a desk for my laptop and space to pay bills, write, blog, think, and has shelves to store. See photo below.
I have a long wooden table with my laptop and my printer on it. A very comfy chair. Above the desk, I have pockets that hold; bills to be paid, bills to be filed, tax stuff and information about due dates from magazines I write for, their deadlines and other related information.
Above that, I have lots of plastic bins that contain scraps. They are sorted by colors. A few have a special designation; orphan blocks and mixed fabrics, (scraps that have a very multi-colored print on them and don’t fall into any category). Another houses fat quarters, low volumes fabric scraps and text fabric scraps.
Above that are two WIP’s that need to be quilted. Of course, those will be finished by the end of this year!!
And on the very top shelve, there is lots of batting I bought on sale, which we all know; we will need it, so purchase a few sizes while on sale.
Biscuit loves to be near me when I am sewing or working, so he has designated several spots for himself that he won’t share with Emma. However, don’t ever underestimate my sweet, little Emma, she has designated a few spots for herself to hang out in when I am working in this room. I am one lucky pet parent to have two sweet, fur ball cats who love to be hang-out with me, when I am working at home.
The first rule of thumb I learned about organizing a quilting and sewing room space is to have a triangle, where you have your sewing machine, your cutting board area, and your ironing board, within close proximity to each other. This theory is based on the same triangle for setting up a well organized kitchen; a triangle between the sink, refrigerator and stove.
My triangle works this way. The sewing table is long enough to keep it to the right or left, which leaves a lot of room for cutting and trimming. The ironing board is right behind me on the right. It’s basically a 90 degree triangle. See photo below, where I would be cutting and trimming to the left of the sewing machine.
The sewing table, is quite large and long, (taking up a whole wall double window). I sew and cut fabric on it. And the ironing board is right behind me on the right. I spend a lot of time at this table, and bought a great chair from Heavenly Sewing Chairs. This was expensive, but I have to say, worth it, especially if you have back problems or had back surgeries.
This photo, (below), is the wall to the right of my desk, which is somewhat organized and has way too much fabric on it. I keep colors together. Actually, I learned that when organizing a room, “keep like things together.” Such as keeping all quilting hoops together.
Charlie, my husband, is amazing at organizing space. I don’t know how I would have put this room together without him. I am spatially challenged. At the top of these shelves, I keep pre-cuts. And in the last unit, in the bottom three shelves, I keep fabrics that are earmarked for projects that are in the planning stages. At the bottom of that, I store more batting and chalk boards, that I use for photo shoots. There are also irons on that shelf and miscellaneous items at the end.
This fabric wall is still a work in progress. I try to keep fabrics grouped by colors, and categories that match the bins of scraps above the desk. I have to say that another great source for inspiration for sorting by color is to click this link to read Jeni Baker’s post @InColorOrder. It is truly fantastic. It will also help in making better purchases by color.
On the wall to the left of the desk is the new furniture, which houses all those notions that we quilters and sewists have. I picked these pieces of furniture, because they have compartments for rulers, template plastic and drawers that have different sizes.
And lastly, who could live without media!! Certainly not me. I have one big bookshelf to house my books.
There is a TV in the corner between the cabinets, and my sewing table. and on my desk, which is opposite my sewing table, we have a newcomer to this room and our entire house. Alexa. She takes over all radio and reminder duties. I listen to a lot of radio; mostly Bloomberg, and classic 60’s, 70’s rock, and jazz. I have relied on a radio since I was a very young girl, and still seem to gravitate to it first, then TV.
I love this room. I am still figuring out what I’d like to put on the walls. I want to be inspirational, and have one print we have to re-hang. Love that one from Martha Stewart.
The one other necessity for this room, is folded up and I pull it out when it’s needed. It is my board that I use to arrange my blocks for auditioning and arranging my blocks before making that final commitment of sewing them together.
One last thing…..I can no longer baste on the floor because of my back. That said, I have two long tables I will put up in the hall for basting. They are not permanent fixtures in our hallway.
This quilting room came with beige carpeting. I may change that at some point. It feels good on my feet, but I have a hard time finding dropped pins and needles, which worries me, because I don’t want anyone to step on them, or for Biscuit and Emma to find them. The best thing would be to have a hard wood floor, with maybe an area rug. with a low pile.
Needless to say, I am very happy with how this room and space evolved. It took a long time to figure out what would work for me. And, I am always open to changing it to make it more effective and efficient.
At the end of the day, I’ve learned just like our quilts, our sewing space is a continual work-in-progress. Changing it to be more comfortable and useful space is the most important. Don’t be afraid of change.
Please visit the other amazing quilt bloggers participating in this blog hop, who are sharing their thoughts, discoveries, and photos about organizing their quilting rooms and space. We have so many tips and tricks to learn from each other about this topic.
Today I am linking up with Main Crush Monday @CookingUpQuilts.
Happy Quilting and Happy Organizing!!