Welcome to My Sewing Space!

As you know, I participated in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop earlier this year. Through it, I met a great group of new quilt bloggers like me. One of our group--Melva of Melva Loves Scraps—got the brilliant idea of showing off her sewing space this week and she invited her fellow New Quilt Bloggers to join in the fun! Since I’d been thinking of showing you my sewing space for some time, I said “Heck yeah!” to her invitation.

My sewing “studio” is actually a room over our garage. I share the space with my husband, a self-employed technical journalist who works at home like I do. “Share” is a bit of a stretch, as I’ve slowly been taking over the majority of the room upstairs. He doesn’t mind at all, enjoying the color and art my quilting brings to our office. Isn’t he the best?

The Plan

When I made up my mind to get serious about this quilting business, I decided that the first thing I needed to do was to reorganize my space to accommodate both quilting and blogging. So of course I came up with a plan! (I’m a planner, not an “improv”er, in case you didn’t know. <wink>) Here’s my first plan. You'll notice that my desk is strategically placed by a series of windows. I love a view, even if that view is of my driveway.

First I measured out the room, then I created a floor plan. Next, I measured each piece I was going to keep, like my desk and the bookshelves, and started moving them around the room looking for an optimal arrangement. Moving bits of paper is way easier than the actual stuff, and I had fun playing with paper.

Then I happened on a blogger who used some IKEA pieces to create a cutting table and fabric storage, and I was all over that! We don’t have an IKEA here yet (it’s coming soon!) but we have one just a few hours away so buying the IKEA pieces was totally doable. Here’s my modified plan, and how my space looks now.

We haven’t replaced Scott’s desk yet, so it still sits at an angle to the window in the upper right corner. I ended up with the filing cabinet we were going to put by Scott's desk, and I added the IKEA pieces to the plan.

Let's Start the Tour

When I was writing this “tour” I realized that it would take a while to show you the details of my space. So I’ll conduct the tour using a couple of posts. Today, let me show you my design wall and tool storage.

My Design Wall

The design wall is a new addition. I have had a design wall for a while now, but it wasn’t hung. (I created it as a project for my book.)

I had been looking for some time for the ideal place to hang my design wall. It wasn't until I sat down to plan my studio space that it hit me! If we moved a bunch of things away from the wall by the stairs, my design wall would just fit!

As you can see, the design wall is in pieces. I made it by covering two foam core insulation boards with batting. The boards were too big to fit into our car, so we had Lowes cut each one in half. That decision used to frustrate me because my plan for putting the pieces back together once we got them home didn’t work out as I would have liked. But as you can see now, it’s genius because it made the process of trimming and fitting the design wall into place that much easier.

I hung the two top pieces using Contact strips, and trimmed the lower pieces so they fit exactly underneath. The bottom pieces are held in place on their own. I had several things I had to cut space for, such as the light switches and the smoke detector. I did not cut around the air vent however, opting instead to simply move the wall out of the way most of the time, and putting it in place only when I need to lay out a really large quilt.

The total dimensions of my design wall are 93” x 96” (we trimmed a bit off the left side). As you can see, I didn’t waste any time putting some of my projects up on the wall and using them to decorate my space.

Tool Storage - Drawers

To the left of the design wall, I have a small black chest of drawers I inherited from my mom. I love that it still has some 1970's style decals she used to decorate it. On top of the chest, I’ve placed two quilts that are in the quilting stage—my Gradations Charming Stepping Stones and my Pulse quilt. To the left are projects I’m actively working on right now (other WIPs are stored elsewhere…I’ll show you in another post how I organize them). Right now, active WIPs include my Shadow quilt, Vincent art quilt, and a Tula Pink version of Brickyard.

In the top drawer of the chest, I store freezer paper for applique and some HST sheets for easily making large quantities of the same color HSTs.

The top drawer on the left holds my embellishment tool and mini craft iron. The bottom drawer is filled with foundation papers and printable fabric sheets.

The big space on the right holds a bunch of stuff I don’t use often—beads, specialty rulers, Bubble Jet Set, template plastic, and a ruffle foot for my sewing machine.

Tool Storage - Boxes

I’ll end this part of the tour by showing you where I keep the rest of my tools. I have several bookcases, and on one shelf, I’ve organized my tools by category. I have a box for quilting tools such as safety pins, masking tape, quilting stencils, Golden Threads paper, and gloves.

I have a box for cutting tools, such as extra blades, safety glove that I got for my daughter when she was first learning to quilt, extra rotary cutters I’ve won as prizes, and various scissors. I have a box for needles and hand-sewing tools, and another for craft supplies/embellishments. I have a box for sewing stuff (machine oil, old pincushions, old pins), a box for marking tools, and another for muslin hanging sleeves I use when I'm entering quilts that don't already have sleeves into shows. I also have a box for zippers and purse making materials. I have a lot of boxes, as you can see! But it sure makes it easy for me to find the right tool when I need it.

Tools - Bag

I store my rulers, extra cutting mat, rotating cutting mat, and portable cutting mat/pressing station in this organizer. I’m not sure how I acquired this beauty, but I think I won it at a quilt retreat. Sure does make storing these overlarge tools easy, and it's easy to move out of the way when needed.

Well, that’s it for now. Be sure to stop by Melva's for links to the other bloggers who are participating! And be sure to come back later in the week when I continue the studio tour by showing you how I organize and store my fabric and WIPs.

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Tell me…do you have a design wall? How large is it and does it suit your needs? How did you make it?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!