Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome to My Sewing Room!

Today, Moda Bake Shop is hosting a Show Off Your Stash Link Party, so I thought it would be a great day to take you on a visit to my sewing room.  Although my husband would claim that every room in the house is the sewing room, I do actually have a designated room -- it's very cozy, but functional!  The actual space, which used to be my husband's bedroom when he was young, is only about 6 1/2' by 7 1/2', so I really have to take advantage of vertical storage.  However, even though it's a tiny room, I love how productive I can be in my designated space -- no matter where you sew, it's always an advantage when you don't have to include set up and take down time in your moments of sewing bliss!
My bookshelf is made out of wooden crates purchased at craft stores over the years.  I spent a lot of time organizing this so things are easy to find -- I love quilting books, and these are sorted on the lower shelves by topics (like quilting with precuts) or authors (like Kaffe Fassett).  The fabric you see on these shelves are generally larger yardage pieces, most of which are intended for backings, and these are folded consistently (I use an 8 1/2" by 24 inch ruler to roll the fabric, slide the ruler out, and fold the bundle in half) and sorted by designer!
Just around the corner is my sewing table.  This is a four foot (I think) foldable table from Sam's Club, although it never gets folded up, obviously!  I do like the height for sewing, and hope to someday clear out other parts of the room more so that the table has a little more space for cutting and ironing.  I have enough space on the edge (in front of the clock) for a cutting mat/ironing combo so I use this for quick pressing and trimming as I sew.  When I need to cut or iron large pieces, I do usually have to go out to the kitchen!  I painted the room a sunny yellow when we moved in, and the color (and my sunflowers quilt) really is bright and cheery on even the gloomiest day!)
Even though there is a lot of stuff on my sewing table, I do like the easy access to various rulers and cutting equipment.  This also helps me put things back in the right place after I use them!  I really like these wooden ruler racks -- they don't take up much space, they hold a lot of rulers, and when purchased with a coupon at JoAnn's, they are quite reasonable!
I have a general rule that you can never have too many scissors or rotary cutters, so I have two baskets of those on top of a small baker's rack!  I have a hard time passing up a rotary cutter on clearance!
On the wall opposite my sewing table stands a tall metal baker's rack from Sam's Club.  I bought this about five years ago, and while it took me a while to assemble, I am very happy with how versatile it has been.  You can set the shelves to various heights when you build it, but to change the height, you would basically have to rebuild it!  Most of my shelves are around the same height, but I do have a small one toward the top.  Two of the shelves store quilts for my Etsy shop that are ready to ship!
Another nice feature of the industrial baker's rack is that you can hang things from the shelves with metal hooks.  My husband bought me this Gutermann thread rack as a Christmas present several years ago (it was one of those after Thanksgiving doorbuster deals!) and I really love it since we live in a remote area, and running out of thread is a common problem!  Every time I'm headed to a thread sale at Joann's I write down the numbers of the thread colors I need to replace, and I'm back in business!  These are small spools, so I generally don't use them for piecing or quilting, but they are great for occassional top stitching or for finding the right color for handsewing a binding.
This last area is my favorite thing in the room, even if it blocks the window and rack a bit!  I saw this idea on a scrapbooking blog a few years ago, and it occured to me that it would work great for fabric!  These are scrapbooking cubes purchased individually (on sale, over time!) at Michael's.  Each cube contains 4 drawers (except for the bottom right) and the cubes interlock with one another to create the unit.  You can purchase various combinations of cubes (open shelving, drawers, etc) to create exactly the storage unit you want!
Since I generally like to store my fabric by collection or designer, before I bought the cubes, I had been sorting fabrics in plastic bags and putting them in baskets.  It was so hard to find the one I was looking for, and the fabric was always wrinkly and unorganized.  Now, I label each of the drawers with a designer or collection, and store the fabrics inside!
They are absolutely the perfect size for folded fat quarters!
Jelly rolls and charm packs also store beautifully! (Yes, this is one of my Tula Pink drawers where I hoard special fabrics!)

This sideways picture (sorry!) is of one of  the bottom right drawers, where I keep extra jelly rolls and charm packs.  The bottom drawer holds layer cakes!

I do wish I had more space to build up -- I could definitely make use of a few more drawers - but I guess that also forces me to start using what I have on hand to clear space for new collections.  The drawer labels are easy to remove and change, and I can also move the drawers to different cubes if I want to reorganize the collections.
I guess this would be my sewing room annex -- our back porch houses my quilting machine!  I'm working on the 39 quilt tops I brought back from California (see previous posts on my month of quilt tops!)  I'll be sharing those as I work on them -- not all of them made it on the blog posts yet!

Hope you enjoyed your visit to my sewing room - I need to get back to my latest quilt!
Edited to add: Be sure to check out my recent updates to my sewing room HERE!


  1. I found your blog through Moda Bake Shop and I have to say, I have stash envy. I really like your shelving system and the organization for your Etsy items, that is a great idea!
    And I have to laugh a little, I clicked through to your etsy shop, and we have twin quilts listed in our shops! Here is my Sophie throw quilt
    You do beautiful work, and your shop is full of lovelies.

  2. Cool beans!! I'm a beginner so your room is very inspiring, I just love it!

  3. Brilliant idea for preboxing quilts ready to ship! Keeps them clean, tidy and organised! And those scrapbooking drawers are just perfect. I have a big, deep cupboard I'm trying to outfit with storage, and I'm thinking I need some drawers for my fat quarters too!

  4. Hi Kerry,
    Thanks for the fun tour of where you create. An amazing process! Since I'm new to the art of quilting I've started looking up what "jelly roll" and "charm pack" mean (amongst other things). It was also neat to see the quilting machine. I've never seen how it works.

    I noticed that I'm the 4th person to leave a comment. Congratulations! Your following is growing!!!

    Thanks again!

  5. I love your fabric choices. I drooled over every drawer you had pulled out! Nice room for sewing. Just stopped by to see it. Thanks!