Monday, August 19, 2013

Where I sew

This past week I enjoyed stopping by the blogs featured in the
 Studio Spotlight series on Ellison Lane Quilts. 
 Did you go on the virtual tours, too? 
 I loved seeing where others create and find lots of inspiration and a sense of sisterhood knowing that I'm not alone in my love of sewing (and fabric ;o).
This week, Jennifer is hosting a link-up for sharing where we create and I decided to add my own sewing space to the list.
Welcome to where I sew!
I feel very fortunate to have a room dedicated to my creative pursuits.  For most of our married life, I've made do with shared space (meaning I used the dining room table and stored fabric etc. in closets throughout the house) but the floor plan of the house we're currently renting had an open family room (adjacent to the kitchen) which my husband declared I should use for my sewing room.
I'm still using our vintage dining room table for my cutting and sewing - but now I can leave everything set up and ready for me without needing to clear it for our meals.
Lots of storage containers in use in my space.  Some were bought specifically, while the clear plastic bins are recycled salad green containers.  These work beautifully - allowing me to easier see what they contain while at the same time keeping the contents dust and wrinkle free.
Starting out, I had my fabrics in Rubbermaid tubs stacked along the walls in this room... but in the past 3 years I've sought out various shelving systems made by IKEA (purchased in the second hand market, so other than the wire shelving units, you won't find these for sale at IKEA as they are older designs - the Magiker line).   I absolutely LOVE what I've been able to put together for keeping me organized.
Since I not only enjoy quilt making, I have stashes of other fabrics hidden behind these doors.  Everything located where I can find it to make my sewing more enjoyable.
 I've got tons of vertical storage with these cabinets!  I love being able to view my quilting cottons while I'm sitting at my machine.  I find I sew more when I can see what I have.
The cabinet on the left has shelves and drawers, which I find really practical.  I have quilt backing and vintage sheets stored on the deep shelves and in the drawers I have scrap storage organized in bins by colour.
Inspiration at a glance!
 Fabrics are grouped by colour, with prewashed fabrics in the cabinet with glass doors and those not prewashed in the shelves that are open.  On the top on these units, I have my stash of buttons in jars that once held candles.  Again organized by colour to make searching for the perfect button that much easier.
You can almost tell I like bright colours from these collections. ;o)
 Tucked in with the fabrics on these shelves you can see some of my favourite sewing projects and vintage spools of thread.
 This corner of the room is home to my sewing/quilting/crochet/knitting/crafting books on the top shelves and my quilt batting and polyfil on the lower shelves.  The rolling plastic shelving unit keeps sewing machine manuals, thread, knitting needles, crochet hooks and basting notions nearby and easier to find. 
It's like a sewing shop! Elastic, zippers, buckles, snaps, ric-rac, serger cones and fancy trim - each in their own containers.  Much of this accumulation is from countless thrift shop forays and means I have all I need to sew just about anything.
Two stacked wire shelving units keep my notions (shown in above photo),  within easy reach, while two other stacked shelving units (not shown) corral such things as fabric strips (each size in a separate container) and also hold some patterns and vintage sewing machines.
 Next we come to one of my favourite finds for keeping me organized.  This three drawer rolling unit sits to the right of my domestic Janome and will roll under the table extension of my vintage Singer - leaving me extra room if needed - and holds my sewing essentials.
 The top drawer is for my bobbins - pink bobbins hold quilting wt. thread and clear bobbins hold all-purpose thread.  Sewing machine feet for my Singer are here along with other nifty tools like those for bias binding and Wonder clips... not to mention pins, needles and some specialty threads.
 The second drawer is filled with quilting thread.  Although I would love to display these beautiful colours, they are kept safe in a drawer, protected from damage from the sun and from dust. 

Two vintage beauties - the cabinet that is home to my beloved Singer and the small sewing cabinet that belonged to my cherished great-grandmother.  This is where I love to be!

Here's where it all comes together! Sewing machine central. ;o)
I use my vintage machine predominately for piecing, although I've found I like sewing other things with her as well, and there is my two Janome machines - one for sewing everything from clothes to all my quilting and my serger/coverstitch machine for garment making.  When I need to quilt, I remove the serger from the table and set my Janome up in its place so I have the whole table to support the quilt I'm working on.

My cutting, sewing and pressing stations are all close to one another and I even have a wonderful design wall (which covers up the ugly brick fireplace we never use) situated between a window and a door on the third wall of my sewing room.  My family loves seeing the never ending parade of "fabric art" on the design wall - it's the first thing they will see on their way into the kitchen and usually elicits a comment or two about what I'm working on. 

Every single day, I feel so grateful to have this space to call my own.  A place that brings me so much creative joy and fulfillment.  Thanks for letting me share it with you!

P.S....Interested in more glimpses of my sewing space and the transformation this room has had over the past 3 years?.... click here...



  1. Thanks for inviting me in to your lovely organized sewing space for a look around. I enjoyed the views of the transformation, too ... looks like a fun place for fabricating ... happy sewing ... :) Pat

  2. Oh, Katherine!
    Now I have to clean up the mess in my studio!!!
    Why did you show us those fabulous pic from yours?
    And I saw a scrapsbag from Sweden too;-) That´s nice...
    Stor Kram//Maja

  3. I really like the way your room is situated! I pinned it for inspiration!

  4. You have a really wonderful well organized space! It really can make all the difference!

  5. Relieved you can't see my messy room after seeing all this neat tidiness!

    Thanks for the tour!

  6. Aren't you well blessed... this is a lovely place to create.

    I'm so glad I got to catch a peek into your special corner of the world.

  7. Thank you Katherine for showing your creative room! It's beautiful and full of amazing fabrics etc. I can imagine how much you enjoy sewing and being there! x Teje

  8. GREAT room! I can see why you like being there!!

  9. what a fab sewing room! It really puts mine to shame!

  10. You have a beautiful space! You've organized it so well and everything looks just yummy! I have a few recycled candle jars filled with notions, too. Aren't they the perfect size. ;-)

  11. What a wonderful space! No wonder you create the most wonderful things with such a great room to work from. :-)

  12. I am so grateful to you for giving this tour. This sewing room layout is closest to what I'm trying to achieve in my space; although a window will keep me from working on all four sides of this sewing/cutting table configuration. I'll post a picture when I get it all worked out. I am blessed with seven 6'high metal shelves and a tall commercial pattern cabinet to use, in addition to a drop leaf set-in machine desk, and some extra tables and cabinets, an Ironrite rotary ironing machine, a standard ironing board, and three sewing machines (my Janome Horizon, a 1970's Singer with decorative stitches, and my old dependable Singer Featherweight. Hubby (BLESS HIM!) wants to buy me my heart's desire, a Handi-Quilter Sweet 16 to do my quilting on, and my job is to make room for it. I had wanted to be able to sew from inside a U shape, but all that shelving takes up all the wall space. I have a fabric stash second to few (Bless Him keeps asking me if I'm planning to open a fabric shop.) which exceeds my shelving space. Right now, I'm sewing in the dining room and cutting on the kitchen island. I can't wait to get my piled up room organized!


Go ahead...say something! Got a question for me? Ask it! I can't wait to hear from you... so start writing... and thanks in advance for letting me know you're sharing in my online adventures. Hugs and happiness to you!

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