If you have listened to the Modern Sewciety podcast with Stephanie, you will know that one of her lightning round questions is, “Are you a creative mess or neat and organized?” I am definitely the first, a creative mess. So when I was presented with the opportunity to be on the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop put on by Cheryl Sleboda, I thought YES!!! This is what I need to get back on track with a clean slate. In all honesty I was a little hesitant since I have to show the real and messy photos to the world (oh boy… don’t look at them to closely) but I didn’t let that stop me from signing up.

Welcome to my Sewing Room

Ever since I moved into this home in Tucson, I have been working on improving my shared sewing space. I say shared because half of it is a bike room and that is my husband Vale’s side. It is neat and organized. One small corner of the room is a utility space where we have stacked a washer/dryer set and cleaning supplies. My side is all fabric and quilty things.

When we moved, I had a sewing cabinet and that was all. The first item I added was a cutting table; it is so nice because I can walk around three edges of the table, making it easy for me to fully use the whole cutting mat. Last year, I added two craft cabinets, which help me put away some of my project bins and the t-shirts I sell. This year, I am giving things a face lift. How, you wonder? Well I painted my vintage wooden Singer sewing cabinet a beautiful green with chalk paint, which kind of matches the cubby boxes in the new cabinets. For this post, my goal was to update something else.

The home came with yellow curtains and they were functional, but I never loved them. They were a bit dated. I wanted something with green in it and thought someday I will find the perfect fabric and then I will change them. Sometimes you just got to go out of your way to make things happen. When I signed up for this blog hop, I thought “I am going to do it”. And I found the perfect fabric. It has birds in it. Something that is perfect for me because the blog’s name is Brown Bird Designs. It also had green it and, hello, that is another thing I needed to have.

I am totally the type of person that doesn’t plan a project that well. I tend to measure with my arms, and so when I was at the Bernina store buying the fabric, I thought I would use four yards of fabric, and luckily there were five yards of fabric on the bolt. Since I took it all I got 20% off my purchase because it was the end of the bolt. Some quilt shops do this so they aren’t stuck with weird cuts of fabric that they will have a hard time selling. I totally scored. However, I quickly found out that I needed about ten inches more to add to the bottom of the curtains. That sent me looking for a contrast fabric.

This was my first time making pleated curtains. I was a little overwhelmed, but it turns out that they make a ribbon that makes them a cinch to make. It has lines on the ribbon that show you where to fold the fabric. I was so lucky to hear about them before I completed the project.

How my space functions

The key elements I have in my space are project bins, themed baskets, scrap bags, a fabric trash bin, a cutting table, space for my fabric, and the most important thing: my machine. In theory, all these items help me keep my space organized. In a perfect world, that would happen, but I am totally sporadic and take other projects out while I am working on a project that I have a deadline for. This makes my space cluttered and out of whack. This year, I am going to work harder at keeping focused. Make one project at a time. Hopefully I will stay on track. Another thing that makes my space cluttered is collecting giveaway items. I guess the next thing for me to find is a dedicated place to store these items.


Elements in my room

Project Bins

I like to store the fabrics I need for a project in its own plastic bin. This helps me stay organized and ensures that I don’t end up using a needed fabric in a different project. If I need to take the project with me to buy extra fabric or for a class, I can grab the bin and I am ready to run out the door.


Themed Baskets

When I have a bunch of fabrics that don’t match but have something in common, I keep them in a medium basket. An example of this is Halloween fabric or T-shirts for a quilt (that I plan on making one day). I have even had my own fabric printed from Spoonflower and keep those fabrics together, too.


Scrap Bags

I use clear Ziploc gallon bags that I sort by color and keep in a writing chest. Each month, I make blocks for Do Good Stitches, which is flicker quilting bee. They send me a picture of a block with instructions and color request. Storing and sorting my scraps like this makes it easy for me to select the fabrics to use in these blocks.


A Fabric Trash Bin Under My Cutting Table (also Pablo the Cat’s favorite napping place)

Whether it’s food (I compost), cardboard (I recycle), or giving things a second life, I try to keep as much of my trash out of the landfills as possible. It is totally a trait handed down from my dairy farming parents. They have been recycling water, manure, and even feed as long as I can remember. I use my smaller scraps that can’t be used for piecing and batting leftover from squaring up my quilt for pillow and dog beds. They are perfect!!


Space For My Fabric

Everyone needs fabric and I contain myself to my sewing cabinet and project bins. After I painted my Singer Sewing Cabinet, I created a time-lapse as I put my fabric away. I thought it would be fun to show you how I am able to put two laundry bins of fabric inside it and how amazing this cabinet is.


The Most Important Thing: My Machine

This is my favorite thing ever!! My husband bought it for me used and a Bernina store in Las Cruces. It has the ability to free motion quilt, a dream come true. Someday I hope to upgrade it with a deeper throat, but I am totally happy it.


Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how you can organize your space. If you would like to tell me about your sewing room, please feel free to give me suggestions. Thank you very much Cheryl Sleboda for putting Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop together and inspiring me to clean up my space.

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop

To see everyone else’s spaces, check out the following links.

  1. April 29 – Linda Bratten – http://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
  2. April 30 – Sandra Johnson – http://www.sandrajohnsondesigns.com
  3. May 1 – Jennifer Schifano Thomas – http://www.Curlicuecreations.com
  4. May 2 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://www.prettypiney.com
  5. May 3 – Sue Griffiths – http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
  6. May 4 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
  7. May 5 – Jo Westfoot – http://www.thecraftynomad.co.uk/blog
  8. May 6 – Sam Hunter – https://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
  9. May 7 – Simone Fisher – http://simonequilts.com/blogs/news
  10. May 8 – Elisabeth DeMoo and that’s me!! I am happy you are here!
  11. May 9 – Sarah Myers –  http://www.quilted-diary.com/blog
  12. May 10 – Amy Bradley – http://www.purplepineapplestudio.com
  13. May 11 – Kathy Nutley – http://www.QuiltingsByKathy.com
  14. May 12 – Carla Henton – http://createinthesticks.blogspot.com/
  15. May 13 – Sherry Shish – http://www.poweredbyquilting.com
  16. May 14 – Kate Colleran – http://www.seamslikeadream.com/blog
  17. May 15 – Pamela Boatright – https://www.pamelaquilts.com/
  18. May 16 – Cathy McKillip – http://wishuponaquilt.com/blog
  19. May 17 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Happy quilting everyone!!