Saturday Series: Show us your space

Hello and Happy Saturday. Jen Madsen here to give you a peek inside the Stitch Simple studio... where I've managed to carve out a few nooks and crannies in which to do my personal sewing.  When most folks learn that I own a fabric business and work out of a home studio I imagine they think I must have the most awesome sewing/crafting/creating place.  And while I do think it is the most awesome space- that's mainly because it is mine.  I'll give you a look around today so you can see for yourself.  It's tight quarters but I manage to get a whole lot of work done here and it is one of my favorite places to be.

Here we have the view as you enter the non fabric storage side of the studio.  It's very utilitarian looking and if the boxes didn't give it away, this is where we pack orders for shipping:



A closer look on the left wall will reveal the studio desk equipped with all the necessary tools for successful sewing:  computer, printer, calculator, stapler, baby monitor (preferably with a sleeping baby on the other end):


Tucked under than big long table is my personal sewing machine.  Nothing fancy.  I got it as a present for my ninth birthday.  Its the machine I know the best and the one I use the most.  I recently converted to sewing standing up and I cannot tell you what a sewing life changer it has been.  It was a little tricky getting the hang of the foot pedal and I need to invest in some of the boxes Tracy uses to elevate my machine, but I feel like I have WAY better control even without them.  In fact, it might now be just the right elevation to yet again try my hand at free motion quilting and see if I can finally get the hang of it.  I bookmarked a blog post from Annik forever ago that recommends sitting up high enough that your elbows are at 45 degree angles to your body.  The counter height table plus my 5'11" frame meet up to make that just about perfect:
 


In addition to the smallish stash of notions stored under that table behind and underneath my machine, I also have a little spot on the shelf that surrounds the room to keep my cutting tools organized along with my small library of sewing books and patterns:


Here is the compost bin.  Did you know that natural fiber fabric scraps and thread are compost-able?


And now we have the fabric storage areas.  I have a small closet where I keep larger cuts of fabric neatly folded and organized at all times (just kidding.  I cleaned out this closet about a week before I took this photo... and I didn't sew anything in between which is why it still looks great in the photo).  Also note the blue IKEA cart hanging on the door.  A must have for transporting my machine and whatnot to and fro sewing classes:


And here is where I keep my scraps and smaller cuts of fabric organized by color.  This drawer unit is about 7 feet tall (it is actually 3 shorter units stacked and tethered together).  Got to make the most of vertical space when working in small areas:


The WIP bin.  It's not as bad as it looks.  There are only three quilts in there and two of those are completed tops.  That giant stack of old t-shirts is going to be my new batch of reusable paper towels one of these days:


And now it is time for the least glamorous part of the studio- chiefly the ironing area/bathroom.  While certainly unconventional, refilling the steam chamber is a breeze and its one less toilet and shower to scrub.  Plus who doesn't like to iron in front of a mirror? (and in case you wondered, that small green kiddie four wheeler is studio-only entertainment for my four year old son.  Some days you gotta do what you gotta do to get some personal sewing time in...and don't worry he rides it out in the hallway nowhere near the iron or anything that could fall on him):


The downside is that it's pretty far away from everything else... and since I've got two little kids and a lot going on at any given time I have to take some special precautions to make sure I remember to go back in the bathroom and shut everything down before I leave the studio:



The other less than desirable part of my space is the lack of design wall.  I use my iPad to take photos of things laying out on the dining room or packing table- but one of these days I'd like to cook something up for the hallway outside.  As you can see, the rest of the space is dedicated to fabric storage... and the rolls don't make such a great design wall:

So, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed your tour of my little slice of heaven on earth.  It took some mental training, but I've learned to be grateful for my space and when I do start to feel cramped I think of all the businesses that must have started in even smaller spots in cities like New York or San Francisco and of all the years I sewed at my dining room table... then I tidy up a little bit and get back to work. 

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