Saturday series: Show us your sewing space!

Hi! I'm Kristin L. from over at a little crispy. Today I am going to show my sewing space--immortalized forever in a clean state! It is usually messier, but I was not quite brave enough to post it as is. I was very motivated the last couple of months to spiff up my space for this post and I'm so glad I did.

I have a pretty small, old house. There are five of us and only three bedrooms so I have no hope of having my own studio for now. I have pretty much taken over my dining room instead, which works well as I can sew and still be in the middle of things and supervise the children. It is nice to be able to sneak in a bit of sewing when they happen to all be behaving nearby.

Below is my sewing desk. When we moved in we created a built-in desk that my machine now sits on (it used to be for the computer). The cupboard still houses the printer and our files. I have my little ironing board usually tucked all the way under the side. 

My "design wall" is more of an "inspiration wall" or "UFO guilt wall" and is the biggest I could manage. It is just a piece of wall insulation from Menard's wrapped in fabric, and sits on a picture rail from Ikea (fair warning--Ikea features a lot below). The mystery quilt needs to be finished soon, so I thought I would put it up there to motivate me! The other blocks are the start of Bonnie Hunter's "Orca Bay" quilt. I don't have wall space in my house for a design wall, so I usually use the floor when I need to lay out a quilt.

On the desk I have a small cutting mat for cutting things on the fly. Both of the white shelf things on the desk are also from Ikea. Right behind my machine is an old computer so I can listen to Spotify, Pandora, or Netflix while I'm sewing.

There is not a lot of storage space in this tiny dining room. I wanted to use a lot of vertical space, so to the left I made a bunch of little fabric buckets to hold all of the odds and ends that should be handy, like zippers and extra sewing feet. They sit on a wall shelf from Ikea. I modified the size of the buckets from an online pattern so they fit the shelf well. I dyed a rainbow of Essex linen for these because I wanted a giant, cheerful rainbow on the wall.

Below the buckets is some kind of rail with hanging cups (from Ikea) that I keep all my marking pens, tools, cutters, and scissors in.

Close up of the corner. Yes, I have lots of scissors because other house members keep making off with them.

I have a small ruler holder on the desk to hold my most-used small rulers. The blue bucket is my thread catcher. The black flower container with red dividers is two levels and holds bobbins, a couple of feet, and more needles, and underneath holds extra rotary blades. I also got a small magnetic plate to hold full bobbins. My glue and machine oil are also right there and handy!

In the white bins behind my machine is my current leaders & enders project (Spoolin' around by Bonnie Hunter).

So when we made the desk, we did not think through the ergonomics very well, and it is pretty high. I didn't want the hassle of changing it, so I got a wheely "drafting" chair. Most wheely chairs don't go up nearly high enough, but this one goes up very, very high. I also use it to give the kids a "salon experience" when I cut their hair :)

Then, because I am now high up, my foot pedal also needs to be up a bit. This was a rummage sale find.

A more recent addition to my sewing area is a fancy new cutting table (yes, from Ikea, stained dark). I would have liked one a little bit deeper so I could have a giant cutting mat on it, but that is a narrow doorway to the kitchen and I couldn't have my cutting table obstructing it. 

Under the cutting table are my scraps, sorted by color. I just did this in the last month or so, and my goal is to reduce them by half by next summer. They got kind of out of hand because I kept shoving them to the back of a closet and ignoring them. And they multiplied.

I haven't done it yet, but I am copying Tracy and adding a magnetic knife rack to the wall to hold my cutters and a pair of scissors, too.

On the wall next to my cutting table is thread storage. These are spice racks (yes, from Ikea). I figured if I have the colorful rainbow of thread, I'd like to look at them too! Most of the thread is from Connecting Threads, and the bottom rack is Aurifil.

On the cutting table are three large glass jars that were my Grandfather's from the '50's or earlier. One had a lid that said "Pickled herring", so they were probably all food jars. They hold my scraps, selvages, and recycling. (Like Jen, I also compost all my fabric waste.)

Yes, I have a bit of a selvage situation. That is going on next year's to do list.

I added felt sliders to my cutting table, so I could slide it out and drop my big-a$$ ironing board on top when I have a quilt top to iron. I removed the wood brackets from underneath so it is now just a flat piece of wood. I like this much better than when it was resting on the ironing board. It is so much more stable!

I have also taken over the top of the buffet. I started keeping most of my in-progress quilts in these project bags (from Amazon, and they come in several different sizes). They are great for keeping all of the stuff together, and then I can just grab a bag for retreats or sew-ins as well. I also have the mystery quilt stuff, a few finished tops, my Grandma's treadle Singer (removed from the treadle cabinet, and to which I added a hand crank so the kids could use it), and my larger square rulers.

When I actually need to quilt something, I move my machine over to the bottom right corner of the dining room table, and use my ironing board for support on my left side.

Ok, so I waffled back and forth as to whether to show my stash. My stash is a bit, ummm... large. I have reasonable quantities of each type of fabric--the problem is that I have about 5 types of fabrics.

Most of the more "modern" stuff, prints, solids, etc. are in the closet beside the kitchen. It is not nearly as full on the other side.

Upstairs, I have two large bins of hand-dyed fabrics. I so love these, but have been distracted lately with making patterns and want to be able to tell people exactly which colors I used, which is impossible with these.

I also spent a bunch of time last summer ripping up close to 150 shirts from Goodwill Outlet. These are just the fronts, backs, and sleeves. I also have a few bins of the bits and pieces like collars and cuffs. I have two quilts so far in progress using these, but they are slow going.

And lastly, I inherited my Grandma's stash. Lots of calicos. I am still trying to figure out what else to make with these. I am likely to just incorporate a bit at a time into scrappy quilts as they should blend in ok.

So, hope you enjoyed the peek into my sewing space! I hope more of you sign up because I have loved reading what other people's spaces look like.

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