Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Room of One's Own

Have you been following along with Mad About Patchwork's Sew Canadian studio tour this summer?  I have really enjoyed stepping into some of my fellow Canuck quilters' sewing spaces and seeing how they organize their space. Today, it's Janet @ What Comes Next and my space being featured.

I thought I'd do a post here to elaborate on the information and photos I provided for the Sew Canadian post at Mad About Patchwork. My sewing space has evolved a lot over the years -- from the bottom of a closet, to a couple of shelves, to a bookcase, to a bookcase and closet, to now. My current sewing haven is an L-shaped guest bedroom/former in-law suite on top of our garage. The room is straight out of the 60s. There's a little apartment-size kitchen that we made into a craft space for the kids, a fake fireplace mantel, and a tiny little bathroom. One day, we'll renovate the room to make it into our bedroom, but for now it's my quilting aerie and my favourite place to be.

Against one wall, I have two shallow bookcases packed with my scrap boxes, selvage collection and other art/quilt supplies. I found the selvage jars and red and blue containers at the dollar store.
I also love using old tins to store safety pins, buttons, fastenings, cords, etc. It's no coincidence that a lot of my tins are chocolate tins. ;)

I found the scrap containers as a set at Costco a few years ago. I love that they have clear fronts so I can see at a glance what is in them.

Moving to another area of the room, I have a five drawer organizer to keep the things I often reach for when I'm at the sewing machine to the right of my sewing table. And yes, I did tidy this up for the photos.

The top drawer has snips, scissors, seam rippers, extra blades, pin cushions, etc.

Next, I have threads that don't fit on my thread holder and my handy dandy Aurifil colour card. 

The third drawer is where I keep my current leader/ender project. I keep pressed units on a repurposed cardboard can tray so I bring it to the ironing board and also...

Get to the 1.5" squares and finished granny squares below it. 

The fourth drawer has my free motion quilting tools -- gloves, practice quilt sandwiches, etc. 

The bottom drawer stores miscellaneous design tools -- markers, colour tools, bendable ruler and so on. 

Across from this organizer, I have another drawer organizer for leftover binding scraps and other scraps cut into a variety of widths. 

Moving to my cutting table, I keep my cutting table pins attached to a magnetized pin catcher in a basket. See those yellow containers? Those are the little toy containers from Kinder Surprise eggs. I use them to store and throw out bent pins. I definitely don't need that many at the moment, but I figure I'd better keep them now because the kids won't eat Kinder Surprises when they get older.

I use a cutlery caddy for my cutting table tools. 

I'm super psyched about the newest addition to my sewing room. This was my design wall -- a flannel backed table cloth. It's a great temporary design wall, but trying to lay out anything larger than a lap quilt is really frustrating. I only have about a 48 inch-wide wall though so what to do? 

My solution was to get (4) 24" wide insulation boards and cover them with batting. One king size batting was perfect for covering the boards. The batting is cut and wrapped around the boards and secured with duct tape. I'm not convinced that this is going to work long term as the duct tape seems to separate a little from the insulation board. It's holding right now though so we'll see. 

Now I can lay out the boards for a baby/lap size quilt...

Throw or twin-size quilt...

Or a full/queen/or kind size quilt! Putting out all four boards cuts off part of the room though, so they'll only be laid out like this temporarily. This is also very handy for taking photos of large quilts.

Don't forget that you can get in on the action too! You can add a photo of your own space to the linky party, whether it's a corner of your kitchen table or a studio addition to your house. At the end of August, they’ll be drawing one lucky series participant and one lucky linky party participant to win an Ombre Sewing Studio Kit by Sew Fresh Quilts. So get inspired and get sharing!

More great spaces are coming too:

August 17th – Erica @ Happy Fabric and Jacqui @ Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @ She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @ Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @ Mad About Patchwork and Laura @ Waffle Kisses

Have a great one!


  1. Thanks for giving us a peek into your sewing world, M-R! I have been enjoying the tour and meeting other Canadian quilters. Love your new design boards!

  2. oooh! Your design wall is genius. They stack in front of one another or spread out! THanks!

  3. Thanks for sharing all these organizational tips M.R. I've been thinking of adding a photo of my space....but its always so messy....I think I need more storage units and I'm definitely going to pick up one of those cutlery caddies.

  4. It's a lovely sewing space, thank you for sharing.

  5. I think tidying first might be cheating. ..
    There's no way I'm that organized!

  6. Great to see your space, M-R! Your design boards are fantastic, and what's that cute little block doing there! Lol!

  7. You have a very organized space , a place for everything and now a great design wall , great thinking ! Thanks for sharing your work space with us .

  8. Wow, I love those jars :) I wish my sewing space looked that neat. It looks like Al Qaeda have taken up quilting and set off a fabric bomb in my sewing room at the moment.

  9. That's a lovely post. Man, I'm an adult living in Texas where Kinder Surprises are hard to come by. Let me just say, I eat them every chance I get. Your little pin drawer is making me jealous. And hungry. For chocolate.
    Also, I love your design board solution. Thank you for sharing your space.

  10. so fun visiting! Love the kinder egg tip!

  11. Your sewing room is just wonderful! I love your scrap jars so much! And great idea for a design wall.

  12. Fantastic sewing room, M-R! You're so well organized and I love that design board idea (may have to copy that, as I run out of space on the one I'm using when I make large quilts). Thank you so much for the lovely tour!

  13. I love your selvage jars and scrap storage boxes - see-through containers are the best! Love your design walls too. If the duct tape doesn't last, try carpet tape. It worked well for me.

  14. Thanks for sharing. I'm thinking about re-arranging my room and enjoying reading about everyone's sewing spaces.

  15. Love the design wall! Love all your organization! I highly recommend staple gunning around on the foam board AND duct tape.. that is what I did for my design wall! :)

  16. I love seeing other peoples sewing rooms, mostly because mine is always a disaster :) I had a suggestion for your mounted boards, using spray adhesive, the kind they make for adhering headliners in cars, you would pretty much be stuck with it forever though!

  17. Thanks for the tour. My room isn't very big so I hang my design wall in front of the double closet doors, I can take it off or pull it back like drapes if I need anything in the closet. I love how you have your bookcases organized. You've given me loads of ideas....thanks!


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