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"February Studio Organization"

My Quilting Studio

A cozy 10' by 12' quilt room.

I've found that organizing this room is an ongoing project. The first time I did it as a part of a project the Yahoo group, Organized Stitchers, did. It is so wonderfully refreshing to have it done and wasn't easy in such a small space. Eventually I found a few of my changes didn't work as well as I'd like. So I bought the book, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space. It was especially helpful in helping me see what heights were best for specific tasks. It's a great book that includes suggestions for both small and large rooms as well as some really creative solutions in case you think you have no room at all.

This is my sewing center. I get nice light and a pleasant view with the window, yet the sun never shines directly in. The drawers to the right have all my most frequently used sewing and quilting tools. I love this desk as it is very deep. With the file cabinet at the end I get a nice large space. If I need to use my laptop computer there I simply set the sewing machine to the back of the desk. This is my little portable sewing machine but there is plenty of room for my Phaff Grandquilter that I do most of my piecing andfree motion quilting on.

The top of the little cabinet to the left serves as my ironing and cutting center for small projects. I found this delightful cactus coat hanger and decided it would be great for hanging my cutting rulers onthe wall. I then made a fabric holder for my rotary cutter. So now all that is at my fingertips.

This little cupboard is not the most efficient, but I love it so will have to make do. The boxes to the right have various UFOs (unfinished quilting projects) in them. Each are labeled. I have only kept those projects that I really want to finish partly because of lack of space but also because UFOs I am no longer enthusiastic about just make me feel guilty. The rest of the cabinet holds mostly art quilt materials
The closet has to store not only quilting items but also scrapbooking supplies and some of my books. I was running short of shelf space and had to pile bins on top of each other on the shelf. Adding another shelf below the regular closet shelf helped a lot. Everything is labeled so that I don't have to open and see what is in each bin or drawer. As you can see I don't have much room for large folds of fabric though I have a few in the dresser. I usually only buy large pieces of fabric when I have a quilt planned. Then it is stored as a project in a bin. This closet has a bookcase at the end where I put quilt making books and fiction I plan to read. I give away all of the books I've already read except for those I know I'll read again. My machine thread is in the plastic box on top of my wicker shelf.
I wanted a good way to store my fabrics that would also be easy to take out and look through for the specific fabrics needed for my current project. This wicker chest of drawers is perfect for that. Each drawer comes out easily and becomes a handy basket of sorted fabric. I've labeled each drawer so I know what I have in it. They contain fabrics that are primarily one color including batiks. This chest sits inside my closet. When I am working on a quilt I can almost always find a bit of fabric that is just what I need.
Here is my design wall that my dear hubby built for me. This space between the door and the closet is the only place I can stand and place fabric or blocks in different arrangements. All other walls have furniture in front of them. It's made of foam board covered with gray felt. It isn't very wide, 45" by 64", due to lack of space but since I mostly make wall hangings and small quilts it gets a lot of use. When I do make a bed quilt my design board is the living room floor.

I especially needed to organize my quilt history books as I use them so often when researching for my quilt history sites. I've organized them according to type including general, period, multicultural and so on. I don't spend nearly so much time hunting for books now. I also have quilts including a couple of family heirloom quilts on the two of the shelves. I wanted them where I could see them and in this spot then are never in direct sunlight. The top of the shelves have items that are special to me including my featherweight.

The couch is my place to sit and read or work on hand stitching. We live in a small two bedroom house and I worried that perhaps I should make this room a guest room and just squeeze my quilting equipment in. Then we considered how often we have company compared to all the time I spend on quilting and researching quilt history. The quilt studio won out. Sometimes I or a guest have slept on this couch. Mostly it is just a comfortable place to sit.

As you can imagine I have to spill over into the rest of the house for some activities. I learned from my "Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space" that the counter between the dining room and kitchen is just the right height for comfortable rotary cutting so I do my major cutting there. No wonder my back always hurt after I did my cutting on the dining table!

If I need a full ironing board I have to have that elsewhere as well. Those are usually temporary tasks though and most of the time I can work in my studio.

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