This week I am joining a number of talented designers on virtual tours of our quilting spaces. After seeing the tours to date, I have a little studio envy. I wonder if they would hire out for a studio make-over.
I will admit that since quilting has taken over my life, it also continues to take over a larger and larger piece of my house. I started by commandeering a bedroom. This serves as my office along with where I do most of my piecing.
Fabric is stored throughout the room. I found some great bookcases as Office Max. They are 11-3/4" wide (inside measurement), which makes them great for storing fat quarters.
The set on the left is for my favorite collections -- Jo Morton, other Civils War, Taupes, Plaids. The set on the right are sorted by color. The overflow ends up in bins and in the closet.
Speaking of the closet. I had shelving built for it a number of years ago. I even designed the layout in EQ. The only problem was that I forgot to factor in the size of the shelving pieces themselves. Fortunately my contractor was able to adapt.
The shelves hold larger pieces of fabrics along with work in process. I try to take all the projects out once a year to inventory them and decide if I really want to finish them. I also have my scraps semi-organized. First by collection and then by size within the collection. So if I need 2-1/2" pieces of Jo Morton fabric, I will start with that box before cutting into my fat quarters.
So where do I sew?
This is fairly clean, as I am not actually sewing at the moment. Sewing table is on the right. i have a huge cutting table in back with an ironing pad on one side and the cutting mat on the other. Rulers are along the wall with another stack of the specialty rulers in a tote by the table. Lots of good hiding places for things I can't do without.
About ten years ago I decided I really wanted a longarm. But couldn't find a good place to put it in the house. I solved the problem by putting on an addition. It technically is a three season porch. However with the baseboard heat, it is fully functional all year round, even with our sub-zero temperatures this last month.
Still no window coverings, but I did put up a current rod that I can use for mounting quilts. I have found that it isn't that practical (unless you want to feature my APQS Millennium in all the shots -- and if you shoot during the day the light highlights the seam allowances).
So I have moved to photographing my quilts in my family room. I have a piece of insulation board (cover with an old sheet) that I use as a backdrop for my smaller projects. For the larger projects, I use a photo-stand, with a black sheet for a backdrop.
Bins and bins of finished quilts are also stored in the longarm room. I use my photo backdrop sheet to cover these to minimize sun damage.
I hope you enjoyed my tour. As you can see, my studio space was not "professionally designed", but an evolution as my needs as a quilter and designer have changed.
To celebrate this blog hop, I will be giving away two patterns of your choice to two people posting comments on this blog. You will have until the end of the hop (January 23rd) to post your comments. Tell me about your quilting space or give me a recommendation on mine.
Here are your pattern choices:
Visit Bunnie Cleland of Artistically Engineered Designs tomorrow. I met her at a creative arts business summit last year. She is not only a creative designer, but a fantastic individual. Those that follow my blog know how much I love her patterns. I've shared a number of posts regarding her patterns including fabric audioning using Electric Quilt, how to quilt these designs and a magic binding.
Sign up for my newsletter to stay current on what's happening in my studio and learn more quilting tips. As a thank you, I'll send you a FREE pattern for this small maple leaf quilt.
1/15/2015 09:29:05 pm
I love all the room you have and your beautiful longarm! I just stepped into all things sewing about a year ago and half of my bedroom is my sewing room. I've been using a spare room for ironing and fabric storage. I did not realize you could collect so much fabric and still feel like you need more. Thanks for the inspiration, I definitely need more bins!
1/15/2015 10:20:08 pm
Sorry about your arm! Hope it heals quickly! Your studio is well laid out and convenient. Very nice!
1/15/2015 10:27:26 pm
Your quilting space looks as if you enjoy spending time there. I think it looks cosy! Mine is in the dining-room, the table forms a U-shape, which means I am within arm's length from everything. My short-arm quilt frame is in front of the one window, and the other one looks out on the sea. Hope your arm heals quickly!
Love the longarm room! I am jealous of all that natural light!
1/15/2015 10:43:57 pm
I've been privileged to have our front room as office/sewing/quilting room - my hubby's plan is to move me to the basement to join my fabric.
1/15/2015 10:51:29 pm
I have a front porch I enclosed for my new longarm machine. It has been cold. I do have electric heat but haven't turned it on since it is so cold. I love your rooms
1/15/2015 11:15:56 pm
I laughed when I read your solution to getting a longarm. Our home is small and I always say I'd have to get rid of my husband in order to have room for a longarm!!! I think your studio is much like what most of us have. We start small and then keep adding when we need more room, rearranging as needed. I'm totally impressed that you clean things out every year and "decide" on UFOs; amazing!
1/15/2015 11:34:16 pm
Kari my sewing room is a combo of 2 bedrooms that my dear husband took the wall out between them. One closet has bins double the width of those you have and are 3 abreast and I'm sorry to say are more overflowing. I had to clear out a closet in the basement to store finished quilts in and so now have the added bolts of clothing fabric to my poor sewing room closet. The other closet has a built in bureau, white to match the rest of the furniture in the room and it stores projects and tools and I have more rulers and tools in a hanging pocket piece over a door. There are bins of UFO's under the longarm that have to be moved out just so I can roll it from the wall to quilt. My DJ is on it now. My husband says I simply need more space. I think I need to quilt faster is all...I've been quilting since the 70's though and since I quit the guild, perhaps I can get more done? I've been deleting shop email to not buy more fabric and patterns. I'll let ya know if I get it all done because I will send up fireworks if I do. Thanks for sharing. It lets me know I'm not alone ...Love your quilts and patterns but I better not collect anymore. Thanks anyway.
1/15/2015 11:38:10 pm
I really enjoyed the opportunity to see your creative space as you are such a mufti talented person. fabric storage is always a challenge. I found some great space makers a Home Depot I use it's wire baskets shelves. I can see everything, the basket rails go from ceiling to floor and gave me full view at a glance of what I had and type on hand
1/15/2015 11:39:25 pm
Your space is reflects the growth and challenges of many of us quilt a holics!!
1/15/2015 11:54:42 pm
I envy you all of your quilting space and your longarm. When we built our house, 12 years ago, I requested a small closet space for my sewing room. You guessed it, it is way too small. I now bleed over into two bedrooms, and it is really unhandy. I am thinking of moving to a space in our basement, but haven't gotten that accomplished yet.
1/16/2015 12:16:27 am
Your studio and mine are a lot alike. It's nice to see a studio that is not designed by a professional and is well used. I an fortunate to have a husband that supports my hobby and encourages me to spread out.
We quilters are soooo alike. The illness that afflicts us has many similarities. We all start small on the dining room table only to discover that our family still likes to eat. So after packing away the machine and projects too many times to count, we look for other options or the anticipated departure of a child to college! Or even better marriage!
1/16/2015 01:12:02 am
Your room looks beautiful compared to mine. My sewing room is a total mess that it is hard for me to find my laptop. My 14' square fabric room is disorganized on all the shelves and my cutting table in the middle of the room is piled on top and under with more stuff. I wish I had a smarts phone to send you pictures, but, then I would loose the phone in this mess.
1/16/2015 01:27:11 am
I love your room. I am still trying to figure out how to set up my room.
1/16/2015 01:27:29 am
I love it! Reminds me of my "studio," I cant stay in two rooms no matter how I try. My husband thinks I am a hoarder. He just doesn't get the need for so many little bits of fabric and supplies/gadgets!
1/16/2015 01:34:17 am
My cutting table, ironing board and sewing machine are in my living room. My material and other supplies are in every room of the house but the kitchen and bathroom. :-) Our house is a small 2 bedroom ranch home so there isn't a lot of space. My husband built my cutting table and is going to make me a nice sewing cabinet. Right now, the sewing machine is on a card table. You do what you have to so that you can do what you love! :-)
1/16/2015 01:43:17 am
My sewing room is in the basement. This fall my daughter offered to help me get it organized but said she is a "thrower" so was I ready for that. I agreed and we moved everything out of my sewing area. We purchased some cupboards from Ikea and got rid of the old dilapidated cupboards. She requested I touch everything before I put it back (which I did), donated some things and labeled things in totes that I was working on and sorted the fabric by color. I use CD boxes to store my fat quarters by color. I found projects I now am finishing and everything is easier to find. Glad to hear you are on the mend with your arm.
1/16/2015 01:49:15 am
Thanks for the tip on the fat quarter storage. I will be getting some of those! My long arm system including robotics is for sale if you know of anyone looking. My new system arrives in 2 wks! I am anxious to get it sold. Great price, low stitch count!
1/16/2015 01:54:41 am
Interesting how quilting takes over not only our lives but our houses. I started out in the quest bedroom. At the moment if a guest came, they would have to go to a motel as the bed is buried under fabric and quilts, and the floor around it has boxes of fabric. The formal living room has a large cutting table sitting right in front of the fireplace (which is now unusable), and the walls have shelving which holds fabric and books. I need someplace to set up for photos, especially for larger quilts. Our 8' ceilings do not cooperate with photographing bed-sized quilts. Hope your arm heals soon.
1/16/2015 01:56:49 am
Thanks for showing us your quilting areas. A lot of us have to "grow" our quilting areas! Mine started out as a sewing room so is very compact quilting area - but it's my favorite room in the house. Scrap quilts are my first love so have lots of 1/2 - 2 yard pieces. I began putting a small tag on each piece with the yardage so I didn't have to pull out the whole stack to see that "nope, that one is too small". My husband hates hearing "but I don't have enough fabric and there's no more in the universe! :)
1/16/2015 02:10:58 am
Thanks for sharing your space. Loved seeing all your quilts. My wishes too for your speedy recovery!
1/16/2015 02:26:06 am
I'm loving the color combination and design of the Sun Rays pattern. It is wonderful! I also can see my space looking just like yours minus the longarm. I have various "centers" for different aspects of my work, everywhere from the sofa for handwork to the extra bedroom for machine sewing. Your looks like a constant work in progress, like so many of ours. Thanks for sharing and I hope the cast goes away sooner rather than later.
1/16/2015 02:40:11 am
Love your humanism stars, hope you arm heals fast
1/16/2015 02:56:54 am
Love seeing how y our space has evolved. I'm currently reorganizing my space. When I moved in I was so excited to have a game room and a spare bedroom for my quilting. My initial organizing didn't work and I'm in the process of moving all the fabric to the game room (they previous owners left the pool table which is covered with plywood and cutting mats!). I have an Ikea Expedit with drawers and doors and also a dresser for fabric and large stencils, etc. I'm using my labeler (love it!) to remember where I put things. So far it's working well. For those that do redwork or wool, I found refrigerator boxes from The Container Store; each holds 36 of the thread balls. Love to read how others organize!
1/16/2015 03:14:39 am
Wow, your room is HUGE compared to mine! I barely have enough room to turn around and walk back out again, so most of my fabric is stored in other places in the house. I love having my sewing machine in front of the windows though, with sheer curtains diffusing the sunlight.
1/16/2015 03:17:54 am
I love your very organized studio -- so neat and orderly -- but studio can never be big enough -- I work out of a small bedroom with my piecing machine and my quilting machine set up ready to go along with an ironing board as a work space and bins with fabric under the bed-- I use my dining room table as my cutting space and my masterbedroom sitting room for handwork -- everything is spread out all over the house -- I really like your studio
1/16/2015 03:21:34 am
My sewing/quilting/crafting room (notice I didn't say "studio", because studio sounds so professional!! ) is a small room that used to be my children's play room. Once they went off to college, I claimed the room & my husband helped me transform it into a craft room ( with the promise of letting him buy a big screen tv for the family room if he helped!!) (He also helped so that I would move all my stuff out of the visible dining room & upstairs to the new craft room where it wouldn't be seen so easily!!) Although it is a small, cozy space, I love it!! I have pretty much outgrown it, & have taken over some drawer space & closet space in an adjoining bedroom. The only problem with it is that my very elderly dog can't make it up the steps anymore to sit with me while I sew!!
1/16/2015 04:00:18 am
I've just moved to a new house and am setting up my sewing room. Exciting but challenging. It's good to see others' studios.
1/16/2015 04:05:32 am
Maybe we women quilters should join together and design a 'Quilt' House, the lower level could be for family, food, laundry, bedrooms etc. and the top level could just be Quilting! Storage, cutting, sewing....that seems like a fair division of living space doesn't it?
1/16/2015 04:09:52 am
I have a house that is 115 years old. I have 4 bedroom and all my 4 children are grown and in their own homes. I am now in 3 of the 4 bedrooms and have alot of shelving that I bought at Lowe's that I use. My husband has lots of health issues and uses a bedroom for his equipment. So that stops me from taking over that also. lol
1/16/2015 04:25:10 am
Wish I was that organized! Wish I had the rooms that you have.
1/16/2015 05:31:01 am
My sewing area is in the basement (with walkout that gives me great light since the door is a glass sliding one 80 inches long). I have my quilter set up at 8 feet by the windows. I have some shelves nearby with house my long arm books, DVDs, and supplies (needles, Towa gauge, etc.) and I have plastic rolling storage carts beneath with my thread. Just after the quilter is a u-shaped area that has two desks perpendicular to each other that have my sewing machine and my embroidery machine. The other short side of the u is my computer on a cart with a hutch above that houses the books for some of my programs. Along another wall is a desk that houses my serger. I have bookcases and cabinets lining the wall across from open section of the u that house the other manuals for my programs, my large collection of quilting/embroidery/serging books. The cabinets hold my fabric--it is wound on comic book cardboards, and stacked by color along the shelving (like a fabric store) so I can see at a glance what fabrics I have. I have other rolling carts that house my embroidery machine thread. I like my threads and fabrics to be covered and out of the way of direct sunlight.
1/16/2015 06:09:09 am
I could be right at home in your space, not quite perfect in the neatness department, tubs and bags stuffed with fabric and a warm, comfy room to be in. I really like the tree quilt in the first photo.
1/16/2015 07:02:41 am
Kari your sewing space looks so great with the triangle effect between, sewing, ironing and cutting all right there. I also like your sorted by color shelves. It appears to make selecting from stash easier, very nice thank you for the tour, get well soon!
1/16/2015 08:14:01 am
Thanks for the tour! My quilting space is currently the living/dining room and all my fabric is in boxes crammed into my bedroom closet (sharing space with my clothes) and behind the door. I will have my own sewing room someday when one of my boys leaves home. I'm envious of your addition and your longarm! I hope to have a longarm one day.
I love all your windows!!! I am envious. I have a very large space in my studio but not the windows. My studio is 50'x50' I have 5 APQS longarms and rent them out. I love sharing my passion for quilting with others. I also keep busy quilting for others. My studio is in town and I have a sewing room at home that rarely see me.
1/16/2015 08:50:03 am
I too quilt in a three season porch with baseboard heating. Sun is so great during the day that I don't have to use it. There is no better light than natural light. I like how you use your space. Gives me some ideas!
1/16/2015 09:02:44 am
You have a great sewing space. I am currently using our bedroom as a sewing space, it is in the basement which makes it a little dreary, but I am just thankful I can have an area set up permanently. I know there are people who have to put their machine away every time they use it. Have a great day!
1/16/2015 09:13:46 am
Your sewing space looks very comfortable and user friendly. I love looking at the spaces that are all matching and carefully staged but would never feel like sewing in one. So I think there sewing spaces for using and some for looking. Speedy healing for your arm.
1/16/2015 09:14:16 am
I enjoyed seeing your sewing spaces. I have 2 rooms, one for my longarm and one for my regular sewing machine and fabric. I'm very organized and I keep my fabric rolled on comic book boards and then sorted on bookshelves by color. My friends tell me I have my own store. 😊
I am laughing as today my husband took the sawzall to an old sewing cabinet that was given to me to make it work for me in this tiny 30" space. We cut the legs off and took the front guard off so my knees would fit. I am thrilled as I now can keep it off the dining room table and I think it might even be the correct height so I don't get anymore backaches. I've only been quilting a year and I too am already having a storage issue. I envy all you ladies with the extra rooms just for your sewing. I do like being in the same area though as my husband instead of off by myself in a separate room, I can see what he is watching on TV and we can comment back and forth. So I'm a happy camper and love quilting. Just purchased a Janome 6600P and am in heaven, have never had a good sewing machine before. Feel like I am driving a Cadillac. Happy sewing everybody.
1/16/2015 10:33:01 am
Wow! I am impressed how organized you are. My stuff is scattered in a number of closets and one spare bedroom that is piled high with fabric, patterns, pictures, bedding and anything the I don't know where to put it. Hope your arm gets better soon, I would think that it would be hard to quilt with a cast.
1/16/2015 11:00:57 am
I have a longarm in my basement with a walk out double door. I am spreading out all over the house because I have an embroidery/sewing machine , serger, and a 10 needle embroidery machine in one bedroom upstairs.
I have the same longarm set up with IQ as you only mine is in my basement with zero windows. I envy you all the light. You are so organized with your fabrics. I don't have nearly as much as you as I tend to force myself to use some of what I have and then have to buy more to go with what I'm using. I love your "Whim Wham Stars" quilt. If you should select my name to receive a free pattern that is the one I would like in the Extra large. Great website you have here. SR
1/16/2015 03:01:13 pm
The curtain rod is a great idea. I have a small space but I might try to figure out how I could take advantage of that.
1/16/2015 09:15:32 pm
I love your space! Your longarm is a beauty and I really need to try one out! Good luck with your arm and I hope your feeling better soon! Thanks so much for the tour!
1/16/2015 09:27:47 pm
Thank you for your tour showcasing your workspaces. Like the shelves for the fabrics. Love the long arm space and thanks for the ideas on how to photograph the quilts. Do you have a full sized ironing board elsewhere or do you use the table behind your sewing machine
1/16/2015 11:30:59 pm
Lovely space. Such great natural light, and great organization for your fabrics.
1/17/2015 01:19:55 am
Hoping for a speedy recovery. Do you have a link for the hop of seeing spaces?
1/19/2015 01:02:58 pm
Thank you. Here is the link.
1/17/2015 02:05:23 am
I do not have a dedicated sewing space, I have my long arm in the old greenhouse, my mane piecing sewing machine in a bay window cut out in the dining room, I use kitchen counter to cut and iron, I store my fabric in my sons closet, in an attic and under a bed in a guest room, Some day would love it all in one space like yours I could be so much more productive if I did not have to go in search all the time.
1/17/2015 02:15:36 am
Your room looks great! Mine is in the works. Cleaned everything out, starting from the floor up. One addition that is in the works is a slide in cabinet to hold all of my thread. Since floor space is so precious, this is going to fit between two studs on a non-load bearing wall. It will be like a pantry cabinet with doors, just only as deep as the wall thickness...perfect for long arm thread. With doors, it will protect from sunlight.
1/17/2015 02:28:34 am
Love all that light in the longarm room. Mine's in the basement, so sometimes I feel like a troll down there. Must have daylight, so my sewing room is upstairs...yes, two sewing rooms! lucky me!
1/17/2015 02:30:42 am
I enjoyed the virtual tour. Your room reminds me of my own. I did get tired of not being able to keep my fabric neatly organised on shelves, so most of it is in Rubbermaid tubs. I too have overflowed from my quilting/sewing room to an extra bedroom which houses large rolls of batting (I have a non computer Millie also) and a cutting table.
1/17/2015 04:00:55 am
I too am a fabric-a-holic but manage to keep somewhat organized. There's my batiks and Christmas fabric in a hope chest in my bedroom, flannels, crazy quilt fabric and home décor fabric under my pedestal bed in bins, children's prints (for Project Linus quilts)and fleece in the hallway closet on shelves. My sewing room (aka a bedroom conversion) closet has shelving in one side that holds all my beautiful cotton quilting fabric stacked by color. The second closet holds stacked batting, precuts, ribbons, buttons, zippers etc. in plastic shoe boxes. I also make use of the dining room for my fold away cutting table. This is definitely a quilters home! I'm working (in my mind) on reorganizing my linen closet so I can store my finished quilts. Now they are all on top of each other on two quilt racks. No room for a long arm unless I take over the living room!
1/17/2015 04:45:16 am
Thanks for the tour of your studio space. It is obvious, after viewing several of the studios, that I need more fabric. I need to purge a room in my basement and create a more organized space. Hope the healing process goes quickly.
1/17/2015 11:55:08 am
I took a bedroom and converted it then in spare room started stashing fabric under the bed then kits in the closet then started filling the chest of draws. So now I have 2 bedroom for quilting. Ha ha
1/17/2015 12:03:52 pm
I have a basement with lots of large windows that I converted into my office and my sewing studio. Love having all the extra room. There is one full wall of cabinets and a long counter that helps with cutting and layouts. I have a small design wall about the size of a door that comes in handy. All my fabric is in plastic storage tubs in the cabinets. That is the fabric that is not sitting on bolts along one wall. I love your patterns. They look very complicated until you look closely. Great ideas. Thanks for the tutorial on the flanges. I needed that one.
Great tour. My studio is in a mobil office. I have three rooms that were once two offices and a waiting room. One room is my sewing room with design wall, one room for my longarm that sits diagonally so I can get around one end, and the center room contains my cutting table, fabric stash (3 large shelving units), ironing board and a knitting space (chair, couch, tv, and 2 additional shelving units). And I love your "come said the wind" pattern/quilt.
I love your tall skinny shelves for your fabric. I may have to try that. It looks so tidy! I have my fabric sorted by color, but I can't say it looks as tidy as yours, but I love my space. My children are grown, so I bought a much smaller place with an unfinished basement. I had the entire space renovated to house my quilting studio. I have a five six door closet, doors on sliders, to house enough fabric to start my own store!! I love love my space. I have room for a large cutting table, 14 foot quilting machine and oversized sewing table, wall mounted TV, couch that makes a bed and a massage chair. Who could ask for more? I feel blessed!
1/17/2015 10:21:52 pm
I understand completely your comments on how quilting can take over your space. I also started with taking over a bedroom as a sewing room and now have quilts all over the house, plus a studio in my basement. My husband is a master cabinetmaker and built me two ladders to showcase some of my quilts. Customers can look at the longarm designs and know how they will look on their quilts.
1/17/2015 11:41:58 pm
Kari, I feel so sorry for you and your broken arm. I did that too. I thought my hubby was going to murdilize me, since he had cautioned me not to go skating. Actually, I broke a wrist each year, two years in a row. Sewing space: I am a longarm quilter who took over the family room when the first big machine came home. Now I have the whole lower level of the house, which makes me feel very lucky.
1/20/2015 01:53:13 am
Thanks so much for sharing your space with us - you are so organized! So sorry about your arm - sure hope you're better real soon!
1/20/2015 02:12:01 am
Congratulations on having an organized space that you can show off. This blog hop has been motivating me to try to work on my space. Maybe next year I'll show off, lol.
1/20/2015 03:15:08 am
Thank you for your tour. I too have a large stash, but it is in the shop building in the back yard. I sew in the computer room and spread out to the guest room. I have to stay organized because the kids come to visit and I have to clean up the guest room in a quick minute. My design wall stays up in there though. I am learning to shop my stash, do my cutting, then move to the sewing room. I quilt on my regular sewing machine, but I have a Singer Futura that I do embroidery on and it has a nice throat space so I will try it out for quilting next. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com
1/21/2015 05:33:32 am
I have a small bedroom for my quilting. I have two large tables put together for my quilting area. A small closet holds miscellaneous storage (non-quilting) related. I keep my fabric, patterns, batting etc in two large 6 foot tall cupboards with doors.
1/22/2015 03:09:32 am
I like all your storage and love the long arm room with all the sunshine! I think I would want to spend all my time in there! Thanks for the chance to win your giveaway!
1/22/2015 09:30:21 am
Your quilting space looks very functional. I would love to have a long arm, but I too would have to build an addition, or empty the garage. Thanks for the draw.
1/22/2015 12:02:23 pm
Wow, is any of your house to live in? lol Love the sun room.
1/23/2015 03:20:27 pm
Love your quilting spaces. Thank you for such a great tour. Beautiful patterns.
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Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.