Tuesday, February 12, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Share Your Space

It's been a whirlwind week, way more activities packed into 7 days than I'm comfortable with.  But that seems to be how my life is these days.  So I'm trying hard to just go with the flow and and remember that it won't last forever.  It probably won't come as a surprise if I confess that I'm a bit behind in my "homework" for this month's fostering creativity theme of "have a dedicated space".  After some consideration, it seems like a good idea to start with what your space looks like and the challenges that creates, then use the rest of the month to talk about solutions.  

I'm lucky in that I have a spare bedroom as my dedicated space.  I was pretty adamant when we moved 7 years ago that a house with a place for me to sew was a nonnegotiable requirement in our new digs.  

This is most of room.  At the opposite end of the room (behind the camera) is a narrow space that leads to a window seat. I'm lucky in that I have space for two design walls.  The wicker hamper next to the sewing machine contains what's left of a few other crafting hobbies that have come and gone over the years (like my glue gun, some crewel embroidery frames, etc).   

On top of the wicker hamper are all the instructions for in progress projects.  I put all the instructions in plastic sleeves and use a safety pin to hold the pages together.  I like to work on multiple projects at a time, so it's nice to have all the instructions, EQ mock ups, etc. all in one place so I can reach them from the sewing machine if I have a question.  At the very edge of the hamper are the squares for Mon Ami.  It's a leaders and enders project at the moment, so I can just reach over and grab two squares, move a bit to the left and draw my line, then place them in the line up for stitching.  

Just to the left of the hamper and to the right of the machine is my sandpaper surface that works pretty well for holding the fabric in place during marking.  The two piles of squares are for the Scrappy Stars blocks.  I've also been use this space to lay those out as they are assembled.  In the white basket are all the background pieces for the Calico Cats blocks.  As a block is made, I pull out each background piece as I need it.  The black wire turntable contains my pencils, seam ripper, ruler and seam gauge. 

My sewing desk is actually a computer desk we bought years ago from Ikea.  I use the keyboard tray as a flat space to store my extra cutting mats, as well as a place to stage blocks.  This white basket contains the pieces needed to make the Scrappy Stars block.  I' keep a pile of paired star and background pieces here, so when I finish one star, I can just pull the parts for the next one without having to pull out the whole project box that contains all the cut pieces. 

To the left of the machine is my cutting table, which has a thermal cover on it so it's also my pressing surface.  Under the cutting table I stack the fabrics for the projects in progress.

I'm not patient enough to cut out all my pieces at once. So I've learned how to fold the fabric so I can unroll sections, press it, then cut as I'm ready.  This is an area I'd like to do a better job of organizing and utilizing the space better.  Another place that needs some work is the wire rack across the room.

This is the corner to the left of the big design wall.  The door leads to the fabric closet (we aren't going there in this post as I'm sure it needs a whole post of it's own).  I have my project boxes stacked to the ceiling.  I'm not sure what's in all those boxes, I probably need to go through those and see whats been finished.  Below those is the stack of fabric for in progress projects that hasn't been pressed yet (another step that I prefer to do just in time).  The boxes contain fat quarters that I'd really like to find another place to store.  The bottom shelf has printer paper and other miscellaneous items stored there.  At the very right edge of the picture is a file cabinet that I attempted to store yardage in, but it didn't work out very well.  

So that's my sewing space. I've learned to work with what I have, but I could definitely do better.   I did mange to spend at least 15 minutes out of the last 7 days in this space.  

I've noted a number of quilting bloggers are in the middle of sewing room reorgs or complete relocation of their sewing spaces (early spring cleaning?).  What does your sewing space look like.  What would you like to improve on?  Link up below and share your spaces (as well as how you did in finding some time to actually occupy your sewing space).  

1. Marti
2. Julie in GA
3. Thea
4. Amanda
5. Kate
6. Lynette
7. Lesley A
8. Susanne

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Denise :) said...

I shared pics of my very messy space last week. I daren't upload another -- because it's only gotten WORSE! And next Wednesday I leave for a five-day retreat, so I'll leave it looking like a whirlwind hit! Haha! I have been getting in 'stitching' time on a daily basis -- for my CQ course! But not a lot of sewing for the time being. (Except where I did a couple of seams for that same course.) But that all changes over retreat!

Your spot looks great, Kate! It's a pretty space -- very bright! :)

libbyquilter said...

this is a timely post for me as i have been and continue to clean and re-org my studio.
i love seeing how other artists/sewists use their space and think that you are amazingly organized~! and TWO design walls~!!~i'm so jealous. i think i have about four feet of upper wall space to use for that purpose.
my next big push is going to be the fabric cupboard so i'm looking forward to seeing what ideas may surface in that regard. i actually have a nice sized built in closet that is outfitted with shelves . . . the problem seems to be in how to make the best use of those (deep) shelves. i want to be able to see what i have as well as easily access it . . .

an excellent post~!


Denise in PA said...

Thanks for the tour - I LOVE seeing other people's work spaces! I get so many ideas!

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I really enjoy peeking at creative spaces! I recently set a 2nd machine station and am using an old computer desk from my DD's room. I find the keyboard drawer to be quite handy. I DREAM of having one large design wall let alone two~ Thanks much!

Marti said...

Funny you should mention our sewing spaces as that is my current project too.

Kevin the Quilter said...

You have a beautifully organized sewing space! Mine is not so clean as your's!

Julie in GA said...

Kate, your space is so lovely and clean. Mine is a huge mess right now, so no photos on my post. Lucky you to have 2 design walls.

thea said...

Love your space. I especially like the way you explain how you work and how you have arranged things in your workspace.

Lynne said...

Thanks for that tour - it was fun! I love looking at other people's "studios". Mine needs de-cluttering, as does every other room in the house. After 21 years, it starts to mount up. I tell myself that I will get to it after the Airing in April!

seabreezequilts said...

That is one very tidy sewing room I don't think I can show mine now.

Lynette said...

How funny! I just journaled my sewing spaces. :) Love the cats you're working on.

lesleyworth said...

congrats on 7 of 7, way to go!

Your space is fantastic! I'm hoping to move mine into a spare room upstairs, just have to get off my tush and make it happen!

Have a great week!

Quilter Kathy said...

You are sooo organized and clean! I could never humiliate myself by showing photos of my sewing area! It's a disaster all of the time! If ever I get organized (unlikely) I will share :)