Sewing Room Cleanup Along - Before

 Thursday, August 22, 2013

Em over at Sewing by Moonlight is hosting a Sewing Room Cleanup Along.  I wish that I could say I don't need to participate in something like this, but the sad part is I really do.  I am extremely embarrassed to show you the picture below, but she asked us all to be honest and I couldn't possibly get more honest than this!  I don't have any excuse that I just moved like Em does.  The only excuse that I can say is that I work almost full time and I have 2 little girls that my husband and I are extremely busy with!!!  So please forgive me.

The view in the picture above is what you see when you walk downstairs into the basement.  Our basement is pretty much finished and is all open.  I pretty much have the entire space for my sewing area because the girls do not like to go down there by themselves.  They only like to go down there when I am down there.

In the next picture you see my actual sewing desk which is right next to the stairwell.  It is pretty nice and is built right into the wall so it is really sturdy especially when I am using my embroidery machine which needs a very stable surface.  As you can see I have nothing hung on the wall above my embroidery machine.  I did purchase a bulletin board about 3 years ago, which I still have and never hung up!  I wish I could figure out a good method to store all my thread.  I keep my embroidery thread in the bins, but now I am collecting the huge spools of thread for my long arm quilting machine, so if anyone has any ideas please share.  I am very much open to any ideas you can give me!

Right next to the sewing desk, my husband did put up some shelving for me where I was storing my fabric in totes.  Now my fabric is pretty much all over the basement in various shopping bags, so I definitely need to figure out a better fabric organization plan.  I am not sure if the tote idea is working.  Maybe baskets would be better?  Ideas?  Again I am open to suggestions!

The next stop on my messy sewing room tour is my long arm.  This area is pretty much cleared out so I have room to use it.  As you can see I should probably take care of my exercise ball.  My kids like to play with it while I am sewing.  I also have a lot of wall space directly behind my machine that could really be utilized better with some peg board to hang my notions on and a design board.  I really want a design board.  It would make laying out quilts a LOT easier for me I think.  

Right across from my long arm I have two 6 foot tables set up for work space.  You can see these two tables better in the picture below.

I use this space to cut projects out and layout my blocks etc etc.  The nice thing about it is that I can leave stuff out and come back down to it even if I only get a couple of minutes, which is very nice.  However, as you can see I am running out of room and my daughter has even started to take over some of the space with her perler bead collection!  She likes to come down and "craft" with me!

The final stop on my messing sewing room tour is the last 1/3 of the basement.  This is the part of the basement on the other side of my long arm.  We have a bed down there in case my husband gets calls during the night and he doesn't want to wake me up for each and every phone call from work.  We also have a TV area for the kids to watch TV while I sew.  However, it has become more of a "junk" space to store more fabric.  I will say though I did just purchase a part for the excercise bike and this is finally being used again by me, but that is the only useful part about this area.  I do have some ideas for how I want to set up this area a little bit better for my workouts and for the kids to watch TV.

Sorry for the picture quality.  It is a basement, so natural light is literally non-existent!  So there you have it.  That is the honest to goodness tour of my messy sewing room.  You cannot get more honest than that!  I think I have made Em feel A LOT better about her space.  She has challenged us to work on "cleaning up" our spaces to make them more functional, useful, etc etc etc.  My goal is definitely to do this.  Half the time I spend more time looking for things then I do actually sewing and now you can see why!  To be realistic, I probably won't be able to get it all done in the next several weeks, but I do hope to make some very serious headway!  Anything would be better right?

Now my request for you guys is after seeing my space do you have any suggestions for thread storage and fabric storage.  I just can't figure out a "good" method for storing all this stuff.  Do I store it by collection, or color?  How do I handle scraps?  When do I just start throwing scraps away?  What do I do with the stuff that I will never ever use?  You get the idea.  Please feel free to leave me your tips and comments.  I would be extremely grateful for whatever feedback you have to give me.  I need as much "help" as I can get. Where are the Property Brothers (from HGTV) when you need them?  Anyways, wish me luck.  I have a LOT of work to do based on what you see above!

Happy Quilting!


Melziebelle August 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM  

lol! It's a nice HUGE space, you will make it beautiful :) I will have to follow your blog to see the progress :)
xoxo melzie

KellyS August 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM  

Wow! You have a gorgeous sewing area! I am pretty envious! Envious of the longarm too! I store my scraps in these:

Organized by color. I try to keep anything less that a FQ there down to what I determine is usable. It all depends on the fabric for that. Plaid old looking fabric I may toss huge pieces, whereas fabric I love I hoard little slivers.

I put my yardage on Comic book boards, I still need to organize these by color.

And keep my FQ together in collections if I bought them that way. If not, by color.

Teresa Silva August 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM  

Wow, what an awesome area. Do you have any windows down there? We have a basement and we have one window. I moved upstairs because I couldn't stand the darkness. Maybe some more lighting added and have you seen the metal shelving you can buy at Costco? Pretty cheap and you could store your fabric in baskets or plastic bins all in one area. I have two of them in a walk in closet in my sewing area to hold cusotmer quilts. Really love the paint color. I would hang some pretty wall quilts and you could have fun quilting them. Give your customers something fun to see when they visit! Can't wait to see the re-do.

Anonymous,  August 22, 2013 at 4:41 PM  

The wood pole at the end of the white table would be ideal for a place to hang your rulers.Even if you had to enclose it with a wider pegboard..Like build a 12" box around it of pegboard.....And put your design wall in front of the long arm quilting table by the clock...So you could look at it while quilting....

Anonymous,  August 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM  

I left a really long comment but the internet ate it. I'll try to remember to repost later. Baby crying (of course).

Anonymous,  August 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM  

Two things I did in my studio that I love: 1) purchased the plastic 3-drawer units that fit perfectly under the long arm table (use that space!)to store thread, patterns, fabric, etc. and 2) put up a peg board on the wall behind my cutting table for rulers, rotary cutters, and scissors. Great space you have!

Amanda August 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM  

I haven't made one yet, but I think I am going to sort my thread like this:

Basically, I'm hoping to take a piece of the white wood from Lowes (obviously not the technical term) and put nails in it. Then I can make sure the big spools can go where ever. The only thing I haven't double checked yet is if I can get a long enough nail for the cones but still skinny enough for the bobbins

hydeeannsews August 26, 2013 at 9:35 PM  

you may have a few bits of clutter here and there, but really, it's NOT THAT BAD! I have 7 kids, so maybe my standards are just lower. lol. =) good luck with the clean up - it'll feel great when you're done.

M-R Charbonneau August 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM  

What a fabulous space! I use comic book boards to store my fabric in cube bookcases. I love it and find that it looks like a mini quilt store. :) I store scraps by colour in storage boxes that have a see-through front. I got them at Costco but I think some storage places have them. I've recently seen someone make scrap baskets using the colours that are stored in them, which I think is a fabulous idea. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

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