Inside the Sewing Studio

Where do you sew? It’s a pretty common question in the quilty world. But when Jennifer first asked me to participate in the Studio Spotlight Series, I had a moment of panic! Does she know my “studio” is the corner of my bedroom?! I’m sure a lot of folks are in the same boat, so I am embracing it.
My bedroom is a large L shape, so the “studio” is on one end as you enter. I have a small sewing table with a card table to make a L shaped workspace. I covered the card table with fabric to make it prettier; I switch out the fabric occasionally just for kicks.

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To the right of my machine is a bookcase packed with my loot! (Said bookcase was snagged off the side of the road; I do love a bargain.) On top are two large glass cookie jars- one for selvages and one for scraps. The scraps just live here until they get sorted by color. And there are two smaller glass jars- one for binding scraps and one for strips.

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I keep a lot of things in glass jars…embroidery thread, ribbons, washi tape, twill tape and even my empty aurifil spools. Jars are great storage! These jars originally housed scraps sorted by color, but I quickly outgrew them. I try not to use any plastic storage; it’s better for textiles to breathe. I leave the lids loose so air flows.

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Immediately around my space are lots of fun little trinkets from friends. These not only make the space much nicer, but many are useful! One of the most treasured is my button jar; it belonged to my best friend’s grandmother. I think of her and her family every time I sit down to sew.

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Above my machine are lots of great mini quilts and this picture from my students (thanks Gail & Peggy;). It’s a great sentiment.

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My machine is a Bernina 350. I love it! Love!! I piece and quilt on it. (Typically for anything larger than a throw, I head over to use the Guru’s Bernina 830.)

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Most of my notions are in this box. Since I travel around to teach, it’s nice to have everything contained. My thread is in the bottom; I don’t have much, but I am a hoarder of Sulky thread. I usually just buy when I’m about to quilt a quilt.

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Under the card table are three baskets for works in progress. In theory, they’re organized by priority, but in reality, it’s a free for all.

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My fabric trash can is a vintage coal can. I love unique finds that I can repurpose. This little man makes me laugh.

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Around the corner is a bookshelf with (most of) my stash and books. These bookcases are skandia from The Container Store. And a design wall. My design wall gets slipped under the bed when not in use.

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The baskets house fat quarters. I organize by color! Shocking, I know;)

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The folded pieces are half yards to yards. I typically buy half yards or yards of most fabrics. It’s enough if you’re not sure how you’re going to use it and gives you the option of large squares or strips. These are also organized by color, except Art Gallery ovals, Moda dots and shot cottons are grouped together.

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When I love something, I buy two to five yards. I keep these folded in baskets. There are three baskets- warm colors, cool colors and neutrals.

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The orange boxes house special stash. I separate out certain favorite designers, as well as precuts and sets.

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I sort my scraps and charms by color. I made these little mesh bags to store them. I put binding with the coordinating color on each bag. I’ve found I use a lot more scraps and charms since I started this!!

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I keep all my interfacing and bolts of solids in the bottom of my linen closet:) There’s no picture of that awesomeness. I keep a notebook of all the directions that come with these things and then I write on a selvage with a permanent fabric marker; I just label it every 10-15″ so I don’t have to play guess the interfacing. I label solids the same way.

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I use this little tv stand ironing board (tutorial from Oh Fransson) most of the time with my amazing iron! I have a large ironing board for when I need it, but space is at a premium.

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That’s my space! I definitely cleaned up a bit before photos, but with limited space (and so much fabric), organization is key! One thing I dream of is better lighting…
I hope you enjoyed the tour!! Thanks to Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts and Heather of The Sewing Loft for organizing this great studio tour. It’s really nice to see the creative space of creative folk! There’s going to be a linky party (with loads of prizes) from August 16-23.

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For those of you that got the James Lipton reference in my title, here are my ten answers…
What is your favorite word?
Onomatopoeia. I mean it just sounds cool.
What is your least favorite word?
Moist. It sounds icky and is really never a good thing…except with cake:)
What turns you on?
A witty sense of humor. Does that surprise anyone?
What turns you off?
Snobbery or rudeness. Or worst of all, a combination of the two.
What sound do you love?
Laughter. Life’s always better if you’re laughing.
What sound do you hate?
The opening sequence of Dexter. It’s multiple sounds and I dislike them all; I have to mute the TV.
What is your favorite curse word?
Fluck. When my brother and I were teenagers, he started saying “fluck you” or “fluck”. I am the younger sister, so naturally I followed suit. It wasn’t mean spirited, just funny to us. It’s a running joke and every time I hear someone say “f*ck”, I mentally change it to “fluck”.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Travel guide. I love to travel and I’m a total nerd learning all about where I am visiting. And the more off the beaten path, the better:)
What profession would you not like to do?
Window washer. Bridge builder. Ladder climber. I don’t do heights so anything above ground level does not appeal to me.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Welcome!! Your Bernina 830 is right here!
See you tomorrow for the next installment of Twelve More Weeks of Christmas!
xo LC

36 thoughts on “Inside the Sewing Studio

  1. I wondered where you make such great creations. You make your sewing corner work. Doesn’t matter how small or big you make it work out. I used have all my stuff in a corner when I first started sewing too. thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the tour. Jars for selvages -great idea. I just throw them in the scraps and can never find them again. Good tips for organization. I will be using some of them.

  3. What’s your favorite word involving cake?

    Buttercream

    Also seeing your minis has inspired me to get started on a very special mini. Can you guess what?

  4. Awesome! Impressive! My daddy always said the dynamite and diamonds come in small packages. So, don’t discount anything because of size. My sewing “studio” is now spread all over the house and I still have a hard time. Ha-ha!

  5. Thanks for sharing your Studio! Want to come and organize my studio, I can’t ever seem to find anything :-(

  6. I am impressed by your organisational skills. In particular I love the idea of the mesh bags with co-ordinating coloured binding. Very smart idea.

  7. I love your space, Lee! I sew at my kitchen table and keep my supplies in the kitchen sideboard cabinet. Fabric is stored in plastic sterilite drawers in the living room, and in the bedroom closet *and* under the bed. I have two glass jars for balls of perle cotton, but I would love to get more if I had the space. I do love sewing in the kitchen and even if I had a sewing room to keep all my stuff, I would still do the actual sewing in the kitchen :)

  8. I would love to see a close up of your sewing machine cover! I tried to zoom in lol. You’ve made great use of space, I enjoyed the tour!

  9. Awesome use of your space. Your mom is always amazed and proud of the creative ideas that are generated in that small space. Keep up the good work!

  10. love your space — if you have over head lighting in the “studio” space I recommend day spectrum bulbs, they are like the ott lights but for regular fixtures. These are the lights i have in my space and it’s the best lit room in the house.

  11. I am so glad to see your sewing corner after hearing about it at Uphome! It is so lovely! I love all of your baskets for storage and organization of your stash – I seriously need an intervention with mine!

  12. I really enjoyed your tour. I can’t get over the size of your jars. I love it! It’s a great way to set stuff aside and not forget about them. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Lee! I love it all! What a great space you have. And thank you for sharing about how you store interfacing-brilliant! I have so much interfacing that I have no clue what it is!

  14. Wow I absolutely love your space. So organized and functional. The scrap bags (with coloured trim), I mean, commmme on! Pure genius. Oh and how you write in the salvage of your interfacing. Brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  15. Wow, you are sew organized Lee! Great use of space and really love your idea of mesh bags with colored binding for scraps! Mine reside in plastic zip bags right now – I think I see some mesh bags in my future!

  16. Such a great space Lee! Thanks for sharing all of your special moments with us. Love that you label your interfacing and solids- so smart. And I am digging that little robot! Thanks again for being part of the tour!

  17. Enjoyed seeing the studio Lee! I need your organizational skills–your mom will tell you I’m
    Not the best but I’ve come a long way!
    Sorry you are sad losing your dear friend. He will be there for u with the Bernina 830.
    I believe it!

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