Making the Most of my Space


Posted on January 14th, by Amy in 52 weeks, sewing. 32 comments

So I’ve been thinking about my post for today, what should it be (insert – blank stare) and I remember the ebook – of course!  Inspired post!  One aspect of the post inspiration was finding balance, but I’m all out of balance right now – thankfully I DO sew at the kitchen table, that way I’m still in the middle of the family activities.

I want to share with you my studio, or lack thereof, and how I make it work for me.  Finding space is a constant struggle, I often purge stuff to make the bit of space I have work for me.  Someday I will be spoiled with a studio space of my own (I pray!) and then I will jump for joy – but right now, this is what I’ve got!

I’ve changed where I keep things a bit from when I last posted about my “studio” but the main principles are the same.  We added this dresser to the kitchen for more much needed storage  – I claimed two drawers for fabric as I loaded in baking sheets and miscellaneous utensils.  The ipod dock is the newest sewing accessory that Joe surprised me with recently!  It is a great little unit, with big sound :)


My ironing board hangs out over here when not in use.  I typically save up my ironing for one session, and try not to walk away – I hate to think of the kids pulling it over on themselves!  It goes up and down 2-3 times daily :)  And the iron is on top of the same shelf, wrapped up nice so there are no cords tempting little hands.

I’ve also added this printer cart that was sitting unused in another part of our home.  You can see my machine sits on the bottom shelf, my box of notions and fabric on the second, and a pile of quilt backs and bindings on the top with a couple of yet to be started quilts on the right.  My sewing machine also comes up and down a couple of times each day, I do my best to not have my machine or fabric on the table while the kids are eating.  We are not past spills, not in the least!

Part of the ease in it all is having my power cord plugged in, but out of reach when not in use.  Here it is with my aprons and pizza thingy.

I use the kitchen cart/island for cutting and organizing all the bits.  My cutting mat fits on top perfectly and I can walk all the way around it if I’m trimming blocks.  Or I can wheel it into the living room if I want to try to watch tv while working on top!

Finally, my bookcase, well in part!  I have books stashed everywhere :)  This one houses folders that I need regularly, sketch books, my rulers slide in on top of the books or stand, and my cutting mat goes behind it, when put away – not often lately.

This “studio” is less than ideal, but works for me!  Everything has a place of it’s own when it needs to be stashed, but when I have 10 minutes or more, I can easily get to what I need and continue working on my project.  All the while keeping track of what the kids are up too!  Any suggestions you can think of?  I would love to know what you would do in my space.

I’m impressed with how many of you have voted!  I have not purchased any fabric myself, and I can’t believe I didn’t make that an option – that’s what I get for blogging after 10pm.  Today is the last day and then I will post the results :) 

Thanks for reading!
Amy
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32 thoughts on “Making the Most of my Space

  1. 1
    Brenda says:

    wow — you're organized and disciplined. I sew in the master bedroom, which also serves as my office. we sleep in the smallest bedroom, and having a dedicated sewing space means it is always a mess!

  2. 2
    jaybird says:

    way to use every little bit of space!! one day i'll blog about my space!

  3. 3
    audrey says:

    Love your space!

    I found that I had fabric all over the place too, quilt tops here, backs over there, extra fabric over yonder, well you get the idea. I got plain sterilite tubs from walmart that were $2.75 each and they're perfect for holding all the components of a project.

    I put the top, any extra fabric, the backing, thread, and anything else I need for that particular project. I use horizontal badge holders, put ribbon through the holes, and tape it to the front of the box with the name of the quilt, the fabric info in case I need more, and the start date. When I'm done with that quilt then I just take the label out and put a new project in there. Lately, I've been buying more bins than reusing them :/ LOL!

    It's a clean and simple look that works for me. I have a wide 3 drawer cart sterilite cart for any other fabric

  4. 4
    deary says:

    Wow, I wish I could say I were this resourceful with my space! Most of my materials go in a great big gift bag that I saved from Christmas a couple of years ago! I'm dying to get into a house where I can have a work space dedicated to all my crafts. :D

  5. 5
    Vicki says:

    you have it organized really nicely for not having a lot of space. I'm afraid my sewing things are spread around 3 different rooms in the house… I have my sewing machine on the kitchen table, some storage in the kitchen, more storage in the guest bedroom, and more fabric stored up in my bedroom closet!

  6. 6
    Amy - Park City Girl says:

    I should add that I have a big tote bin of fabric up in my closet too – I lost the chest to a toy box when the dresser moved to the kitchen. I'm spread out a bit too :)

  7. 7
    Natalia says:

    Amy, I think you're making great use of your space! I, like you, someday will have an awesome studio, but until then the kitchen table works great!

  8. 8
    Lois Grebowski says:

    My "studio" is a 4×6 corner of my bedroom while at home, and a small dinette table in the RV when I'm on the road…

    If I win the lottery, I'm buying the property next to oldest stepdaughter and building me a small home and a quilting studio.

  9. 9
    Jeannette says:

    Amy I think you are amazing. Not having a dedicated space is a very common excuse and complaint for people's lives not going right or creativity happening. But you sail right byu thatt one. At this point in your family's life it is probably a great blessing that you don't have a door to close on those children.
    Children learn so much from mimisis…so you are giving them lessons in making the most of what you have,starting with each other. As you flow back and forth between quilter, seamtress extrordinaire, blog mistress and wife and mother, they are learning about priorties, (put the most precious first), flexibility, motivation, inspiration, enthusiasm, independence, mutuality… that's a pretty good curriculum for life.

    Thanks for the photographic peek into your creative corners!

  10. 10
    2miracles/Tove says:

    I wrote a nice post and It looks as if, the computer world ate it. bummer. I will try again. I really like the dresser and the setup. I understand sewing for the dining room that was me in VA, actually alot of the time I would pu my machine on a portable TV table to sew in the livingroom. Hawaii it was a storage closet. Finally I have some space here after many years.
    Its amazing how we all just make the space to sew! Ita must do!

  11. 11
    felicity.quilts says:

    I do have a dedicated space where I quilt but because our place is so small, it also tends to be the dumping ground for "stuff." It's also quite open to the rest of our place, so my late night activities have to be on the quiet side – I do a lot of rotary cutting and pressing during those periods.

    I love how you've repurposed pieces of furniture to work for you – particularly the rolling cabinet/cutting table. Thanks for a great blog!

  12. 12
    Mary says:

    When my children were small I had to do the up and down sewing thing. I had a sewing room in a walk-in closet, in the Laundry room and even had a wall of totes that sequestered me in our Family Room once. Now I live in my "Grandma house" and I took the whole Basement. Still tweaking where stuff goes so I can be more organized. I wouldn't leave the extension cord plugged in, it carries the current and a little one could get a terrible owie if they did get it. I have a cousin who did…

  13. 13
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    My "studio" is similar. I keep ongoing projects in colourful boxes I picked up at IKEA. That way, if they are kept out it doesn't so much look like a pile of fabric. And it keeps little hands off the piles. These boxes are stashed arounf the house, under the extra chairs in the dining room and on my daughters' bookshelf.

  14. 14
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    My "studio" is similar. I keep ongoing projects in colourful boxes I picked up at IKEA. That way, if they are kept out it doesn't so much look like a pile of fabric. And it keeps little hands off the piles. These boxes are stashed arounf the house, under the extra chairs in the dining room and on my daughters' bookshelf.

  15. 15
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    My "studio" is similar. I keep ongoing projects in colourful boxes I picked up at IKEA. That way, if they are kept out it doesn't so much look like a pile of fabric. And it keeps little hands off the piles. These boxes are stashed arounf the house, under the extra chairs in the dining room and on my daughters' bookshelf.

  16. 16
    Catsngrams says:

    I love your blog. I have a whole room for my studio but I hate it cause it is downstairs and it takes me away from my hubby. When he is outside it is great but in the winter I sew upstairs on the kitchen table. You are so creative organized. I wish that I could get my act together. Thanks for sharing your ideas and studio with us.

  17. 17
    Rhonda says:

    I think your sewing area is great. It seems to me that you have utilized and thought out what works for you….and with little ones keeping cords and sewing gadgets out of their reach is always a challenge. Looks great from here.
    Take care.

  18. 18
    live a colorful life says:

    It's amazing to me how much you get done with taking things down and setting things up multiple times per day. Makes me feel kind of like a slug. We turned our living room into my sewing room, but I don't get nearly as much done as you do.

  19. 19
    karen says:

    You should look at the Container Store site for ideas in their Elfa section… I have some that I bought on sale years ago but you can get the idea based on systems available to you… Anyway, that wall where your dresser is, could you do open shelves on the top however wide your space is with cute bins/plastic boxes, then do a built in desk for your machine… basically a very keep shelf that is wall mounted for desk top. If you look at elfa and most similiar systems they are track mounted to one rail at the top and all is adjustable. Of course you could do rolling carts under part of desk. Good luck!

  20. 20
    Juliejaz says:

    You are making great use of your small space. I have the same type of thing going on in my kitchen. I have one small corner that has everything except my stash. Like you, I've got that in plastic totes in my closet. It's a good think I'm not a major shoe girl because I wouldn't have room for them since my fabric is in there.

  21. 21
    Rene' says:

    Thanks Amy for sharing your studio. You are very organized with your space. I like how you are able to sew in the midst of the family. Every once in a while, I bring my machine into the kitchen to be near the husband and kids…mainly during the weekend. During the week, our kitchen table is taken with either dinner time or homework time. My "studio" is in a little room off the family room so I am still able to keep close to the kids' activities. My kids are older than yours…I try to do most of my sewing while they are at school ;-)

  22. 22
    Candied Fabrics says:

    Like all the folks above me – I too think you're amazing to make what you've got work! I love my studio, but I often feel disconnected from my family – it's possible to still work there because my kids are older. I don't usually have loud music on though so I can keep an ear on them!!!!!

    In MY dream studio there is room for a comfy chair/loveseat so people can come and visit me. As it is, my 8 year old will often come and do homework on my floor (as a second child, he has a harder time being alone)

  23. 23
    Indie House says:

    I think you make good use of your space. When we moved to our current apartment I lost my sewing room so we went and bought a ginormous Ikea TV stand with all sorts of shelves and drawers that are hidden by frosted glass doors. I use that space for my fabric, books, and notions. Current projects are in white boxes on another bookcase. It actually works pretty well and neither my husband or I feel like sewing is taking over our apartment :)

  24. 24
    Brittany says:

    You make me want to clean up my craft/sewing area. It's a disaster right now and has been for a few months. Thanks for all the tips. It's fun to see your space.

  25. 25
    amylouwho says:

    You do a great job with the space you have! I used to think I wanted a studio – but right now while my kids are small and at home playing, I like being in the thick of things with them. My sewing table is a side of the road freebie that I painted….

  26. 26
    prashant says:

    I got plain sterilite tubs from walmart that were $2.75 each and they're perfect for holding all the components of a project.

    Work from home India

  27. 27
    Ivy9 says:

    Wow, and I was thinking my space was hard to describe as an "office" or workspace. I store my materials in my bedroom closet and take them out to the couch when I'm working on a project. I also keep all my needles right by the end of my couch, where they're handy. That's pretty much all knitting requires!

  28. 28
    Jessica says:

    Right now I am slowly working a corner into a new studio and it is such a challenge to have functional/appealing/accessible storage! I think the comments section is going to be a place I'm going to be hanging out for a while:)

  29. 29
    Cynthia says:

    You look so organized! I share a sewing room with the washer/dryer, a freezer, and an exercise bike, and sometimes my husband builds guitars on my sewing table!

  30. 30
    Cindy says:

    I'm a new mixed media artist. Luckily I have a studio now (since April) but for a couple of years worked off my dining room table. I was not nearly as organized as you are — I had supplies all over my house! Now, they are confined to one room, and I'm much happier.

  31. 31
    Allie says:

    Congratulations! You and your blog have just been awarded the Lemonade Stand Award. Please see my blog for details :)

  32. 32
    Brandi says:

    Your space is awesome! I love how you use what you have and make it work – genius!

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