Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where I Sew

I love looking at gorgeous sewing rooms, you know the ones - complete with design walls, quilted wall hangings, and perfectly ordered cupboards of fabrics. I don't have any of that, but I thought it's about time I showed you what I do have because maybe some of you are in the same boat as me - making do with the dining room table and nooks and crannies around the house.

This is the place on the dining table I set up my sewing machine (I haven't sewn in over a month now because I've just been too busy). Usually when I'm sewing there's piles of fabric and a cutting mat strewn out too. I always sit on a couple of cushions so I'm at the right height and don't strain my back.

I actually like sewing in the living area because I'm right in the middle of things and I don't have to remove myself from the action to sew.

I'm very lucky to have such a big dining table to use, it's great for supporting the weight of the quilt when quilting. I wish I could use the shelves under the stairs for my fabric stash, but they are full of kids toys. If you're wondering about the rope on the stairs - Sarah loves tying things.

I do keep my sewing books nearby though.

I keep my sewing bits and pieces under the cot and get them out when I need them - notice the threads in the icecream container!

And my fabrics are upstairs in a small cupboard.

I have a bit of a stash, but it's not that big - mostly fat quarters. I tend to keep them together in collections. Maybe that's why I tend to make quilts using a designer's collection, because I don't have enough of a stash to pull together lots of different fabrics. I'm quite frugal with buying and using fabrics, but I'd like to try mixing up collections a bit more.

After I have made a quilt I put the scraps in a plastic bag and push it to the back of the cupboard. Not the best storage solution, but I pretty much know what is there. I don't have that many fabric scraps because I use most of them in the quilt or the quilt back (again, that frugal side of me).

I certainly want to build on my solid fabric collection.

My batting (I like cotton or cotton/bamboo batting) is quite content in a large zipped bag in the garage!

And I use my bed as a design wall. I lay the blocks out, then stand on a chair, and take a photo to see if it looks balanced.

So there you have it - an honest view (well I did do the dishes before taking the photos) of where I sew and keep my stash. Maybe one day I'll have a dedicated space, but in the mean time, I'll just keep creating in the spaces around me.


  1. Thanks for sharing- it looks great. I am in the process of destashing so I think it's wise to keep it to a minimum.

  2. So refreshing to see others making do without a sewing room. I also sew in the dining room but my dining room is much smaller than yours. I have a desk under the window with my computer on the far left and the sewing machine on the right and a Parker lowboy to the right for the fabric and notions. It is overflowing though into two large plastic storage tubs which are sitting on the floor. I use the dining table for cutting and I do the same thing with photographing layouts. I admit that I also enjoy being in the hub, I think it would be more awkward if I was tucked away in another part of the house since my kids are 5 and under.

  3. trust me you do not want a room dedicated to craft, it will never be clean!!! Before I cleaned out the spare room and put tables in there for my craft I would do everything on my dining table and then pack it all away once I had finished. So really I only had one project going at a time. Now that I have my craft room it looks like a bomb has hit it. I have about 5 projects going at once as well as all my fabric in buckets in colours but I am constantly moving them all around and pulling them out just to look at them.
    Also my husband is kinda sad that I moved my sewing to another room as he feels like I'm not spending time with him at night anymore and locking myself away :). I wish I had lots of cupboards to put my stash in but I always think the price of a cupboard is too much then I go and spend that same amount on fabric :(
    I wish I had a stack of quilts like yours but I am forcing myself not to start on another quilt until I finish my 60-80 quilt.
    And Kate I do the same thing you do I use my spare bed as a design wall and the good thing about it is I can leave it there until I finish sewing.

  4. Well I must say its nice to see where you are now :) It is certainly a lot larger than your last space, and the table is HUGE in comparison lol

  5. Your quilting space captures the essence of quilting in days gone by: make do with what you have! Your counter makes a good cutting table, and the dining table is awesome. I also like to be next to (not in the middle, though) what is going on, so I am lucky to have a quilt room on the first floor (I am not good at cutting fabric when I am surrounded by people or too much noise - In fact, I bet that is how the 'wonky' blocks came about!) :-)

  6. Such a refreshing blog entry ;-) Good to hear of other people being frugal too!

  7. Thank you for the peek into your sewing world! I love your huge dining table! I like to be able to keep an eye on the kids while I sew so I am set up out in the open too...except I don't need to keep it all packed up like you would, which has its pros and cons!

  8. Wow, Kate, I love seeing your space - it looks like it would be a wonderful place to work in! I especially like seeing what's on your bookcase. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Thanks for sharing your space~ love the table, so big and inviting :)

  10. This is a smart blog. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. You have got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.

  11. It's all so very familiar... She says as she sets up her sewing machine on the dining room table after a quick lunch...


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