5 Tips for Organizing Any Sewing Space

3C8A9845Last week, I published a sewing studio tour on my blog.  I’m really lucky to have a dedicated sewing space in our Utah house, after years of sewing at the kitchen table, in the living room (Virginia), and in my bedroom (Oregon). I’ve learned some tricks for organizing sewing spaces of all types over the years, and am happy to share them today!

1. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is, if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work.  
Years ago, I wrapped all of my half yards meticulously on comic boards and put them in these black bookshelves. Rainbow order, it was lovely. But I hated unwrapping the fabric from the boards, cutting off a piece, and wrapping it back up. Do you know what works for me? Organizing fabric by color,  and throwing it in an opaque bin, folded, barely folded, or just thrown in there. See those gray bins? Utter chaos lurks inside. And its wonderful!

2. Find a way to display your quilts. 
You will probably feel more inspired to create if you have reminders of the beauty of finished projects around you. I have 2 quilts hung on my wall [I have hung quilts in all of my sewing spaces, actually), and I also love having the wire basket (mine is from Target) storing my rolled up quilts.

3C8A98943. Pretty storage doesn’t have to be expensive.
Thrift stores, super sales, inheriting things from friends–these are great places to find pretty storage pieces. I absolutely love storing my in progress 12.5” x 12.5” blocks out in the open in this 14” x 18” tray from West Elm (which I bought on super clearance last year].

Design WallThis is my Portland Square Quilt Pattern, shown in progress in my Virginia living room. You can buy a copy here!

4. If you have a small space, make your [movable] storage serve multiple purposes
When I sewed in my living room, pictured above, I bought this Ikea rolling cart (Alex) and at one time stored it under my small sewing desk [not pictured here]. I could roll it out when I needed it, and roll it back in when I wasn’t sewing. It has an ironing board on top, so I didn’t have to pull out the ironing board and take up even more space. [A piece of plywood, covered in a few layers of batting, with an Echino print stapled on.]
5. Make room for a design wall
A design wall is a quilters best friend, and it is so much better than a design floor! I used a  tutorial by Katie Pederson of Sew Katie Did in 2013. I posted about it here, previously! One tip Katie gives is to use flannel sheets instead of flannel fabric–the sheets I bought from Garnet Hill are still going strong.  This design wall was in my living room in Alexandria (my husband joked it was our ever changing art installation), my bedroom in Portland, and now my studio in Salt Lake City. I can’t believe it made it through all of our moves!

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One Comment

  1. Pat S
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Nope, those comic book boards never worked for me, either. However, I’ve found sorting by color and tossing in a bin didn’t work for me, either. What does work, and I put it off for a long time, is Jeni Baker’s fabric folding tutorial.
    I found all sorts of forgotten fabric when I finally folded (pun intended) and started Jeni’s method.
    Your space looks so great. I really like the idea of the basket with the rolled up finished quilts, too. Must try that.

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