My Sewing Studio // A Tour

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Last summer, my friend Ellie came over to take photos of my studio. I am happy to finally share them with you! I’m not sure why it took so long–perhaps because I sewed at a kitchen table, and then in my living room for so many years, I always feel a little guilty (and oh so grateful) that I have a room of my own, where I can shut the door and get to work.  I am happy to give you a tour today!

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One of my favorite features is this design wall–my husband and I made it using 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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I love this pegboard–I bought it at Home Depot and spray painted it this coral color. It is much easier to find my scissors [when I remember to put them away], and the ruler storage is maybe my favorite part. The bottom square ruler is 20.5” x 20.5” inches square, and I could never figure out how to store it before!

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My custom table, built by my dad, also in 2013, is a favorite thing for sure. I posted a bit about it here–having my Janome dropped into the table makes sewing and quilting so much better.

The table is from ikea, and Heather from @quiltstory just made her own, so be sure to check hers out!

The quilt on the design wall is the initial version of the Sugarhouse Quilt, the pattern is on sale through the end of the month at Pattern Drop.

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I get a lot of questions about the floor–it is marmoleum, and photographs differently in every kind of light. This is the true color, though.

When we bought our house in 2015, this room flooded in between us purchasing the house, doing some renovations, and moving in. We were able to refinish floors and paint everything white (so many terrible color combos on these walls), but most of the renovations included replacing HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, etc. to bring our 1950’s house up to code.  Aren’t those pretty pipes running the length of the room? I like to think it gives the room an industrial look. Ha! The up side? I got to pick whatever flooring I wanted. I really love it.

You can see my scrap storage to the left of the cutting table. I have a big wire basket from target (matches the one the quilts are stored in) and I just put all my scraps in there. When it gets full, I use them, sell them, or give them away. It is currently overflowing.
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Another favorite part of the room–this Ikea table is counter height [it has adjustable legs]. I’m 5’9”, and cutting on a regular table isn’t ideal. I love that it is tall enough to fit my rolling carts underneath, too (also Ikea–Raskog and Alex].3C8A9944

This little corner holds my Bernina, remnants of the flood (we had to pull out the built in desk, which apparently used to house a snake cage, lovely), and is my daughter’s sewing area. She has stuff in every single drawer!
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This is a happy corner–when we moved to Utah, we rearranged a bunch of our furniture, and I inherited all of the old black, Ikea cabinets. I didn’t have any trouble filling them, obviously. The bins are sorted by color. I throw anything bigger than a scrap and smaller than a yard in there. I don’t fold any of the fabric, I pull it all out and stuff it all back in on a regular basis, and it works really well for me. 3C8A9890

I am sure I am not alone when I say I have so many quilts in my house! This wire basket, again from Target [it matches my scrap basket], is a great home for some of my favorite ones! I have 5 quilts from Vintage Quilt Revival rolled up in here, and 3 quilts which have hung at quilt con, including my Summer Sampler 2016. I submitted one this year and it didn’t get in. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

This concludes the tour. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that I cleaned and tidied and organized for this shoot, and that it rarely looks like this. But I’m glad I have a little inspiration of how great it *can* look.

happy corner swimbikequiltDo you have any favorite storage tips? Or tips for putting things away as you are using them? Ha!

Happy sewing–

Katie

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29 Comments

  1. Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Your room is awesome! I have a pegboard for my rulers, too, and love it! But mine isn’t so high on the wall since I’m only 5’1″. Ha ha! I’ve been in the process of making color-coordinated baskets for my scraps in an effort to get a little more organized. So special to have a table (with a drop-in!) built by your dad! Thanks for sharing your studio :) I’m always so curious how other quilters organize their space.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I’ve had a few people ask, “why is your design wall so tall!?” I can reach pretty high. I feel really lucky about the room and the table, for sure.

  2. Chrysanthemum
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    “Sew” lovely! I’m glad it doesn’t look like this all the time , see the following….

    “Albert Einstein famously quipped, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” While the Nobel laureate was obviously advocating for the benefits of cluttered desks, he likely had no idea that his question would inspire researchers decades later…and that those researchers would eventually give him an answer.
    In a recently study published in Psychological Science, a team of researchers headed by Kathleen Vohs found that working at a tidy (Einstein would say empty) desk influences people to be more conventional, more generous and to make healthier choices. But, perhaps more interestingly, working at a cluttered desk positively influences people’s creative thinking ability. It appears Einstein was on to something.”
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2014/05/23/when-to-say-yes-to-the-messy-desk/#5fec1b4f1fdc

    My space is often “messy” but I do like to “tidy” a little after a time too..January is usually my month to do a little resorting too.. which does really jump start the creative juices…

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      wow! I loved reading this. Thank so much for sharing!

  3. Michele Tinker
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    THANK YOU for adding that you cleaned and tidied and organized before these fabulous photos were taken. Too often I look at craftroom pics and think, “What is the matter with me that my workspace usually looks like a fabric tornado hit it?” I love your work.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Michele. Yeah, I definitely cleaned and cleaned for this photo shoot!

  4. Donna
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    What a great room for you to sew in! Just appreciate you sharing with the pictures. You have a room that many dream of having. So glad you have yours! It looks spacious and has a creative flow about it.
    Like you, I have sewn from my kitchen table- and still do. Eventually I’ll fix a room for my sewing. But I love looking at sewing rooms. Happy for you!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I feel really, really lucky to have this space, for sure! Sewing in the basement, you do miss out on the hustle and bustle of the household. Sometimes that is good, every once in a while i lug my machine up the stairs and sew at the kitchen table again.

  5. BJ
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful studio! Thanks for the tour. You must get a lot of inspiration in there – I’d hide out, too ☺. I installed a wooden closet rod below a bulkhead that hides a heating duct. From that I hung a combination of shoe and sweater expandable canvas containers. I organize by color and quantity. If I’ve got more than a yard or so it goes in the sweater size. My cutting table has wings that fold down and storage underneath. It holds my rulers, including my 20.5″ square, and also accommodates the extra long dies for my die cutter. I stand them on edge. We have to use every inch we can find or make, right?

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      that sounds so fantastic!

  6. MARY D
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    What an awesome sewing studio you have. I love the color of the floor. I long to have my dedicated sewing space with all of my fabric and tools in one place. And at least a couple of my sewing machines. Yep dreams…. they do come true sometimes. :)

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      thanks. the floor definitely makes me happy!

  7. Posted January 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    i have no great methods for storage, etc….my patterns are all in binders – clothing and quilt patterns, and my fabric is folded on an industrial shelf – or under the sewing table in plastic bins, which isn’t ideal. i will likely do cubbies when we move, so, i might use your idea for scrap storage!! your room looks great!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      thanks so much. I feel like it was a long work in progress. Hard to figure out what really worked for me! Good luck.

  8. Linda Smith
    Posted January 18, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Your sewing room is so attractive and bright. You must love to spend time in it. Thanks for sharing photos – I could use the inspiration to figure out how to set my sewing area up.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      thanks so much! I feel really lucky to have it.

  9. Rosemaryflower
    Posted January 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Katie, your sewing room is wonderful. Yes, a solid floor is very good. So great to pick up dust and bits. I have wood floors and just use a swiffer to collect all of those bits and thread.
    It is a wonderful feeling to have a dedicated place to sew.
    My storage tips are, 3M hooks for holding rulers, I also have a wooden long thing to hold frequently used rulers. a bag for scraps and bits to dump in the woods for the birds and squirrels, and every evening, try to tidy up a little when it is time to shut down for the night

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      great ideas! I should probably keep a swiffer in the closet. thanks!

  10. Pat S
    Posted January 21, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful space. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t really think you did a photo shoot without cleaning up first. LOL I remember proudly showing a quilter friend my first dedicated quilting space and her immediate comment was that it was too clean. Well, that certainly didn’t last long. It’s a constant battle but thank goodness for Ikea and the Container Store – what would we do without them?

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      yes! thank goodness for IKEA and the Container Store. and target 😉

  11. Beth T.
    Posted January 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Katie, I’m curious about your lighting choices. In my sewing space (our former dining room), I struggle to find good lighting, especially perhaps something that would point directly down on my cutting area without feeling like a Kleig light.

    • Susan Dobson
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Good question, Beth T. I, too, have a corner in my basement that this past year I have made into my sewing are….but still don’t have the lighting quite right. I do have a window but the window well outside is deep, so I don’t get a whole lot of natural light. I love that you have big windows.

      • Katie Blakesley
        Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        you know, its funny. I had 2 rooms to choose from, and I chose the room with the big closets. I wish I would have chosen the room with the big, south facing windows instead! live and learn, I suppose. I’m grateful for my windows, though.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Beth–I have an inexpensive flush mount ceiling light from Home Depot that does the trick. Its LED, 20” wide. I have wanted to buy one of the Daylight Company lights. those look great!

      https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-20-in-Bright-Cool-White-Round-LED-Flushmount-Ceiling-Light-Fixture-Dimmable-54618241/206355230

  12. Posted January 21, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I am glad to find another who doesn’t fold fabrics in color bins – I just love digging around and since I do lots of scrap quilts that digging happens a lot! Just curious where you keep your iron? I plug mine into a surge protector taped to my pressing table – easy to turn off and on.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I just don’t have the patience for folding it back up. Lol. I keep the iron in the laundry room, next door, since its used by the whole family.

  13. Rhonda
    Posted January 23, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I am poised to retire in two months and have grand plans to transition my home office to a sewing/quilting/knitting retreat. Your beautiful space gave me some great ideas -thank you!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted January 23, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad to hear it. And congratulations!

  14. Kelly O.
    Posted February 5, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I love how bright your room is! I too want to paint my sewing room white as mine is in the basement and the grungy grey on the walls right now doesn’t help my already poorly lit room feel bright. Your flooring is gorgeous! I think I am going to rethink my scrap storage after hearing about how you do it…I always feel as though I can’t find anything!!

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