Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Sewing Room!!

Well, we did it! Our house is finished, we officially closed on the home at the end of June, we're all moved in, and I finally have furniture in my sewing room! Yay!

One trip to Ikea, a good bit of hard work by my delightful husband, a weekend full of unpacking and sorting fabric so it gets organized instead of tossed in drawers randomly....a bit more time cutting the "scraps" into usable sizes and organizing those, some time recovering the Ikea chair cushion, making a cute bulletin board....feels like home!

Let's have a tour.....

Here's the view from my machine; you can see this is a "post move-in" view, with scraps and such all over the table. I love seeing cards, mug rugs, and a few of my own creations up on the bulletin board whenever I glance up from sewing; so fun! 

the view from my sewing machine....

The table itself; I have one leaf extended, but there is also a second leaf I can add on the end with the sewing machine, should I need to. As it will be a bit unsteady to sew on that end, I likely won't much, if ever. But I like that I *can* if I need to; it's easy enough that if I needed to add it while basting a quilt or cutting length-of-fabric cuts for borders or something, or pinning on a long border, etc, I could add the leaf, do the pinning as needed, then return it to leafless so I could set up the sewing machine and sew. 

You can see in the corner where I keep boxes of stuff. There's a box of scraps of batting, and assorted boxes of UFO projects, and "current WIP" projects, and then empty boxes to add as needed. Not that I plan to accumulate more UFOs or anything. <ahem> But just in case. 
sewing table

The chair from Ikea is pretty basic. It's just right for making sure I sit up straight and keep good posture while sewing, and comfy enough that my rear end doesn't go numb from the sitting. ;) I used some more of my much-loved Brazilian sidewalk fabric and covered the seat cushion; I just needed another touch of Brazil to really feel at home. 

You can also see in the above photo that the colored globes on the lamp don't really affect the light too much, which is good. I get loads of natural light from the windows on the wall opposite the dresser/cutting table, and mainly use the lamp for cutting. I do think a second lamp is needed, one day.

newly recovered chair. Yay!

Here's a close-up of my cutting table/fabric dresser. The bulletin board holds my mug rug swaps (the ones not in use as actual mug rugs...), some of my fabric creations, and cards from a dear friend. Along the side is also a hanging fabric birds mobile which belonged to my late stepmom. 

You can see my large cutting mat fits beautifully on the dresser, as well as my tote with sewing supplies, rulers, 2 cute tins with extra needles, rotary blades, etc. The drawers hold fabric and patterns and supplies that are too bulky/unweildy to have out on top. 

Bulletin board over the cutting table/fabric storage dresser

The top drawers, which are narrower, hold the scraps. Two for fat quarters, folded into triangles, and two for the assorted 10" squares, 5" squares, and 2" and 1.5" strips. 

The bottom drawers hold all the "bigger than a fat quarter" fabric (2 drawers), patterns and templates and such (one drawer), and "not yet sorted scraps" (bottom left drawer). As that drawer fills up, I'll take it, sort & cut into the sizes in the top and then keep it as a rotating place to dump scraps after each project, then cut & sort as it fills, and so on.
organized scraps

Stack of cut was a long project, but so worth it. Now I have a stash of usable pieces, in common "pre-cut" sizes, so I can utilize patterns for layer cakes, jelly rolls, and charm squares (or cut into smaller pieces as needed). 

What I did was, anything smaller than a fat quarter, I cut into the largest size possible first, then smaller and smaller. Sometimes a scrap would yield one of each size, sometimes just 2" strips, but by starting big and then working smaller and smaller I made sure that each piece ended up with the most usable size or sizes possible and the least waste. 

cutting into 10" squares, 5" squares, 2" strips and 1.5" strips
 I also followed a folding tutorial from Margo at The Quilt Show forums; I folded my fat quarters into triangles (the same way you fold a flag properly) so I have more of the fabric repeat visible when searching for something, and so they fit better in my drawers.

The larger pieces I folded in half (selvage to selvage), then used my ruler to fold the fabric into narrow strips. Then I slid the ruler out and folded the fabric in half again so it would fit into my drawers. They are lined up on their sides rather than stacked on top of each other, so that I can easily see each one and remove as needed without having to dig to the bottom of the pile.

folded fat quarters and "bigger than a fat quarter"
 All of the prep to organize the fabric was time consuming, but worth it. I love having drawers of organized fabric stash to choose from! The fat quarters are sorted by whether solid or print, and the bigger pieces are separated by size (more than a yard is in the bottom drawer, less than that in the middle drawer).

Makes my sewing room so much more usable, and having a space to leave projects "in progress" is truly bliss! I'm also on the main floor of the house; the boys' game room is the other half of my room, the media room is right across the hall and the computer room is on the back side of the wall that holds my cutting table. So whenever I'm sewing, it is highly likely the family is nearby and I can still feel a part of the action rather than off isolated somewhere.

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