|My Studio Today|
About three years ago, before I bought my Bernina 750 QE, my sewing room looked like this:
|My Former Sewing Dungeon|
- Insufficient Lighting. My workspace is a bonus room above our garage, and I have a vaulted ceiling that had NO lights except for four dinky light bulbs on a ceiling fan.
- Insufficient Power Supply. I did not have enough outlets, and when my iron cycled on and off, all of the lights dimmed.
- Serious Fabric Hoarding. I'm an interior designer, and over the years I had amassed way too many remnants of beautiful fabrics that I was never going to use, but couldn't bear to throw away. These bolts of fabric were leaning against every wall and threatening to crowd me out of my own room.
- No Design Wall. I couldn't tell whether I liked a quilt until AFTER I had sewn all of the blocks together because I had nowhere to lay them out.
- Inadequate, Barely Functional HV/AC. My studio is in a second-story bonus room above our garage, which is great because it's out of the way, but it was freezing cold in the winter and too hot to use the iron in the summer.
- No Storage for Quilting Stash, Embroidery Threads, Rulers, Embroidery Hoops, and Other Tools.
...And here's what it looked like when I emptied it of most of the clutter so it could be painted:
|Ready for Remodel!|
When we remodeled the room, the first thing I did was to have an HV/AC company redo the duct work of the entire second floor of our home, splitting it into two zones, and moving the thermostat from our master bedroom at the back of the house to the hallway adjacent to my studio. Now the heat or air conditioning, as the season dictates, cuts on more frequently and there is adequate airflow coming into the studio to actually heat and cool the room.
Next, my talented husband addressed my lighting and electrical issues for me. We ditched the ceiling fan (which just blew my fabric all over the place anyway) in favor of a customized Goth 6-light chandelier that was left over from remodeling my dining room. I spray painted it, changed out the amber crystals for smooth clear ones, and put on new white candle sleeves. Bernie installed four new can lights, a dedicated outlet for my iron, and in-ceiling speakers so I can rock out to whatever music tickles my fancy while I sew. All of the light bulbs in my studio are LEDs, by the way, for truer color, savings on electricity, and best of all, they don't create any additional heat when I'm working in here during the hot summer months. We painted the walls and ceiling a neutral ivory, a subtle but significant improvement over the builder's flat pinkish-ivory paint, and I had custom arched plantation shutters installed.
I donated most of my hoarded interior design fabric remnants to the costume department of our local community theatre, which freed up a lot of space in the room.
Then I started working on how to organize the tools and fabrics that I kept:
|Cutting and Planning Worktable with Maple Butcher Block Top|
|Room for Multi-Tasking|
I keep my scissors, rotary cutters, applique templates and marking supplies in those drawers.
|Rubber Drawer Liner Keeps Scissors, Rotary Cutters from Sliding Around|
As with good kitchen design, my goal is to store tools as close as possible to where I use them. That's just cheap rubber padding that goes under area rugs that I've used as drawer liners. It keeps my scissors and rotary cutting tools from sliding around, crashing together and getting nicked blades when I pull the drawers open and closed. The drawer base is several inches shorter than my cutting table, which gives me a handy place to store my smaller rotary cutting mat and my sewing machine's slide-on extension bed.
|Pegboard Storage for Rulers and Pattern Weights|
As you can see, I have additional wire bins at the back of my cutting table. On this side of the table, the bottom bin is full of embroidery stabilizers, bobbin thread, and other items I use for machine embroidery.
|Design Wall (Outlined in Blue)|
|Another Shot of the Design Wall|
Let's see -- what haven't I shown you yet? This is my current custom sewing cabinet, soon (hopefully!) to be rebuilt:
|Current Sewing Machine Cabinet, 28 1/2" x 73"|
The most important thing about the sewing cabinet, for me, is the large surface to support heavy quilts, and the ability to sink the machine into the cabinet:
|Machine Recessed into Sewing Cabinet|
I have another KraftMaid kitchen drawer base unit on the right side of my sewing machine cabinet that matches the one beneath my cutting table, and it houses my collection of needles, presser feet, and machine attachments:
|Presser Feet, Needles, Bobbins etc. Stored Within Easy Reach of the Sewing Machine|
|Sewing Thread Stored in the Sewing Machine Cabinet|
|My Primary Work Triangle: Sewing, Cutting, and Pressing|
Then on the other side of the room I have a TV (front corner of the room, wall mounted, not pictured), my computer, and other supplies that I use only occasionally:
|Anders at Mom's Computer Workstation|
I'm a pretty infrequent machine embroiderer, so I keep my embroidery threads stored in a shelving unit against the far wall, in clear plastic storage bins to keep the dust off, all in numerical order so I can quickly locate the exact shade I'm looking for:
|Isacord Machine Embroidery Thread, Organized in Numerical Order|
The binders on the top shelf are collections of magazine articles, patterns, and class notes on different topics: Quilting Projects and Techniques, Free-Motion Quilting, Machine Embroidery, etc. I also keep my machine and software mastery workbooks in binders on that shelf, back issues of magazines in the cardboard magazine holders, and supplies for hand embroidery and beadwork. WIPs (Works In Progress) occupy the remaining shelves.
|Featherweights, Hand Quilting Supplies, and Reference Books|
Well, I didn't mean to go on and on like this forever, but I think I did a decent job of showing you my studio setup. I still consider it a work in progress rather than a done deal, but I kind of got bored of it and wanted to start sewing again! I know that I am very fortunate to have a large studio dedicated to my sewing and quilting projects. It's wonderful to be able to leave everything out and know that even if I only have ten minutes to spare, I can come in here and pick up right where I left off and sew for ten minutes.
I'm linking up with Amy's studio linky party. Have a great weekend, everyone!