Sunday, August 18, 2013

Studio Spotlight

If you are here from Ellison Lane, welcome!

First off, I want to say.  To the quilters that have to take their sewing machine and sewing baskets out of some small linen closet and work on the dining room table?  I've been there.  To the ones that share their space with a guest bed and home "office".  Been there.  To the ones that have to go down to a dark, spooky basement.  Yup. Been there.  To the ones that have had to go to the room that was once an attic and is far away from the family?  Been there!!

In the last 17 years of marriage, I have had to sew where ever I could.  I even remember sitting on a floor with my leg awkwardly pushing the pedal when we were in a temporary apartment waiting.

I am so blessed to have this space now.

When we were about to move again, my only request to my husband that we found a layout where I could have my own space, close to the action.  

The view off our kitchen, which happens to be an open floor concept to the family room.
 First door bathroom.  Second door, studio.  Laundry room straight ahead.
Garage on the left side out to where my longarm "studio" is!

I have a load of pictures for this area...but for another day.
But back to my main area!!

I always get asked about the cabinets.  They are not custom.  We did not have someone build them. We went to Home Depot and Lowes and bought either pre-built or put them together ourselves from boxes.  They were added over time...not all at once.  It actually just started with a few of the lower ones in our last house.

On the right side when I walk in is what I call the work area. 
 Computer, files, printer, phone. Paper.
This side of the room are kitchen counter top height so I can sit on stools or just stand.

My cutting tools and current project file boxes are easy access for when I need to work.

And the TV. 
I can't live without background noise while I am working.  Especially when the boys go back to school.  The silence is deafening and makes me miss them greatly.

I use the upper area to display some of my mini quilts and my American Girl Dolls.
When my husband's grandmother passed away, we were offered some items and both he and I agreed that I would keep her yellow sewing basket.  It still has some great vintage scissors and notions inside.

My favorite area.
How could you not love fabric?!?!?

Yum.  I have mini-bolts on the top shelves and then baskets filled with layer cakes, fat quarter bundles, and charms.

And more yum. Some jelly rolls anyone?
My new Lindstrom 1930s toy sewing machine under the sweet mini quilt from a Name Game Swap.

Portable design wall behind the door.
There are actually two stacked. I pull them out and stand them together for bigger quilts
It currently has no projects right now because I have more tops completed and the other projects are in "cut" stages. 

But Button makes use of it every chance he gets.

The next area is my island.
This is, again, kitchen counter height.
Cutting. Ironing.  Pretty Jars with ribbons and notions.

The island consists of cabinets that made an "L" in my old attic studio in the last house. 
We reconfigured it to make the square.  
I also wanted an overhang area so the boys can sit on stools and work at it for big art and school projects.

I hope that someday I can address the counters!
 They, again, were just premade laminate counters we found at Home Depot.
They clean up well, but they are getting a bit "bleh".  I also never got around to painting the island like I wanted to.  Someday.  Quilting gets in the way!

I call this side my sewing area.  
We ordered file cabinets so that it would be lower than the rest of the counters.

My sewing machine stays permenantly on the countertop.

Fat quarters and more ribbon are up above in the cabinet!

I put my embroidery machine away in my closet when it is not in use. 
 I like to keep the counters as uncluttered as possible.

In the center, I have my buttons, patterns, and a plaque with my daughter's name on it. 
The main reason I have been quilting so much the past four years.

More jars.  Can you tell I like jars?  They are in the center to collect binding leftovers for my "someday" full scrappy quilt.  I also store all the leftover triangles I have to use as leaders and enders.

The tall cabinet store some of my scrapbooking supplies.  The other supplies are in my island.
But, generally, scrapbooking only happens on my retreats.

Above is my birdhouse collection. Actually.  It was my grandmothers.  She gave them to me when she had to move into their retirement home.  They didn't have room for them, so I told her I would keep them for her.  I made the birdhouse quilt at the time, but lately, the traditional colors are just not working for me.  I am pretty sure you will see something in the future take it's place.

We are just not going to talk about this very packed 10 foot high closet, are we?
I do love my bin organization for projects though.

And to keep Button busy?

He has a basket of toys to play with!
But mostly, he gets into my stuff.

My sitting area.  

The cover on the chair-and-a-half is for my pugs that keep me company.   They love to set their heads on my shoulder while I do handwork.

And yes, more jars.  My hexie templates, needles, and more buttons.  
I like buttons.

 And last but not least. 

My dearest husband installed these because without them?


I wouldn't be able to sew at night without them.  This is a shot of my honest craft room.  Most of my sewing happens in the wee hours of the night when everyone else is sleeping.

Go to Ellison lane and join in the Studio Spotlight fun.

I am going to hunt for ideas.  I have been feeling  like I need to make my room less "old fashioned" as someone recently said when they saw my room.

***UPDATE:  The studio finally got a facelift.  I couldn't be more thrilled!***


  1. I love your space and it is so nice to have activities for your boys to do in the room too. How a bout a focus wall with a shot of colour, that might make it feel more modern?

    1. It's on the "to do" list, but I promised my husband that I would finish other rooms in the house before I attacked this one again. I have been thinking of changing the window treatments too! Brighter. So painted walls, new window treatments, and painting the island a cool color would be a good start for me! But first finish the boys' rooms!!!!!

  2. I love your space. I am one of those that is currently in my basement and have sewed in the other spaces you mentioned too. I have teenage daughters so no chance of my own room yet, but that will come soon enough.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I think that was the lowest point of my sewing life. I think I finished a lot of crosstitch projects that year!!! I only had to suffer a year, though. So I know I was lucky!!!

  3. Oh Heidi, I LOVE your space. When my space grows up (aka one of the kids moves out) I will be inspired by some ideas you have provided. Also great to see my/your hoop up there on the wall :0) hugs

    1. Your hoop is the reason I know I need more COLOR in my room. When I hung it up, I was birdhouse quilt!

  4. Oh look at that space! Well-earned from your years of hiding :) I agree that even just changing the window treatments would add a huge "modern" lift! Can't wait to see what you do with it :)

    1. I just sorta hung them up there when we moved in because they were bits and parts from an old house. I hate wasting fabric. But I think they just drag the room down, don't they?

  5. Wow you have turned "your" space into a really great work area. So much organization. Love that you have your husband's grandmother's sewing basket to. Very special. How does having a longarm in the garage work? Our garage is always so dusty and buggy.

  6. "sigh" -- what an amazing space.. one day, maybe. Cute hexie pouch on the shelves ;) haha

  7. I think your room is wonderful, love all the cabinets/storage and your island. As someone else mentioned, its nice that you have space for your children to be in the room with you. The pictures of your son ironing and putting things on the design wall are just precious. When you mentioned wanting to make your room less old fashioned my first thought was also the window treatments. I think you would be surprised at how much a simple thing like that would change the room. A lot of the studios I have been seeing have a lot of white Ikea pieces, so I think your white cabinetry has a modern feel also. Another idea (which would be more work)would be to paint the walls, maybe a pale aqua.
    My sewing area is currently in our basement, thankfully it is a finished basement, but I sure do wish I had a window. Hopefully I will be able to move to a bedroom upstairs in a couple of years. I plan on putting my sewing table right in front of the window, been missing that light. :)

  8. It's lovely! Sewing room envy. Maybe just a new colour on the walls and new curtains?

  9. Oh my goodness, your rooms is beautiful! Forget what others think or say. If you like it, just enjoy. I'm sure there are those who think my beige walls are too dull, but I have so much stuff that I'm afraid more color would only add to the distractions. Besides, quilting is way more fun than decorating! lol


I cannot wait to hear what you have to say! Seriously! It makes my day!


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