Sewing Rooms

Dear Jane – “Insanity Revisited”, quilts

Recently on a quilt message board that I joined I raised a topic that was of interest to me – Do you have a sewing room that is decorative as well as functional or do you sew in a haphazard fashion – in other words things stacked up all over the place to the point that you can’t find anything.  I was kind of surprised to see that – I think – more than half the quilters who responded said they work basically in a mess and could care less of decorating their workspace.

So I ask you – do you like to work in a nice attractive setting or could you care less as long as you have a sewing machine set up?

Here is my space, narrow, small, but yet everything in it’s place.  No big plastic tubs of fabric, what you see is here.  The boxes on the top shelves contain scraps. Under the quilting frame is a book shelve – two stacks.  Another sewing machine in its case and numerous odds and ends that I need to clean up.  The wall hanging doesn’t cover a doorway – someone asked me that once – it is just that this is a narrow room and that is a good place for it!  Your eyes are immediately drawn to it when you enter.  It is a whole cloth stain glass hand pieced and hand quilted.  One of my favorites.


My little workhorse, freshly oiled and cleaned, ready to go.  I have to drag the manual out every time I do this it seems or I forget spots!


Stacks of fabric, mainly fat quarters and neutrals with a few photos thrown  in. TV above the quilting frame which seems to be off more than on – except when I am quilting then it is on.  I tend to watch shows I have already seen when quilting when I am actually more listening then watching as I know what happens – I don’t like a quite room I guess.


More fabric, odds and ends of pieces, some at a yard or more some more like a half yard.  The shelf in the corner above the machine is more bits and pieces tossed in wire baskets standing on end.  I like to be able to see my fabric so I am reminded of what I have so I will use it – I don’t like it hidden away in plastic buckets where I can’t see it.  Under the cutting table needs to be cleaned up once again also – I tend to toss things in the containers – patterns and things.


What about you? Decorative or messy?

Another Dear Jane triangle finished – that makes 5 this week – I really want to get done Smile


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14 comments… add one
  • GerryART Nov 12, 2010

    no matter how many times I straighten and put away,
    no matter that I like things neat and orderly,
    my area turns into a diaster area in no time at all.
    BUT, not so cluttered that I can not sit down at my machine and stitch away. That area stays clear.
    Thanks for the inspiration to be neater :*)

    GerryART recently posted…I knew this wasnt the best choice My Profile

  • Vicki W Nov 12, 2010

    I am lucky to have a big space. Of course, that means that I fill it to the brim. My husband even offered me another room in the house and I declined. I would just fill that one too! It’s state of neatness depends on what project(s) I am working on and where I am toward meeting deadlines.

  • Wanda Nov 12, 2010

    I need piles of inspiration around me so I never want everything put away. If I walked into a totally clean studio I wouldn’t know what to work on. I would say that most people would feel it is messy and I feel it is just what I need.

    good job on the triangles. I think you’ll be done by the end of the year.
    Wanda recently posted…A Social dayMy Profile

  • Marianne Nov 12, 2010

    When we lived in the B&B, our bedroom was the TV and sewing room, too. Now I use the guest room and it is heavenly. I have a bookshelf with plastic tubs of fabric as well as room for books (which I weed regularly). I have my desk and a sewing desk as well as the iron permanently up. I use the bed as my design wall although I also have a space on one wall. And the closet has a little room for guest clothes but mostly has quilt tops waiting to be quilted hanging on hangers. So I guess you could say it is organized. Whenever we have guests, I can’t sew but that is OK since we are busy entertaining them anyway.

    Good luck on the triangles! They *are* getting done.

  • Vivian Nov 12, 2010

    I would love to have a sewing room that is decorated and always uncluttered. In fact, that is my goal. I have the space. I just don’t have the discipline to keep it neat and uncluttered. I guess if I only worked on one project at a time, it would help.

    In all reality, the area is what I make of it. And I am not a really tidy, neat person. So, I figure when I discipline myself then I can have what I want. So, I guess really, it is what I want now.

    How’s that for a round about answer. By the way, your space looks great, Karen.
    Vivian recently posted…Its A FinishMy Profile

  • CJ Nov 12, 2010

    I have a sewing room and it’s a bit of a mix. I prefer it tidy with everything in it’s space but, lately, it’s been a bit of a mess. It gets messy when I’m working on something but then, when I’m done, order is restored.
    CJ recently posted…RetreatMy Profile

  • Crispy Nov 13, 2010

    I don’t have a quilting room per se, just my corner in the living room. However, the guest bedroom tends to get pretty bad as it’s the catch all for fabric that I have pulled for the current project. I clean it up once in a while….not too often mind you LOL.


  • LuAnn Nov 13, 2010

    I have turned one of our upstairs bedrooms into my quilting room. I just recently cleaned and sorted so I would have a “free wall” for my husband to put up a design wall for me. I sorted, folded and organized fabrics. I walked in that room yesterday afternoon, and it looks like a tornado went through there. I have pulled out scraps for different projects and then decided I should cut some different width strips for a couple more quilts I want to do in the future. Quilting is one of my obsessions. I probably shouldn’t tell anybody that the dresser in the guest room and half of my linen closet are both stuffed full of yarn. I have a couple of posters framed and on the walls in there, but the room always looks so “busy” with everything else that it isn’t really decorated.
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  • Gwynette in NW Arkansas Nov 13, 2010

    I have waaaaay at too much fabric and I’m always working on two, three, or… well, more projects at one time. I have ten other rooms in my house to decorate and my studio has a door. Sometimes it is neat, but mostly a reflection of the artistic side of my brain.

  • Mary L Nov 13, 2010

    Just as neat and orderly as I would expect from you. I’d hate to show mine at the moment!
    Mary L recently posted…A Win!My Profile

  • Charlotte Nov 13, 2010

    I took a spare bedroom and made it my sewing/quilting room. I just can’t work in a cluttered room; even the quilting frames, having to sit in the middle of the room, bother me. I have a big cabinet for storing finished quilts and quilt tops, doll making supplies, etc., a bookcase and my big cabinet which holds the machine, fabrics, and my collection of wooden Polish dolls. When paper piecing or string piecing, the floor takes on the look of a patchwork quilt, but a little sweep with the broom takes care of that. There are several boxes covered with wallpaper that my mother-in-law fixed; they look pretty on the shelves. I posted pictures on my blog,( under the title “Quilt Beginnings, part 2”. Sometimes I feel bad to leave my husband in the other end of the house, but he’s usually asleep anyway. lol


  • Terri Johnson Nov 13, 2010

    Mine looks like a mess – to the untrained eye. I know where everything is, and can retrieve it, if necessary. I do keep the fabric in plastic containers, but here in CA you need to keep it out of the sunshine; things fade here really fast. We have a very dry climate, so no worries about the plastic making mold. Besides the bins are open most of the time for a good dig through to find just the right color. (five bins, each a different color and one for multicolors) I am organized, books on a shelf. (It really is one of those TV holding shelf units that I couldn’t let the kids just throw away. Multicolored bin is in the TV’s spot.) No TV in my room, but I do have a radio/tape player/cd player to keep me company or an open window to listen to the birds. My room is a pass through room that can’t be called a bedroom, it has the back door in it, which gives me a way out to the garden… I love that. I do clean up the clutter at least once a year… LOL. Love your room!
    <3 Terri
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  • Becky in VA Nov 13, 2010

    It’s fun to see your sewing room again. Mine is large, actually 2 people can and have sewn together in my room. I have 12 Ft of closet space – floor to ceiling shelves – so most of my fabric is out of site when the doors are closed and also protected from sun. I have three naked windows in my space because I love light. The glass has UV protection, and so far I haven’t noticed any sun damage of any fabric in the house. My quilting frame is a piece of furniture in the livingroom. My sewing room can be very messy, depending on what I’m doing, but for the most part it is neat! No tv in my sewing room – I prefer music. I keep my quilting books in the guest bedroom!

    I know where 99% of my stuff is!

  • Kathy Marrone Nov 17, 2010

    Just wanted to let you know that we really liked your sewing room and have posted a link from our Butterick Patterns facebook page.

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