A Peak at the Sewing Room

gardening, sewing room

What do you use to store fat quarters?  While I was storing fabric in the bedroom in big plastic storage boxes I could tell it was not going to work once things got moved back to the sewing room.  Even though they will fit in the space that will be for fabric–the bins are too heavy for me to be lifting off shelves that are above my head which some of them are.  Also the shelves are deep – if I laid the fabric directly on the shelves there would be several rows and that wouldn’t work I would constantly have to move stacks of fabric.  I had to come up with a better solution – plastic shoe boxes.  Fat Quarters can be folded so many different ways – the way I like them folded comes out to a measurement of 4 x 5.  Most of my fabric that I am currently working with are fat quarters and scraps – I have some 5 inch charms and some jelly rolls plus yardage but for now all those fit on the shelves that are right by the bedroom door going into the hallway which goes right into the sewing room and that is where they will be staying for now.

My way of folding fat quarters

fat quarters

See how full the big bins are – a lot of the fabric pieces are larger than a fat quarter but can be folded close to the same way and some are smaller than a fat quarter – I will adjust the folding as I need to.

fabric storage

First off before I put in the photo of the sewing room I almost didn’t because it is really hard to get an idea of what a redo will look like when so much of it has tools and things scattered throughout.  Some parts of walls are not totally varnished and some have none on them at all.  It is hard I think to picture.  So disregard all the tools and maybe you can get an idea of what it will look like.

One side of the sewing room that is still under construction – all of the flooring still needs to be laid but some of the walls still need varnish so flooring will not be done until the walls are done.  Doing it that way eliminates the need to cover the floor.  This end used to be a closet that Mike kept all of his old computer books and genealogy things in – all the way across – one section now has 3 shelves. Mike’s computer table will be on the right side in the corner where it always was but will start 3 feet into where the closet was.  A new ceiling fan is up, track lighting with dimmer switches – plenty of light!  Ceiling is done and the electrical – still working on the pine panels, varnish and then the floor.  We are both getting new work tables and the table tops need to be varnished as well. Also a new window shade needs to be bought and put in.  The design wall will be on the same wall it was on but about a foot wider covering the whole wall now that the book shelves are off the wall.

sewing room construction

So many of you wanted to see progress well that is all I can show of it for now – small room and lots of tools taking up space for now – I will show more when I can – but might not until everything is organized again.  It will still be awhile before we are done because of the hours Mike is working but I hope to be in the room by fall and considering this is the first day of August that is coming up.  Needless to say the room will look much better once the hand quilting frame is standing back in it’s place with new leaders attached and a new quilt top in place – a new longer cutting table will be in place and the sewing machine table – the room is long and narrow so not much can be changed of arrangement – but it will be a bit different without old dirty carpet and all the shelves on the walls.

At Wal-Mart I found stacks of 10 shoe boxes for under $9 with lids – the fat quarters will fit in these and I can get quite a few of these boxes on the shelves and can see the color group  through the boxes –they will be organized by color.  Hopefully I have room for batting and other things on the shelves as well.  I will need to get more boxes but I want to start going through one box of fabric at a time and then keep getting more as I need them.

fabric storage

These are the boxes to go through!

fabric storage

The bounty from the garden yesterday – I was going to leave the tomatoes to ripen longer on the vine but when I went out to look I found one plant of Roma’s were getting bottom rot on some so I picked any that had a hint of orange and before that happened and tossed the others.  Then I found a little bite out of one big tomato and thought well maybe I might just as well pick anything that was a little orange and let them ripen in the house.

garden vegetables





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24 comments… add one
  • Marianne Aug 1, 2017

    I have used plastic shoe boxes for many years and find they fit nicely on my bookshelves. I do use a double-sized bin for a few colors, though – pink, red, purple, muslin, blue, green. Those go on the bottom shelves so I can pick them up. Most of my other boxes are for specific colors although I also store various sizes of squares and triangles (mostly HSTs). There’s a box for “wild” fabric, mostly multi-colors that I can’t classify. Those usually end up being used for mug rugs and zipper bags. Your new room is going to be great! Love all the light, which we need as we age.

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      yes even though I will probably need 20+ boxes I will have room to stack them and if they ever empty they can be used for shoes!

  • Deb Aug 1, 2017

    You have made much progress on the room this summer ! 🙂
    Deb recently posted…Slice of Life : the park, flowers and a baby bunnyMy Profile

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      thanks Deb – it seems to go on forever but always have to remember that when you do the redo yourself and find things wrong that you didn’t know about it takes longer to fix it – this room had originally been an add on where part of the room had been a porch originally so more stuff goes into fixing then you realize

  • Vicki W Aug 1, 2017

    The room is coming along great!

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      thanks Vicki – can’t be fast enough for me 🙂 I really would like to get back to quilting but really don’t care for doing a large quilt in a hoop – and also to get all of this stuff out of the living room and dining room before the holidays arrive this winter

  • Rebecca Grace Aug 1, 2017

    Looks like it’s moving right along! I buy mostly FQs for my stash, and I keep them in wire bins that I store beneath my cutting table, the ones Alex Anderson uses (I got this idea from this book: http://cheekycognoscenti.blogspot.com/2013/01/book-review-organizing-solutions-for.html) like that air can circulate, and I’m able to pack my FQs in sideways so I can see everything in the bin at once without having to dig or dump it out. Of course this does not stop me from pulling way too many fabric options and piling them all over my cutting table…
    Rebecca Grace recently posted…Ta-Da! The MonsterNormous Sample Quilt Is Finished!My Profile

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      I will check out your solution!

  • Dottie bishaw Aug 1, 2017

    Looking good Karen, such beautiful wood work. I have my big yardage in two tall cabinets in the guest room and my jellyrolls, fat quarters, and the bigger than a fat quarter in small bins stored in the walk in closet in the guest room. This way I have more room in my sewing room for all my sewing things. I feel like I’m shopping for fabric when I go in the guest room, lol! I always wanted a stash and now I have one. Occasionally I order a fat quarter bundle or I like half yard bundles too. Beautiful bounty from the garden.

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      sometimes I get the half yard bundles too – especially for neutrals as I always run out of them. I will keep the shelf area as I go into the bedroom where I have a lot of it stored now but I can’t fit it all there of course! I like having this size of a stash so I don’t have to drop everything and run to five different quilt shops that would take me two days to do easily if not more because when you drive close to two hours one way you do not want to hit more than one store – I don’t anyway.

  • Kathi Aug 1, 2017

    Have fun sorting your fat quarters into the plastic shoe boxes… that would have been my recommendation too 🙂 I have mine separated into neutral, colors, etc. Will look forward to see if you specify a color for each box or what you do… seems like you found a GREAT deal! I got mine for $1 each but use white lids for neutrals and colored lids for colors 😀 And labels on the front for clarification too! lol
    I love the looks of your quilting room.. you will enjoy that space A LOT when it is done and have lots of tops to start quilting on too! Enjoy your time waiting by getting so organized though! Kathi
    Kathi recently posted…Progress to share that is THIMBLY fun !My Profile

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      I think I will most likely divide by color – red, green, blue etc – I might put a color dot on the front of each box in case I can’t see through the box – then I will know to grab the red dot box for reds – etc I can handle the weight of the little boxes so much better than the big ones – and whatever I have on the top shelve I will need a step stool to get to so that will be things not used often. The shelves are deep so whatever is on the second shelf from the top I will need the stool to get what is in the far reaches of it. Everything used the most will be towards the front of the shelves. Along the wall on the side of the shelves we will have a long peg board for rulers and patterns that are in plastic bags with the hole punched at the top – then I will actually be reminded that I have patterns I haven’t used but bought!

  • Claudia Aug 1, 2017

    Loving your new space !! Keep us posted.
    Have a great week !

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      thanks Claudia it is coming along

  • Sandra B Aug 1, 2017

    I have used the plastic shoe boxes for my fat quarters for a long time, and they work well…… I get the boxes at Walmart, but have not seen them bundled like the ones you got.
    Love how your sewing room is coming along!

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      I was glad I found them bundled – made it easier to check them out and they had a lot of them so I’m sure I will get more

  • Quilting Tangent Aug 1, 2017

    I use a dresser to store my fabric. Easy to see at a glance what you have and tucks neatly away. Works great for fat quarters just stand them on end.

    • Karen Aug 1, 2017

      I don’t have room for a dresser but I have heard others say they do that too – some can look really pretty besides

  • Catherine Pritchard Aug 2, 2017

    My husband bought me a vintage haberdashery cabinet, the kind that used to be used for hankies, gloves, underwear etc. I keep my fat quarters ordered by colour in the drawers. It has a glass top and staggered drawers so I can see what is in each of the 16 drawers.
    You should be able to see the colours of your fabrics easily through the boxes so should work well.
    I reads recently that it is better to pick tomatoes while still slightly underripe and leave by the window to ripen. It encourages the formation of much smaller fruits on the plant.

    • Karen Aug 2, 2017

      your cabinet sounds really nice. I think every year I end up bringing the tomatoes in the house to ripen they just seem to do better that way – I have a lot on the bushes still but they are very slow to ripen this year outside but once I bring them in they ripen quickly

  • audrey Aug 2, 2017

    Sounds like you’ve found a solution. I have one large fabric tote that is stored where I have to lift it up and down. Ugh. Will have to figure something else out soon. It’s just too heavy and awkward for me!

    • Karen Aug 2, 2017

      can you stack shoe boxes instead? they come with lids

  • Glenda Aug 8, 2017

    Karen you must be itching to get in to your new space and have places for every thing. Right now my Hubby and DS are closing in an area down stairs that has been open to the elements bar for a canvas, to day will see two big windows go in and installation cloth and no more wind or rain can come in unless I open the windows LOL During the week the spruce slabs will go on. Wish I could taste those tomatoes we can only get hot house tomatoes now in OZ and it it to hot and humid to grow them here. Cheers Glenda
    Glenda recently posted…WOW or WIP’s with Esther 9th Aug 2017My Profile

    • Karen Aug 8, 2017

      yes I will be glad to have my room back – it is going very slowly like it usually does – things pop up to interfere you know. hope your remodel goes well too. I hope to be back in the sewing room by the end of September if not before

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