Monday, April 20, 2020

Spring Clean Your Studio

Hello and welcome! 
Today is my day on the Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of And let me tell you, I needed the incentive of this blog hop to do some spring cleaning! I am blessed with a huge sewing studio/office--it's the bonus room over our garage. It has plenty of space, but a few drawbacks as well--short walls with tough-to-reach-into closets that run the length of the side walls, and two skylights instead of more windows.

The back story: Our family spent July 2018-July 2019 in Florida. When we moved back to our home in Michigan, organizing my studio was not a priority. I dug through fabric bins to look for fabric as I needed it; my kids dug through those same bins to choose fabric for Minecraft blocks, and it got ugly. Couldn't see the carpet ugly. Then add in mask making, homeschooling, and continued work deadlines. Even uglier! 

So with my posting date of April 20th looming, I spent the better part of three days organizing. The results are 1000x better! Not perfect--due to stay at home orders in our state, I haven't been able to get some additional plastic drawer units or the specialty screws to put our futon back together. But I can see the carpet! 

If you like videos, here's a video tour of my sewing space. If you're more into reading and seeing photos, skip to below the video. 

Scroll to the bottom of this post to find the links for the entire month's worth of Spring Clean Your Studio posts. 


Want to join me on a little tour? Here's the view from the doorway:

My studio cleaning made room for a new piece of furniture! This was my mom's sewing table when i was growing up. It's a treadle machine table, but she had an electric machine in it (though my kids love the foot action!). I think this will book some time as a desk during our couple months of schooling from home...

My biggest challenge in the studio was accessibility. Digging through plastic totes to find the fabric I wanted was not good. Right now my best scraps* are organized, rainbow-order, in these plastic drawers. They're not folded--that's not my jam. At all. I need a few more drawer units to round out the sorting, but that'll be an after quarantine purchase. 
 *Yes, I said best scraps. :) I have several (cough, cough...6 or 7?) more totes of scraps safely hidden in those short closets you see in the photo above. I still need to sort and donate the fabrics in them, but that'll be after stay at home ends. 

Moving on, this corner of my office doubles as a guest room. Under the Ebb & Flow quilt is a futon, laying flat. It's typically in couch format, but the extra long bolts that hold it together broke, and getting new ones are also on the post stay at home list. Right now it's a trampoline for my youngest. Ugh. I did add one of my favorite improv quilts to the wall for a little extra color!

Here's where I spend the majority of each day, at my desk doing computer quilting work. I was lucky enough to bring this desk home from Florida--my friend Sarah gave it to me. It's wonderfully deep and gives me plenty of work space besides my monitor and printer. 

To the left is my ironing board. I have one of those big boards, and I couldn't quilt without it. It desperately needs a new cover though! Just this weekend I added the artwork above it. Lower right is a mini from a Gwen Marston Small Studies class, the middle bottom piece of art is a custom piece from my talented friend Kathy, and the bottom right is a mixed media collage mini quilt I made back in 2003.

These bins used to be my scrap storage. My scraps have outgrown them, and frankly, I got used to using these handy little cubicles to hold projects in progress over the last eight months. This weekend I put the canvas bins in place, making it look a bit neater. I need to decide if I want to label the boxes, or just play "grab bag" when looking for a project. Those two bins on the floor? Those are my solids. One is scraps--anything less than a FQ. The other is larger yardage. 

And now we get to my sewing table. I got this fantastic old farmhouse table from my mom's friend Carolyn several years ago, and the big change here is that I turned it 90 degrees so that I could put a sewing machine on each side of it. This way I can sew, and so can one of my kids. It's great! On the back of my chair is my scrappy Star Crossing quilt--I'm almost done machine quilting it. 

Positioned off the end of the sewing table is my cutting table. I love being able to move around three sides of this table!

Looking back toward the door, you see my design wall. It's the only tall wall in the room, so its placement was easy! Right now, the design wall features four improv blocks from my ZuZu Squares pattern, the baby quilt version of my soon-to-be-published Opposite Directions quilt, and weeks 1 and 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Unity QAL. To the right of the wall you can see two cabinets where I keep my larger yardage. 

Here's hoping that the increased accessibility to fabric will help me keep things a little neater! We'll see... 

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you'll browse around my blog while you're here and come back often! 
Sign up for my newsletter here and as a thank you, I'll send you a free copy of my quilt pattern Diamond Drama. (Tip: If you sign up and don't see the newsletter email, check your junk mail--or promotions folder if you have a gmail address--just in case.)

If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
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I'll be doing a couple improv piecing demos in the next few weeks...make sure you're following me to hear about them!

Spring Clean Your Studio Hop:
April 1 – Sam Hunter –   
April 2 – Marian Pena –
April 3 – Jennifer Fulton –
April 4 – Martha Wolf –
April 5 – Jennifer Strauser –
April 6 – Steph Carton –
April 7 – Simone Fisher –
April 8 – Kate Colleran –
April 9 – Carlina Moore –
April 10 – Jen Frost –
April 11 – Leanne Parsons –
April 12 – Becca Fenstermaker –
April 13 – Sarah Myers –
April 14 – Mitzi Redd –
April 15 – Jeanette Larson –
April 16 – Camille Ainsworth –
April 17 – Becky Philips Jorgenson –
April 18 – Bobbie Gentili –
April 19 – Janellea Macbeth –
April 20 – Lisa Ruble –
April 21 – Debra Davis –
April 22 – Rona Herman –
April 23 – Sue Griffiths –
April 24 – Sarah Ruiz-
April 25 – Jessica Caldwell –
April 26 – Tammy Silvers –
April 27 – Ebony Love –
April 28 – Cheryl Sleboda –


  1. Lovely tour! Isn't wonderful to be able to sort through your fabric?

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