Thursday, January 7, 2010

Resolution: Makeover

You would think with most of all the Christmas gifts completed and all the wonderful, glorious, potential, possible quilt projects awaiting, the creative juices would be flowing.  Well, they are not ... for me, anyway.

For months I have wanted to do a mini quilt, and for weeks I have thought about the AAQI mini quilts I would make and donate.  The above picture shows my pitiful attempts.  There is the selvage four block mini that looked OK until I started quilting it.  I can blame that on a sewing machine malfunction.  Then there was an attempt at a circle quilt  and a batik landscape.  They are not cooperating.

Oh, and I almost forgot this brilliant reversible block.  The pink side doesn't look too bad.  You can see I quilted around in a block...white in the middle, then pink around that.  So, on the pink side you see the white block.

On the white side, you see the pink quilting more.  Not as cool as I thought.  Plus, the pencil marks did not come out like they are supposed to.  UGH!  Back to the drawing board.

I was excited to finally quilt and bind my small embroidery color wheel project.  It was going pretty well, I thought, until I noticed that I cut the striped fabric for the binding strips the wrong way.  There was a limited amount of this fabric left in my stash and now it is gone.  I may just leave it as is.  If I decide it doesn't look too bad, I may donate it to AAQI.

So, here is where the makeover comes in.   I have decided my sewing area is part of the problem.  It needs a makeover!!! It is a mess which means I can't concentrate, focus, and let the creativity flow.  I mean, the problem can't be with me, can it?! (Don't answer that.  It's a rhetorical question.)  OK... I have to warn you...the following pictures are not pretty.

This makeover will take awhile, and I plan to do it in my own sweet time.  The first thing that needs to be done is change the name from Office to Studio.  It's a mental thing, I know, but I think it will help.  Don't you?
You see, in a formal life I was a CPA.  If you look closely up top, you'll see my credentials ;-)))

So my space has always been designed and revolved around that occupation.  Even though I haven't practiced in years, my office still looks office.  Can you see the shelves for tax books; the cubbies for paper clips, envelopes, staplers, rubber bands, etc.; the file drawers for client files and tax returns; the spot for the printer, copier, scanner, computer?

Then there is my closet...actually, it isn't as bad as this picture makes it look.  It is a rather large closet, but shaped strangely so it is hard to get pictures.  There are lots of shelves.  Unfortunately, those shelves are all filled...with boxes of photos, scrapbook supplies, rubber stamping supplies, jewelry making supplies, quilting fabric, quilting supplies, more books, papers, get the idea.

Here is my machine.  Believe it or not this is the AFTER picture.  You should have seen the little sewing table I was using before.  I have a design wall tucked in the left corner, and a bulletin board to post ideas I get my from wonderful bloggy (is that a word?) friends.

Here is my ironing and cutting area.  This is one of those folding, rolling tables which I love, but it never gets folded or rolled away, so it takes up a lot of space.

Whew!  Sorry that took so long.  If you are still with me, what are your suggestions for turning this into a Studio from an Office?  I think I have a nice space to work with.  It isn't a dream studio, but I can live with that.

I would like to better organize the areas I have into quilting/fabric, embroidery, paper crafts, scrapbooking, etc.  At the moment, my fabric is sort of shoved on shelves as I purchase it rather than by color or fabric line.

How do you organize your sewing area?  I would love to hear about your space and benefit from your suggestions and experience.  Thank you in advance.

Have an amazing day!!!  I hope to have something to share with you for tomorrow's Sew and Tell Friday!


  1. My space is way worse, and a LOT smaller but I would suggest baskets. Lots of Baskets. With labels and purposes. With all the cubbies you should be able to sort them. FQS, precuts, notions etc...

  2. (I found your blog through Dee) you have given me the confidence to post my very embarrasing craft room pictures, I haven't done it yet, but I will now after you are inspiring me! (look for it it my next post) My room is small, maybe 8X10ft and it's a nice room BUT it's a disgusting, organized, too many projects spread everywhere kind of a room. It's bad right now and there is not a soul that I would let see it, well I did let my mom see it at Christmas time and she was being kind and said "it's not that bad" (she was lying LOL) my hubby and son just roll their eyes when they walk by my room, it's that bad!
    anyways, thanks for the inspiration, I nee it!

  3. Love that we are thinking alike!! My biggest bit of encouragement is this. First get rid of what doesn't belong. Move to storage that which you need to keep, but really don't use daily. Goodwill all things usable, but unused!!
    I have learned to love less. Frees your mind up for all that creativity!!! Please share along the way. I can't wait to see!

  4. Rene,
    I actually laughed out loud when that first picture of your gorgeous wood shelves popped up. I could not work in that room with all that clutter. And with all that space your sewing machine is on a dinky little table.

    Here's what I would do, I would take everything on those shelves and in that closet and pack it up in boxes. Get everything out of that room. Then, little by little, like one box a day, put it away. I would leave some of those oak shelves open for when you are working on something. I would stack the fabric directly on the closet shelves, by color. And any family of fabrics I would leave together either on the closet shelves or in a tub. I would get some more baskets for those shelves but don't over do it. Jelly rolls look great setting out on a cake platter, or stacked. You could even roll families of fabric into a bundle and tie with a pretty ribbon. I would love to have all those shelves for displaying fun crafty things.

    I would get something bigger and better for that machine for sewing.

    You could have the most stunning studio with just a little reorganization. I wish I lived close, I would help you pack all that stuff up for a fresh start.

    Since you live in a city, I bet there are professional organizers that could also be a big help to you.

    Are you sorry you asked?

    Good Luck my friend! I know you can do it!

    BTW, Your color wheel turned out marvelous!

  5. Good luck with the organization! It will be worth it! I found the best way to organize my stash is to group my fat quarters by color in wire baskets and group my larger cuts of fabric by size on shelves. This way if I find I need 1.5 yards of something I start looking on the 1 -2 yard shelf. This works great for me! Best of luck with your new Studio in 2010!

  6. LOVE your colorwheel Rene'!! My only suggestion for your studio is - purge! I love to purge, this time of year especially :)

    Oh and bloggy is a word in blogland!

  7. Oh man I need to clean and organize my studio so bad too! I am in love with the blue on your walls - I really want to do our bedroom that color. And I think your mini-quilts are great. I'm glad I'm not the only one on a mini quilt kick!

  8. Well, from the wife of a you have clutter issues? LOL I mean, is the rest of your life so organized that this space is sort of where you let it all hang out? If it is, dealing with that first is a priority.

    Secondly, eat a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Raspberry Filling Chocolate Square. Trust me!

    Painting would be a must for me, including the shelves into a bright, happy color to go with whatever color I painted the walls. Arranging the room so that the design wall is accessible and very plain to see. I see you like baskets. Buy ones you like to store most of your stuff in...if it gets cluttery (is that a word?), baskets can cover a multitude of sins!

    As you organize, take your time. Evaluate and if you haven't used something in a year and won't use it this year...Goodwill!

    Whew. I'm tired already. Hope that helps to start...probably moving everything out of the room first is a good idea too, now that I think about it. Makes you more motivated to get things done in a timely and efficient manner!

    Can't wait to see how this progresses!