Sewing Room Confessions

I have a difficult thing to admit: my sewing room has become unmanageable. There is way too much stuff crammed into a tiny little room and I can't take it anymore.

2019 Sewing Room

You might be thinking that it doesn't look THAT bad. Obviously, it could be a lot worse, but it is worse than it looks. If I try to pull fabric off my shelf, everything falls down. The closet is stuffed with batting scraps. My scrap bins are overflowing everywhere. This room should be my happy place! But it's not. 

I do have a plan! It is going to involve some Ikea furniture, some organizing, some new lighting, and a whole bunch of sewing.
  1. Make 1 scrap per month during 2019. I have already started this and am currently working to hand sew the binding onto 2 quilts. It feels good! Sewing with scraps is a lot of fun. 
  2. Make 1 quilt from my stash every month. Like a lot of quilters, I love to buy fabric, but CLEARLY I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE FABRIC. Of course I am going to keep buying fabric, but I also need to use what I have. 
  3. Replace current storage furniture. I ordered this Kallax unit, these Billy bookcases, plus a few accessories to help make everything more manageable. I just want to be able to find things!
  4. This room has one overhead light and it just isn't enough. I am saving up to get a couple of these Daylight Company lamps (one for my sewing table and one for my cutting table). 
  5. Finish all my WIPs! In the past, I have been the type of quilter that didn't start a new project until I finished the last one. But there are currently 3 finished quilt tops and 3 stacks of quilt blocks sitting in my sewing room. 

2019 Scrap Quilts

Now that I have put this all out there, I feel a lot better. I am going to be documenting all of this on Instagram (mostly in my stories, but I will also share in my feed) so if you would like to follow along, make sure you are following me!

Do you have any sewing room organization tips? I am not a naturally organized person so I could use them!

25 comments

  1. Love your plan! I have all my fabric very organized, but I like your first two points, make scrap quilts and use of some of the "extra' fabric. Can you share some strategies for making those happen. I'd love to make those goals as well, but I'm not sure how to make it happen. Do I just start cutting it up? What sizes? Thanks and good luck!

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    1. Yes! I am working on blog posts for each of these so keep an eye out for them.

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  2. I think you are well on your way! Good plan!
    -Jean 💙

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  3. When my stash gets crazy I "cull the herd" as I say. I have a sister who belongs to a sewing group at her senior center. They make so many different things - small comfort bears for the local fire and police departments, items for shelters, baby quilts to donate...the list goes on. They also have a craft fair several times a year to raise money to buy more supplies for all the charitable work they do. I send off my batting scraps (the seniors are very thrifty and are grateful for whatever I send along), my orphan blocks (they turn them into pillows to sell, small quilts, wall hangings), the fabric that I have had hanging around for too long, and any sewing notions that I haven't used in ages. They make good use of all that I send, and I have a tidy sewing room - plus room for more fabric, but shhh. And they send me a tax receipt should I choose to use it. Everybody wins!!

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    1. That is so great! I would love to find a group local that could use the things that I won't use. I am a little bit of a hoarder so I have a hard time getting rid of things!

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  4. I have a few shelves for quilting fabric storage. If I fill them up, I stop buying until there is room again! I've also sold some of my unused fabric a few times; it helps clear up space if I'm frustrated with what I have.

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    1. That is a great strategy! Once I get my fabric to a manageable level I will have to implement that policy!

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  5. Oh my!!! I thought you were sharing a picture of MY sewing room. My husband sometimes has to reach over to turn off my ceiling light. I am sometimes a little ashamed.
    I just bought some fabric yesterday.... that is bad too.
    I have so much fabric, I could make a large large quilt to cover my house like a tea cozy, and also fully carpet the interior.
    I have gone through my old fabrics, like really old fabrics, and also some fabrics from packs and bundles that I never liked anyway, and give them to my friend Precious for her sewing school in Sterling Virginia. Just down the road.
    That helps, to eliminate things you just do not want anymore. Also perhaps projects that I do not like, I give them to her as well.
    I am 60!!!! now so I need to focus on what I can work with.
    Your room will look grand soon, one day, I know it. My sewing room just turns into a tornado aftermath in just a few hours.
    I adore your ideas. It is good. Also, doll blankets and pillows, the list is endless.

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    1. Ha ha ha! It is amazing how quickly fabric accumulates. I love the idea of a house cover made with quilting fabric, that gave me a good laugh.

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    2. I love your description of your excess, Rosemary - all too familiar! I am 64, so I know the feeling. Maybe I need to do that house cozy quilt you describe - haa! I recently finished clearing my late mother's house and brought back too much from her stash which really put me over the top. I, too, feel a bit ashamed. I am on a "NO BUYING ALL YEAR" sabbatical and trying to make BIG pieced stuff so I can use up some of the pieces more quickly. Thanks for your great comment - it made my day!

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  6. I have a closet in my sewing room, tee hee! It is a large, walk-in type. I have put shelves in it for my scraps. I am also trying to use up fabric on hand but unfortunately I have a condition called SABLE, (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy). It is hard not to buy new fabric but I too am trying. Unfortunately, I am making Alison Glasses' Trinket quilt and really needed her fabric. I'm sure it will be worth it in the long run. One of my goals this year is to quilt a quilt top each month or send it out for quilting. Too many unfinished tops that just need to be quilted. I also have been working on Christmas stuff that I start and it just doesn't get finished in time for Christmas. I am doing one of those a month as well. Good luck with your journey! Organizing sewing rooms is always a journey. We always come up with another way to organize over time.

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    1. It is so easy for everything to get out of control! I am jealous of your closet - that sounds wonderful.

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  7. I am enjoying reading about this process for you on both IG and the blog. Before I moved, I got rid of SO much fabric- lots of good stuff but I honestly don't miss it. I kept what I really love and I don't feel bad about it even though I still have TONS. I know you've already ordered, but it can be good to look outside of Ikea to get storage options. I bought cabinets from HomeDepot.com and I LOVE them. Ikea stuff was too tall for my New England house. Anyway, my sewing room easily becomes a disaster if I am not careful but it's very normal..... You're doing great- you're very prolific and productive with everything you make.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I went with the Ikea stuff because it was just the right height (there will be 3" between the shelf and the ceiling) but I will be needing something to go under my cutting table and Ikea didn't have a good option so I will definitely checkout HD. I appreciate the encouragement!

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  8. I HEAR YOUR PAIN!
    I no longer have a sewing room :-(
    Here is the link to my blog post that shows what I have done.
    Good luck,
    https://raelenesramblings.blogspot.com/2019/02/january-round-up-part-2.html

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    1. You've done job making the best of your space!

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  9. If it keeps running amok, that means you are being productive! Otherwise it would stay neat & tidy - what's the fun in that? Glad I am not the only one who buys more than they can ever sew....we are helping the economy, right?

    And as for cheap bright lights, I have a couple 4' strip LED lights from Lowes, about $20 each, that I hang from the ceiling...

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    1. That's a great idea! My sewing room is super dark in the evenings, it needs a lot of help!

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  10. Keep an eye on Mass Drop for the Daylight Company lights. I got one like the one you linked to for around $125 recently on there.

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    1. Thank you for the tip, I will check it out! I probably need two :)

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  11. I used to stack my fabric vertical in my Billy bookcases but recently I purchased baskets from target and put all the fabric in those. I added more shelves and now I can easily access what ever colour I need by pulling out the baskets. No more fabric tumbling everywhere! I have a post on IG @littlelollyquilts you can see all my fabric in baskets on my kitchen table and then in the cupboard if you are interested. I love your idea to make one scrappy quilt a month. I think I should do that too :-) I am trying not to buy more fabric but it's not working :-)

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    1. That's a great suggestion! What kind of baskets did you get?

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    2. I got the small white plastic ones. I am in Australia but I think you have similar ones in you target stores. They are great for fat quarters and fit on the billy shelves perfectly.

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  12. You need some Marie Kondo in your life :-) ! Wonderful room btw.

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