Christa’s Sew and Tell – Sewing Room Reveal

Recently I was excited to be featured on the Modern Quilt Guild’s blog, and not just because I’m trying to “get myself out there” (though that is certainly true). Mostly I was happy because it forced me to finish organizing and cleaning up my sewing room! 🙂

Sewing Room

Where the Magic Happens

In the picture above, you can see I have a place for everything. I hang quilt tops over the bannister so that they don’t accumulate fold wrinkles while waiting to be basted. Rolls of batting rest atop a large storage cabinet, and I have plenty of floor space for an ironing station and basting tables. There’s a nice comfy couch in front of the railing (far enough away so that no one can topple over). My daughter even has her own sewing desk, too!

Here is the messy “before” picture with lots of clutter everywhere, ugly plastic bins full of supplies, monstrous utility tables that are hard to move, and no place big enough to lay out a large quilt while piecing!


Before – what a mess!

Below is the calming “after” shot with everything tidied up nice and neat. The big ironing board gets tucked into a corner, misc. junk is either hidden in pretty baskets or behind closed doors, and bigger pieces can be pushed to the side.

Sewing Room

Quiet, Clean, Sewing Room

My favorite acquisition was a gift to myself for Christmas: two 8′ portable plastic tables that are lightweight and easy to move. I use both of them set side by side for basting a large quilt. When not in use, they fold in half and are stored in the corner next to my supply cabinet (and large rotary mat), freeing up the floor space again. (Jason’s present was the photography lights – we are still learning how to use those!)

Portable Basting TablesTwo major projects which made all this possible were installing a huge design wall that doubles as my photography space, and dejunking my overflowing fabric stash. After nearly 20 years of accumulating fabrics and supplies, I was not sorry to see much of it go!

Sewing Desk with Natural Light

Sewing Desk with Natural Light

I love all of the natural light that streams in through the window in front of my large sewing table (which I purchased from a dealer over 15 years ago). When I upgraded to a bigger machine, I removed the custom table insert and brought the machine to the right height with a couple of sturdy books underneath. I may eventually cut a new insert, but for now I haven’t really needed it.

My longer acrylic rulers hang from adhesive hooks on both of my white storage cabinets, and the smaller ones are tucked neatly inside.

I don’t know about you, but I find that I can be much more productive when there’s a place for everything and everything’s in it’s place. Now I’m off to do a little more quilting!

51 thoughts on “Christa’s Sew and Tell – Sewing Room Reveal

  1. Peggy Dudley says:

    Christa, I always read your posts and blog. Thanks to my husband and son in law, I too have a new space. We have an old cedar frame house with 20′ ceilings. We floored two of the rooms to make a new space. I now have a l ong narrow space 10′ x 14′ and the 10 ‘ will lose a foot when the log balcony rails are completed. I am struggling with condensing, tossing, & moving my things, starting with the essential. Is there a book you would recommend, or should I just go with making the best use of the space and making it functional? I have looked at a million ideas on Pinterest.

  2. Shirley Goff says:

    What a wonderful sewing room! I was wondering where you found the large, white storage closets. Would love to have 1 for my sewing room.

  3. Cindy Wienstroer says:

    I too work better when things have a place they belong – but it does get messy when I am working on a project. The trick for me is to clean up between project which doesn’t always happen. Your space is great – I use the former kids bedroom which still has a bunkbed & futon for visiting family. Not a large space but I am able to make it work.

  4. charlotte m. says:

    Love your sewing space. Good lighting is so important. I too find that I create better in an organized space. That is my goal for this year, to keep it organized after each project. So far, so good…just 11 more months to go.

  5. Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs says:

    Thanks for sharing your space with us, Christa – so spacious and bright! Especially jealous of those big storage cabinets you have – there’s only so much “looking pretty” you can get with open storage like I have. And speaking of motivation to get organized, this post reminded me that I never posted my “after” pics when I recently tidied. Must get to that!

  6. Amanda Best says:

    What a great makeover! It looks like it will be much more fun to use, and I am sure you will sew many fantastic projects there. Congratulations!

  7. Jan Barnett says:

    I recently re-did (is that a word?) my studio…a free-standing 10×15 building in my backyard. It was adorable…front porch outside, cute decor inside. It was, unfortunately, NOT very functional despite it’s Martha Stewart cuteness. Now…like you…I’ve made it functional too. Your space looks awesome! Enjoy!

  8. Nicole says:

    Lovely space, Christa! I’m curious about how the lamps are working for you. What kind of bulbs do you use? How well do they help with the photography? Any tips on using them?

    • Christa says:

      We are still learning. The lamps are helpful but we’ve found that letting in lot of light through the windows helps, too. The brand is Alzo digital – something Jason found online. The hardest thing we are trying to figure out is lighting so that the quilting stitches will show better. It’s a work in progress!

  9. Renee says:

    It looks awesome! My sewing room has gotten so cluttered in the past few months, I am starting to feel cramped (physically and mentally)-which means I need to spend a few days cleaning and organizing before my next big project!

  10. Sandra says:

    It looks awesome! Natural light is HUGE, especially as we age… so is a comfy seating area, especially if your family is like mine, and is drawn to “chillaxin” in your sewing room! Must be the harmony we emit as we create in our happy place. 🙂

  11. Lori Smanski says:

    congrats. this is a lovely transformation. I so agree with having my space clutter free and everything has its own spot. Helps me to concentrate on my sewing so much more.

  12. LeeAnna Paylor says:

    so spacious! I like the two portable tables, the design/photo wall and sewing area. I just don’t know how you can work in such a tidy environment. It would take an adjustment for me, who sews in a sty.
    Leeanna Paylor

  13. Marelize says:

    I absolutely love your sewing room! ALL that space is amazing!…I love the size of your design wall, and those photography lights are great! I confess that I am a bit of a neat freak… I will, every single day when I am done, clean up and put everything back in its place before I start preparing supper in the afternoon. I like to, in the morning come in to a tidy room, if there is too much laying around it blocks my creativity, lol. Again, great room 😀

  14. Duane says:

    I love it! I wished I had been quilting when I had that much space in my previous house! I’m sure you will have many many happy quilting hours ahead of you!

  15. says:

    I agree about order – I can only be productive when there is no visual clutter. That being said I am starting to feel the constriction as I work on a quilt using up all my scraps.( -That is a whole other story-suffice it to say I have been buying a whole lot of fat quarters) Although they are all sorted in bins by color the fact that the bins are messy and nearly impossible to keep neat not to mention OUT on my cutting table –well its a challenge. Solution_ get the darn thing finished!

  16. eswatniki says:

    A clean well lighted space is the name of a short story by Hemmingway but it fits your space. How lovely! I clean and organize at the end of every quilt as I just seem to pile things during the process. We will be moving at the end of the year and my ONLY requirement in the home we move into is that I have my own space. Right now my husband has a desk in one corner and I keep telling him I need that corner-poor guy-he is holding on to that acreage with all his might.

  17. Barbara says:

    Very nice, I also cleaned my sewing room and purged my fabric. I have found a place for everything too. I like it much better this way. I am assuming it come with age I do not like a cluttered sewing room anymore. Happy sewing and quilting

  18. Margaret A says:

    What a lovely work space! I love how you’ve organized everything too. I’m envious of all your “walk-around” space.

  19. treadlemusic says:

    The space is super cheerful!!! The paint color definitely sets the mood….sunny and cheerful!. The photographer lights are awesome, as is your design wall. Our little (100+ yr old) farmhouse would not yield any such space for me. The wall space and cabinets are wonderful. I, too, have my piecing machine in front of a window….natural light is the best!!! Beautiful space…..well thought out! Hugs………………….

  20. Kandy says:

    This looks fantastic! I love that your space is so open and BIG! The Christmas gift white tables are what I have too. Have you tried basting anything on them? I was just curious what kind of clamps you’ll use. They are so thick. I am still sneaking into a conference room at my husband’s office to baste my big quilts. I don’t want to chance it and have wrinkles or folds underneath.
    I do like your natural light too!

  21. Lynn says:

    When I grow up I want a space like that. ha ha I’m probably older than you – but I love it. you did a great job with it. And as I have a quilt to sandwich today those tables look real handy. 🙂 Good Job!
    I too can concentrate better in a organized space. I can only take the clutter for awhile and then have to organize.

  22. Vicki says:

    That is one huge studio Christa! I am prepping a new space for myself, but there is a long way to go before I can show any pictures. I am super happy for you! Create on!!

  23. Josefina says:

    What a really nice work space, Christa. It must feel great to be de-cluttered. I’m gonna get there in a few months. I started de-cluttering and organizing my stash right after New Year’s Day. I haven’t sewn a stitch on my sewing machine because I’ve been organizing. At night I get a few stitches done on my long-term EPP project to keep from going insane.

  24. Lis Ostiguy says:

    What a dream come true. It looks so nice. I am still working on mine and with an old farm house finding how to store stuff and still keep it handy means a real challenge. And then there are the cats who just love lying on anything they can, including the sewing machine.

  25. farmquilter says:

    Your studio is lovely!! So much room and light! It would be a joy to quilt in there 🙂 I’m working on getting my studio in shape. Doesn’t look like yours, but I hope to get it there soon!

  26. Jeneta@PlumJam says:

    It looks fantastic! What a lovely space to create. Yes – I am much more productive when there’s a place for everything and everything’s in it’s place. I just wish it would stay there…

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