I periodically re-evaluate my sewing space. I’m always striving for better organization and utilization of the space I have available. And, I’m always looking for more space.
I once mentioned to a friend that I could use a she-shed. Something to be wholly dedicated to sewing. She laughed out loud at me (seriously, OUT-LOUD) and said, “Mary, your whole house is a she-shed.” I found myself wondering if she was right.
The Dining Room
I love my dining room table. My mom purchased it for family gatherings many years ago. It is just a few extra inches wider than the standard dining room table. And, it can extend to 110”. While that makes it near impossible to find a tablecloth for when it is fully extended, it makes it ideal for measuring borders and most quilt tops. It’s also great for sewing on bindings and piecing backings. It provides plenty of room to rest the quilt as it feeds through the machine while attaching the binding. This means that a sewing machine is frequently set up and ready to go – in the dining room.
Every good sewing space needs an area to cut and iron. With an open concept house, the kitchen peninsula is the perfect place for a cutting or ironing station. When I built my house, I specifically requested “counter-height” for the peninsula instead of the “bar-height” on the plan. I knew I would be using this space for quilting (note, I didn’t say cooking) and didn’t want the split height proposed by the builder. They baulked. I stood firm. I won.
How could they think for one minute I wouldn’t know what I want in MY house? My builder was actually pretty good about all my modifications. This one change though, they really didn’t understand why I would want counter-height over bar height. I doubt that they quilt because it makes perfect sense to me ?
My office is my space for writing. Patterns, blogs, and designs. I do other stuff there too, like Genealogy research. Oh, and paying bills. There are two desks and a love seat in the room. Kona takes the love seat.
Why two desks? One supports my design work. It has a laptop docking station which includes a 27” monitor. All that glorious visual real estate to layout patterns and designs. It is so much better than the small screen of my Surface computer.
The other desk is used primarily for Genealogy. As noted in a previous post, I spend some of my time searching for my ancestors and making connections to the past. It’s an interesting hobby and I’ve learned many new stories about my family. You never know just what you’ll find.
Guest Sewing Room
I do have a guest room that I occasionally use as a guest room. To be honest, it’s a sewing room. I have my newest sewing machine and an embroidery sewing machine, plus a serger in this room. I keep the embroidery machine in a sewing armoire. An old computer desk serves as the place for my sewing machine. The old computer tower space is perfect for storing the serger when it’s not in use. When I am using the serger, I have an old typewriter stand on wheels. It’s so much fun finding the perfect furniture for sewing.
I found an old drafting table with an adjustable height feature. It makes the perfect cutting table. I remodeled the closet with IKEA “Billy” cabinets. They provide plenty of space for fabric, books, and sewing gadgets.
Oh, and a daybed. I did say something about guests, right? Note the storage under the daybed. I’m always thinking about storage. The daybed is also from IKEA.
The Master Bedroom
More than a few years ago I fell in love with a cherry-wood shaker style bedroom set. It cost a small fortune at the time. In addition to the bed, it includes two nightstands, two dressers and an armoire. I still love it.
The house came with a spacious walk-in closet that I outfitted with a closet organizer from, you guessed it, IKEA. It’s been four years now and I still get up every morning, walk into the closet and say, “I LOVE my closet!” With all my clothes organized in my closet, I found myself with empty dressers and an empty nightstand. (I do use one as an actual nightstand)
Fear not, I discovered that all that empty dresser drawer space was perfect for storing – WELL, my fabric stash, of course. Yes, even my bedroom isn’t a sewing free zone.
You didn’t think I was done, did you? Earlier this year I took the opportunity to purchase a used Gammill/Statler long arm sewing machine. Short of putting it in my living room, which I did consider, the basement was the obvious place for it. Now, it isn’t your parents dank, dark basement. It has a large escape window plus two other smaller windows. They provide a surprising amount of natural light. I painted the walls a bright white and added overhead lighting throughout the space.
I’m enjoying my Gammill and I’m continually learning new skills to advance my quilting ability. It’s been a great adventure and I’m glad I decided to purchase it.
I must admit, my friend was right, I live in a she-shed. My house, aka she-shed, is dedicated to sewing. And I love it. It’s a cute little cottage and suits me just fine. Wait, the garage you ask? While it is a two-car and I only own one car; it’s for the car. Eddie, my Ford Escape, gets the garage to himself. I must take good care of him since he knows the way to my local quilt shops.
Where do you quilt?