Friday finish: sewing room


I’ve been thinking recently about why quilting is so enjoyable and satisfying to me. It’s definitely because after all the hard work I’ve created something beautiful and useful. But it’s also definitely because of the beauty of the process.

I love fresh, uncut fabric.


Color me happy

I also love cut fabric.


And partially sewn fabric.


I’ve come to believe that fully half of my enjoyment of quilting is being surrounded by pretty things.

So when we recently decided to bunk Mr. 2 and Mr. 4 together in the same room (which they are loving by the way), I took care to make my new sewing room a beautiful place to spend time. Lots and lots of time.


Of course priority number 1 was effective fabric storage. I have been folding my fabric Jeni Baker style for a while now. I love how it looks, but the stacks can be a little tippy. I saw some shallow craft shelves on another blog and it occurred to me that a little back support is exactly what these stacks need. I enlisted the services of a talented local carpenter and could not be happier with how it turned out.


On the left I wanted some larger cubbies for collections. Pretty, inseparable collections. Part of me resists storing them this way because I know it discourages integrating the different lines together, which is something I personally strive to do. But seriously. I can’t help it. Too pretty. And anyway, how would I begin to sort my AMH by color? Who else has selvedges with 15 colors?



Well, ok, Amy Butler gets a shelf too.



Some lines lend themselves more readily to integration. I do plan to sort this Color Me Happy into the rest of my stash eventually. But I’m enjoying looking at it for now. Maybe this shelf will be sort of like a fabric inbox. (I’m very much looking forward to adding Catnap to it soon, thanks to Everyday Fray!!)


I also designated a shelf for the project I’m working on at the time. Right now that’s barn door.


The rest of the shelves are organized loosely by color.


Look at the poor lonely solids in the upper right

I’ve promised my husband that when the shelf is full I’ll stop buying fabric. At least until I use enough to make more room!

Even if I’m the only one who’s really going to see it on a daily basis, I think it’s worth it to keep my stash as beautifully organized as possible. Maybe this is one of the keys to actually wanting to use the fabric I already have instead of always feeling like I want to buy more.

We made a special trip to the nearest Ikea for the counter-height cutting table with handy shelves for scrap sorting and ruler storage.


I have one scrap bin for usable scraps to keep and one for unusable scraps to also keep – in case I need to stuff something or make an art quilt.


And here’s my thread organizer and matching cork board for inspirational notes, fabric bits, and pictures. And my Juki! You can read about my love for my Juki here.




I think my 2nd most favorite element in my new sewing room is my scrap organization system. But!! I want to share that with you in a slightly different way. I’m guest hosting as part of Sarah’s Scraps 101 series @ mila+cautro today! You really must click over and visit me there!


In case you’re wondering, here’s a rundown of the main expenses:

Of course I’ll be back Monday for week 2 of the barn door quilt-a-long. I am so excited to show you my progress and see yours! I have been posting regularly to Instagram. I’m @sarahschraw and we’re using #barndoorqal. I also added a little Instagram widget to my sidebar for anyone who’d rather check in here.

Lastly, the Year in Review party is closing in just a couple of hours! I am about half through visiting all the links and it has been such fun to see what everyone did last year. I plan to visit the last half as soon as the party closes so I don’t miss anything.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom to celebrate the completion of my sewing room and my 8 scrap baskets! Don’t forget to visit me here to hear much more about those. And I think all these pretty fabric pictures entitle me to link up for Sunday Stash as well!

WIP wednesday: dreaming of next Christmas

So many fabulous Christmas projects around the interwebs lately! I’m terribly jealous because I pretty much only have time to pin to my Pinterest page and dream of next year. I’ve decided that I’m going to completely block off November and December next year for holiday sewing!

Here’s what I’m working on instead:

  • I’m sewing the binding down on my penny sampler. How exciting is that?? As soon as that’s done I’ll be on the lookout for the first available moment for some decent photos. DSC07082
  • I’ve been setting up my new sewing room, and getting used to sewing in it. I’ll be sharing much more about that when it’s in a more presentable state. This week I’m painting the walls and soon I’ll be making curtains out of this voile I finally found an excuse to buy. I would seriously buy that fabric in every color of the rainbow if it was regular quilting cotton.DSC07058
  • I’m hand quilting a great big quilt that will be a Christmas present. I’ll share it with you after it’s gifted. (No picture allowed!)
  • But I’m the most excited about the present I am making for YOU!


How bout that? I’m participating in Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day next Monday. I’ll be giving away a Noodle-head divided basket. Here’s a sneak peak:DSC07078

Ok, so technically no longer a WIP. This went together much faster than I expected. I’m usually pretty shy about 3-dimensional objects but I was determined to conquer this pattern because it’s such a cute & useful item. I’d love to have a whole bunch of them to organize my scraps. It also seems like a great go-to pattern for baby shower gifts (you know- when there’s just not time for a quilt).

In case you missed it, I’ve posted the fabric requirements for the barn door quilt-a-long. But DON’T PANIC. We won’t be starting until after the holidays! I took advantage of the Fat Quarter Shop black Friday sale and ordered the fabric for mine. I’ll share that as soon as it arrives. That is going to be some happy mail!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and NTT!

Studio Spotlight Series

Jennifer at Ellison Lane is hosting a linky party for sewing spaces, and I thought I’d join in.


I currently sew at our dining room table, although I hope to turn the nursery into a sewing room as soon as the baby is old enough to bunk with big brother. He’s not a baby anymore really – he’s 2. But I enjoy still thinking of him as “the baby” for now.


This is my beloved Juki, which I purchased earlier this summer and just adore. I made several beautiful quilts with my old Singer though and I actually had to keep her for the occasional need of her zigzag stitch.


This is how I keep my sewing space as tidy as possible, given that it’s in the middle of our home: one bucket for scraps big enough to use and one bucket for scraps less than 1 square inch (my personal cutoff). And there’s a little “quilt” my 3-year-old made with scraps and glue. So cute.

I keep my fabric in the closet.


There’s my neglected Accuquilt cutter. I really should sell that.

Have you seen Jeni Baker’s folding method? After a few of you mentioned it in your stash showing party posts I checked it out. Actually her whole “Art of Choosing” series is pretty interesting. I’ve been working my way through it.

On Saturday night I started refolding my stash while watching some new Tom Cruise movie with my husband! It’s a big job but I love how it’s looking.


The thing I look forward to most about creating a new sewing room is the idea of getting my fabric out of hiding and displaying it on shelves! That will make me so happy. I’ve been tempted to fill this guy with fabric but I’ve resisted so far.


So that’s where I sew guys! Moving it will be bittersweet because I love being nearby the kids’ playroom. I’ll have to find a new way of organizing my sewing time.

Today sewing starts for our first project for the Penny Sampler! I’m sure I’ll have some WIP pictures to share very soon. And later this week, a big announcement for our friends who are beginners or have not yet made their first quilt!