Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop

When Cheryl from Muppin.com asked for bloggers to spring clean their sewing studios and share the results online, I jokingly asked if I could do everything but the cleaning part. Then it ended up falling right at the end of my purple parade princess project, so it turns out, I was more than ready to give the room a good purge. I’m tired of lilacs and crowns, y’all.

I also recently re-evaluated the needs of my sewing studio - I’m starting to get more longarm clients, so I can’t use the longarm as an extra storage space. I spend half my time moving things from the longarm to the pressing table and back again! So I did some cleaning and moving this week.


This was my pressing table earlier this month - you can see the pile of purple princess fabrics on the far end. And fabric and boxes piled to the ceiling. I love my pressing table (it’s a nice 24x48” piece of plywood, great for pressing big pieces of fabric) but I’ve tried a bunch of different “legs” for it, and nothing really works. Plus with these bookshelves, and the stuff under the table, I can’t see what’s on the bookshelves behind it.


So I got rid of it all.

Well, not quite. The pressing board is now behind the bookshelves, and I can pull it out and put it across my cutting table if I need to, or on the living room floor if I need to binge watch while fusing interfacing on tshirt squares. And now I can see - well, gee, there’s an awful lot of potential backing fabrics down there. I should probably work my way through those this summer.


Yup, that’s a cutting table. I mean, only about 24” of the mat is usable, but hey - who wants to go through all that paperwork? And if you peek over at the longarm table, you can see some princess squares laid out. Very conducive for actual longarming.

By the way, this room is the house’s formal dining room. Hence the fabulous chandelier, sucky lighting, and openness to the rest of the house.


Oh look, that mat is actually 36” wide! Go figure! The quilts on the longarm are both getting bound this weekend, and don’t tell Cheryl, but I just moved all the paperwork to the kitchen table to sort through on Sunday.


Just in case you were wondering if you can put a 12’ longarm table in an 11’x13’ room - yes, you can, but maybe you shouldn’t. We had to take the handle off the wheel because it stuck out into the walkway between the dining room and living room, right at the height of my seven-year-old’s forehead. And this is the longarm when not in use - I pull it out to actually quilt and there’s even less walking space in and out. Not that anyone thinks about that when they constantly walk in and out of my space.

The pizza boxes are my works in progress. Yeah, there’s too many of them. And even though they’re labeled, I can’t ever find the ones I want, when I want them. And them piled in my narrow walkway doesn’t help!


That’s slightly better. The bins underneath hold scraps, thread, my longarm supplies, my zippers, and a filing cabinet for the paperwork that I’m really going to get to on Sunday. REALLY. On top of those, I can slid my smaller cutting mats, my larger rulers, and my Plexiglass for doodling quilting designs.

Plus now CC has room to lounge.


Another corner with random stuff that doesn’t need to be piled there. What a surprise! That basket of flannel scraps was supposed to be for a cat to sleep in. She never used it. The Ikea boxes are my QOVF supplies and RWB scraps - stacking them like that really makes it fun to get to the bin on the bottom. And aren’t those drawers super accessible??


The QOVF bins are in the main shelves now, and I moved my scrap bins to this corner. One bin is my binding corners, one is for regular scraps, and one is for strings - when it’s full, I stuff a flat rate mailer and send it to a friend who makes “phoenix fabric” out of the bits. Because I hate string quilts.


And the cat? Doesn’t need a bed to do some hardcore napping in the corner. (Seriously. I had to poke her the other day to see if she was still alive.)


The drawers still need work, but I did get the scissors one cleaned out and organized. Yes, I have boy children. Yes, I am always prepared.


My machine sits on top of a vintage Singer machine, and didn’t really need much work. It’s too small of a table to get cluttered. I did just discover that the drawers on the left broke at some point, so…yay? I’ll have to pull it out and see if duct tape will be a solution.

I cleaned out some of the WiP boxes over here, so now the accessible ones are my BOMs and QOVF things. And I found my missing Eternal Bloom block! So yay for cleaning!


So, a semi-cleaned sewing space! It was nice to put away all the princess fabric and actually move on from that project, and it was definitely nice to make a few changes to give myself a little more space to work. Let’s hope I can keep that floor space from getting piles of WiPs and paperwork and cats again…

If you’re new here, hi! I cohost a weekly link party for blocks of the month (though we’re pretty loose with the definition) on Mondays. And those princess quilts I keep mentioning will be presented on May 18, so their finish post will be the Friday after that. Stick around and subscribe if you want to see them!

I’m also - slightly coincidentally - hosting 52 Quilters on Instagram next week, talking about sewing in small spaces. So if there’s anything specific in this room that you want to know about, hop over there and ask! Unless it’s about how to keep cats out of the sewing room, because clearly I don’t know how to do that.


The 5th Annual Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hoppers!

April 29 – Linda Bratten – http://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Sandra Johnson – http://www.sandrajohnsondesigns.com
May 1 – Jennifer Schifano Thomas – http://www.Curlicuecreations.com
May 2 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://www.prettypiney.com
May 3 – Sue Griffiths – http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
May 4 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
May 5 – Jo Westfoot – http://www.thecraftynomad.co.uk/blog
May 6 – Sam Hunter – http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 7 – Simone Fisher – http://simonequilts.com/blogs/news
May 8 – Elisabeth DeMoo- http://www.brownbirddesignsquilts.com
May 9 – Sarah Myers –  http://www.quilted-diary.com/blog
May 10 – Amy Bradley – http://www.purplepineapplestudio.com
May 11 – Kathy Nutley – http://www.QuiltingsByKathy.com
May 12 – Carla Henton – http://createinthesticks.blogspot.com/
May 13 – Sherry Shish – http://www.poweredbyquilting.com
May 14 – Kate Colleran – http://www.seamslikeadream.com/blog
May 15 – Pamela Boatright – https://www.pamelaquilts.com/
May 16 – Cathy McKillip – http://wishuponaquilt.com/blog
May 17 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Check out the rest of the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2019 and follow this hashtag on Instagram! #springcleanyourstudio2019

Weekly Progress - Spring Break

The Dude and I had a fun spring break, filled with cleaning and organizing. No, I swear - he had fun! He made a creeper with his closet organizers...very easy to make him happy.

I snuck in a little sewing - I scheduled what will probably be my last toddler-free quilting session for Thursday, so I did a quick inventory on what I could get done.

Answer: table runners. And more table runners. Mostly because the backing is all the same size, so I can sew the ends together and just keep quilting on down. Then I don't have to worrying about loading the longarm again.

And that will give me plenty to bind for a while!

I also pieced all the square-in-square blocks, so now I just get to put together Spin Cycle blocks at my leisure. Nine more to go!

And my weekly churn dash. This is from a doll dress I made for my niece. Yeah. Slim pickings in the purple scraps for favorites! I actually do have a couple well-loved bits, but not enough for a churn dash. I may add them to the RSC'13.

And the only new purchase from Spring Cleaning Week. Most of the shelving here went to the Dude's room, or became a fridge for the play kitchen. This nice big shelf can hold/organize almost everything that used to be crammed into random places, or on the floor.

And that's about it. This week, I need to fix the Dude's Cub Scout uniform - the Blue and Gold Banquet is coming up and he's still, according to his shirt, a member of the Oklahoma council. And of course, the first thing I'm quilting on Thursday is the Little Man's quilt.

But mostly, I'll be waiting on pins and needles for the final approval phone call.


Weekly Progress - Airplane Germs

Well, it was inevitable with 24+ hours in airplanes. I came down with a head cold of sorts and spent the last week sleeping it off and drinking tea. So not that much got done in the sewing room.

Spin Cycle - added one more block...of course, the one that Bad Kitty is sitting on.

At that block, I ran out of square-in-a-square pieces, so it was time to start chain piecing some more. Woohoo.

Weekly Churn Dash - this was from one of my very first projects, a purse that I put together totally wrong and never fixed. It's a good reminder of how far I've come!

And I stitched down the applique on Goodnight Monkey, and started prepping the back. I'm using a panel and the leftover pieces from the front.

And, very exciting for the Dude - we're spending Spring Break cleaning and organizing closets, which includes swapping out some of my sewing room shelving. So far, his room is looking a lot better...and the rest of the house is looking a lot worse.


Weekly Progress - Swapping

My mom was here last week, so there wasn't much sewing. We did do a lot of general house organizing {sometimes you just need someone else to look at the fridge and say, "that weird shelf is for soda cans."}

And we undertook a big sewing/playroom swap. Just rotated everything 90º around the room, so that the sewing stuff lines one wall and the kid stuff lines the other. Now the cutting table has the best light by the front window {bonus: can see the bus stop} and the storage units are right by the TV cable.

Obviously there's still plenty of boxes to be unpacked and organized - but we're getting there.

And I started relearning paper piecing for St. Paul's Cross. Ugh. I remember why I hate paper piecing. My first block was totally off. I've got everything printed to the same scale now and I'm getting better at remembering all the steps. Still, not my favorite piecing method!

I didn't add anything to the design wall this week. {Flirt Marks the Spot}

And barely added to my RSC pile. But I did do the math and I think I need to do 14 of these little blocks each month...which means I'm now 42 blocks behind and haven't even started cutting baby blues!

Weekly Progress - Making Some

Slowly, things are getting into place. I think we have about ten more boxes to unpack, and we're actually putting things away...in what may be the permanent location! {Maybe. I changed the layout of the dining room six times...and it's the smallest room!}

The top half of my shelves is looking good. If you can get fabric to reach the ceiling, it's a good day...or the ceilings are low. I prefer the scrap boxes separate on shelves like this, so I can browse easier. My fat quarters are in the boxes, too - anything more than a half yard is wrapped on comic book boards and shelved.

Bottom half is still pretty much a disaster...and I pulled a ton of the FIZ {fabric in ziploc} and put them in the striped boxes. I need to find the bins that go in the shelving unit and hide some FIZ in there. Or, you know, work on them.

Meanwhile, at the sewing machine...

Working through the snowball-ish rectangles for Flirt Marks the Spot...which made it to a quasi-design wall. {I've got a plan sketched out for a PVC pipe frame...but the hacksaw hasn't been unpacked yet. Thought about pinning it to the shelving unit until then...but I can't find thumbtacks.}

I started putting together a weighted blanket. My sheet set is terribly wonky, so there's been a lot of trimming, but other than that it's coming together very nicely.

And my faithful Rainbow Scrap Challenge leader/enders. My reds are some of my favorite fabrics, so this little stack makes me happy.