Friday, August 2, 2013

MY WORK AREA

Many of you know that I have serious lower back pain if I am standing or walking.  I didn't even realize that my transformation from standing at a nice counter height cutting table in the sewing room to sitting for cutting was happening.  I began to realize that my cutting table was being used for fabric piles and nothing else and so it was given away.  I am working on preparing a large applique quilt project and thought that it was a good time to show you how I manage doing it all sitting down.  I warn you that I get messy when I am selecting fabrics and cutting out parts for applique.  I know a lot of you would be putting things away each evening and keeping a neat area but I don't work that way.

This is a view of the work area as I start into the sewing room.  I work within a sort of "U" shape.  The sewing cabinet in front of me, the ironing station to the right, and the cutting table to the left.  Fabric behind me and anywhere else I decide to deposit it while working with it.

I keep the drawer in the sewing cabinet open when I am working.  Inside it are scissors, seam ripper, rotary cutters (both for fabric cutting and paper cutting), tracing pens and pencils of all sorts,  Scotch tape,and a variety of other small tools and sewing items.


Below that drawer is an old wood box that holds an assortment of rulers and tracing paper pad.

To the right side under the machine is a narrow shelf.  I keep a tin with larger scissors, a stapler, more marking pencils, and a paper punch.  The shelf also holds spray starch.  It does get dusty down there.  I keep a jug of water down in that area for the steam iron.  Sometimes the freezer paper is in that area or stored just to the left of the machine cabinet along with a bolt of Heat 'n Bond Lite (in case I want to fusible applique).
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The top of the machine cabinet holds all sorts of items when I am prepping a project.  The patterns, block backgrounds, pin cushion, scissors, etc.  I keep a battery operated pencil sharpener there when I am working.  It is kept below on the narrow shelf when I am using the sewing machine.

To the right on the folding table is the ironing pad and iron.  There is also a floor lamp.  The type that the top is open.  I have a daylight bulb in it.  When I flip the switch on the power bar below the iron (I usually do it with a toe), the iron and lamp come on.  The overhead light fixture in the room has several daylight bulbs in it also.

Also below the folding tray is a portable Ott light that I use with my tracing stand.  The stand is propped up against the floor lamp.  I use that for tracing the applique design to the background.  I am going to purchase an LED light that is battery operated and will fit beneath the plastic tracing stand so that I will have one less cord to worry about.

To the right of the ironing stand starts my stash shelving units.  I keep three shelves of supplies in the first one.  Items such as basting spray, Clover bias makers, a plastic template for making different size circles, stick glue, Roxanne's Glue Baste It, needles and many other items.

In the cubicles beside the glues are sewing machine threads in plastic containers.

Below on the floor are the sewing machine attachments.

Now to the area behind me as I sit at the machine are the current fabrics I am using for the project in the works.  It looks messy and a large pile but underneath are a couple baskets of fabric that are stored for other projects in the works.  So not as much pulled out as it would seem.

My cutting table is a small folding table.  It holds a 24" cutting board.  It I need something larger, I using the kitchen counter.

Across the room is a book case with most of my books and patterns in it or stored to the side.  There is also a swivel office chair there so I can sit and turn if need be.  If I am having trouble sleeping at night, I will sit in that chair and look through quilt books.

On the same wall as the sewing machine cabinet is the design wall.  You will recognize the red and green blocks from two posts ago.  Right now I keep a plastic grocery bag on the door knob handle for scraps that are smaller than I care to save but might be usable to someone else.

So that is it.  It works for me!

Thanks for paying my blog a visit.
Karen


32 comments:

WoolenSails said...

I have my things so I can go from one station to the next and an office chair on wheels, so i can roll there, lol. I like your cubbies, would like that for my fat quarters and charm packs.

Debbie

Janet O. said...

I find it so interesting to see how other quilters organize and utilize their space. Gives me ideas, and often makes me jealous. : )
The quilt on your design wall is beautiful--so striking in those rich reds and greens.

julieQ said...

Very fun to see how it all works for you! I certainly love your red and green applique quilt, it is just wonderful on your design wall! I pray for your back, Karen...

Kindred Quilts said...

I'm like Janet... it's fun to see the layout of other sewing rooms! I can relate to one area of yours in particular... it would be the pile of fabrics on the floor when working on a project!

Kyle said...

I love how you've adapted your workspace to fit your needs. You create some lovely quilts in that space. You shouldn't change a thing.

sunny said...

It looks like you have a pretty good system. I usually clean off my table between projects, but since I'm usually working on more than one project at a time, it gets pretty messy!

Frog Quilter said...

Thanks for sharing your creative area. I suffer with a bad lower back too. Most of the time I try to ignore it.

Cheryl said...

You are brave to show us your work space. Mine is similiar. I usually have fabric everywhere. Once a week, I try to make myself pick up...operative word...try. When I do clean up and organize,then I cannot find anything! So, don't feel alone!

Jo said...

'a lot of you would be putting things away each evening and keeping a neat area' ... oh not me, then I too would never find a thing. Love your needlework sew don't change a thing!

Lorraine said...

I usually have a "post project" clean up before I start the next one...enjoyed seeing your sewing area...and I like your chair near the bookshelf!

Me and My Stitches said...

I just love seeing other quilters' sewing spaces. Love how you have everything you need right there at your fingertips. I want to come and dig through your fabric stash - looks like a fun place to be!

Julierose said...

It's always a treat to take a peek into how other sewers set up their room. I am constantly moving mine around to try to optimize my space...thanks for the looksee! hugs, Julierose

Little Penpen said...

I love seeing a 'real' sewing room that is being used. Thanks for the tour....love the quilt on the wall, too!

Nancy said...

Thanks for the peek into your sewing space. Mine is a lot more messy. Every available space in my room is piled with fabric from the projects I am currently working on and the floor we won't go there.
If I am cleaning up I am not sewing and I had rather be sewing. Your CCG blocks look great.

paulette said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the tour...now we know how the pro works! It looks to me like you are very organized, know where everything is and you can wheel to it! That is a system that I have to work on! Now that you have taken us on a tour, you need to show us what marking pens you like, how you work that light and table and how you applique...see give us a taste and we want more!! :o))) You do such beautiful work that we want to glean as much info as possible!
Thanks again for letting us into your wonderful space!! (Oh man...would I love to leaf through those patterns and books...haha)
P

Darlene said...

Thank you for giving us a tour. It's always fun to see how others organize their space. You have a perfect set up.

Mary said...

I leave fabrics out until a top is finished, too. I don't want to have to search through everything that's put away if I need one small piece and if I put it all away, that's what happens. I loved seeing your sewing space.

Maria Alba said...

La meva habitació de cosir, "el meu petit taller", s'assembla molt a la teva habitació. Hem fa falta mes lloc. Només tinc una taula i me'n faltaria una altre, però a on la poso ???
Bon cap de setmana !!!

Allie said...

We quilters always find a way to make it work, no matter our physical condition!!! I'm amazed at your organization, and how you have everything at your fingertips. Wonderful!!!

audrey said...

You sound very efficient! So glad you can still quilt even though you have back pain.:)

Barb said...

thanks for the tour - you've found a great way to work for you. I too am amazingly messy when in the throws of picking out fabrics - it's a happy mess!
are those Ikea Billy shelves? I just bought 3 and plan to fill them today

Loris said...

It's so nice to see where so much inspiration comes from :-) I love seeing all the beautiful quilty art coming from you. I was pulling fabric for my snowman quilt the other day, thinking about you :-)

Loris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

Funny how our work/design space changes over time to suit our needs. It looks like it is working for you.

Sue said...

How nice to see where you create your lovely needlework. Thanks for the tour. You seem organized to me when you know where everything you need is at your fingertips

Karen said...

Thanks for the tour - hope that lots of inspiration awaits you.

Sheila said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the pics - we all love to see how quilters work. I especially like the blocks you have on your design wall. That is going to be a gorgeous quilt.

belarmina said...

me gusta su entrada muchísimo!!!!
me reconozco en ella , yo trabajo parecido y me funciona
siempre digo este es mi orden
me gustan sus trabajos!!!
saludos

Jeanna said...

Cubbies are the greatest way to store things. There's A LOT of creative spirit in that room...it shows in your quilts too :)

Dawn said...

Thank you for the tour of your sewing space. Love your fabric cubbies. I keep my projectbafbricsout too. Once I've pulled them I want them handy...just in case.
So glad you shared!

Lee Prairie Designs said...

WOW!!! What a fun place to create...Thanks for sharing...I get messy, clean up, and get all messy again if its to tidy I have to search to long to find what I am looking for :)

Love what you are working on!

Carolyn

Carrie P. said...

now that I have moved to a smaller room I do pick up things each night before I go to bed so things are ready for me to work on. But when I has a bigger room I could get pretty messy. :0)
Great cubicles for your fabric.
Even though things might look messy you are still very organized.