Hello! Welcome to the Sew Your Stash 2019 | 7 post where I’m going to focus on and talk a little about our creative spaces. First, though, this has been a different sort of week for me. I’ve had a lot to do but have been making good use of my time, so that always feels good. And, we’ve had some chilly and rainy weather which has kept me indoors and contributed to my productivity. Rain is definitely a win-win if your primary task is to stay indoors and sew with lovely new fabric!
When I’m busy, I find that one of the keys to getting things done is for me to know where things are and to have a space that’s reasonably well-organized. And while I’ve been working on new quilts this week, I’ve been really thankful for the organizing I’ve been working on over the past couple of years that really comes into play when I’ve got a lot on my list. While I like to think I’m an organized person, the truth is that getting organized is a process. And I work at it continually.
And so as I’ve been sewing up a storm and thinking…here are some of the things I think can help everyone this week.
Sew Your Stash 2019 | 7
1. Embrace Your Space
I haven’t always had a light-filled (on most days) sewing room. From the time I got my first sewing machine (when I was ten) until about the age of 35 my sewing machine lived most of the time in a corner of my room. And that was just fine. When my children were little all of our bedrooms were upstairs, so it worked well for me to sew in my room while they were napping or sleeping because I was close by. It was only after our second child went away to college that I was able to move into the room you see now.
When I had bigger projects like quilts or Halloween costumes to make, I often took over our large dining room table with my machine and all of the associated mess. And that was fine as well. I just wish I hadn’t stressed so much during those years about not having a dedicated sewing space. I really could have just taken over a closet or a section of a closet to keep all of my supplies better organized back then.
2. Brainstorm Better Ways to Utilize the Space (s) you Have
Think about the best ways to maximize the space you currently have. Make a list of storage ideas or projects that could help make that space better. Whether you have a room or a corner of a room…or keep everything put away in a closet unless you’re sewing–there are certainly ways you can think of to help make it easier to work with. When you have your list, give yourself a generous time-table to make each suggestion happen.
3. Apply the Kon Mari Principles to your Sewing Things
So much has been said about the Kon Mari (Marie Kondo method of organizing) principles lately. I heard on the news just yesterday that thrift stores are experiencing incredible donation levels never before seen that are attributed to the success of the Kon Mari show on Netflix. And while I do believe in the tools I love and use every day…and even those I just use once in a while…there are only so many items that can reside in any given space.
4. Marie Kondo Categories for Quilters
In the Marie Kondo book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, readers are instructed to organize their households by category. This method can especially help quilters who have accumulated a lot of items for their craft. Below is a list of categories along with links to posts on organizing the items in that category. Just remember…it’s a process, and it doesn’t have to happen in one day. Pick one category a week, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly things get organized. Also, I’ve arranged things in what I think might be an easier order to tackle: some categories contain smaller items and might be more easily handled first. Plus, I think we all have more of an emotional attachment to our fabrics 🙂
Thread, Patterns, Books, Notions, and Rulers
- Thread. If you’re like me you like to have a lot of thread. Because we need a lot of colors, right? But organizing your thread can go quickly. Find some ideas on thread organization here.
- Patterns and Books. I have books and patterns I intend to make/use some day. And I also have some just for “inspiration.” I think it’s okay to have both as long as they fit in your space. Get ideas on organizing patterns and books here.
- Notions…rulers and other quilting gadgets and supplies. Find ideas on storing all kinds of quilting notions here. And find ideas for ruler, rotary cutter, and scissor storage here.
Projects, Fabric, Scraps, and Quilts
- Works in Progress. These projects have to be well-organized and accessible if you want to be able to easily access them and make progress. I keep most of my current projects in storage drawers but also have a few in labeled boxes. Quilts that are ready for quilting or almost ready for quilting are stored on hangers in the closet. See my project storage drawers here.
- Fabric Storage. I keep a lot of my fabric on shelves that aren’t close to direct sunlight. We’ve learned the hard way how damaging the sun’s rays can be to fabrics and upholstery here in the desert southwest. So I do try to keep my fabrics away from direct sunlight. Most of my fabrics are organized by color with the exception of Christmas fabrics and a few designers’ fabrics that I keep organized by designer. Get some more ideas here.
- Scrap Storage. Find some ideas for scrap storage here. And remember to be honest about which scraps you might actually use in the future.
- Quilts. While I try to decorate my home with many of my quilts (changing them out quarterly), I also have some of my quilts stored in closets. There are lots of fun and stylish ideas on storing quilts on my Quilt Storage & Display Pinterest board.
- Finally…there is a free PDF printable organizing page on my post “20 Steps to an Organized Sewing Space.” Download it and use it to get started.
Thank you so much for stopping by…and happy quilting!
I love these posts! This week I finished TWO quilts that had been languishing in my UFO pile for awhile now! I also have hope for finishing Two others before the end of the month. Between the organization and sewing my stash I’m making progress. Thanks for the great tips!
Ms Sam Nicholson says
Fantastic article!! Maybe you could do one for a tiny space too? I did get some great idea tough! Thank you!!
Wow Sherri, you have put a lot of thought into these posts. Thanks!
Thank you for this series of posts! They have really helped this year with my desire to clear out and use my stash!