Studio Spotlight Series: Where I Sew


Actually, a more accurate title of this post might be “Where Do I NOT Sew?” because frankly, at this point, my “studio” has expanded so that it’s all over my house.

my sewing room
Anyway, I’m happy to be participating today in the Studio Spotlight Series with Jennifer from Ellison Lane and Heather from The Sewing Loft. This week they’re featuring sewing spaces from all kinds of crafty people. As you can see, I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful little sewing room. (It’s usually a lot messier than this—I totally cleaned for you guys!)

minis on my studio wall
I have a nice window where I can peek out at my back yard. And an “inspiration wall” of mini-quilts made by friends in swaps (these two were made by Jessica and Kaelin).

Stash closet!

A great stash closet! (I used this tutorial by Angela of Cut to Pieces to fold and organize my fabric, making mini bolts using comic book boards. I got the shelves in the closet organization aisle at Home Depot—but I actually flipped them upside down when I installed them, in order to hold the fabric in better.)

A stack of some of my favorite recent quilts. A bookcase full of quilting magazines and books. A design wall.

Of course it’s usually not Martha-Stewart neat and organized. If I hadn’t cleaned up for these photos, you also would have seen cardboard boxes on the floor that are full of patterns. Stacks of fabric that I pulled and then did nothing with. Random notions and other odds and ends sitting around because I don’t know where else to put them. But it’s a pretty great little space anyway and has served me well.

But you know what? I hardly ever actually sew there. Because there’s one thing missing from up in that room—my family.

I want to sew (and I need to sew) where everybody else is. I’m not sure how I would get anything done during the day if I couldn’t sit down and sew at a moment’s notice, right next to where my kids are playing, rather than off in a different part of the house. And after the girls are in bed, I don’t know what kind of marriage I would have if I couldn’t sew right there next to my husband while he’s watching his sports or surfing the web. : )

Sewing in the Family Room
So here’s where I really do most of my sewing: My family room. The little drop-in table that came with my Horizon can be a little awkward in this room, but it does fit, and it’s easily movable if company is coming or if I won’t be using it for a few days. As a result, my sewing room upstairs has mostly become a storage space—which is good, because my storage needs seem to be expanding all the time.

Dining room cutting table

And my dining room doubles as a cutting/fabric staging area. That room is usually a bit of a mess, as you can see, so I try to keep the chaos to a minimum by only having fabric for my current projects out in that room. Anything not currently in use has to go back upstairs. And let’s face it, this room gets a lot more use now than it ever did when it was just a dining room. LOL.

So, yes, my “studio” is pretty much my entire house at this point. Fortunately, my family puts up with it. And it just goes to show that you really don’t need a dedicated sewing space. I’ve found dedicated storage space—and a spot for my machine that’s right near the rest of the fam—is what works for me. Now head over to Jennifer’s and Heather’s blogs to see some other inspiring sewing spaces.

P.S. (Edited to add)
: I’m also linking up today with the “You Show Me Yours I’ll Show You Mine” stash linky party at Sarah Quilts. Today is the last day to link up, but head over there to see fabric stashes big and small.

38 replies
  1. Kymberly
    Kymberly says:

    I love the idea of sewing everywhere. My sewing "studio" doubles as my kitchen and while I often dream of more storage space it's so wonderful being close to my family as I work.

  2. Krysta
    Krysta says:

    I also sew in my family room so that I can be with my family! It may not look awesome, but my family hasn't complained yet (fortunately!) In fact, we are moving in a few weeks, and I am planning on just setting up a dedicated sewing space in the family room right from the start in our new house.

  3. TheSewingLoft
    TheSewingLoft says:

    I am loving the fabric stash closet. Is it really a closet Lee? I mean does it close on all sides or do you have it covered just on the one side? Honestly, my head is spinning and I think I have the perfect place to make that happen in my studio. This weekend, I am cruising the aisles of HD for sure! Thank you so much for sharing your sewing space with us.

  4. Linda F.
    Linda F. says:

    Your sewing room is awesome. I totally understand what you're saying about not sewing in it though. I have a space in our finished basement and I'm often dragging my things into the living space upstairs instead. But, it's nice to have your supplies all together in one place so the sewing "room" serves it's purpose.

  5. Donna~~
    Donna~~ says:

    sew all over the house, too, and cut on my dining room table despite a perfectly good place to cut in my sewing room. I have to warn you though (as I look at your pretty table) that I have some zigzag rotary cutter marks across my table, where I was trimming a large quilt and wasn't quite on the mat. Fortunately my dining room table is an old one we bought to refinish, not pretty like yours! Thanks for showing us your room(s).

  6. Julie
    Julie says:

    Your house feels so pretty and serene the way you've decorated. I have a craft room, but I set up my sewing machine cabinet in a corner of the kitchen. Homes feel homeier that way to me. Love that your family stays close when you sew.

  7. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    I love this little peek into your sewing room/house! My dining room looks just like yours-and I do the same thing with pulling fabric and never doing anything with it! It's one of my favorite things to do-just see the possibilities of combinations 🙂

  8. Leila
    Leila says:

    What a beautiful home and storage area! I also think that I would get a lot more done if my sewing area was upstairs. My husband thinks that since I have a sewing room there shouldn't be a sewing machine at the kitchen table. 🙂

  9. Patricia A. Hawkenson
    Patricia A. Hawkenson says:

    Thank goodness for the 'messy' dining room table! Otherwise, I wouldn't have believed any actual sewing was getting done. HA! I love your organized shelves of fabric. SO neat and inspiring. Keep sewing – wherever that happens to be.

  10. Anne
    Anne says:

    It's nice that you are able to adapt to your entire house one way another. When kids are younger it's good to be nearby. My first studio was our very unused small living room and it was great to be where my family was. Now I have my very own space upstairs which I love for it's privacy.

  11. Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
    Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane says:

    First off, thanks a whole big bunch for being part of our studio tour Lee! Next I am loving your wallpaper in your dining/cutting room. 🙂
    Love that you keep it real and sew with the fam. If my sewing space wasn't downstairs by the kitchen and ensconced in the middle of real life, I don't know when I would get any of it done!

  12. Qltr89
    Qltr89 says:

    Like you, I sew everywhere in my home including poolside where I make EPP. I really like how you folded your fabric stash. Thank you for the link. Next stop, shop for comic book boards. Thank you for inspiring me to tidy up my stash. I spent a couple of hours this morning tidying up my dining room/living room which I have been using as my sewing space.

  13. Celia Ambrose
    Celia Ambrose says:

    thanks for your photos. I have sewing in more than one room too! My grandmother's treadle is in the formal living room. My home quilting system is in the formal dining room. I use the dining table in the kitchen as well, and I have a small bedroom that is my "designated sewing room." But, I feel too separated in there. Love your quilts! Very pretty, and love the colors.

  14. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    Oh wow, this is amazing 🙂 Love the photos, and it looks SO much neater than mine! I'm currently debating spending time on making things look pretty vs sewing. I think sewing will win!

  15. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    I love this! We're in the process of moving and I keep hinting that I'd like my sewing space to be a little less secluded than my husband has in mind 🙂 Compromise? Store it in a studio and sew at the dining room table — apparently I am jumping on your bandwagon!

  16. LynCC
    LynCC says:

    Heee!! I couldn't help giggling when I saw your dining room. Ours provides the exact same usage except for Thanksgiving Day. ;D It's actually known in our house as "The Quilting Parlor" – nobody ever says "dining room" anymore.

  17. Ginny
    Ginny says:

    Love your stash solution!! and I smiled so when I seen your Horizon and table in the family room–exactly where mine sits. I too love to be in the midst of it and the lighting is much better! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Momyar
    Momyar says:

    Love the shelves!!! Can you give me more information on them? I'll probably stop by my Home Depot tomorrow.

    Any additional information would be great appreciated!!!

    Thanks and Hugs!!!!

  19. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    How did I miss this one? (Vacation, summer fun, yada yada)

    Love the wise words at the end, about sewing in amongst the family. It made me think of Jane Sassaman sewing on her dining room table for years and years. I think she finally moved to a house with a dedicated studio, but before that she was in the middle of the family action, just like you.

    Fun to see your sewing room, and yeah, I knew you'd cleaned it up!
    🙂 Elizabeth


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