What led to The Big Cleanup
I’m not a person that works very effectively in a cluttered space. Before I get started – you have to know that the “before” image above is the result of a couple of years of de-stashing, reorganizing, and rearranging. So what happened for it to get so overwhelming (to me?)
A few years ago, I inherited a lot of quilting goodies from a very close friend when she passed. That all went into my space – along with all the quilting goodies I had already collected on my own. At the end of 2019 (right before Covid hit) I closed my retail shop in Beaverton. Nearly all of the inventory was sold – but so many other quilting goodies and odds and ends from the shop ended up in this small (8′ x 13′) room. By the beginning of 2020 – there were (literally) boxes stacked front to back – all the way to the ceiling. I don’t have pictures of the room at that stage – I was far too overwhelmed to take pictures. There was no room to move – much less sew or quilt.
Since that time I’ve worked very hard to sort out and re-home things I no longer love or am inspired by. By this spring – I had finally sorted out and removed almost everything that I didn’t want to keep. That’s pretty awesome – right?
Finally, I had enough space – and storage in this room to store all my stuff – and be creative too. End of story – well not exactly. I had the space and the storage – but no clear organization for the room. Because this room is used for my pattern design business – I needed to set up several “stations” that are dedicated to specific tasks. The stations can be multi-purpose – but the storage and space need to accommodate the work that needs to be performed.
Shipping / Pressing / Design Wall
This space on the left side of the room accommodates all my packaging and shipping supplies (under the counter). My printed patterns are stored in the drawers of the green cabinets. All the pressing tools and iron are on the countertop as is the postal scale. On the wall above the counter is my small design wall. I also had room for some fabric storage under the counter.
Cutting Counter and Fabric Storage
The cutting counter is built into the back wall – with great lighting over the table. To the left and above the cutting table are built-in cabinets. These cabinets are organized with totes labeled as to what they contain. I primarily store fabrics, completed projects, kits, pillow forms, and notions in these cabinets.
The sewing table is integrated into the cabinetry at the back of the room. It’s on casters so it can slide back against the cutting counter when I need to make more space in the center of the room. My rulers, thread, and bobbins (stored in rings) hang on the wall to the left of the sewing machine. This keeps them out of direct sunlight – and within easy reach. I LOVE this setup. You can also just see (in the picture on the left – below) the totes of fabric I have organized and stored on the shelves under the sewing table.
The Computer Station
Having a computer in the sewing room is helpful for processing orders and working on new designs. All the “office” stuff sits on top and the shelves underneath hold part of my (now organized) fabric collection and special projects. Again – I’ve labeled each tote. This area also includes a bookshelf built into the front of the sewing table. You’ll notice that most of my under-counter storage is covered by a curtain. Not only does it protect my fabrics from the strong light of the large window – it helps the space to look a bit less cluttered.
The Quilting Station
This was a huge gift to myself, something I never thought I would have space for. I found the Cutie Frame (from the Grace Company) – I can make that work in the space! We were able to take the remaining cabinets we brought home from the shop – and create a tabletop attached to the top of the cabinets – and a ledger board on the wall. I added a Jazz II machine to this setup and I’m ready to start practicing my free-motion quilting. The cabinets below the frame store projects that are ready to quilt. In the space behind the cabinets (under the countertop) – I have 4 large totes – filled with batting. It’s the perfect place to store these bulky items.