How I organize my sewing spaces

Want to take a peek inside my sewing spaces? The topic of this post is “organizing your sewing space,” but I have to admit that I’m a pretty messy person. There’s an order to the mess, but don’t expect to see Pinterest-worthy photos in this post!

The most organized area of all my sewing spaces is my scraps:

I bought those blue boxes from Container Store (my favorite store!), and sorted my scraps by color into boxes. To make it easier to find the color I’m looking for, I cut a small square of the color and attached it to the outside of the box. As you can see, I have fewer red and beige scraps than any other color! If you’re wondering where my black/white, blue, and pink scraps are since none of these boxes are those colors… it’s because I have way more of those scraps, so they don’t fit in even the largest of these blue boxes. So they live elsewhere, in much bigger boxes!

In an effort to do the #honestcraftroom thing, I didn’t clean up (much) before taking a photo of my home sewing area:

I love my Juki 2010Q SO MUCH. I can’t tell you enough good things about it — the large throat space, the speed, the simplicity of a straight-stitch-only machine. The only negative I’ve ever found with this machine is that its walking foot is super loud and frankly kind of scary to use. So I never do walking-foot quilting on this machine and instead do that on the Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2’s we have in the Gotham studio. They have a dual feed system that makes that type of quilting smooth and enjoyable.

Oh and can I take a moment to point out the giant cone of Aurifil on the Juki? I get light grey Aurifil 2600 in cones because I simply use it that much. I do all my piecing with it, and probably 80% of my domestic free motion quilting too. It blends with every color!

You’ll also notice that I have my sewing machine sunken into a table. I do a lot of quilting on my domestic, and having the machine sunken in like this makes quilting SO MUCH easier. This table is an Arrow Gidget I table, and I like it so much that we bought the same ones for the classroom at the Gotham Quilts studio. Another great thing about this table is that it’s sturdy enough to not wobble no matter how fast I’m going.

When I’m piecing, I like to pull my ironing board right up next to me and lower it, so that I can sew a seam, then turn and press it, then go back to the sewing machine in a smooth motion without getting up or wasting too much time. Usually I would put the wider end of the board up by the table… I’m not quite sure why it ended up with the pointy end up there this time!

One other small organizational thing: See that white box to the right of the sewing machine? I bought that at Container Store too, and I find it invaluable for catching all the random things that accumulate next to the sewing machine. Things like seam rippers, the machine’s screwdriver and lint brush, clover clips, etc. Right now that little box also has my passport and a calculator in it… again, I’m not sure why. Whenever I can’t find something, this box is the first place I look!

As you can see in the photo, I’m in the middle of an all-solids project (the Tula Pink Interrupted Log Cabin quilt), so there are appropriate bits of solid fabric all over the place. Oh, and some leftover low-volume fabrics on the ironing board from the last project, which haven’t been sorted into their scrap bins yet.

I have one more space to share with you:

My longarm space! This is the back room of the Gotham Quilts studio, and my 2009 model APQS Lenni lives here (along with all the random things that we need to store for the business). The room is 7 feet wide and the machine is 4 feet, 2 inches wide. Every time I hear someone who doesn’t live in NYC say “I wish I had room for a longarm,” I whip out this photo 😉

Organization for a longarm is a whole different animal, because there are so many little things to keep track of. You see that bookcase in the very front right of the photo? That’s where all my thread cones live, plus things like extra needles, bobbins (I buy pre-wound bobbins to save time), and machine oil. The area under the longarm stores miscellaneous Gotham stuff as well as the larger “extras” for the longarm, like the ruler work extension table and batting.

In the future if I ever have more space for the longarm, I’d love to set up a system to organize the quilts as they wait to be quilted so that they’re visible instead of folded up in the bookcase. Keeping them visible will be helpful in coming up with ideas on how to quilt them, and will hopefully push me to get them quilted faster, too! Since we don’t take in quilts, all the ones waiting are samples for Gotham or gifts for our family members. Some have been waiting nearly a year, and I really want to get them finished.

Maybe instead of wishing for more space, I should wish for more hours in a day…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my messy organization! If you have any questions or want to see different parts of my setup, please leave a comment and let me know.

This post is part of the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop organized by Faith & Fabric. Visit the other blog hoppers to read more about their sewing spaces!

Jen @ Faith and Fabric
Raylee @ Sunflower Stitcheries
Tisha @ Quilty Therapy
Emily @ Toothpaste and Orange Cat
Sherry @ Adventures in Life
Emma @ Emkie Designs
Anne @ Hudson Valley Quilts
Sarah @ sarah goer quilts
Cindy @ Stitching at Home
Ivete @ Gotham Quilts — That’s me!
Amanda @ Fabric Engineer

4 thoughts on “How I organize my sewing spaces

  1. Joan says:

    I enjoyed your tour and appreciated that you showed the room the way it is. My sewing room looks very much like this! I also have the Juki 2010 machine and coincidentally it is in the same table!

  2. Ellen McKinley says:

    Thank God! There IS another human being whose quilting spaces look like she uses them! Thanks for the peek and the honesty….makes me feel downright normal.

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