Ideal quilting area?
Two years ago I began quilting and even my husband understood that this is going to be a lifelong hobby. Because I do not have much experience I need your advice.
We started house hunting and our goal is to find a house with an ideal space for quilting. I canít horde for myself a separate 20 by 20ft studio Ė how sad!
1. There are three options: a regular bedroom, a loft, or a family room assigned only for quilting. Which do you prefer?
2. What is better: quilting on the first floor where the household will be close by, or on the second floor where guests wonít come by my mess?
3. And the main question: how big should the space be, to be comfortable (it also has to fit TV and a reclining chair for my husband, who is planning to spend long winter nights together Ė isnít he a sweetie?)
Please help me by sharing your experience of what would be an ideal sewing area. Ideal, but realistic.
I would want a room that is twice the size of the average bedroom. You can always make a cozy space in the corner, but you can't make a room bigger. I am using my elder daughter's old bedroom. Our house was built in 1975, so the bedrooms are quite small. I could use a larger room, although I am thrilled that I have a sewing room at all! for over 16 years I didn't have one. I would not be concerned about upstairs or downstairs as much as which side of the house I'm on. As much as I love the sun shining in my room, I have my sewing machine under the south facing window. When the sun is shining, I am nearly blinded. As far as guests seeing a mess, you can always shut the door:) I am thrilled for you! Let us know what you decide on, please.
Answer to # 3 - Yes, your husband is a sweetie!
If you buy a home with a large family or a living/dining room 'great room', then that would be a good choice for sewing in, since DH wants to spend time with you. But remind him that sewing is not only messy, but can be noisy, too!
Do you ever plan on getting a long arm? If so, the bigger your space the better. We have a house with 5 garages, 3 of them heated and, most impressive, the 3 car garage has a full bathroom as well. That is why we bought the house - DH uses the 3 car garage for his hobbies; he very kindly offered me one bay for my HQ16 on a quilting frame, and I accepted. (This happened AFTER I threw him and his overwhelming hobby collections out of the house! What a guy!)
We spend lots of time together doing our own thing in his garage. However, I do all my piecing in the house in the dining area of our great room, so the noise does interfere with his TV. (Most of the time he falls asleep in front of the TV so it's not that big a deal.) Bottom line is that sharing a space sounds wonderful, but may not live up to your expectations, so think about it carefully.
Question #2 - my sewing areas are on the main floor. My DH uses the bonus room that I thought I'd use for his music. I'm glad we decided to do this, as climbing stairs is getting harder for me as time goes on. We also use the bonus room as a guest room, so it does double duty, especially when the 'grands' come out.
Also, if you frequently have 'grands' over like I do, and they like to sew, it's much better to have your sewing area in a place that is easily supervised. If you have 'grands' over a lot and they have no interest in sewing, then you could sew in a more isolated part of the house - like a bedroom or a loft.
I started with using our one spare bedroom. The rooms are small, but it was enough room for me.....in the beginning. It was on the main floor and I didn't sew when DH was home due to the noise. Once I got the longarm I used the den downstairs AND the spare bedroom. Now I have it all down in the den and have made the spare bedroom my office. The den has room for all the quilting stuff and a recliner so DH can join me and spend time.
Whatever size you think will work for you, add at least 5 feet and that will be more like it. A closet to store supplies in. Room for all your fabric, and supplies. Room for a cutting table, your machine(s). A wall to use as your display wall..... etc.
Have fun house hunting!
I have been quilting for about 18 months and I started by setting up space in a spare bedroom. I recently moved my sewing machine etc to the end of the family room. I put it there because it has a large window and I spend quite a bit of time there so I wanted to enjoy the sunlight. I can eventually see my quilting stuff overtaking the room but for now it is fine. I can turn on the TV while I sew and my daughter can also come and watch TV if she likes.
I'd say that the family room is a good choice but you have to do what works for you and your family. Good luck.
I prefer to be within speaking and seeing of my family room, I took over the dining room since we have an eat in kitchen. Since it is not a huge room, old farm house, I have a spare bedroom in the basement, since 3 of my 4 kids are now gone, and use it for storage of bolts of fabric and my dress forms. I also do custom sewing for proms and weddings. I spend so many hours sewing that if I was in a seperate area away from family would never see them. My machine is tucked into a corner so the noise is cut down.
Where ever you decide to set up just make sure you can fit all you have into one room or area, then double the sq. footage, you will grow into it. I started up stairs in the spare bedroom, then I moved machine and basics down stairs to be closer to DH. Spent more time running up and down stairs than I did sewing. Finally moved everything down stairs. We are both much happier, so are my knee's.LOL
Well, it seems our "house" has been taken over by fabric and machines.
I do have a small "sewing room" that is basically fabric storage (and freezer and all other crafty items). I had the sewing machine and embroidery machine in there but since my DH is only home a couple days a week I didn't want to be away from him. Now that my Dad lives with us also and likes to "help" the sewing room is out of the question (besides it's out of hand now anyway and needs cleaning badly).
My sewing machine is on our dining room table. The embroidery machine is in the front room on an extra dining room table. Our couch is history because last May, DH decided I needed a long arm so that is now also in the front room.
Someday (when our last remodel gets paid off) we'll add a large rectangular room that will be for just sewing/crafting with loads of wall space for design wall and shelving. I'd love to have 2 workstations back to back so I don't have to sew facing a wall. Desk space for the laptop will be a must too.
Good luck and have fun
Everybody's needs are so different -- I have a large room over the attached garage that works for me. I don't quilt all that much, but I certainly love it and have lots of supplies. After living with this set up for 2 years, I think I would prefer being on the first level of the house. It's just my husband and I, and he spends most of the day out of the house at his workshop, but in the evenings he is in his loft which is just outside my sewing room door. The biggest negative for me is if I'm sewing upstairs during the day, I can't hear when someone comes to the door (which isn't very often, but still). I think the fact that it seems a little secluded keeps me from spending as much time there as I'd really like.
As for your other questions, I prefer a room with a door I can close if it's a mess. As big as possible. I think a family room if it's big and has a door. Like others have said, the bigger the better.
Good luck with your search. We moved here 2 1/2 years ago and it was such fun looking at houses and thinking which room would be mine. Have fun on your search!
I sew in one bedroom. It also has my computer, an ironing board , a tv stand with tv. In a bedroom at the other end of the hall (not a terribly long distance) is my cutting table and along one wall are lined up and stacked all the boxes that were in closets. These bedrooms are on the second floor. The bulk of my material is in the basement and so are my many, many quilt books.