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New quilting space!

New quilting space!

Old 09-19-2019, 11:23 AM
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Default New quilting space!

Hi everyone! I have decided to take over the smallest bedroom in my house as a quilting room, but I have a few challenges I could use a few suggestions for.

My workable space is going to be very small, maybe ten feet by six feet, and I am not going to have any vertical storage space. The room is currently used as a storage space for all of the random stuff households seem to generate, and three of the walls are lined floor to ceiling with those heavy wire racks to store all of the stuff. Moving them (or getting rid of the stuff) is non-negotiable at this point. The last wall is mostly window and bare space for the doors to open and close. I am hoping to have a shelf to store my fabric on, but I'm not counting on it at this stage.

I don't have any fancy equipment (sewing desks/cutting tables/etc) or a massive stash to store. All of my fabric will fit in a single plastic tub beneath my bed. I would like to put my machine on a larger table than the writing desk I have it on now, so I have table space to the left and behind my machine to support larger projects. I can fit all of my notions in the desk, which is pretty handy, but I have to sit at an awkward angle/height when I sew, and I'm tired of banging my knees on the drawers. My rulers and cutting mat are stored beneath the couch in the family room, and to press I have to set the ironing board up in the kitchen.

I would like to get all of my sewing items in one space, so when I need something I don't have to go to the other end of the house. More importantly, I don't want to have to wander the house to find all of my supplies, get them out, and put them away every time I want to do anything. I don't have a lot of time to sew, and it feels like I spend most of it setting up and tearing down. I really, really want to get everything into this room and get it set up so I can just turn everything off and close the door when I'm done.

It's kind of a blank slate since I don't have anything but a machine and an ironing board, but all the ideas I see are built into areas with wall space. Closets, cabinets, etc. I won't have any of that. In fact, I still need to be able to reach everything on the shelves without moving any of my sewing stuff.

I was thinking about getting one of those long plastic tables and putting it in a L shape with my ironing board, or putting my machine in the middle of the table and setting up a pressing station to my right. The only place I can think of for storage would be under the table...plastic drawers maybe.

Any suggestions? I am planning on setting everything up while I'm on vacation in a few weeks; I have to actually clear the floor space to be able to use it first. I don't think the shelves will fit in the room any other way than they are now, but I can try to maybe clear myself a corner.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:48 AM
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If you have air conditioning and the window can be covered, I would put up a design or peg board over it. I would also take what is no longer needed on the wore shelves and yard sale it or bring it to the charity shop. If you can free up some wire shelf space, your stash can go there as well as batting.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:08 PM
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I will look into the pegboard idea, Tartan. I'm not sure I can get the family to let me cover the window, but I can see.

To make a long story short, I have to work around the shelves and the content. In my head I am treating the shelves as basically the walls of the room, something that is already there that I cannot change. The only difference is that I can't hang things on these walls, lol.

Right now I have to use the space that I have, which is in the middle of the room. I am looking for layout and storage ideas so I have room to sew, press, and cut fabric in the same space without any sort of vertical storage. It will all have to sit on the floor in the same footprint as my table, or on a section of shelf I can hopefully claim as my own.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:28 PM
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Did you say that you don't have a closet in the bedroom either? That would be too bad, I have seen people do a lot with a little closet. My only suggestion is to hang an organizer with clear vinyl on the back of the door for some storage.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:56 PM
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I would definitely recommend ditching the ironing board and making yourself a flat ironing surface. It can be placed on your horizontal space when you need it and slid behind a piece of furniture when you don't. There are tutorials galore on YouTube. I attached a pic of mine. We've been able to carve out a "permanent" space for it so it stays where it is full-time now.

img_0053.jpg
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:32 PM
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There is a closet in there, but it is also full. Eventually most of the shelves and all of the stuff in the closet will go to an outdoor storage space, but that will be next summer at the earliest. Every bit of storage in my whole house is filled with stuff that used to be stored outside until a storm came through and destroyed the barn it was in. It feels like I'm drowning in stuff, and a big chunk of it isn't even mine. It belongs to my parents and grandparents and so on.

I just need a stopgap to get me off the kitchen table and my desk until then.

Last edited by origamigoldfish; 09-19-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wesing View Post
I would definitely recommend ditching the ironing board and making yourself a flat ironing surface. It can be placed on your horizontal space when you need it and slid behind a piece of furniture when you don't. There are tutorials galore on YouTube. I attached a pic of mine. We've been able to carve out a "permanent" space for it so it stays where it is full-time now.
That looks awesome...I was thinking about buying one of those drawer organizer units (on wheels, if they exist) and then making a pressing board I could lay on top of it. It could be stored under the table, with my most used notions in the drawers, and I could pull it out when I need it and push it back when I'm done. I like to make blocks individually over strip piecing. Most of the pressing I do could be done on a 16 inch square. I would only need the ironing board for yardage and setting the seams on the final rows in big quilts.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:30 PM
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First of all congratulations on your new space! Maximizing any space is a challenge. It sounds like you have a good handle on it so far. I am sure you will have so many ideas that you will be over whelmed.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:23 PM
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I would suggest a very basis set-up.
- a sturdy table for the center of the room, big enough to hold a cutting mat and your sewing machine, and still be able to walk around the table,
- a comfortable office type chair for sewing,
- an ironing board set up at one end of the table (or you could make an ironing area on your table)

If possible, I would add a vinyl table cloth or piece of batting as a design wall, suspended from the wire shelving (clipped for easy access to the shelves). The design wall should be your view while seated at your sewing machine.

Storage units on wheels, room on the shelves or closet will happen with time. In the meanwhile, you can still take advantage of your new quilting space and create some awesome quilts.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:48 PM
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In some ways, you are in a good position: you have to keep your fabric purchases limited to what you can fit in that tub under the bed. You have a window--I wouldn't cover it. Not only do you need light for working, but it's good for the mood and warmth (unless it's drafty, of course).

I would "shop your house" first before bringing in anything new to set up your station.

a. Do you have a big table you could use for your sewing table, that has legroom and is the right height for your machine? Try to use the smallest iron you can. You can use a handheld steamer (portable, small, cheap) for steaming wrinkles out of the yardage, and use a small iron for your blocks.

b. Comfort is more important than space. You have to have your cutting height and sewing height correct so you don't get a backache/shoulder pain/neck strain after just a few minutes.

c. Since you'll be opening and closing what you store under your table all the time, make sure you get sturdy units. Drawers should be easy to open, not frustrating, solid enough to open with one hand smoothly. Some of those cheap plastic storage things on wheels are too lightweight and cheaply made--the drawers get stuck or if you yank, the whole unit moves. Ugh. THey're fine for things you don't need easy or frequent access to.

d. How close will outlets be ? You don't want to trip over a cord, especially if it's attached to a hot iron!
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