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Thread: Newbie starting from scratch

  1. #1
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    Smile Newbie starting from scratch

    Since I am starting from nothing, though on black friday my bff and I went to Joannes and I invested in the basics, rotary cutter, sissors, cutting mat, etc. I even had to buy basic thread. I am starting from nothing, I am turning my dining room into my sewing room as I am also a newbie with a full nest who are all just flying the coop in the next two weeks. Any suggestions on starting fresh, must haves organization anything would be appreciated. I also want to say thank you to all, you inspire me.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    will the room be dual duty, or will it just be the sewing room?
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  3. #3
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I would just buy things as you need them. I started out with plastic drawers from Walmart and I still use them. Over the years I have upgraded to the Elna drawer system from the Container Store and love them. I store my stash in two barrister bookcases (the kind with the glass door). I eventually invested in a Horn table for my Janome which I also love. My cutting area is a built in L-shaped desk which also houses my computer. My room has evolved over a period of 10 years and I love it. It is set for now until I come up with the next idea.

  4. #4
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    I too started in the dining room; I would work on one end and my stuff stayed there. I usually worked through a series of projects then had to clean it up for a birthday party. I made dresses for my girls all the time and an occasional shirt for son and crafts.For 10yrs. When we remodeled it worked out that we squared off the house addition and it gave me about 5 x 12 feet at one end. I quickly took over that; putting a closet on onside to match our clothes closet. Just this year I had such a mess going on that I got cubies at Ikea and my son put them up for me and we moved the table and I had been re-organizing til Thanksgiving. So now I think I'm living the good life. I still need to put fabric on the boards I bought from someone on this QB then it'll be perfect --LOL LOL seriously if you're happy it doesn't matter what others think. I have never seen two sewing/quilting spaces/rooms/areas the same. I have one friend that thinks my area is just a mess and I should get rid of all that stuff ! I wonder about her and that is why I have QB friends they understand me ! Enjoy your space and be creative ! Come here for your questions and support; everyone is very friendly and helpful.

  5. #5
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    The projects you choose will probably dictate what you will need but just a few thoughts. You didn't mention what type of rulers you purchased but I find the 6X24 and a 6.5 X 6.5 the most useful. If you are going to quilt your own projects a walking foot is really a must. These are just my personal list of essentials, others will no doubt have a different list. More than anything enjoy the process. Please share your first project.

  6. #6
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    A walking foot is a must if you will be machine quilting. A square up ruler, but I would get the 12 1/2 square, not the smaller one. A seam ripper, an awl to hold the pieces in line while you sew. A good iron, if you don't already have one. Some way to be certain that you are sewing a consistent 1/4" seam, whether tape on the machine bed or a 1/4" foot. Patience. This board, to ask questions and try out ideas. And finally, a person who will look at your latest project and say, "Honey, that's the nicest one yet.".
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Buy as the need presents itself ! There are tools I have purchased with the idea it was good to have that have gotten little no no use , some used only because I needed to somehow justify the purchase to myself.

  8. #8
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'm really laughing.. I started in a small studio apartment with a small healing mat, rotary cutter, used machine in a cabinet, safety pins, and a small kitchen table.. I made a queen sized quilt which was scrappy before scrappy was popular.. I used buttons instead of ties.. I love it.. but made a big mistake.. I didn't wash the fabric before quilting.. I don't use the quilt, so never washed it.. I'm terrified to do it.. Now I'm in a one bedroom.. I have a small table with 18"X 12" mat, and I'm using a 1926 Singer 66 in a cabinet.. I'm in the middle of making five identical queen quilts qith scraps.. The fabric for the project is sitting on my cocktail table.. The rest are in sweater boxes stacked.. I'm not jealous of all who have the room.. I just take what I have, and make the best of it.. I have one major problem.. I have a curly little dog, and the snippets travel from where I'm working to other parts of the house.. Sort of like hitch hikers..
    Barri

  9. #9
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    Thanks

    I am emptying the dining room to just be my sewing craft room, I also scrapbook, but I can see already that quilting maybe taking over my life. I am becoming addicted. I have two children moving out in before Christmas, so just DH and I at home. No need for the dining room to remain that. I am excited about this new adventure, but someone should have told me that getting lost in the quilting maze was a going to be for Life.

  10. #10
    Senior Member scrappy2's Avatar
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    Welcome, I started out on kitchen table but now my kids have flew the coop I took over 1 bed room & DH took over the other for an office. So far you have done good on the basics. If you plan on quilting your own a walking foot would help. I hate to say this but a seam ripper is a must. There are alot of tools out there & sometimes they're just good to look at & not much use. For staying organized I would purchase plastic drawers on wheels, Walmart has them. Then as you grow or change your mine it will be easy to move. At one time I put a board & pad on mine and use it to pressed my blocks on. You can also move it beside you when you sew and use the top for extra space for pins ect. I got mine from Walmart.
    This is a great Board they are very helpful. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  11. #11
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    Hi 6sWolcott, I think the best advice is to grow your equipment by purchasing items as you find a need for them. It will spread the costs out over time, and you won't spend your money on equipment you don't need. You have already purchased your rotary cutter, mat, scissors, etc, all very necessary. I would also add an iron and ironing board unless you already have those items. Your dining table should make a fine work table. And, of course, your sewing machine. You will need some sort of storage...rolling drawers, or the buffet in your diningroom, an old dresser from your childrens' rooms, etc are all good ones to get started. When you've been quilting for a while, you will know better what you want and need that will suit your style and your available space. If your husband is handy with tools, he will be your greatest asset...He'll be your greatest asset even if he isn't handy with tools! My husband has built shelves, installed a design wall, built a motorized work table that raises and lowers with the touch of a button, etc...as my wants and needs and our houses have changed over the years. You have the wonderful adventure of quilting to enrich your life for many years. Enjoy! We're glad to have you here with us.
    Last edited by AnnR; 12-05-2011 at 05:32 AM.
    AnnR

  12. #12
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    Don't overwhelm yourself with buying a lot of 'stuff'. It looks like you have purchased the basics, you will need a couple rulers for when you cut your fabric. A 6 X 22, and a 12 1/2 X 12 1/2 square up ruler.
    You will need some storage for your fabric stash. Have fun buying fabric for your stash, welcome to quilting!

  13. #13
    Super Member gardnergal970's Avatar
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    I've been seriously quilting for a little over a year. I think the best "tool" I've invested in has been a couple of classes. I not only could learn from the instructor but from others I sewed beside. You'll meet people that will become dear friends and be a special part of your life. The added bonus is that you will have completed projects to encourage you to step ahead into something harder. Enjoy the journey.

  14. #14
    Senior Member coldquilter's Avatar
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    hope you enjoy it as much as we all do -- welcome!!
    Michelle

  15. #15
    Junior Member maryp's Avatar
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    i started out on my kitchen couters and table rotary cutter pins and regular ruler iron .just decided i was gonna quilt so i went for it.
    share a smile everyday. it might make someones day.smile

  16. #16
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    As you have the financial means, invest in fleece or fleece-backed table cloths to hang on one wall to put your quilt blocks to try out designs, etc. I bought 2 pieces of thin lathing and nailed them with tiny nails just at the ceiling. The holes, should I take down my fleece wall, won't show. The other piece of lathing I used to stretch my design wall and nailed it parallel with the baseboard. I can work on a queen-sized quilt that way. You are going to have so much fun! Show your work when you can (pictures).

  17. #17
    Junior Member lizzieann's Avatar
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    Do as I say not as I do. LOL (Finish one project before you start another one).
    lizziebeths.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    I've been sewing for nearly 60 years, and a dedicated quilter for about 15 years. I find that my "room", be it in the dining room, living room, or a dedicated sewing room, is constantly evolving. I have graduated from keeping my stash in cardboard boxes, to keeping it in a dresser (the best for me). I also have quite a few plastic containers that keep getting rearranged. Some days I just need to change things. Some days I just need to fondle fabric, so I fold and reorganize. It's all part of the joy of fabric. You do what you can each day, and grow with the art. Just be happy in whatever space is yours, and don't diminish the joy by buying too much to soon.
    Shirley in Arizona

  19. #19
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    Look at Sewing Room redo's thread--I have also purchased precut countertops and put them on file cabinets to give me lots of countertops space. Look at past organization threads and pictures of studios. I'm always looking for new ideas.

  20. #20
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    Mine is in constant motion - felt cluttered yesterday and moved several containers - some days "stuff" feels better over here and others over there, whatever works best for you! Have fun!
    Quilting makes me happy!..

  21. #21
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    Wait for a sale on quilt books and buy a couple of easy ones to start with and follow thier instructions. Good luck.

  22. #22
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    I to am new to quilting, could you please tell me what an awl is, and how you use it. Thankyou

  23. #23
    Senior Member incoming2me's Avatar
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    Acquire as you go! Once you have the basics.. take it one step at a time..
    ENJOY yourself as you learn. Don't stress over having everything at the beginning.
    Buying is part of the fun, for me anyway!

    Remember... re-purpose! re-purpose! re-purpose! re-purpose!!!!

    If you are starting out in a dining room that has a table / china cabinet / buffet...
    Use the table as your work surface. Place the machine at one end and cutting mat at the other.
    Use the china cabinet for fabric storage and the buffet for quilting tool storage!

    Eventually you'll find what system will work for you.
    More than likely, you'll create your own personal system that works best!
    HAVE FUN!
    So many ideas... so many projects.. so little time!
    ~Phadrea

  24. #24
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    ROFLOL>>>>............right!!!!! thats gonna happen !!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzieann View Post
    Do as I say not as I do. LOL (Finish one project before you start another one).

  25. #25
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    having more than one project going at a time is great....if you have to stop one for a while you can work on the other

    and given some time i can think of other excuses for works in progress.......those who know me, know that i just finished a quilt my grandmother started in the 1920's

    you are going to have so much fun and it is just beginning !!!!!!

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