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Thread: Your Sewing Area - how does it all fit?

  1. #1
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    Your Sewing Area - how does it all fit?

    I am a lurker on all the sites that show sewing room organization. I'm beginning to wonder if that's also one of my hobbies! After spending 3 days moving stuff around, vacuuming, dragging, dusting, etc., I've got everything set up the same way as when I started!

    Here are some questions I'm curious about. Chime in if you want.....

    1. In most of the photos of sewing rooms, the sewing machine is usually sitting on the smallest piece of furniture, on top of a piece of furniture where there would be no leg room to sew, or a very small amount of space to the left of the sewing machine (where I would put the quilt I'm working on).
    I purchased a beautiful table for $20.00..........I used to use one of those heavier folding tables with laminate wood top....the big difference for me is the new table is 48" (so now I can get into the closet without having to suck in my stomach) and the "older" table is 60" (I miss the extra 12"). What's your sewing machine sitting on? Do you find that you need more space to the left of the machine?


    2. I have a large cutting table that I purchased at Costco several years ago. I love it because it is high enough so I don't bend over to cut and it's big enough to cut. There are little cubbies to hide stuff too. My "issue" is that I don't keep it cleared off.....I even put a small television in the corner of it (so I can sew and watch tv). I'll probably keep the television there. But, I'm thinking I don't need the little do-dads, ruler holder, etc. on top of it too. So......what's on your cutting table? Is it usually "empty"?
    What's a good determination of how much "room" we need on the surface to cut? width of at least 22"? length of at least a yard? What do you think?

    3. I have a long-arm set up in the middle of the room (I have tall furniture with cabinets along one wall, so I keep enough space to maneuver between). I don't use it every day, so I cover the machine with the cover that came with it. I also use a favorite sheet that my grandmother gave us for our wedding present to cover the rails. It ends up forming a tent over all that's under the long-arm too. My question for you is........do you cover your rails, table, etc. or do you just cover the machine? Any hints? P.S. I usually put baskets of fabric on the table portion of the long arm (trying to use that storage), but then have to move it when I get ready to sew....

    4. My husband made me a big board that fits on top of my ironing board. I love it because of the width (24") and of course the length (I think 52"?). Anyway, that becomes such a huge boat in my sea of quilting stuff. I finally took the board off yesterday, will store it and use when I need to iron huge pieces of fabric (backings and tops) when I get ready to quilt. In most of the pictures of sewing rooms, they just have the regular ironing board sitting in front of bookshelves, etc. I am out of room, so after removing the big board top, I turned the ironing board at a 90 degree angle and gently pushed the front of the ironing board underneath the long arm rails.....So, all that's sticking out is about 30" of the length. I put the iron on the other side of the rails (where the tapered side is). That seems to work for now. I'm still trying to decide if I should just ask my husband to make a smaller board that will fit on top of a rolling cart I have. I miss the width of the big board already. So, where is your ironing board? Do you use a "portable" one that fits on top of another piece of furniture? If so, what size is a good size for the usual pressing of fabric pieces, pressing seams, pressing blocks, etc? P.S. I don't use the ironing board for anything else (certainly not clothes!).

    5. Now.......what is the largest piece of "furniture" in your sewing room? For me....it is ME! Ha! But, fortunately, I can still crawl underneath things to get to the closet or get to the things in the cutting cubies. Mine is the long-arm, and I have to place things around it as I can. Is there anything in your sewing area that you must work around? (like the kitchen stove? the shut-off valve to the water? the doorway to outside?)

    Just a wondering on my part...I'm always looking to get more "organized". Unfortunately, I think I know I have to stop putting things in the closet! Now, it's a disaster!

    Have a great day sewing and my hint to everyone is "If you are thinking of rearranging your sewing room furniture.....plan it in your head before you start dragging, pulling, pushing, etc........you will save energy and precious time!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    You just have to find what works best for you. I have a Singer sewing desk that I got as a graduation gift from my Dad. I have a 4'x6' laminate board sitting behind me as my cutting station. It is supported by Closet Maid drawers and the book case.
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    I agree with ManiacQuilter2. You have to create a usable working space. My sewing room is very small...9x9, which is also my quest bedroom. I have a Murphy bed to save on space for my sewing. My sewing machine sits on a 4' folding table. My cutting/iron table is a folding card table with bed risers to raise it to a comfortable height. I made a cover for it with an ironing surface on one side and a festive pattern on the other side. The chairs are also folding, this way when I have company I fold everything up and store it away. My TV is a small flat screen I have mounted to the wall. I have 6 artbin cubes on rollers (easy to roll out of the room if needed) which hold my fabric and notions. I have a peg board which store my rulers and I hang my cutting mats with pant hangers in my Closet.
    Last edited by lov2quilt611; 06-23-2016 at 10:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I have one machine set into an old desk, another in a rescued sewing table that didn't have a machine in it. I use two tables made from treadle stands and closed vintage machine next to these for side space, both butt up against an old folding kitchen table. There is a trunk under that table where I store fleece. The glass on that table doesn't go there just being stored as we do some deck remodeling. Another folding table is my cutting table. It is approx. 4 ft by 6 ft. My ironing station sets on two vintage machine cabinets. I have various shelves and cabinets for storage. A peg board on the wall near my cutting table. There's an old dresser for storage. The jewelry box on it holds threads. My frame is along one wall, the tv is mounted on the wall above the frame. Nothing matches but it works for me.
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    Last edited by ontheriver; 06-23-2016 at 10:49 AM.
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    Lovetoquilt611........I use those art bins too. Where did you get the cube with casters on it for them?

    Ontheriver....LOVE your room. I thank you for the pictures.......I am "snug" in my room, but I realize that I like it that way. I like the idea of the ironing on top of 2 cabinets. I will look at the pictures again for that.

    Thanks all!

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    My cutting table is rarely clear. I swoosh and swipe things out of the way when I need to cut.

    i have a Janome set into in its own table. At a 90 degree angle to it is my ironing table, same height, so the L shape works well for convenience and comfort. The table is a sturdy old kitchen table I bought at Goodwill for $30 and the right size for my needs (3x4 feet, I think?). I put my sewing machine in front of the window so I can spy on my neighbors--er, enjoy the view of the outdoors.

    i have too much furniture. Largest piece is the queen size guest bed which I sleep in quite often since one of us snores.

    My happy place is always evolving. but is 80 percent done to my liking. It's a generous 12x16 bedroom , so I can't complain. I don't need more space; I need less stuff. Next order of organizational business is to assess what I can do without so that I can put up a nice big design wall.
    Last edited by zozee; 06-23-2016 at 11:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    We moved recently and I finally got my own room. It is a small bedroom but I am thrilled with it. The sewing machine I am currently using goes in one of those Arrow tables. I have a table from costco to the left that I cut on and support the quilt when I am quilting. The serger is on the back corner out of the way. I have two cabinets in there now, but don't think I'm going to keep them. I also have the ironing board set up, and two small cabinets. We have a nice dry basement with shelves so anything I'm not working on stays down there out of the way. Speaking for myself, it is too easy for me to end up with piles of things. So after years of having things shoved into a big closet and forgetting what I have, now it is all out in the open downstairs and I find I am way more productive.

    But I think you have to find what works for you.
    Alyce

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    NoraB,

    I purchased both the cubes and the casters from Joann's online. (when they were on sale).

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    I don't have a ton of room to the left of my machine, but when I do need extra support when I am quilting something I use my very large ironing board to form a modified U shape. My room is on the small side so this is perfect. It otherwise keeps my room open and easy to maneuver.

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    I had my machine on a plastic table that shook when I sewed. Then a elderly friend (more elderly than I, haha) needed to get rid of a desk and gave it to me.

    I don't have a large ironing place, just a TV tray with some towels on it that I place next to me when I am sewing small pieces and blocks. When I need to iron something large I set up a fold up table. Other than that I am pretty happy with what I have...Oh, I don't have a TV in this room.

    These pics are before I got my desk. I now have curtains on my closets to protect/hide the fabric.
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    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    My sewing machines sit on the wooden TV tables from WalMart. They work great for me. My chair is a metal folding chair, also from WalMart. Both work great in my tiny sewing room.
    Aurora

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    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I sew in a small corner of my bedroom I have a small arrow gidget table which is my biggest piece of furniture. I also have a small work bench from harbor freight that I turned into a hooping station next to my table. I cut on my dining room table so no special furniture for that
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamagrande View Post
    I had my machine on a plastic table that shook when I sewed. Then a elderly friend (more elderly than I, haha) needed to get rid of a desk and gave it to me.

    I don't have a large ironing place, just a TV tray with some towels on it that I place next to me when I am sewing small pieces and blocks. When I need to iron something large I set up a fold up table. Other than that I am pretty happy with what I have...Oh, I don't have a TV in this room.

    These pics are before I got my desk. I now have curtains on my closets to protect/hide the fabric.
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    Nice set up and you can go from sewing/quilting to cooling off in the pool. What a view out the window! Wouldn't mind that set up at all!

  14. #14
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    My friend, in a very small space, doesn't have to get up from the sewing machine to press her work. She just spins her chair around and she is at the ironing board. Since getting up and down is getting awkward, I think I'll try that.
    Marcia

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    I don't have a sewing room, per se, I use most of your basement family room. The bar area is my cutting table. It's probably 36x60, I store my fabric in a 4 drawer tall chest dresser. My Janome 6600 sits in a Janome sewing table, which I purchased from Craigslist for $75. My embroidery machine sits on my DH's desk from childhood. It's drawers are filled with embroidery threads and various sewing /embroidery references.
    When I want to quilt something bigger than a placemat, I move the sewing table in front of the desk so I can out feed onto the desk, then I set up a 2'x4' table to the left of both. It gives me a decent quilting table, even though all the heights are not perfect.
    I have a big board for my ironing board, which I love... I take both down and stand them up against the wall in the laundry room when I'm quilting... Otherwise it feels too claustrophobic. I don't have a long arm... In order to afford a long arm, I'd also have to be able to afford an addition to the house. :-(

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    Since I want to add a bed to the sewing room, I'm thinking about getting rid of the chest of drawers. DH made a huge cabinet that holds the majority of my fabric. I have a 401 in a desk cabinet and my portable 2662 is in it's carrier for now. One day I used the portable next to the 401 and it took up little space since it could sit on the desk cabinet also. I have a cutting table (piece of plywood that works on 2 narrow cabinets. I can also use our kitchen table for a cutting table if need be. I'm really trying to minimalize the look.

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    Thanks for all these wonderful ideas. I guess I'll always be trying to make it "better". But, I'm grateful to "have this issue"......it's wonderful to have a hobby/passion and the support of friends and family to pursue it. Kris P...I like the idea of just taking down the big board and folding up the ironing board! The good part of all of this is...nothing is permanent. I can move and put away to my heart's content. And, I'm lucky to have a complete room to play in all day. I enjoy looking at all your sewing room pictures......it's like sharing inspiration with us all! Have a great weekend and I'm thankful for all of your ideas!

  18. #18
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    Sewing/Cutting

    I say go with how it all works for you. You have to be comfortable in what your eyes rest on as you sew.
    That said here are photo's of my sewing area.
    I have a small, say 12 x12 sewing room (bedroom) that holds my fabric, one ironing board and a huge desk with the serger on it. I can cut there but have a cutting area in the garage. I sew on the 401A in the cabinet, the Singer 600 is on a folding table and the Janomie 415 is on the dining room table with one of those acrylic extensions tables. The Singer Redeye Treadle is at the end of the living/dining space. My goal is to get the 600 in the 2nd cabinet. AND get rid of the huge desk in the sewing room so the 401A & 600 can live in there. The treadle is in front of a window and I like to have the light. The photo of the sewing room is old and the Serger sits where the 600 sits in the photo. The TV is gone and a plastic 3 drawer bin sits in it's place with smaller cuts & squares of fabric I have 4-5 gals over once a month to sew and the folding table in the living room works great, along with the dining table.
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    Last edited by tuckyquilter; 06-25-2016 at 11:03 AM.
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    I have a large counter top that hubby cut an opening in for my sewing machine so it was at a good sewing height. Attached to it is another large table. I also have a nice sized cutting table and they all seem to gather stuff so what I am saying is that no matter how large your working surfaces, the more "stuff" you find to put on your space.

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    My sewing room is also the guest room. I have a large table (surplus display table for a closing bookstore) that accommodates two of my machines at once, and provides plenty of support for large quilt tops. My ironing/cutting table is an ikea table on risers, wrapped in an old army blanket and muslin. Storage is an old card catalog for fat quarters and tools, a steamer trunk and a tabletop dental chest. The sewing table sits up again it the Murphy bed, with shelves on either side for more storage. Everything stores away and the table slides over the card catalog. The ONLY time everything is is neat and clean is when we have guests!
    ​tea

  21. #21
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle Axe View Post
    My friend, in a very small space, doesn't have to get up from the sewing machine to press her work. She just spins her chair around and she is at the ironing board. Since getting up and down is getting awkward, I think I'll try that.
    Marcia
    be careful with this--know from my own experience and that of several other quilters,that sitting too long is harder on the body than getting up and moving every hour. One friend was told by her Doc to get up and walk around for about 5 min. out of every hour to prevent blood clots, stiffening of the back & shoulders, etc.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have a set of kitchen cabinets, base and uppers. Some are empty, really don't really need all of them. I got a big cutting table from Joanns. I bought a sewing cabinets from Wal Mart years ago and I have a 2x4' table I use on my left to hold quilt that I am quilting. I have two big closets with wire shelves for fabrics, batting etc. I made a square pressing board that sets on the counter. I have another three ironing boards, not used much and not set up. My room is pretty full but just me and my small dog is all that are in there. It is strictly for sewing.
    Another Phyllis
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  23. #23
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    I have two spaces since we spend the year in two different places. In Florida, I have more space and am more set up than in Maine, so far.
    Florida:
    The second bedroom is mine except for when company comes. We have a blowup bed that goes in there then.
    A white arrow sewing table that folds up for my Janome sits in the corner with a small Lifetime folding table next to it to support my projects.
    A wall full of Ikea Expediet cabinets for storage and stash...
    A large banquet table (also Lifetime) for cutting, mostly...
    Another Lifetime 4 foot table to use as a desk but this hasn't been used much so I may rethink that.
    Regular ironing board that stays up all the time, easily accessible, not in front of any bookshelves
    I need an extra chair to sit in for handwork etc.
    Everything folds so that when it becomes a guest room, there is room for guests!
    This space has evolved. Once I started to actually sew in it, things had to be shifted around.

    Maine:
    Currently, I am also set up in a guest room that has a queen size bed in it, all the time. It isn't as big as the Floridian one We get a lot more company here so we need all the beds we can have.
    I have another Arrow sewing table for the machine that lives here.
    I have a big piece of shelving to put on the top of the washer and dryer to cut on. Perfect height but it is in a screened in porch so I have to take it down often. Not as ideal as I had thought it would be.
    Regular ironing board.
    Stash will probably live in under the bed boxes once I get more organized. DH researched and then bought these cool bed frames that eliminate the need for a box spring and allow you to put higher totes or two stacks of under the bed boxes under them.

    Two things that I am still trying to figure out are the design walls for both places. They will need to come down when company comes.

    I alternate between amused and a little frustrated when I see those pretty pictures of spaces with sewing machines on teeny tiny cute little vintage tables or desks. Probably the real sewing happens on a kitchen table or less attractive surface! I love to look at other people's sewing spaces,too, 'though!

    Thanks for starting this thread. The pictures that have been posted here are great, too.

  24. #24
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    My neighbor uses any bare wall space in all her rooms as design walls. Her family and friends never know what surprises they will see when they visit but is always something to start a conversation. Helps her spot any "errors" also.

  25. #25
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    very nice sewing room!

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