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Looking for more ideas for sewing in a small space

Looking for more ideas for sewing in a small space

Old 05-18-2011, 03:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Missouri
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I have no special room. I have some material hanging on hangers in my closet and some in four plastic containers stack up against the wall. I don't have a big stash. I buy what I need at the time and put the left overs in the plastic containers. I have two sewing boxes with thread and misc items to sew with. I sew by hand mostly but my sewing machine is in the basement with all my husband's junk. I just try to keep the area around it clean and when I need to sew take my thread and material and go down and sew. I cut material on my kitchen table in between meals. I set my ironing board up in the living room/Tv room. I live in a small ranch that we opened up so we lost a bedroom. It really isn't that bad. I just have to put my things away more often.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:06 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada; Florida in the winter
Posts: 721

We just spent our first winter as snowbirds in Florida, and I have tried various things, and have come up with what works for me. I have my newest Janome 6600 here at home, and have left my older Janome 4800 in our condo. I have a small folding table (Costco) in Florida that is stored in the guest bedroom closet which is height-adjustable. My DH made a removal wooden surface with rounded corners that I can place on the folding table to make it a little larger so that it exactly fits in the corner of the room between the wall and the dresser, and my sewing machine with acrylic quilting extension fits exactly on it.

I use a chair from another room with a cushion on it, so that when we have company and I'm not sewing, I can put the chair back, take down the table/wooden surface, pack them away in the closet, and put my sewing machine in its case and put it away. When I am sewing, I leave the ironing board up in the guest bedroom, and do my cutting on the dining room table. We also have a kitchen table, so that's not a problem for eating.

There's a perfect spot on the concrete floor outside our unit near the external elevator, and where there is open air (for fumes) where I spread out a large flannel sheet, and do my layering with aerosol basting spray. I haven't had anyone complain yet (actually, I don't think anyone has even see me do it!).

I have two sewing machine travelling cases on wheels (bought one of them at Joanne's on Black Friday) which I don't often need to use for my machines, since I'm leaving a machine at each residence, so I use them to pack fabric in when we drive back and forth in the fall/spring.

I place a flannel sheet on the bed in the guest bedroom to use as my horizontal design wall.

This setup seems to work for me, but you do have to plan your projects more carefully, and stick with one project till it's done. Hope that helps........ C9P
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:11 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Endicott, NY
Posts: 37

Where there's a will, there's a way. I spend a lot of time in a 32' fifth wheel, with a husband hangin' around! I still manage to quilt. I think the answer for me is to be organized - I'm able to put things away at the end of my sewing session in a very short period of time. I sure can't give up the quilting!
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:23 AM
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Location: Manhattan, Kansas
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Originally Posted by lots2do
Good Morning!
In a few years, if the plans materialize (so to speak), we will be snowbirds. I'll be loosing the spare room here and we'll be in a condo. My mind is already planning how I'll be able to use the smaller space we'll have. I've searched and read some old threads here but am interested in getting some new ideas.

One thing that I am glad about is that it'll force me to be neater. I think it's like that saying that nature abhores a vacuum. (Hope I spelled that right). Give me a space and I'll fill it right up. Also, as a friend reminded me at quilt group, I'll have two spaces to split my stuff into. It just won't be convenient to go get the things I forget so I'll have to really put thought into it.

So, bring it on. What are your ideas?
I appreciate your thoughts!
I find that I often have doubles (triples, etc.) of items, so I pack my travel sewing suitcase with all the essentials and just leave them in it all the time. When I leave, it goes into the car along with a sewing machine. Don't know if something like that would work for you or not. It has room for some fabric/projects as well.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I bought a shoe bag for the back of my door, I also have space problems I can hold most of my smaller templates, rulers, rotary cutter, thread, pins. I also save perscription bottles to put pins, buttons, and needles in. Sometimes even spools of thread.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:50 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Green Valley AZ
Posts: 33

Originally Posted by lots2do
In a few years, if the plans materialize (so to speak), we will be snowbirds. I'll be loosing the spare room here and we'll be in a condo. My mind is already planning how I'll be able to use the smaller space we'll have. I've searched and read some old threads here but am interested in getting some new ideas.
We are snowbirds (MI/AZ) and we're in a condo. I actually find my smaller space more efficient, plus it forces me to be more organized. (I'm in a laundry/furnace/water heater room, about an 8' x 6' space to work with). I sold the big W/D and bought a stackable set. DH moved the laundry cabinets out to the garage. I have a craft table from WalMart (Cost $125) that has storage drawers/shelves and 2 "wings" of tabletop that can be put up when working. However, it's difficult to get to the garage when I'm working! lol I store notions and thread in the drawers, at easy reach, fabric on the shelves and in plastic stackable drawer bins that are stacked in the slim space next to the W/D stacking set. Books & patterns on top of the W/D set, cutting mats between the wall and W/D. DH also put up wire shelves around the top of the room, out of head's reach, and I have all the rest stored in fabric lined baskets on that! Sorry, wish I had a picture, but we're back in MI.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brazil
Posts: 145

Hmmm...I dream about it... LOL

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Dakota
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mine would have to be bigger than that. that would be nice to have to store smaller pieces and also threads.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:16 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Prior Lake, MN
Posts: 16

We have been living in our 40' motor home full-time for just over two years and I quilt all the time. My first rule has to be - one project at a time - No UFO's!!!! Sometimes things would be easier if I had some of my other notions with me, but we are loving our life style, so I get over it. I have done some Quilt as you go patterns and they are the best for the challenge of space. I am currently machine quilting a 60 X 60 quilt and that is where space get tough. Sandwiching the quilt and then trying to quilt and have space to "Live" besides without cleaning up every night. I save money because I know that I don't have any room for "extra" fabric just because I like it! Internet has been my best friend for classes as well as getting my supplies. I also have a Wonderful DH and that is the key!
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:33 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South Alabama
Posts: 711

For years my sewing room was a regular depth (not walk-in) closet with bi-fold doors. Inside was a small desk with my sewing machine on it. My hubby always planned to hang a light under the closet shelf, but that never happened. I used a bright, clip-on desk lamp for lighting. The drawers in the desk and boxes on the shelf stored lots of supplies in an organized way. The space at both ends of the desk that went all the way to the floor were good places to put things like packages of quilt batting. With limited space you can't let your fabric stash build up. Buy for projects and get them finished so things don't build up too much. I don't think space is so much an issue as learning to be organized. There was room to slide my ironing board in beside the desk and space in the room to set up the ironing board which was used as work space as well as ironing. The best part is I could close the closet doors and the clutter of my current project disappeared!!!
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