Thursday, October 3, 2013

Renodecorating the Quilt Studio - Organization Tips Part 2

Hi everyone:

In a previous blogpost I told you about the new fabric and die storage areas in the newly renodecorated studio. I promised I'd tell you what I was doing with the Alex drawer unit that I purchased from Ikea
Alex drawer unit
Photo courtesy of
I added wheels to the Alex drawer storage unit so I can move it around if I want. It has several drawers and holds more than I would've thought possible, probably due to the length of the drawers - an awesome 21 inches! As you can see, the top two drawers are narrower than the bottom three, but that's okay, because I keep my cutting tools in the top drawer and smaller thread cones in the second drawer. 
Cutting tools and tape measures in the top drawer
Small thread spools in drawer #2
Can you guess what I store in the remaining three drawers? No, it's not chocolate, although that would be the perfect place for it as the Alex is next to my computer area, but they actually hold more thread. 
Thread in another drawer in Alex
I put rubber drawer liner in each drawer to keep things from sliding around. I find it helps to keep the spools standing upright.

My thread organization tip: organize your thread by type, rather than by colour so you can find the particular type of thread and then see what colours you have in it - and which ones you'll need to buy the next time you're at the quilt shop.

As I added more furniture pieces to the studio, I found that the cutting station was becoming a bit of a problem. It was too big! I really liked the size, but it was really bigger than I needed, so I decided to cut it back by a third. It's still big enough for a large cutting mat and that's really all I need. There are still cup hooks on either end of the cutting station to hang rulers and adequate storage on both sides. 
Smaller cutting station, but still large enough for me
I now have two sewing areas set up:  - one for piecing and one for free-motion quilting. Now when I want to piece for awhile and then do some quilting, I don't have to spend time setting up the machine for another technique. I like that!
Large Sylvia quilting table set up for free-motion quilting
To save time and keep me better organized, I keep duplicate items at each station: snips, used needle holder (pill bottle), garbage pails. This saves me from rummaging around for notions when I want to get to work. The appropriate bobbins and attachments are stored with that machine. 
My Bernina (hiding behind the cover) is
ready for piecing whenever I am
Another tip for smaller studios is to have large furniture on wheels. This makes it easy to rearrange these pieces and even move them right out of the studio area if I need the floor space to pin a quilt. I can set up folding tables for quilting buddies or even use the space for other projects or teen sleepovers.

That's the new studio space. How do you organize your space? Email me your best organization tips for quilting and sewing.


Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Love your room! I have looked at those Alex units but couldn't decide what I would use them for... thread is perfect. I've been sewing in my new room for 4 months now and think it's time for an assessment of what's working/what's not. It's hard to know until you've used the space!

Chatterbox Quilts said...

You're right, Deb, it is hard to know what will work - or not! So far things seem to be working the way I envisioned they would. Now if there was only room for a long-arm machine...