Sewing Room

Getting Organized

I had the flu starting last Friday … and boy, did I get sick! I had just a normal 2 days of achy joints and *ahem* fluid accumulation in my nose, but it turned into a sinus infection. My mother used to get those when I was a child and now I owe her an apology – they hurt!! I got sick to my stomach, my jaw ached in several places, my forehead hurt, the orbital bones ached, and I got so light sensitive that I had to wear my sunglasses in the house at night – and we do not have bright lights! I almost went to emerg for relief. Thankfully, some Tylonal Sinus pills and 24 hours got me past the pain part, but I’m still dragging a bit, coughing, and blowing my nose constantly. The internet says that it can go on for up to 6 weeks, so it may be a while before I feel 100%. I felt well enough to go out to a row-by-row quilting class last night, though, so I think I’ll get by if I just take it slowly! Since no quilting got done, I figured I would focus on a different aspect of the hobby this week – organizing our horde of tools and supplies!

Remember in the last blog, when I mentioned that I should get working on the Grandma quilt but might ditch to go shopping? Totally went shopping. *eyeroll* For organizer stuff!!! Unreasonable level of excitement here – I’m a bit of an organizer geek. When I was about 8, I decided to organize my closet. All my things were just piled up on the floor of the closet and it finally got to me. I pulled everything out and scattered it around my room – it was an absolute disaster. My poor neat-freak mother almost had a heart attack when she saw it! I promised that I would put it all back neatly, but I needed time to have a messy room to do it. Wonder of wonders, she let me have my way. It took me three whole days to get it cleaned up, but I did what I promised. Things were packed away in boxes and in drawers and I could get into my closet by the end of it. I don’t know how I had the focus to do that as a relatively lazy 8-year-old, but I did and the buzz I got off the organization job has followed me ever since.

During the monthly knit night at the local yarn store, Stix and Stones, we were talking about Marie Kondo’s tidying techniques. I previously watched a couple of episodes to understand the hype. I’m glad to see these ideas going mainstream and people getting serious about tidying. As I said, being organized is sort of my jam. You wouldn’t know it to look at our house, but I’m blaming that on husband’s drywall projects. 😉

My bright little sewing room! (pre-reorg)

Today, we talk about my sewing room. I love having things exactly where they are supposed to be. I recently picked up a couple of things at Michael’s to make organization easier.

Scrapbook/project boxes

Scrapbook cases!! For 5$ a pop, it can be an expensive plastic case for just a book. As a quilting project case, it’s a steal! I have a project in each bin. I’m also going to two quilting classes this year. I keep each class’ blocks in a separate case. It makes it so easy – I just grab that class’ case and run! It helps me keep all the directions, scrap fabrics, and new blocks all together. I also have everything for the wedding quilt in one case (including one completed block!), the tiger face project in another case (fabric is all together in the case with the finished blocks), and a couple of sample blocks and paper guides in another. I eventually intend to have all my paper guides in binders, but right now my binders live downstairs, so the papers I’m using hide in the sample box when not in use.

Next: the sewing box. I had a sewing box that my mother bought me when I was maybe 9. It just didn’t hold things the way I wanted, so I bought a slightly larger tray box. Shockingly, this exact tray/box was 3$ cheaper at Michael’s than it was at Canadian Tire … and the color choice was much prettier. I also picked up some divider containers to put in the bottom (6 containers for 5$!). There are some zippers and elastic ribbons under the mashinger quilting gloves (lower picture, right side). I’m so excited by my new sewing box!! I know that probably sounds so terrible, but there you are. 😛

What about the thread, you ask?? Well, let me tell you, that is locked down! I had a different thread-sorting setup, but I won these cases at the my last guild meeting and I am loving them!! I totally raided the poly-Mettler thread from my wonderful mother-in-law’s stash – look at all the colours! I mostly use these for my bobbin thread while I’m quilting – I can match almost any quilt bottom with this lot! I also used it for the top thread on the eagle quilt because I was changing colours so much. Plus, check out the Glide thread! I am pumped to try this thread on my next quilt!

I keep the odds and ends in my old bathroom cabinet. This includes my water sprays (with a shot of essential oil lavender), the starch spritz, lint rollers, basting supplies … and mah buttons!! LOOK AT THE BUTTON SORTING!!!

Finally, I have my go-to sewing cup. I’m very excited about this. I have a lovely Stash&Store tool organizer that I got from Royal Quilts last fall. I love having all my pointy tools within reach when I’m at the sewing machine, but … when I’m running between piecing, sewing, and pressing, I keep losing things under the fabric and patterns. That’s where the go-to cup comes into play. I keep everything I’m using in one of my spare divider containers. Clip a thread? Toss the scissors right back in the cup. Rip out a seam end? Back in the cup. I even have a spare long-divider cup for the days that I’m also using my rotary cutter. The go-to cups hide out under my monitor, so I always know where to find them. This little trick has already changed my sewing immensely. No frustration over missing tools – they are in one spot every single time I need them.

I still have some work to do – my ruler storage is a nightmare right now and my spare backing is piled beside the door on my husband’s rolling tool box. Also not pictured here are the bins with my fabric stash. I was planning on bringing up my Victorian cupboard this summer after I was done refinishing it to store all the fabric, but it’s either that or the new idea of bringing up the bookshelves to hold my books and hang a design wall on … I will post an update this summer. I’m pulling out everything out of the sewing room and painting it. Since I won’t be actively sewing while I’m doing that, it’ll make a good weekly post. 😉

~M

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