Sewing Room

Construction Ahead

We all know I have actual, real work to do. Quilts to quilt, piecing to piece, overall work to be had.

Hands where I can see them – who’s surprised I’m completely distracted?

There are some things in the sewing room that I’ve been intending to accomplish. Things just lined up to get re-arranging done in the sewing room the last few weeks. Here’s what’s new!

Item #1: Mini design boards.
I mentioned before at the old house how fabulous it was to have the design wall right beside my machine and how I would do something to make that happen if my situation ever removed me from the wall. Well … welcome to the mini design wall idea!

We start with the board. Now, I could have gone to the hardware store and gotten a bit of board, but those things are expensive these days!! Besides, we’re stylish here! And what’s more stylish than upcycling? What you do is go to the local used book store or second-hand shoppe or garage sale (or in my case, raid the mother-in-law’s stash of old books that didn’t get sold at her old book store) and get yourself a massive hard-cover coffee table book. Then you rip the covers off, recycle the pages, throw out the spine, and you have the perfect light-weight design board! I stopped off at Fabricland to get some end-of-bolt discount fleece out of the sale bin. A very cheap glue gun was acquired on Amazon. The assembly process went seamlessly, surprisingly. I was mildly anxious. The last time I touched a glue gun, I was 5. My mum was making a flower arrangement. She told me multiple times to NOT TOUCH THE GLUE GUN. IT WOULD BURN ME. So, naturally, I waited for her to go get more eucalyptus then reached out to touch the lovely clear globule of melted glue. AND IT BURNED ME!! I started screaming, Mum came running in, and I was shown NO PITY. The glue was stuck on my finger and keeping it all hot and burny and running it under water did NOTHING. Needless to say – I did not have the same experience 1this time around. Fingers did get a little toasty, but I did not touch the melted glue. My husband says I’m completely unteachable. I showed him!!

Now that the board is set up, I put the blocks on it, stick it on the easels I bought on Kijiji for $5, and like magic! Mini design board! I got super into it, so of course I made 4. 😛 This way, I’ll be able to work on one project, put it aside without losing anything, and work on homework when I need to.

Item #2: Ruler organization.
This whole time, my rulers have been sitting on a shelf in the sewing desk. The shelf is plenty wide, but I do have to stack up the rulers to make them all fit and when I need more than 2 at a time, it becomes quite annoying to shuffle around to pull out the right one. And should I need the strip ruler, it’s totally impossible to manage. SO – why not use what the sewing desk engineers gave us and utilize the end?

I ordered 3M Command hooks along with the very cheap glue gun. In all honesty, the Command hooks were probably 2x the price of the gun, but they’re not the cheapest item on a good day, so we’ll let that slide. I had to get the metal hooks as the plastic ones are just a little too wide to go through the hanging holes of the rulers. I measured out where things needed to hang, popped on the hooks, let them set for an hour while I made mini design boards, then hung up the rulers. I have to say – this is working out very well!! And those rulers are a heavy acrylic, especially when you’re hanging 3 of them at a time. I think this will work out quite well. 🙂

Item #3: Shelf storage
Now that I’m not storing rulers on the shelf, what am I going to do with it? I am sort of using the back part of the drawers as temporary tidy zones when I need to work on something else for a bit, but the front part is not in use. It turns out I was dealing with something else not in use at the same time in another part of the house.

Want to guess what I found? You can see it!

Story time! When we moved in, I had to re-think the kitchen quite a bit. The house was built late 70s early 80s by older people who liked older styles, which means all the cupboards and drawers in our house are super narrow. The drawers are an average of 6 inches wide. I know that’s the way my grandmother’s kitchen was growing up and older un-renovated houses are the same. That means that my cutlery organizer (coming in at a whopping 15 inches wide) was NEVER going to fit in the kitchen. I left it on top of the fridge to stick in storage once I had storage set up in the basement. It was still there when I was cleaning up a mess the other day. When I pulled it down to wipe it out, I thought … I know where you can live from now on!!!

Fully loaded

I think this works out really well!! I took everything that was living under my extension table and put it in there. Now, when I’m working on something, I just pull out what I need. When I’m finished and need to get things cleaned up for a different project, into the organizer they go! I love using this. It scratches my organization itch.

4. Accessorizing
So … I got a new toy. I was recently making a wallet (next week’s blog will have more details) and decided to use rivets to pin the sides together. I loved the look, but … riveting is hard with my basic setup. When I started making bags and wanted to do rivets, I went with the absolute cheapest option for attaching them. It’s a rivet anvil setup. You get a little tool that pierces the fabric to the right size, then insert the rivet, place one end in the round anvil, and hammer the wand down so the rivet is pinched shut. It works pretty well, but it makes a LOT of noise hammering and brings husbands running to find out what the heck I’m doing to the house!! Plus, it’s a everyone awake scenario, so if I’m bag making at 1AM (like I was last weekend, the dolt that I am), I have to wait to finish it in the morning. Sometimes, that’s not an option when I’m getting up early the next morning to take the almost-finished project as a gift. We’ve all been there … no judgement!! Finally, when working on something very snug (like the wallet), it is VERY hard to put a hole in the fabric then hammer the rivets secure. The rivets go on crooked or can’t be hammered tight enough, so they rattle. Not a polished finish.

SO – I got a rivet press from Emmaline Bags. 😀 I love making bags and wallets and rivets can be a big part of that process. Plus, you can get snap-rivets for clothing! I think I will use this a lot, so the upgrade is worth it. You can see that I also got a hole-punch hand tool. My rivet press came with a rivet die and a hole-punch die, but the hand punch is nicer to use in tight spaces (like a wallet). And it was 10$ at the hardware store. Absolutely worth buying the hand punch – I should have done that the first time!

5. Organization
During the riveting adventures, I came to the realization that I absolutely have to re-do my drawer organization now. It cannot wait any longer. SO – top drawer is bag hardware, second drawer is quilting tools and accessories, third drawer is large spools of thread that doesn’t fit in the small thread organizers. I switched around what went where and used some drawer organizers I had a kicking around, not being used. Again – love using this!! I can find everything immediately without a ton of digging around and I love having a place for everything. And I have a fourth drawer available for re-organization in the future if I need a little more room! Unfortunately, this is making the heavy storage unit become invaluable to my space. I may need to break my promise to Husband to replace it if/when we move again. Oh whatever … that’s future M’s problem!!

~M

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