Sewing Space


Sewing Studio

As today is the last day of September and National Sewing Month, I thought I would share a few other ways I have my sewing studio set up for ease of use.  Please see my post from last Monday to see my favorite methods of fabric storage.

There’s one thing you can’t ignore with sewing, and that is how you set your space up for cutting fabric.  One of the main reasons I like to sew smaller items is that it makes setting up the space for this task much easier.  I only use a 2′ x 3′ cutting mat, along with my 2′ Omnigrid ruler, 6 1/2″ Omnigrip square, and rotary cutters for all these chores.  The real trick here is to get your cutting board at the right height for you, so that you don’t develop unnecessary back problems!


Cutting Table

Along with my cutting space I also wanted an organized area to store all my patterns I have developed.  I knew that narrow trays would be the perfect solution.  I found the right combination for cutting/storage at the Container Store, by combining two of their 16″ stackable Elfa drawers with six narrow trays and one medium tray. These trays pull out for easy access to my patterns, and in fact the top tray holds my rotary cutters and extra blades as well.  The deeper tray at the bottom holds my Toughtek fabric, which is quite heavy, and the freezer paper I use for all my pattern making.  Labels on the fronts of drawers make contents quickly known.


Layers of Cutting Table Top

I added the Container Store’s “stick on” silver melamine to the top of the unit, and attached four casters to the base.  I have never needed to use the locks on the casters (stays steady enough for cutting without the need to do that), but  this addition makes the entire unit easily movable for times when you might need the space for other things.  Since the melamine top is approximately 21″ square, it is not quite the right size to support the 3′ x 2′ cutting mat.  Another solution – I purchased a lightweight 1″ thick drawing board, which just happens to be exactly 3′ x 2′, from my local Michael’s store to give my cutting mat the support it needs.  Perfect!  And again if space is needed you can easily take the cutting mat/board combo off the top and store away as needed.


Sewing Table Drawer

The other thing that helps me the most with my sewing tasks is my large sewing table.  I have to admit I splurged here and purchased a dining table for my main work area.  This table is big…long enough to hold three sewing machines side by side.  And yes sometimes I have them all set up at once, and can quickly roll my work chair from one to the other.  I have my regular machine and my serger, and a second regular machine that has black thread and a walking foot for sewing the Toughtek bases to my pet beds.  And the best thing about my table is the built-in narrow drawer, which stores all my thread, scissors, and other sewing instruments.  Keeps all that away from the kitties and neatly stored.  All in all, a perfect sewing room guaranteed to keep me happy!!

Do you sew, and if so do you have a favorite way to set up your sewing space?



UT Campus



UT Tower


Live Oak Trees


Looking Towards the State Capital


Red Bird of Paradise Flowers

Just thought I would share part of my world with you today.  Like many who sell on Etsy, I still have a day job.  In my case, I work mornings for the University of Texas in Austin.  Here are some quick photos I snapped while on a stroll about the grounds last Thursday morning.  I don’t think I’ve ever been on a college campus that wasn’t beautiful, as is certainly the case here!  And yeah, you bet I watch UT Longhorns football (often while sewing).  Hook ’em!

Scardy Cat


Tyler Under Cover

I’m still not quite sure what happened last weekend, and am just a bit puzzled by the whole thing.

Our boy kitty Tyler was not shy as a youngster, although he had every reason to be. I found him in a hotel parking lot in Tyler, Texas (hence his name), chasing bugs and trying to follow anyone and everyone into the hotel. He was all but screaming for help. When my parents and I caught him and brought him back to Austin, he laid in our laps the whole way home, seemingly indifferent to all the 18-wheelers that whizzed past us along Interstate 35. Honestly he was so sick for awhile that I don’t think he cared what was happening.

As Tyler grew he became more and more introverted, which is such a shame because he is by far the sweetest cat I have. It’s hard to convince anyone else that steps into our home, though, of his innate sweetness because chances are they will never see him. He typically hides underneath our sofa until the intruder is gone.

Then this past weekend he became even more illusive than normal. It wasn’t until I saw him afraid to pass through our kitchen that I realized something was very wrong. My husband had been cooking chicken in the crockpot on our kitchen counter all afternoon, and he said the thing made a slight “hissing” sound whenever he opened the lid to check on the meat. Hhhmmmm, I wondered if that could that be the problem.


The Terrifying Crockpot

I picked Tyler up to try and carry him through the kitchen and he was in a pure panic, scrambling to get out of my arms. He headed straight for the back bedroom/sewing studio and crawled under the bed covers, where he stayed the majority of the weekend. His fear persisted for some time even after the “offending” large white metal object was removed from the kitchen counter.

Do you have a scardy cat? Has you pet ever acted suddenly or irrationally fearful of something in your home?

This post is part of a Wednesday blog hop. Please click the “Blog Paws” button in the sidebar to follow all the other wonderful pet blogs. Happy Blogging!

Fabric Storage


In honor of September’s National Sewing Month, I thought I would share my favorite methods of fabric storage.

To store my lovely fabric stash of quilt cottons, I recently purchased some white glass front shelves from Ikea. The glass doors help protect the fabric from dust and my kitties. But the best part is that you can easily see just what you need, without digging through a stack of fabric. And to be honest, I just love looking at them all neatly folded and color sorted. It’s like a nicely organized bookshelf, except there is fabric instead of books!


I have all of my scrap or small yardage quilt cottons, that I typically use for my quilt block beds, stored in small canvas bins on Elfa shelving from the Container Store. These little canvas bins are available in different sizes, and are nicely accommodated on different shelf depths. They also come with a clear plastic label area. Again I have them color sorted, but rather than type out what colors are in what bins, I just used the fabrics themselves for the label fronts, so that I know which bin to grab on my next project.


For bulky fabrics, like my minky fabrics, I have found that nothing works better than these large canvas pop-up laundry bags I found at the Container Store. They are wide enough, and deep enough, to hold quite a few yards of the fabric. Since I stock 37 colors, I purchased several bags for color sorting.  And, in my case, the bags fit beautifully underneath my large sewing table. An extra bonus!!

My utility fabrics (canvas/muslin/batting) are stored in large clear plastic tubs with lids that I got at my local Target store. I do have some unwashed bolts in the room, but like to transfer the fabric to these tubs once washed. Choosing clear containers lets me quickly keep track of my inventory of fabrics washed and ready for cutting.

Thanks to Lucy for assisting with the photography.

How do you store your fabrics? I would love to know!