7 quick, low-cost fixes for your quilting space

From Creating Your Perfect Quilting SpaceDo you have a quilting studio? A room? Half a room? A corner? No matter how much (or how little) room you’re able to dedicate to quilting, it can work beautifully—with the right setup. If the stress of space constraints, time limitations, and budget restrictions have stopped you from creating the quilting mecca of your dreams, get ready to advance toward your goal with the seven tips below from Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space, by quilter and professional organizer Lois Hallock.

Lois is featured in the new Creative Spaces magazine from Quilter’s Newsletter

Creating Your Perfect Quilting SpaceLois has made a career of helping quilters organize their sewing spaces for maximum efficiency. Her book is packed with loads of tips for quilt-room design, organization, and even ergonomics—and her advice applies to spaces of all sizes. Whether you want to simply declutter your quilting corner or are toying with the idea of renovating a room, Lois shares quilting-room design ideas that everyone can put to good use.

Download the eBook version of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space for sewing-room makeover ideas that will make your precious quilting time more relaxed, more efficient, and more fun. Start with these seven tips taken from the book—you can implement most in less than an hour!

Quilter's work triangle1. Create a quilter’s work triangle. The work triangle is a concept that has been used successfully in kitchen design for many years. Quilters typically move between their sewing machine, cutting mat, and ironing board. These three workstations constitute the quilter’s work triangle. Consider carefully where you are performing these separate tasks. Are they occurring in close proximity to each other? Or is your cutting table in a separate room from your sewing machine?

If you don’t have a permanent space for quilting, you can create portable workstations to set up temporarily and take down easily for stowing. The principles of arranging your workstations in a triangle apply to a temporary setup as well as a permanent studio. (Learn more about setting up efficient workstations on page 9 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space.)

Task lighting for quilters2. Use task lighting. Each point of the quilter’s work triangle needs its own task lighting, with the cutting table needing the most light. Clamp-on desk lamps with adjustable, articulating arms (right) allow you to move the light around depending on the current task. Your lamp should be able to reach any point on your table. A floor lamp with articulation also works for many tasks. (Learn more about lighting on page 12 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space.)

(Don’t have a budget for articulated lamps? Take the “use what you have” approach and repurpose lamps from other locations in your home.)

Ergonomics of machine sewing3. Adjust for ergonomic sewing (feels so good!). An ergonomic assessment of your quilting space can help you determine how to maximize comfort during sewing time. Much research has been focused on the ergonomic height for keyboarding on a computer. Luckily for quilters, comfortable keyboard height is very similar to comfortable machine-sewing height.

One of the key concepts of ergonomics is keeping your body in a neutral position as much as possible. Neutral position is the most relaxed state for your body. Your weight is centered and your limbs are relaxed. Since very few sewing tables are adjustable for height, you can choose a chair with adjustable seat height. Your seat needs to be adjusted so that when your arms and shoulders are relaxed, your palms can rest on the sewing machine bed with your elbows forming a 90° angle. (Learn more about ergonomics on page 15 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space).

Sewing-room makeover ideas4. Fold your fabric uniformly. By far the biggest storage problems for quilters concern fabric storage. Most quilters start with dresser drawers and boxes. Then, as their stash grows and they tire of digging through all of it in order to find something, they move it to clear plastic tubs. As the tubs become too heavy or too full to hold everything, some quilters graduate to rolling office carts. When the carts overflow or become too numerous, quilters move toward armoires, closet shelving, or bookcases. Sound familiar?

How to fold fabric for storageFabric that is folded uniformly is easier to stack, creates a less cluttered appearance, and makes finding just the right fabric much easier. I prefer to use an 8½" x 24″ ruler for folding any fabric that is greater than ½ yard (but less than 3 yards). First fold the fabric selvage to selvage (as it comes off the bolt). Then wrap the fabric around your ruler until it is all rolled up. Next slide the ruler halfway out of the fabric and fold the fabric in half. The folded fabric will be about 9″ wide by 11″ deep. Stack these folded fabrics on a shelf so that only the last fold shows. Because fabric can be inconsistent in selvage-to-selvage measurements, just make sure that your folded front edges are even. No one will ever see the back edges when the fabrics are stacked on the shelf, so it’s fine if the back edges are ragged. (Learn more about storage solutions on page 27 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space).

5. Repurpose furniture for your quilting space. Take a look at the furniture in your house. Do you have furniture that is being underutilized that you could borrow for your quilt space? Bookcases, bedroom dressers, curio cabinets, and computer desks are all great items to call into duty for storing all kinds of quilting supplies. (Read the real-life makeover story “Rearranging What You Already Own” on page 43 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space.)

U-shaped setup for sewing6. Try a U-shaped setup. Put everything you need in reach with a U-shaped design. In the example at right, a table serves as a secondary cutting surface that’s accessible while seated at the machine. Rolling file cabinets can fit under the sewing table and cutting table. These cabinets store tools within easy reach of the machine and serve as secondary cutting and pressing surfaces. With a U-shaped system, you can have a secondary work triangle at your machine. (Read the real-life makeover story “Ready-to-Assemble Solutions for a Fabric Collector” on page 75 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space).

Quilt-scrap storage7. Create a scrap-storage system. Buy a dozen clear plastic bins and line them up in a row on the floor. Sort your scraps by color and drop them into the appropriate bin. Store scrap bins behind closed doors but keep them in reach of the cutting table so you can drop scraps into bins as you create them. When you need a scrap of a certain color, it’s much easier to search through a clear plastic bin of one fabric color than to dig through an entire garbage bag! (Read the real-life makeover story “Going Vertical” on page 61 of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space).

What is your quilting space like—and what’s your biggest organizational challenge? Share your story in the comments!


56 Comments (leave a comment)

  • OMG! These tips are so timely and helpful. We are waiting for permit approvals to start renovations on our home. We plan to move to a smaller home in the meantime where I will have a room to sew-what a concept! When we move back after the remodel, I will have a dedicated room to sew/quilt that I can design to fit my needs. While I have been thinking about room arrangements, many of my ideas fit these tips. Great minds think alike! Now if I can just get my husband out of the "we’re going to throw out a lot-meaning my stuff" mode I think I might survive two moves.

    —Rosemary on January 6, 2014
  • Great info thank you very much

    —Steph on January 6, 2014
  • I have a new sewing room for Christmas 2013, that now holds my stash of fabric and even my longarm. I have eight upper cabinets and six 36″ drawers. You can fold your fabric in the drawer like it comes off the bolt. I use soft cloth boxes that I found at the Dollar store. Fat quarter to jelly rolls can be sorted and stashed into them. The upper cabinets have flat folds by project or color. But that only the fabric, what about all the tools. I keep all my templates in the top drawers of the 36″ drawers. Small parts tools are kept in small three drawer. All my thread have its own unit which are two drawer system from Rubber Maid. (I bought on sale table at Bed, Bath and Beyond in hopes to use them in clothes closet, but it did not work). I also have two used office corner moon table on one end on each side. Each end holds my serger and embroidery machines. I like my 2 yards by 45″ deep table that I use for my Janome 1600P DB. The other side has 1930 factory sewing machine, still works. The iron board being movable to wherever I need, for my husband knew electric has to be high part of the design. I have lots of places to receive power. My HQ16 sits in the middle and one end of the room, with the cabinets on each sides. I just need to get everything put away and stop sewing on three Mystery quilt.

    —Linda Christianson on January 6, 2014
  • I have stuff in 3 different rooms. Fabric storage in dressers & picnic baskets by color in guest bedroom; large cutting table in sunroom – sewing machine, serger, portable two-sided cutting/ironing mat and extra table plus wall stored ironing board in small bedroom converted to laundry/sewing room. Big ironing board behind the door of guest bedroom can be gotten out when needed. Biggest challenge; work triangle.

    —Marsha on January 6, 2014
  • Oh WOW! Talk about perfect timing on seeing these books. We are in the process of building our new home complete with my quilting studio. What a wealth of information to have at my fingertips over the next few months. I will be going from sewing on the kitchen tablew with my supplies and fabri stored all over the house (wherever space could be found) to a huge space for sewing only!

    —Cindy on January 6, 2014
  • STAYING ORGANIZED!!! I can sort, fold, put hings away, and they are nice & neat, then I start a new project, or get some new fabric/notions, etc, then it chaos all over again! Not that I have been completly successful in getting everything organized, I just make little dents here and there. One shelf, or one area gets organized. I need a team to come & get the whole area done, and then I’ll be organized for a week at least!

    —Ruth on January 6, 2014
  • Fabric, fabric everywhere! I have drawers, storage boxes, plastic tubs, or any place I can find to store my fabric stash. There are scraps, pre-cuts, fat quarters, and yardage for all my projects, but I find myself searching for them in all the variously stored places. Making gifts for others is my delight, but the chaotic disorder prevents my productivity and stifles creativity. There are stacks of patterns, rulers, and threads of various weights, colors, and purposes along with needles and notions. With more space than most, it seems irresponsible not to better utilize what I have, so my resolve is to become better organized. Thank you for your resources, encouragment, and support! I have set up a triangle and will try to uniformly fold my fabric next. I have challenged myself to organize my quilting room before starting another project. What a reward for my love of quilting to have a functional workspace!

    —Linda Hovey on January 6, 2014
  • My sewing space/studio is a very small closed in area of our verandah. It is just big enough for my lovely longarm machine. The rest of the spec is jam packed with plastic tubs (OMG I can soooo relate to these tips), my sewing machine and ironing board. The essential cutting table is my dining room table, needless to say we never get to sit down to a meal there. I also have fabric, books and notions in the spare room and office.

    I am wishing for a new studio to be build sometime this year.

    —Loraine on January 6, 2014
  • I just moved about half of my sewing and quilting things into a bedroom that is now my space. I am in the process of sorting through things and arranging everything. My biggest problem is trying to decide what is the best use of my space. This book looks like it would be a great help but not sure if I have enough room to make the triangle work stations.

    —Renea on January 6, 2014
  • I have a very small room for my quilting studio. My biggest challenge is the chaos everywhere! I now have fabric in another room and walk in closet in addition to the studio. I can’t seem to get organized. I dream that one day I’ll come home and the organization fairies will have come in and organized everything!!

    —Wanda on January 6, 2014
  • My quilting space is the whole house. My biggest organizational challenge is that my stuff is dotted around the whole house!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not squeezing down aisles of hoarded treasures like some unfortunate on TV. I just tend to have everything I need for working on a specific project around me – and tend to be working on several projects at a time.

    Then there are stashes that split between several areas – Yarn for instance. I have tubs of yarn in my living room, and in my guest room. This is yarn that I’m not using at the moment. I also have yarn in bags next to my chair – that I am using at the moment, but also in a bag in the guest room (because there’s more yarn for this project that would fit into the bag next to my chair.) This shouldnt be confused with the yarn in the other bag, which is for a partially finished sweater for my son. The balance of which required yarn is in a bin on the shelf.

    When it comes to fabric, I am totally out of control. It’s in the guest room, the family room, the shelf in my living room and I’ve got two trolleys on wheels that I bought just for the projects that I have in mind for the packets of fabric sitting waiting to be turned into quilts.

    I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten the question, LOL! 😀

    —Kayt Deans on January 6, 2014
  • I find that we all work differently I usually buy only 1/3 yd of any fabric because I like scrappy quilts and I do art quilting primarily. I found that using the large but not tall storage units that are supposed to fit under beds is the perfect containers for most of these small cuts. You can fold them like fat quarters and stack them like a filing cabnet. You can get two or three rows across and at least 100 fabrics in each bin. I "file" the fabric by color, solids and prints together and I keep all the batiques the same way. I had shelving made to fill and replace a closet that was 15 feet long. It goes floor to ceiling. I still never have "just" the right fabric. My biggest problem in my room is task lighting. The other problem is me. I keep to many projects going at once with lots of fabrics out so I keep all my counter space full

    —Barbara on January 6, 2014
  • I just recently moved to a smaller house and I have not yet had a chance to set up "MY ROOM". These tips for organizing is sooooo helpful. Thank You.

    —Dot on January 6, 2014
  • I have my sewing machine and ironing board in our utility room (former small bedroom). My cutting counter and storage are in my office/craft room. Not the perfect layout but for now it is working…at least everything is on one floor.

    —Rhonda on January 6, 2014
  • I’m reading all of these tips with great interest. When I move the fabric storage bins and totes out of the upstairs room, my husband plans to put in some counter space for a dedicated sewing room considering the lower level room was flooded a few years ago. The room is only 8’x8′ so I need to be creative to get a cutting area, sewing, serging, pressing and the fabric and project storage. I’d love some practical ideas before proceeding with this remodel. I’d really appreciates a copy of one of these books.

    —Janet in ND on January 6, 2014
  • I just posted pics of my "quilt studio" on my Facebook page and scrolled down to see your FB post directing me here. Love your ideas.

    We have lived in this house only a few months, so I am just getting organized enough to become productive. I have not painted my sewing room, nor have I set up the new table for the sewing machine as I am waiting for the custom plate that fits around my new Elna, nor have I made a pretty curtain for the window, nor have I replaced the closet doors, nor have I installed enough lighting yet, but I am finally able to work in this space. I am thrilled to have so much space all to myself! I have scrounged up a mish-mash of organizing tools, but I am pleased with the results. See some pics of my space here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.568921729861152.1073741864.100002299893887&type=1&l=7f7a341e76.

    —Gramz on January 6, 2014
  • I have a great sewing room/studio and I did it quite by accident – mostly. I accumulated my book shelves and cutting table by watching for great buys. When you happen upon them, take advantage. My cutting table is actually a kitchen island with 2 shelves and a center drawer bought at Target on clearance. A very large shelving unit was bought for very little from a store that was changing out their candle jar display. I painted it and two other smaller, but very nice bookcases to match my color scheme. My sewing table is my splurge and so worth it! I bought a quilter’s table from Tracey’s Tables. It can be smaller or larger depending on what part of the quilt making process you are at. I don’t exactly have a work "triangle" but it is close. I don’t like looking at the wall and I want to be able to put the leaves up on my sewing table so my table sits with one end up against the wall but more to the center of the room. My fabric is nicely stored in the closet on shelving. I use some plastic bins, but not a lot. Need to see what I have. My rulers and scissors are hung on 3M Command hooks on the wall by my cutting table – a great idea and so handy. Lighting is crucial and I have 3 Ott Lights – one bought at an auction! Don’t forget a TV, artwork, etc. This is YOUR room – make it work for you! And enjoy your creative space.

    —Julie on January 7, 2014
  • My biggest challenge with my quilting space is getting to it – It’s behind a pile of boxes that has an assortment of office supplies and files as well as some sewing supplies and fabric. Got to clean that up first before I can get to the sewing machine itself.

    In addition, I now have my mom’s old Bernina that I have to figure out what to do with – keep it as a back up or sell it. It does come in handy as a back up when mine is in the shop for a tune up, which is also needed right now.

    —Alice Hourihan on January 7, 2014
  • I went to Italy this summer and my husband converted his garage into my sewing studio, that’s how much fabric I have. We moved to a farm last Jan and I had a 20 foot truck box with my fabric in it, I didn’t sew all last year. Sooooo I guess 5 weeks in Italy opened his eyes. Sooooo now I sewing. HEAVEN!!!

    —Olga MacDonald on January 7, 2014
  • I’m lucky to have an actual sewing room, but it is a very small room. Storage is a challenge for me. I’d love more space for my general work area, as well as storage. I don’t have room to leave an ironing board out all the time, nor to leave fabrics that I’m cutting and anything else. I definitely have to put things away as I move on to different phases of a project, or my sewing room becomes a place of chaos! But again, I feel blessed to have a little sewing room.


    SewCalGal on January 7, 2014
  • Our family room measures 18′ X 22′ and has not only a corner window with storage below, fireplace, but built in book cases with counters and underneath storage and console TV space, as well. The bookcases are full. There is a sliding glass door another window, overhead florescent lighting that fills the room with "sunshine". The original wood walls were painted a dark mahogany and I changed them to a tinted blue/grey. We have a cutting table, two sewing tables and chairs, several chests of drawers, both plastic and wood, for storage, a 3′ X 6′ record cabinet, two fabric bolt racks purchased when a Quilt Shop was going out of business, wall mounted shelves for small bin storage, 2 ironing boards and irons, and our long arm are all in this room. Yes, it’s crowded, but my husband, also a quilter, and I have learned to work around all of it, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but if I could get rid of anything, it would definitely be the long arm. It takes up too much space and yes, it’s been for sale for quite sometime, but nobody wants to pay the price.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on January 8, 2014
  • I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing room (pre-requisite of any house plan I chose) and I’m an organizer by nature. I have a lot of stuff in that room — a desk, bookshelves, two sewing tables and machines (so my friend or grandchildren can come and sew with me), 3 floor to ceiling cabinets, floor cabinets with large drawers, wall cabinets and counter space, my longarm, which juts out of the dormer, a tall file cabinet which stores my cutting dies, mats, excess patterns and one of those really large ironing boards. Even a movable design wall! Lots of light — natural and otherwise. I have my projects in stackable bins with all the material, thread and pattern together. It’s my dream come true and my haven, but I still struggle with keeping my stash and scraps organized. My husband is going to make drawers in one of the floor to ceiling cabinets so I can store my folded stash by color. I hope that helps. I’m looking forward to reading this book and finding some organization tip that I haven’t thought of and, once those drawers are done, totally reorganizing my room. Wish me luck!

    —krafty kc on January 8, 2014
  • My sewing room has had multiple transitions from our oldest daughter’s bedroom, to our youngest daughter’s bedroom, to an all purpose room which included a quest room/sewing room/storage room. I need to now make this room a sewing room/baby’s room/guest room since we will be watching a new grand-daughter who was born this week.

    I want to clear out the leftover items from the girls which have been in the closet and use that space as a storage area for my sewing stash and books. I lucked into a sewing table which opens into a huge sewing table so I need to keep open space for it. I hadn’t thought of floor to ceiling storage but I do have a nice wall shelving system. This is just not enough shelf space though.

    So these books are coming at a very good time for me and I will be looking at her site for some inspiration.

    —Charlotte on January 10, 2014
  • When I moved to my current home I grabbed a bedroom for my quilting studio but it is very tiny, 3mX3m (9x9ft) there is only enough room for my quilting frame & knitting machine. The house is open plan with 2 living areas, a formal living room and a family room ..

    My son came up with a great idea. We don’t need two living rooms, so he suggested we turn the formal area into a library.

    Ok I can hear you ask, what does this have to do with quilting space?

    His idea was install bookcase, a library table & a couple of comfy chairs. He said library desk could be used for cutting, pressing, a large space to audition fabric and design. Bookcases can hold fabric as well as books. Notions and other equipment can be stored under the library table and the seating area is a great place to sit and sew either alone or with my quilting buddy.

    It was a great suggestion and is working well. Eventually I will follow another of his ideas and have a library table made to my design that will have drawers perfectly sized for the quilting stuff I need to store in it.

    —Wendy on April 1, 2014
  • When I moved to my current home I grabbed a bedroom for my quilting studio but it is very tiny, 3mX3m (9x9ft) there is only enough room for my quilting frame & knitting machine. The house is open plan with 2 living areas, a formal living room and a family room .

    My son came up with a great idea. We don’t need two living rooms, so he suggested we turn the formal area into a library.

    Ok I can hear you ask, what does this have to do with quilting space?

    His idea was install bookcases, a library table & a couple of comfy chairs. He said library desk could be used for cutting, pressing, a large space to audition fabric and design. Bookcases can hold fabric as well as books. Notions and other equipment can be stored under the library table and the seating area is a great place to sit and sew either alone or with my quilting buddy.

    It was a great suggestion and is working well. Eventually I will follow another of his ideas and have a library table made to my design that will have drawers perfectly sized for the quilting stuff I need to store in it.

    —Wendy on April 1, 2014
  • My biggest challenge is that my stash keeps growing and my space does not. Hum….maybe I should just spend more time quilting.. Problem solved. Actually I have set up my sewing area in an easy to use arrangement . I have the quilter’s work triangle set up and it does work very well. I have my fabric stored by color in two wooden credenzas and on some book shelves as well. I have yarn in some stackable plastic storage drawers and items hung on a peg board as well as a small book case set on my desk for quilting books. I have more fabric in an other storage area as well.

    —Tina on April 26, 2014
  • One of the difficulties for me was having to get up and down each time I wanted to press a seam or a piece of fabric. Then one day it dawned on me…why not lower my ironing board to chair-sitting level! On top of that idea I also discovered that the ironing board at that level fit under my 6 ft tables (I have two tables side-by-side) when I was not using it! Perfect!

    —Mary on April 29, 2014
  • I’ve had that book for quite a few years, and it’s the only one of my quilting books that is dogeared. I’ve used it so much that I’m afraid it will start coming apart. Such a great book with excellent ideas.

    Sally Schneider on April 29, 2014
  • Used this exact book few years ago when we remodeled the attached garage as my Quilt Studio. It came in very handy and I used several of the organization tips and the ergonomic information. This is a wonderful book to have in your quilt book library!

    —Jean Brittingham on April 29, 2014
  • I use the hanging shoe organizers for most of my fabric. You just hang them by their stapes on closet rod and fill them up. Some have wider compartments for bigger pieces or yardage. It really is easy to organize by color print etc. Also have an old metal school locker unit . Wish I could post a picture here. I have see thru bins on the closet shelf above rod. All of my fabric is together now. I have my triangle also . My husband made me a small ironing board mounted to a wooden TV table. It is easy to move or can be folded up to stand out of my way. I have a 2 step , step ladder that I use to get things out of top shelf too. Folds away in closet out of the way.

    —Diann on April 29, 2014
  • Fabric fabric every where, it seams to breed every time I go shopping, I can fix others peoples mess but not mine. My biggest fear is dieing and my husband & kids find what I spend my time doing! After reading the tips I was enspired. Can some company make plastic boxes that can fit fat quaters in , the 2 I have just are a little too shallow.(need 6ins fits) I cut all my scraps into 2 or 2.5 ins strips or squares. makes nice scrap quilts

    —Lorna McConnachie on April 30, 2014
  • Gostei muito do blog dos senhores idéias otimas pra uma salinha de costura

    prerdi meu emprego e estou pensando em fazer costuras patch e outros…

    Obrigado por compartilhar seus trabalhos lindos e eficientes

    Translation: I really enjoyed the blog of great ideas for a sewing room

    prerdi my job and I’m thinking of doing patch seams and other …

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and efficient

    —Neusa Ortegosa Brenco on May 5, 2014
  • I have a room to use, that is also a guest room. there are either doors, or windows on every wall space that I have available.
    What is the best plan to use a space like this?

    Hi Amy, I’d suggest picking up the Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space eBook to help with possibilities for the space you have. The author has ideas for spaces of all sizes, as well as all budgets. Thanks for your question! –Jenny

    —Amy on August 13, 2014
  • My sewing room is sadly not organized; I should have plenty of space and options–it’s my "empty nest" house, but all rooms need declutter and organizing help–yes, I’m working on the clutter, and I buy organize stuff however it’s not cohesive and some is not put together yet. Thanks for tips, they’re saved
    happy trails

    —Carol on August 21, 2014
  • So many good ideas. I wish I had the space and organizational savvy to put them all to good use. I will keep them handy for the future.

    —Karen Funk on August 23, 2014
  • I so needed this today. I have just converted one of my bedrooms into my sewing/craft area as well as a small office. I am actually using some of your ideas in the pics above and love the organization of all of it. I am a right-brain person (creative, visionary, messy at times, etc) who happens to love an organized office/craft/sewing environment. Thanks for your invaluable tips.

    —Becky Cooke on October 2, 2014
  • We built a new home three years ago which was a down size. I put my foot down and turned the two spare bedrooms into one large sewing studio. This book was my bible. I bought it as soon as we started the build. I got so much useful advice from this book. I was going to donate it to my Guilds library but I keep going back to it and can’t seem to part with it.

    —Betty Norberg on January 6, 2015
  • I have taken over our master bedroom and it is stacked from floor to ceiling all the way around and then some. My husband custom made me a u-shaped area but with a sewing machine and an embroidery machine, I’ve found it too small. So he added a shelf down one wall and a cutting table down another. So although I have plenty of room at my machines I’ve run out of space for designing and creating space. I’m a bit overwhelmed! Any suggestions??

    —Cynthia Sandberg on January 6, 2015
  • A friend acquired a 4 section (each section stacks on another) lawyers cabinet from govt surplus. She didn’t want, so I took it and intended to paint it white since it’s dark wood. Well, I acquired new sewing space and was redoing it, and realized that it would worlk really well for fabric storage! It hasn’t gotten painted yet, but all my fabrics are stacked in color groups, I can see them but they are protected from dust and dirt by the lift up glass doors. Looks great even without being painted and I love it!

    —Sharen on January 7, 2015
  • My husband used to have trains. I took two of his "horses" and placed an old door (30″) on top. (I am thinking of getting a 36″ wide instead). On one end I have my cutting mat, in the center of have my sewing machine and on the end I have my pressing pad.

    I used counter height for the door and have a counter stool to sit on to sew. The area in back of the mat and sewing machine hold my iron and miscellaneous. I put my safety pins, bobbins, scissors, rotary cutter, etc in a small rectangular tin which sits behind the cutting mat. I am very proud of my set -up. It works fine and I share space with my husband’s office and a sitting room!

    —Liz on January 28, 2015
  • The most helpful hint for organizing my stash is one that I have never seen since and that is storing small lengths of material on comic book boards. I ordered the boards on line. I stand these on edge in my drawer space and can find anything at a glance. I wrap the material around the board and pin the end with a quilting pin. THE BEST HINT EVER!

    —Eleanor on October 6, 2015
  • I made a portable ironing board 4×6 which I can iron on and put a mat on and cut. It is right next to my machine so my sewing is much more organized and less wasted time.

    Pam Goodwin on October 16, 2015
  • My sewing area is a small bedroom converted into a sewing/office room. My sewing machine is in a corner in front of a window for maximum light with the cutting table located to the left adjacent wall made from a banquet table with leg extensions made of PVC pipe to raise to the correct height. Because of space I use an ironing Teflon mat at one end of the table and the other end for cutting. I use a gooseneck floor light that can be used for both areas. I only get the ironing board out when my finished product gets too big for the mat. I have a talented husband who made me a custom sewing table with the machine recessed. The table has Formica on top and has a fairly large (3×4 ft.) area left of the machine with approx 12 inches to the right of the machine. With my radio and small TV, my little cocoon is very comfortable. A lot of my sewing supplies are kept in a converted TV wall unit with the area for the TV removed. It is a nice piece of furniture and adds warmth to the room.

    —Mary Ann on November 20, 2015
  • Great comments ! I have a spare bedroom all set up,it took several attempts to get it workable. My husband went to Home Depot and bought two large 3 drawer garage cabinets,hooked them together,than put a long wood top on them.Perfect for cutting. Each drawer has specific fabric collection.Than there a a larger tall cabinet with flat fold,fat quarters,jelly rolls etc.Than I have bins each color co-ordinated of scraps.I have pattern and cut out quilts in progress in flatter snap lid containers.This room I am lucky to have half of closet for hanging pieced quilts waiting to be quilted,larger cuts of fabric.Love my room,music in the player,iron plugged in and a work in progress,can’t be beat !

    —Sharon Simmons on February 11, 2016
  • How to make more room in a small space.

    —Tina Geiner on February 21, 2016
  • I have a very small room for my quilting studio. My biggest challenge is the chaos everywhere! I now have fabric in another room and walk in closet in addition to the studio. I can’t seem to get organized. I dream that one day I’ll come home and the organization fairies will have come in and organized everything!!

    Sandra Thomas on February 24, 2016
  • can you help me .I need to buy a folded table for my sewing machine and also for cutting materials .I have a small sewing room any ideas please l .

    —lilette on February 28, 2016
  • This book is great; I’ve checked it out 3 times from the library. My sewing room is starting to come together but is still spread over 3 rooms. It really is a work in progress.

    —DebMac on March 11, 2016
  • I have a lot of fat quarters , i also have a open closet in my sewing room (I took over a unused bedroom) one side has shelves and a rod to hang stuff on the other side, so I pressed my FQ and folded them in half hung them on a hanger. I put like colors together and when I need a blue pull the blue hanger out easy to see the blues and take the blue I need, all pressed and ready to use if I don’t use it all I put in back on the hanger. I have a hanger for every color one with novelty prints, one with florals that didn’t fit A color for one reason or another. And it looks tidy in the closet.

    —Leslie Poole on March 11, 2016
  • I took a spare bedroom over for my sewing, quilting and embroidery. My long arm runs the width of the back third. I used an 8 x4 foot finished plywood sheet cut to 8×2, stained and sealed with two bookcases supporting it. The shelves of one store quilt books the other holds all my embroidery software, patterns and books. On the back sides of the bookcases I used heavy duty adhesive hooks to hold my templates and rulers. On one end of the top I put a large cutting mat. On the far end of the top I have my sewing machine. It makes for a sturdy great work surface.

    —Kathleen K on March 11, 2016
  • I have a pretty organized quilting space. I like things orderly. My biggest challenge is that I seem to constantly keep re-organizing which takes away from my quilting time. It is something I am working towards relaxing on.

    —Joan on March 11, 2016
  • Hola!
    My project for this year is to have my place to work and organize all themateriasl and materials. Thanks for the ideas. YS.

    —yolanda sanchez on March 13, 2016
  • This info is so helpful as I am soon moving into a new home and thinking of taking a room to make for my quilting room. Love it!

    —Debbie Fleming on May 15, 2016
  • I picked up a tall cabinet at our church rummage sale for $30.00. There are 3 shelves behind glass doors and 2 shelves behind solid doors (on the bottom). I have the cabinet in a corner and the side that is not visible when walking into the room I used the 3M removable hooks and hung my most-used rulers – works wonderfully – even for my large square rulers.

    —Kathy D. on August 16, 2016
  • Special pipe for seamless rollers/5mm

    Konveyor on March 30, 2017
  • I have a 10×10 room and I have transform from under the bed storage containers to smaller ones but more since they weighed over 80 lbs I could no longer balance them on my head on a step stool at 60 plus years of age.Instead of 4 colors per container I have 2 that compliment each other.I soon will be building our dream house(retirement) I will be going to this small room to a 14×24 bonus room.So I can spread out no not buy more but to be able to find what I thought I had and not buy again only to find it and now I have 2 or more of things.But this is bookmarked for this big move happening next year ! Can’t wait !!!!

    —Debbe on June 4, 2019

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