Full Shelves

Shelf replacing old brown shelf
Shelf replacing old brown shelf

I spent time filling my shelves and emptying boxes. The boxes went out with the recycling (except for some DH hid from me) and my shelves are now filled with my quilt books.

I am really happy that my books are more accessible. Before, some of them were on the floor in big stacks, which was not conducive to browsing.

Last week after I had done some of the work, I spent time leafing through some of the books that were more accessible to me. I also leafed through some while on work calls, though I have to be careful, because I tend to tune out work and focus on quiltmaking, which is not what they pay me for. 🙂

Shelf replacing old desk
Shelf replacing old desk

Before this whole workroom redo I had collected books, run out of space which meant all the books on one topic were scattered. As I was putting books in boxes, I made an effort to arrange them so that like books were together.  All quilt history in a group of boxes, all art quilt books in other boxes. This made it easier to shelve them all together when I unboxed everything.

The very top shelves are less useful *to me* because I can’t reach them without a stool. I wanted them (the top shelves are add-ons to the Billy bookcases not part of the shelves) for two reasons. First, stuff will get crammed up there anyway, so I might as well have a shelf. Second, dust. I prefer cabinets and bookcases to go to the ceiling because that open space just becomes a dust collector. With these shelves, I put books and stuff up there that I don’t access often. For the books housed there, they may be candidates for weeding in the future. We’ll see.

My shelves are not 100% crammed full, which is great. I am glad to have some growth space. I do feel like there are a few books missing, so there may be another box somewhere.

Next project is to put up the design walls. I want to work on some quilts again soon, not that I am short of bag and other projects, so I can mark some fabric off my ‘fabric used’ list. DH is busy with clearing out his parents’ house (still) so I have to fit this in or get the handyman in.

More Workroom Shelves

Second Shelf
Second Shelf

DH came home from the football game Saturday night and put together the second shelf. My room has that new paint or furniture smell again and is a complete wreck.

I really like the clean, white look of the bookcase next to my desk. It is beautiful. It is also a lot better than a pile of cardboard boxes.

Big mess in the workroom
Big mess in the workroom

Cardboard boxes don’t just magically unpack themselves, though I wish they did. The rest of the room is a wreck. I have a lot of work to do reshelving books and arranging stuff on the shelves.

DH has to get some anchors, so I am not allowed to stand in front of the bookshelves during an earthquake for the moment.

See that computer set up in the picture (above right)? That is where I spend my days. That particular computer is my personal computer. I swap it out for my work laptop at about 8am every morning. One reason I need to clean this area up is that I have to get that blue chair out from the boxes, so I can “go to work” on Monday. Currently, it is stuck behind some of the boxes because we quickly moved the boxes out of the corner of the room so DH could install the second bookshelf.

More progress! Yay!

Workroom Shelves

Bookshelf #1
Bookshelf #1

Some progress is being made on my workroom. I retrieved the purchased bookshelves about two weeks ago. It seems like an eternity.

I asked DH if I should get the handyman to put these shelves together. (I am sure they are relatively straightforward to assemble, but my shoulder can’t handle such work.) He said that he would put them together. Time went on, we went to San Bernardino ? for an event (it was a good event, but an icky town) and still he insisted he would put them together.

When DH told me he had to go work at his mom’s house over the weekend, I asked him when he was going to put my shelves together. While I was gone at Sew Day, he put the first one together. Then he came home from the football game later  the same day and banged around putting the second one together. He is a really great husband.

Workroom Sad Face

Billy Bookcases
Billy Bookcases

The bookshelves are delayed again and I am getting annoyed. Well, I was already annoyed, but now I am more annoyed. Pandemic. Supply chain. First world problems. Blah blah blah. I know. I know.

Gammel bookcase
Gammel bookcase

Scandinavian Designs has some very basic bookcases, which might be a good solution if they are in stock. They do not have the added height shelf that the Billy bookcases have. Also, one thing I like about the Billy set is the accommodation at the bottom for the baseboard. There is a little cut out so you don’t have a gap against the wall. Also, apparently, they no longer have white in stock and I refuse to introduce anything even approaching life-sucking beige into this room. Finally, they are much more expensive. On the plus side, we have an entertainment unit from Scandinavian Designs and we are very happy with it.

Why hasn’t anyone tried to copy the Billy bookcases? I know I should be promoting intellectual property theft. I really want the chaos in my house to end.

Tools Bin Again

Tools Bucket - 3rd pass
Tools Bucket – 3rd pass

I worked on the Tools Bin again on Saturday. I decoupaged paper on top of the blue described in the last post on this topic.

I found some pictures I liked and decoupaged them over the blue paint. I was still not thrilled. For some reason, it wasn’t working for me.

I am building up nice hard layers, however.

Workroom Refresh Gets Real

A few months ago I started clearing off the bookshelves in my workroom/office/yoga studio in anticipation of painting, buying a little new furniture and giving the room a basic refresh.

I worked on this project in a desultory manner, but the project just got real. DH said he wanted to paint the room instead of me hiring someone and he took time off work next month to do it. I spent time last weekend clearing off more shelves and putting my workroom stuff in boxes.

Books and other Workroom stuff
Books and other Workroom stuff

The YM’s room is looking pretty full at the moment. Good thing he doesn’t need to sleep there as more stuff needs to be stored there. I am out of the boxes I have been using boxes that stack up nicely together and need to find others.

I-Spy Pouch Finished

I-Spy Pouch Finished
I-Spy Pouch Finished

I might be having a fit of reorganization. At least you might be thinking that after seeing yesterday’s post and reading today’s. I am sort of.

I have a number of acrylic templates for various projects. Many are for pouches and bags that I will make over and over. They come in thin plastic bags. Ideally I would like a set of map drawers in which to store them. Until I can take over the entire house, that isn’t happening. I have been looking at various bag patterns for ideas on how to store them.

I-Spy Pouch Finished with templates
I-Spy Pouch Finished with templates

This is my first attempt. The I-Spy pouch from Sew Sweetness’ Minikins Season 1 fits my templates for a Minikins Season 2 project called the Day Trip Wallet. Not all of my templates will fit in the various sizes of the I-Spy pouch, but some will and that is a start.

The pattern comes with 3 sizes (this is the medium size). It is a very quick sew, so I can look through my other templates to see which will fit in the various sizes. I am thinking I can easily adjust the sizes to fit other templates. Finding the right-sized zipper will be the challenge if I change the size. I have a bunch of different sizes, so I should be able to manage.

Yoko Saito's Natural Patchwork bag
Yoko Saito’s Natural Patchwork bag

I am still looking for a bag pattern with slots in different sizes that I can just slide the templates into and not worry about resizing. I have been looking at Yoko Saito’s bags, especially this rectangular bag from Natural Patchwork. It might be too small, but I like the shape. I’d have to make different blocks for the front.

Stacking Up Books

My workroom is also my office and workout studio. Since I have been spending so much time in it, I am getting sick of the life-sucking beige walls. I do have a lot of stuff on the walls, but that beige and the various places that have uneven paintwork are icky. I am sick of them. I have decided to paint. And remove the beige carpet.

I don’t like beige.

That means I have to clear out the room. I started with my quilt books. I plan to replace the ugly wood-like pressboard bookcase with two white bookcases. I hope two bookcases will be enough to get all the books off the floor.

Quilt Books in Boxes
Quilt Books in Boxes

While I am putting the books in boxes, I am taking the opportunity to reorganize them. All the art quilt books together, all the quilt history books together, etc. It is fun to see books that have been hidden for a long time. I am also taking the to weed books that I won’t use anymore.

I am slowly filling up the YM’s room with boxes. He doesn’t know.

Another Drawer

Some time ago, I lined one or two of my dresser drawers with fabric. Earlier this week, I heard a cracking sound as I rearranged one of my drawers. This led to the unloading, the sorting of clothes, the repair and eventual reloading of the drawer.

Forced Reorganization
Forced Reorganization

Fortunately, I am not rushing around early in the morning to get dressed and get to the office. Lately, my commute has been pretty easy, so the turmoil of my clothes being everywhere was minimal. It did look bad. I am also pretty sure the mess annoyed DH. There wasn’t anything I could do, however, until I had some time to sort everything out.

The dresser is old, but solid wood with dovetail joints, so worth repairing. DH was able to fix the drawer during one of his work breaks (we are both working from home) earlier in the week. It has been waiting for me to deal with.

Vestige by Bookhou fabric
Vestige by Bookhou fabric

Friday, I took a sick day off of work. I don’t have vacation, but my boss is pretty understanding about the need for rest and for the need to get paid. It is a bonus that it is a 3-day weekend. I have a lot on my to-do list including cleaning. This project was one task. The first order of business was to choose a fabric. I thought I had one selected, but I looked through some of my fabric and decided on a Anna Maria Horner print that Friend Julie gave me recently. I used this fabric, because it made me happy to look at and I couldn’t think of an immediate use for it. I still have a little of it to use in another project. I will definitely see it pretty often as I rummage around in my drawer.

Completed drawer
Completed drawer

I took the opportunity to cull some clothes I don’t wear or had forgotten about. Some will go to donation organizations and some went into the wash so I can actually wear them.

The execution didn’t succeed as well as my first effort, but since it won’t be scrutinized by judges, I don’t care. I am pretty happy with how it looks. Now I just need to get a boatload of sachets or potpourri or lavender to keep the mustiness out of the drawer and I’ll be all set.

Sewing Machine Suitcase

Sewing machine cart
Sewing machine cart

I was very fortunate to receive a nice gift card. I have wanted a suitcase in which to put my machine. SIL #2 and I share a wagon, but it is often overflowing so I didn’t think a suitcase would go amiss. I saw one that Amy has and really liked it.  It is called the 360 Crafter’s Bag**. She and I have been looking for one for me at Tuesday Morning, but never found one. This gift card was my way forward. I bought the aqua. 

Sewing machine cart - main compartment
Sewing machine cart- main compartment

I tried it out today and my small on-the-go machine/ Janome DC-5100 fits nicely. I measured everything before I bought it, but when it arrived, I didn’t think the machine would fit. It does exactly, as you can see.

There are several pockets on the inside. I haven’t figured out what to do with them. You may also be able to see some of the clear plastic pockets housed on the inside of the main compartment. I don’t know if the stuff in those pockets will get smashed when the main compartment is closed and I am on the go.

Sewing machine cart - front pocket
Sewing machine cart – front pocket

The suitcase also has a separate front pocket area with more pockets. This area is on the front of the main compartment. If you look carefully, you can see a separate zipper on the sides of this shown compartment.

Again, there are more pockets and pouches and I still don’t know what to put inside. I am thinking of putting the items from my Quiltmaking Go Bag in the various pockets so I just have one thing to take to class or Sew Day and to store. I am reluctant to make such a big change, especially since I don’t always bring my sewing machine to Sew Day. My Go Bag is getting pretty ratty, though, so it might be time to make a bold move.

Sewing machine cart - sides
Sewing machine cart – sides

The sides have even more pockets. I kind of wish there were some taller pockets like for scissors, but I can see the benefits of only having short pockets – items don’t get lost in the depths.

Another bonus is that the Quiltessa bag’s suitcase slip handle (not sure what to call it) is a snug, but good fit on this suitcase.

The one thing I don’t like about it is the handle on top. It is attached to a pocket that can be unzipped. I am afraid it doesn’t have  enough support and will rip away. I plan to hold it as much as possible by the retractable handle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

 

The Things I Need to Do to Get Ready for Quiltmaking in 2020

In no particular order:

  1. New Goodreads shelf
  2. New blog photo folder on my hard drive
  3. Move old blog photo folder to archive folder
  4. Organize projects so I know what to cut in 2020
    1. Once I decide, make a list for my cutting table
    2. Write a post about what I am cutting in 2020
  5. Add a new blog category for 2020
  6. Set up posts I work on all year long.
    1. all donation blocks
    2. Year in Review
    3. All donation quilts
    4. Gift Bags in July
  7. Update my fabric usage spreadsheet
  8. Organize FOTY 2019 units
  9. Decide on a shape for FOTY 2020
  10. Update my fabric/quilting purchases spreadsheet

UCAB Pockets

Lynette and I met about the BAM Bag-a-Long  at Sew Day the other day. We went over the sketches she made for cutting and she also made a test pocket.

It turns out, from the test, that we need to make sure the participants buy the zipper sizes that are given in the pattern. The way Natalie finishes the zippers is a lot easier with zipper tape than it is with zipper teeth. This thought/method of making is contrary to the way most bag patterns are written.

UCAB test pocket
UCAB test pocket

It was interesting to see the large pocket finished, because you can see the flange (look for the WonderClips) in a big way. It is very clear that there is a different construction going on to finish the secondary pockets and keep them away from the edges.

Lynette said that it made the directions a little difficult to understand. Still, the thought of keeping the bulk away from the edges is a good one.

The bottom of the pocket also has a pleat so that larger non-flat items can be included.

I plan to make a sample of the small front pocket so I can test out making a WonderClip holder. I hope to get it done by the next meeting.

Resources

  • Purchase the pattern and sew with us-N.B.: we will not be providing step by instructions, but will be posting here with tips and tricks
  • Tour of the bag -Instagram
  • Bag-a-Long project post – 9/27/2019
  • Thoughts behind the bag – 8/7/2019
  • Free video instructions
    • UCAB episode 1 : preparing for sewing pockets
    • UCAB episode 2 : sewing pockets, discusses thickness of pockets
    • UCAB episode 3 :badge holder pocket technique
    • UCAB episode 4 : Large pocket, installing zipper
    • UCAB episode 5 : installing a swivel hook, front and back of bag, front and back pockets
    • UCAB episode 6 : insert pockets into side panels
    • UCAB episode 7 : very brief video showing how the piece looks after installing the pockets in the side panels
    • UCAB episode 8 :Brief video showing the finished bag. No sewing.

Sewing Room Organization Tips and Ideas

This article was originally posted on the Redfin site on August 21, 2019 by Jennifer Karami. It was updated on October 13, 2019. I have permission to repost it here.

___________________________________________

 
fabric scissors sewing tape

A sewing room is a space where you can concentrate and indulge in your passion – whether that be sewing, knitting, quilting, or another form of crafting. It’s the perfect place to keep your supplies organized, plan projects, and concentrate without interruption. For those who take clients professionally, the sewing room may be your show space for completed projects or a private spot for fittings and consultations. If you have small children, it’s also the best way to ensure that curious fingers aren’t hurt! Regardless, a dedicated area is a must if you’re serious about crafting. These sewing room organization tips will give you guidelines for what you need in your sew zone, what you don’t, and how to create the sewing room of your dreams.

What you need in a sewing room

You don’t need a ton of space to establish your sewing area. If your square footage is limited, like in a smaller home or apartment, your sewing room could simply be a corner with a table and some storage shelves. Your particular needs will depend on the specific type of work that you’ll be doing, but there are a few universal basics all crafters should know.

“We highly recommend a full-body mirror or three-way mirror in your sewing space. This is extremely helpful if you’re planning to tailor clothing for yourself or others. If you know you are going to be working on a lot of formal gowns and dresses, make sure you purchase a small step stool to have your clients stand on during fittings.”

– Aladdin Hussein, Owner of Artful Tailoring 

sewing tape wrapped around mannequinn

Sewing machine

Obviously, you’ll need a good sewing machine. You may also wish to have a serger or industrial-strength machinery for leatherwork. If your sewing projects include embroidery or beadwork, then you’ll need an embroidery machine and specialty equipment, while quilters may find a long-arm machine useful.

Electrical outlets

If you’re able, have a few extra electrical outlets installed in the space. You’ll be surprised how many things you’ll need to plug in! If that’s not an option, invest in some industrial-strength surge protection power strips, and make sure that they can accommodate a three-pronged plug.

Sewing table

Cutting and sewing projects can damage a regular table, so a sewing table is a worthwhile investment. The surface should be sturdy and able to handle the movement of the equipment without shaking. You can buy one or make a DIY sewing table relatively affordably. 

“The worktable in my sewing area is at desk height, but I also have a large work table at a counter height that is perfect for fabric cutting. The height saves my back and makes pattern layout a breeze. Can’t invest in a counter height table? Just put some bed risers under any table to bring the top up to a comfortable level. “

– Alice Smith-Goeke, Owner of Fabric Ninja

Opt for a folding table with wheels – that way, you can expand all the leaves into your space when you need it, then fold them up and roll it away when not in use. This prevents you from having to use your dining room table, where you may either damage the wood or get your fabric dirty. Invest in a high-quality rolling office chair – preferably one without arms – for maximum mobility at your sewing table.

“Make sure to select a stable table that isn’t going to bounce around as you sew or work. If possible, have tables with adjustable legs so you can find the most comfortable height.”

– Michelle Stoffel, Co-Owner of Style Maker Fabrics

antique sewing machine

How tall should your sewing or cutting table be?

The “standard” table height is between 24 and 28 inches for sewing (sitting) tables and 36 to 40 inches for cutting (standing) tables. However, these measurements are based on a person who is 5’3?, so you may need to adjust if you’re taller or shorter. Your ideal table height is based on a.) your height, b.) the height of your sewing machine, c.) the type of work you’re doing – i.e whether you’ll be sitting or standing. The most important thing is that you are comfortable.

“The table height should make cutting and pinning easy to do without stretching up to your tippy-toes or leaning down super far. You should make sure that you aren’t hunching over while sewing too. You don’t want your crafting to be a painful endeavor.”

– Megan Boesen of Knit & Bolt

Storage bins

Storage is essential to sewing room organization. Choose clear bins that allow you to view the items inside. Bins that are stackable and square, instead of round, help maximize the area in your storage space. If you don’t have a designated closet at all for your fabric, consider pre-shrinking it and storing it under your bed in opaque containers.

Shelves and cabinets

Make use of vertical space! Instead of simply stacking tubs one on top of one another, invest in some shelves. This will make it easy to grab what you need without having to pull down and restack containers each time. You can purchase plastic storage shelves from your local hardware store, or you can DIY your own shelves. You may go a step further and install some cheap kitchen cabinets along the walls of the room to hold your fabric and supplies. 

“Look for lots of natural sunlight and storage. Closed cupboards with glass panels will let you show off your fabric collection, and wood panels will hide any clutter. Make sure everything in your space has a home, and inspiration will continue to strike as you sew!”

– Amy Ellis, Author at  AmysCreativeSide.com

Pro tip: Install a garage bicycle holder into the ceiling to keep a dress form, cushion forms, or rolls of batting out of the way when not in use.

Labels

Buy some clear sign holders and write the contents on index cards – for example, the number of buttons, or the yards of each piece of fabric. This makes it easy to find what you need for a project and to see what supplies you need to restock.

“To display and store thread, buy a sheet of MDF Hole board and use pegboard hooks to rest your spools on. You can paint the board in any color to liven up your space and show off your creativity! This frees up floor space and makes it easy to see your supplies.”

– Aladdin H.

thread and yarn spools

 

What to avoid in a sewing room

Clutter

Avoid overcrowding your workspaces. Make sure that each piece of equipment has room behind it for the sewn fabric to fall without damage, and that you have enough space to navigate the room comfortably. If you’re creating a corner sewing nook, be sure to reinforce the surface with weight-bearing table legs or something similar.

“Think about the flow of your activity. Arrange your workspace so it’s easy to move from one station to the next. If you do this, your project will come together more quickly and with less frustration.”

– Penny Lai, Owner of Gala Fabrics, Victoria, BC

Darkness

If you’ve ever threaded a needle, you know how important lighting is! Be kind to your eyes and incorporate plenty of bright light into your workspace so you can see what you’re doing. Natural light is a great option. You may also want to install wall lights with long, moveable arms to position over different spaces for close detail work.

“Good light is essential for color matching and close design work. Try to pick a spot by a window that has lots of natural light. Incandescent lights can add a yellow or blue cast to your projects, which can taint the color of your projects. Full-spectrum light bulbs are a good substitute but can be expensive.”

– Penny L.

Sunlight

While natural light is a great way to brighten a space, direct sunlight can actually damage your fabrics. For this reason, it’s best to store fabric in a clean, dry, space like a closet – away from direct sunlight. 

“Display your yarn in a way you can see it. It can be easy to have an overwhelming stash, but even easier to lose those special skeins when you can’t see them. You can display them in a bookshelf or glass case, or even see-through boxes if you’re tackling humidity or critter (moths!) problems. That way your yarn is stunning AND safe!”

– Chantal Miyagishima, Owner & Designer at Knitatude

colorful fabric cloth

Quick organization tips

Your sewing room should be a space where you can readily access everything you need, or see if you need to restock anything. Here are some tips to organize your space quickly:

  • Create an inventory spreadsheet of your supplies so that you can take a fast look to determine what you need on each shopping trip
  • Pre-shrink your fabric and store it away from light
  • Remove the cabinet doors and closet doors (if your fabric isn’t in the closet) for easier access – and to avoid bumping your head!
  • Use a laptop for pattens instead of a larger desktop computer
  • Create a “dream board” of the projects you want to start or as a collection of ideas and inspiration
  • Add a small speaker to listen to your favorite tunes or soothing white noise
  • Hang photos of your favorite past projects on the walls, or snapshots of your friends, family, or clients wearing your creations

Expert advice

Decorate & Design

“Designate a space in your home where you are free to make a creative mess. Even if it’s a small table in a corner or a closet, it’s crucial to be able to walk away from a project when you’re feeling uninspired – or to be able to dive right in when inspiration strikes. If every time you want to sew, you have to lug the machine up from the basement, and then tidy up completely at the end of each session, it will be much harder to keep a consistent creative practice.”

– Samantha, Seamstress at Fluffyland.com

“When you finally get a space to call your sewing room, it’s tempting to use every last bit of it for storage and work. While those are important and necessary, try to carve out even a tiny spot for décor. It makes the room feel more fun and personal. I find I feel more inspired if I have a few things to look at that are finished, instead of being surrounded by a to-do list. Bonus points if it’s something you’ve made yourself!”

– Staci Wendland, Owner of CraftyStaci.com

“Every workroom needs a good design wall. Standing back and viewing your quilt or fiber art from across the room is critical to successful pieces. For garment sewists, a dress form does the job. The larger the design wall the better, because you can look at multiple projects or large quilts without pieces falling off the edge. There are a multitude of websites out there showing how to make a design wall and a variety of design walls that don’t even require a trip to your favorite DIY store. Check out your options and get one so your projects will be easier to review.”

– Jaye A. H. Lapachet, Principal & Designer at Artquiltmaker.com

Get creative

“Storage is the most important element of your craft room. However much you think you will need, double it! Try to use every inch, especially little bits of space that might normally be wasted:

  • Above the door or window, you can add a useful shelf with storage boxes or baskets
  • Add a row of hooks on the underside of a shelf to hang scissors, bags or storage tubs
  • A pretty pegboard can be both decorative and provide storage for small items
  • See if you can find a shelf unit to tuck against the wall under a desk. If it’s not too deep you’ll still have room for your legs”

– Julie Nyanyo from Sum of their Stories

sewing room organization

Practice self-care

“Start thinking about your sewing space as a self-care studio. It’s not just about function, it’s about how you feel when you are there. Try keeping your tools off the wall and in storage containers or drawers. A thread rack can seem beguiling, but most other notions are not visually soothing for many folks. I have a practice of clearing the surfaces and walls at the end of a project so I can hold space for the next creative endeavor.

“Lighting is a necessity while sewing, so don’t skimp on this detail. You can rarely rely on an overhead light to provide you with the brightness that you need. Bring in an adjustable lamp or wear a comfy headlamp if you do a lot of sewing at night. Once you have your primary light sources squared away, invest in a string or two of warm LED twinkle lights. String them above your machine(s) like a garland, and your happiness level will increase by at least 64%, guaranteed.”

– Meg McElwee, Owner of Sew Liberated and The Mindful Wardrobe Project

Use the Tri-Space Method

“No matter how much (or little) space you have or what you make, I like to organize my sewing room using a tri-space method. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  1. Space to work – flat surface for cutting fabric, sewing, laying out, etc. And don’t forget a comfy chair.
  2. Space to dream – shelf for how-to books, wall space for inspiration, and window, too!
  3. Space to stock – drawers, shelves, or bins to organizing your supplies.

“You don’t need a lot of space — it’s nice but not necessary. You just need a plan.”

– Jessica Bonilla, Owner of Bloomerie Fabrics

All artists and crafters know the challenge of staying organized. Between pins, needles, thread, yarn, buttons, glue, and fabric, there are many moving parts that can lead to a big mess! By organizing your sewing room, you’ll free up space to tackle even the most ambitious projects. There are many ways to create a functional and beautiful sewing room, but first and foremost, your sewing room should make you happy. Let it be an inspiration and reflection of your creativity.

How did you create the sewing room of your dreams? Let us know your sewing room organization tips in the comments!

More on Go Bags

Reader Colleen was kind enough to leave a comment about her experience with quiltmaking Go bags. She wrote, which reminded of more detail I should have included: “I do have a go bag. It’s one of those big, flat bags they sold about 10 years ago that holds an 18×24 cutting mat and a 6×24 ruler, plus lots of pockets and sections for smaller tools and a project.

I don’t actually like it for carrying projects. I got plastic lidded totes that are about twice the size of a shoebox, that seem to work well.

While I do have some duplicate tools, I have created a list of what I need to take, so I can grab the items quickly when packing up. I just joined my quilting group last year, so I also wrote down everyone’s name and a brief description, so I could refresh my memory before going the first couple times.”

Best Bag Ever
Best Bag Ever

A go bag like the black one I showed doesn’t include everything I need to sew at Sew Day, on retreat or in a class. This bag includes basic supplies. I also have a flat bag like Reader Colleen describes. I probably wouldn’t have made myself a bag like this, but I got it in a swap. I find that it is very useful. It keeps a large rotary mat flat, a few rulers and a flattish, portable ironing board ready to go on a moment’s notice. I don’t always take this bag, but I have it available if I need it.

The point, however, is that I can’t just grab the black bag and go. I need to pack. The black bag does not include projects or fabric, specialty supplies or a sewing machine.

ArtBin Project Box

As Reader Colleen says I also put some of my active projects into ArtBin project boxes. I just started this practice in the last year. I also use larger bins (larger projects, quilting) from the Container Store. As I said in that post from last year, I like the fact that they are stackable and I can keep all the stuff for one project (or a group of projects like the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club bag supplies) together. This helps A LOT with Grab & Go.

Whatever is leftover and loose, I toss into a Chubby Charmer. Sometimes, these items end up in the project box/bin later; sometimes not. On a good day, I have 4-5 bags and boxes with me plus a sewing machine sometimes. This is a lot of stuff, but it is much more organized than having to cannibalize the supplies from my workroom, hunt through fabric for a project and find notions. I like to be organized in this way, because it gets me sewing or working on my project faster.