Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rhonda's Studio

Lets get the ball rolling people...

Our first guest of the series is Rhonda Laws from Quilter in the Gap... A few days back I came across her sewing space on her blog... I loved it so much that I just had to invite her over to share it with you all, and she readily agreed!!!

Thanks Rhonda!!! 

I have always had a fascination with other people's sewing spaces and it started when I started quilting. At that time I was quilting on the kitchen table. I would lug all my supplies out every time I wanted to work on a project and then put it all away when the family needed the space for homework, dinner, or anything else. It was very frustrating and that created my fascination with sewing spaces. This is the way I sewed until just a couple of years ago, when we moved over 500 miles from Michigan to Tennessee. Since my son had just graduated high school and didn't want to leave the area he knew and loved, we were left with extra space. Additionally, we moved into our home sort of "sight unseen". It was quite the adventure. 

outside the house

Due to the general layout of the house and fate, there is the upstairs living space which we use as a family (living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms) and a downstairs living space that was destined to be unused (family room, guest room and bathroom). Since we couldn't allow an entire space to go unused, hubby and I decided the downstairs space would be my sewing studio - I was elated!!

When coming down the stairs you are immediately taken into my studio and this is the view from the bottom of the stairs...

view from bottom of steps

The very large dresser on the right is part of the 70s bedroom suite inherited from my grandmother. It was too large to fit in my bedroom with the quiltless king-size bed and tall dresser so it ended up in my studio. This works out well because it holds all that stuff that you don't want to see. Things like yarn, totes, family pictures that need organized, and dear daughter's scrapbooking supplies she doesn't use. The top of the dress also comes in handy for a couple of reasons. First, as you can see in the photo below, it is a great place to store my hoards of magazines. Also, it is great for all those ongoing projects (and I have many). It is nice to be able to lay them out where I can see them. 

dresser 2

Across from that dresser is a wide plastic two-drawer cart (minus the wheels) with a couple of baskets on top of it and bulletin board hung above it (see picture below). This cart is handy for UFOs (ongoing projects that never made it very far) and wider items like freezer paper. I made the bulletin board out of an old picture frame, a left over piece of pressed cardboard from my home-made design wall, and a piece of fabric. I never really knew what to use it for until I started writing this post. I just decided this would be a great place to put a list of the ongoing projects with information like who it is for, ideas along the way, and deadlines. The baskets hold either precuts (which I like looking at) or larger scraps. 

left side of entrance

Once inside the actual room on the right I have my cutting station with a standard cutting table from JoAnn's that can be wheeled out if needed. Above that is a peg board with all my cutting mats, rules, rotary cutters, and the like. It has been quite handy. I also keep a small three-drawer plastic desktop box for smaller items needed while cutting. These items include extra blades, calculator, etc. 

Just to the left of the cutting station is my favorite piece of furniture in my studio - the antique desk. I spent a whopping $20 on that desk just before leaving Michigan - much to my husband's dismay. I store my smaller scraps on top of that desk - sorted by color in antique looking canisters from Wal-Mart. 

cutting space 1

In the corner is an old bookshelf where I store my fabric (over 1/3 yd), bulky items like batting, and books. I store my fabric by wrapping them around pieces of cardboard and then sorting them by color. This, in my opinion, allows me to see all the fabric I have at a glance. After I am done wrapping it I place a piece of paper in it with the measurements on it. This method allows for fabric petting at whim...hehehe.

fabric yardage storage

Below the window is the table with my sewing machine (which I have never named). I love that I can look out the window while sewing. When I have to use my laptop for recording or listening to my podcast(s) I roll my laptop desk over by my machine. On the window sill I have a few pictures of my family and a few mason jars with buttons, beads, and selvages. 

sewing machine space

The left-hand wall is a wood wall placed on the diagonal. It is not my favorite thing to look at so I plan to eventually have it completely covered in design wall. For now it only has one panel on it but I love it none-the-less. Adjacent to that I have my ironing station. My husband and I made the design wall with some pressed cardboard we found. We also made the ironing board cover (so as to enlarge it). Under the large ironing board I have a couple of large baskets for fabric that needs to be put back on the shelves or whatever miscellaneous items might land in them. 

ironing board

All in all I have a wonderful space that I love to be in. Of course there are things I plan on changing and there is always something that needs to be done. Hubby said he hates coming down there because it always means there is a project for him to do. While this may be true, I am not all that keen about him being in there either. 

In summary, my theory in my studio is "if I love it put it where I can see it" and "put it where you use it, allowing for more time to sew". Thanks for visiting my studio today...hope you come again.


happydaysquilting said...

I really enjoyed my visit to your sewing room, you are lucky now to have such a large room to yourself. I loved your storage ideas, the ruler rack and cutting station were very organised. Very inspiring!

crowefan0517 said...

I'm a "Quilter in the Gap" listener & it was so much fun to see her sewing space. Now when I listen to the podcast I can picture her whole set-up. I am so excited by this blog site. In the next few months I will be moving my sewing studio from my son's old bedroom (very workable, but on the small side) to our old family room which is not being used since we finished our basement into a "man cave". I'll have much more space & I'm looking forward to getting many ideas from this blog. Thanks for starting this!!

Chester, NY

Jen said...

Hi Rhonda! *waves* I only have one question: where do I sit to eat my wine gum? ;)

Anonymous said...

Love the pics (and the wine gum story!). I'm also a huge fan of swedish fish, lol. Love the podcast Rhonda!

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