Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quilt Cave 2.0...fruits of re-organization


I have mostly finished reorganizing the Quilt Cave and culling my stash of books, patterns, fabric, and crafty stuff getting ready for a big quilters/crafters garage sale with two of my friends.    I will share pictures of my "makeover."  Most of you have seen pictures of my troll hole...it is in an L-shaped, unfinished Michigan basement that I share with my husband and teenage daughter.

It is not an elegant space...don't we all drool over magazine pictures of glamorous creative spaces?  Then I wake up, and work with the cave and fixtures that I have, most of them second-hand or found at garage sales or driving around on garbage day.    :o)


I kept my primary work space and sewing machine station in the same place.  I have the metal support pole and plumbing spout to work around...it is literally in the middle of the floor.  By putting the work space where it is, I can put the TV on a lazy Susan so that wherever we are in the basement, we can see the screen.  A folded up quilt for the kitty is a must...sometimes it keeps him off what I am working on...


The long, back wall is still mostly fabric.  The lids are not bulging now that I have gone through and removed fabric that I probably won't use...I even emptied some containers!


I moved my files/tables and bookshelves to the end wall and moved Steve's desk to where the books used to be.  This did a lot to open up the space.  Before, there were two "deep" things right across from each other, which only made the space long and skinny.  It was too narrow to unfold and set up tables on which to work.  Now the deep, file/table/book storage unit is in a better place at the end of the room and the continuation of the fabric shelves, which has a less deep profile, works better across from Steve's desk area.


With a sump pump, there is always a threat of a little water if things go wrong, so I like my books up off the floor.  I use three sturdy, used, 2-drawer filing cabinets to support a re-cycled wooden door surface and a re-purposed table top (without the legs).  

Once this was all leveled up with scrap pieces of plywood, I added four "Bonde" IKEA shelving units on top to hold the books.  This is the one thing I splurge on...they are the BEST thing for books...won't sag or collapse, like previous bookshelves.  I bought them slowly, one-at-a-time, which is why I have small ones, but even if I was buying all the shelving I needed at one time, I would still buy four smaller units instead of 1 or 2 larger ones.  This gives me a lot more flexibility as far as organizing goes.  I actually had 5 overfilled until I went through and set over 150 books aside for the sale...now that 5th shelving unit holds other stuff.


Putting the shelving units on a table surface gives me a place to sit, look for what I need, and work.  I arrange my books mostly by content...general "how to," applique, history, seasonal, individual technique, kid/baby, etc.  


I use some magazine files to put books by the same author or subject together...this also helps if they are the thinner, soft-cover books that have no book spine where the name is not easily accessible.





On top of the book shelves, I have plastic drawer units holding my scrapbooking/picture stuff, and on top of that, seasonal decorations that I don't access very often.


The drawers come out easily to get what I need (I have them labeled so I don't have to pull ALL of them out...).


My six, deep, file drawers hold patterns and projects from magazines (in sheet pocket protectors), labeled and organized in a way that works for me, in hanging file folders.


I placed the left and right filing cabinets angled inward, so that they are more easily accessed.


I have all my redwork, stitchery, embroidery patterns/projects in one drawer, organized by season, etc.


I keep applique projects in one drawer, organized by author (I have a lot of Lori Smith, Bunny Hill, The Rabbit Factory, Edyta Sitar, etc.), then by topic (flowers, BOM, etc.).  By using the sheet pocket protectors, I can store not only the pattern, but freezer paper or plastic templates that are re-usable).   I love sheet pocket protectors!







I know a lot of people sort their projects and sheet pocket protectors into binders, but I have never used a binder that I have been happy with.  I really like the hanging file folders with tabs and regular file folders when needed.  It is a flexible system that can easily change as needed.  Every now and I then, I go through and purge magazine projects as my tastes change.  (or I glue a picture of the project, without the instructions, into one of my idea books as a future reference...).




In a perfect world, I would not have to store the shop vac or paint cans (that would freeze in the garage) in my space.  Oh well...




More storage of photos, seasonal items, sewing machines, infrequently used kitchen stuff...


I try to store everything on the bottom shelf or on the floor in something that is waterproof...and most of the fixtures touching the floor are plastic, or can get wet.

Steve is happy with his space.  (Gotta keep the hubby happy...).  It is nice that we are down there together sometimes.  My computer is on the main floor, but we all use it.  Steve and Riley's are in the basement.  He uses 2-draw file cabinets and a door desk as well.

I love these second-hand file units...I can get them for $10 a piece at the U of M Property Disposition Center.  That is also where I get our $10 desk chairs.  Sometimes I even find stuff that matches, but since it is in the basement, I mainly want it fairly clean and functioning properly.


The quilting poles that are on the floor are going to be suspended from the ceiling, alongside the duct-work...they are too tall to stand up somewhere.



I store batting pieces and my tub of recycled jeans under the stairs, along with all of my folding work tables.  THIS space had become totally crammed with misc stuff and I could not get to the batting pieces before the cave re-do.  I would just lean my 5 folded up tables up against the bulk to keep it from spilling exploding out onto the floor.

It really is true that if you want to control clutter, EVERYTHING must have a home where it can be PUT AWAY.


It is so nice that the fabric containers all CLOSE now that I have removed some stuff...there were pieces that I never selected when picking out fabrics, just moved from side to side, so it was time to put them in the sale.  More is only good if you actually use it, I am finding out...









Using the lazy Susan under the TV allows me to swing it around while I am piecing at the machine...


My long rulers...and my awesome back scratcher...are in those grooved holders, inside another re-purposed, found-beside-the-road-on-garbage-day storage unit.




My idea books are only a reach away...



These are my right-at-my-fingertips, "go-to" containers of scraps, for doing my applique...


 ...in two sizes...small for crumbs and larger for scraps that are a little bit bigger.  These are ULTRA convenient and make my scrappy applique REALLY fast and convenient.

I still depend on these little draw units from Home Depot (or Target, Walmart) for little tools.







I still love these plastic drawer units for other rulers and templates...but the other draw units that were on the floor at my feet now reside on a shelf.  It was feeling cluttered and I wanted some leg room!


The front wall still stores fabric, project boxes, and my color-segregated scrap boxes (and ties, ribbon, etc.).


The recliner entices my family to come read, watch a movie with me, or play with the Wii.  The exercise equipment calls to us less frequently...





Unfortunately, the laundry and the cat box also share my troll hole (see?  not at all elegant...).


I feel like a new woman now that my creative space has had an overhaul.  There is still 10-11 days until the sale...I may be like the Pharaoh in "The Ten Commandments"...my hard heart may loosen, and I may be ready to let more of it go.  It is surely liberating to go through the process.

Our sale is Friday and Saturday, October 4 and 5 near Saline, Michigan, just west of Ann Arbor, 9 - 4 each day.  Comment that you might be interested in going and I will email you the details.  The three of us are pricing stuff to move...none of us want to take anything home afterwards!  (and we have made a pact that we can't "shop each other's stuff!")

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

47 comments:

  1. I love your cave!!! My goodness, I think I should take a leaf out of your book, ..... your so darn organised! (in my world, that's a good thing!)

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  2. I wish I lived closer - not so much to shop stashes, but to see the 'cave' in person.

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  3. well how much fun is that sale going to be, wish I was in the area but of course I would rather come sew in this incredible basement, your organized space just amazes me.....
    Kathie

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  4. Wow! You have shared great storage and organizational ideas. I think I need to make some idea books instead of storing years worth of quilting magazines. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  5. Wow! What great organization! I try, but it always ends up a mess... Usually after a big project is done, I will clean up again until the next quilt takes over again!! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I am just green with envy over the amount of space you have! And it's just beautifully organized. First I need a bigger house ... with a basement ....

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  7. I am always truly amazed when I see your space :) you have so much fabric and divided by color is so neat. Nice that you have been able to reorganize.

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  8. Good luck on not shopping each other's stuff! I need to go through all of mine and organize a little better, especially the small pieces of fabric. Great job of reorganizing!

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  9. I am extremely impressed with your organization! I love to be organized and it drives me crazy if I'm not, but I don't even come close to you. I could look at your space all day long!

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  10. I am so overwhelmed by your work space that I've had to go through it a few times to fully appreciate your organization! Wow is all I can say!! I'm going to have to show this to my husband. He feels that I have far too much stuff, and while I'm very organized and have a lot of my things stored the same way, I don't nearly have the same amount. I would love to come and just sit in your space!!

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  11. Well, your troll hole, as you call it, is in far better shape than my sewing room!!! Ughhhh....don't even want to think about fixing it, but guess I need to. Mostly, I need space for more fabric storage and to QUIT buying fabric for a while. Like that's gonna happen.

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  12. I think you need to hire yourself out and go around organizing those of us who are organizationally challenged! Beautiful job, I am in awe.

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  13. Very impressive organization. Sorting that all out was a big job, and you deserve a pat on the back (or some new fabric). I'd be overwhelmed by all the things you have to choose from to do. (and I mean that in a good way). Thanks for sharing it.

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  14. Teresa, this is amazing. What a phenomenal amount of work you've accomplished. :D The TV on a lazy Susan is brilliant. And I have to say, in all honesty: Lady, this is elegant. It may not be chic or designer-faced, but the sheer beauty of that organization and functionality is elegance in its rawest form. I would love to just walk in and soak up its atmosphere :D

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  15. Amazing sewing place. Your cave is wonderful!

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  16. I absolutely love your Quilt Cave! I'm going to print your post out so that I can save it for when I get to a bigger space and I can use some of your organization ideas in my room!!

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  17. Awesome, organized, inspiring and a very useful way to repurpose office stuff and make the most of what you have. Love it

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  18. I could spend a week down there just looking at all the quilting goodies. Good luck with your sale.

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  20. Ok, from one Horder to another, oh that's right your only a horder if it isn't organized. Girl you better get busy sewing, you have enough fabric to make a thousand qults. I told my husband it I had more room I would only buy more "stuff" I can see you've accomplished that. Wonderful area. best to ya.

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  21. You are so freakin' awesome...I just love to look at your quilt cave.

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  23. love your space. I would like to know the containers you have your appliqué scraps int they look just the item for mine. also like you file systems thanks for the ideas to make my area more organized. would love to find some office chairs for the cheap price you did. thanks for all the ideas.

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  24. Love your organization. My space not so. I organized patterns that I find on the internet, or that I have cut out into the sheet protectors too! What kind of boxes do you have your fabric stored in? I love that you can see almost every piece. Wow that weekend is busy in Michigan. That is one of the weekends for the Flat Rock Historical Society Rummage sale too.

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  25. I am up for the drive to your sale you did amazing job with your space. Denise in Burton mi

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  26. Good for you! You are a continuing inspiration to me. I work on organization a LOT and still it never seems to be a finished work. Always more to do. At least we're never bored, huh?

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  27. WOW WOW!!! So very organized even with having to share with the rest of your family. I thought I had a lot but you win for the most!!! of everything! Congrats on the purge and good luck on your sale!!!

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  29. Hello! I am interested in hearing more detail about your sale. My email is chelseakaye89@gmail.com.

    Thank you! Be well.

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  30. The makeover looks AMAZING. Your sewing space is an inspiration:) LOVE IT!!

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  31. Wow! You did a great job organizing your quilting supplies. Could I please get the details for your sale. Debbie

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  32. Wow! You did a great job organizing your quilting supplies. Could I please get the details for your sale. Debbie

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  36. You're posts on organizing your stash have helped me to not only sort, but decide how I don't need something and won't use it. I'm so happy that you've shared you're organizing methods, they have encouraged me to organize what I have and decide what I really shouldn't be keeping anyway!

    Plus, since my fabric storage is also in my basement, you've inspired me to hopefully upgrade my basement to a place I can call my own. Please keep up the posts, I love them!

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  40. I popped over from Vicki's blog. My what a huge space you have and I applaud your amazing sense of organization! I recently purged my sewing area and divested myself of 13 large garbage bags filled with fabric (donated to a good cause), but seeing your space made me realize that had I had enough space I might have hung onto more than I did! I loved seeing your work space. Thanks for sharing it so well!

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