Friday, September 22, 2017

The big reveal!

Yippee, I think I am finally comfortable in the quilt cave!  It's all clean, shiny, and ready to drag all kinds of stuff out to play and make a mess!  It was a good time for pictures before I destroyed it, LOL!

It's still sort of a stained glass studio.  My cutting station is over the glass work table, there is glass equipment stuff behind the shelves at the end of the room, and all the larger pieces of glass are in their rolling wooden containers under where I rotary cut.

The wooden door connects my room to the walkout family room, the metal door goes outside. 

I have to close the wooden door to get to my "desk" to pick bits for applique or dig through patterns in my filing cabinets.  Having the door closed makes it harder to find me, hee hee.

The lighting was designed for doing stained glass, so the room is definitely bright enough.  I can open the blinds to a big picture window to let in natural light.  That softens things a bit.

I did buy the black plastic shelves from Lowe's, but most of my other fixtures are recycled, reclaimed items I collected when I lived in Michigan.  

The four wooden cubby hole structures were found among discarded items on garbage day (three of them cleaned up and cheered with a lick of paint), my chair and filing cabinets were plucked from the U of Michigan Property Disposition Center, my "door desk top" came from a second hand lumber yard, and my colorful, spongy child's mat on the floor under my cutting center came from a garage sale.

I like to sit at the "desk" to sort out the little bits for my applique.  I have small containers of little scraps, segregated by color, and containers that hold slightly larger pieces.

This allows me to chose bits for a scrappy applique project without dragging out bigger containers all the time.  I keep replenishing the containers as I need from my stash.

Steve mounted a plug strip to the wall and ran the cord over the door so I can use my mini iron (and charge my phone) right where I am working.  This is where I press down all those freezer paper patterns.

My Dad put so many plugs in this room when he built the house, but I managed to cover up the ones on this outside wall with my gigantic stack of fixtures, hence the need to have the extension cord snaked over the door.

Those of you that saw my posts about my Michigan quilt cave, or read through the organizational tutorials on my blog tool bar, recognize my fabric containers.  I collected all these over about 20 years of using my weekly JoAnn's coupons on plastic storage containers.

This is my cutting area, where I am also currently saving my batting scraps.  The wooden strips on the wall are a part of a storage system my Dad made for Mom's glass samples (for reordering.)  We took down all the others around the room and forgot we can't reach them!

The glass fits well under the homemade glass work table.  The work surface is just the right height for cutting fabric as well as assembling glass.  

The cabinets and counter top were second-hand as well.  My Dad found them, installed them, and put in a huge, deep sink.  That is all the hidden storage I have for other crafts and quilting clutter. Visible storage is clear or opaque so I know where stuff is located.

The TV and blue ray player are a must!  There is no cable or network connection in there, but that is fine with me!  That means no commercials.  I am currently re-watching the 10th season of "The Big Bang Theory" before the new season starts next week.

I decided a long time ago that I was tired of maneuvering heavy plastic tubs of unsorted fabric.  That was hard on my back and hands.  I could never find what I was looking for.  It made me very cranky and wasted so much of my quilting time.  That is why I use multiple smaller containers...better on my back and hands, and I can find EVERYTHING!

It makes it look like I have more fabric than I do, but I like that the containers aren't so packed and crammed.  I can fondle the folded fabric with ease.

Of course, a large 3-person "quilter's garage sale" and moving out-of-state after 20 years culls the stash nicely.  I don't miss anything I got rid of, and I made lots of other quilters very happy.

I encourage everyone to realistically look at their stash and give away, donate, or throw away stuff you will never use.  It is very freeing (and then there is room for new purchases, LOL!).

Everything has to have a place, or things will be perpetually cluttered.  I like to pull out stuff for a project so that it looks like a tornado blew through, then clean up and put things away before I move on to the next thing.

I am totally OCD!

Steve installed the nice blinds...the sun really intrudes late in the afternoon.

My sewing table is another fixture my dad built for stained glass is so solid!

Flexible labeling is key and helps me target the correct container right from the start.  After new fabric is washed and folded, it is filed.

I would love to have this huge sink ANYWHERE but in this room. It is taking up precious counter space and there is a sink, in the bar area, in the next room if needed.  I have been storing things in it (the water line is turned off).

Steve cut me a sturdy scrap of plywood to cover it up, temporarily. I painted it with the paint I had left over from painting our exterior front door in Michigan, so it is a nice reminder...and it sort of matches the room.  Sigh.

I can't quite get everything in the room.  There is a utility/mechanical closet not far from my door where I store things I don't access every day.  It's kind of rough, but it reminds me of my unfinished basement quilt cave in Michigan.  Again, sigh.

I also store hand quilting hoops, hand quilting poles, backings, and newspaper print in here.  There is a chair in here...and a door.  I can hide in here as well, hee hee.

There used to be a huge mountain of quilty stuff that needed to be put away right outside the door of my quilting space.  Now there is only a table and a few stray things.  I hope to sort all that out this weekend, put the table away,  and put my design wall up, neatly, over that window...for now.  I don't know where else to put it.

Then I can stop using the top of the pool table for my design surface...

I always dreamed of having one of those huge, fancy quilt areas that you see in the quilt magazines from time to time.  I don't think that is going to be possible...I am here for the duration.  I am so very thankful for the space I have and it has been fun to make it happen in my parents' house as frugally as possible.  It is not fancy or brand new, but it is functional.  I think I can be happy in there.

Oh, and I put a FABULOUS reed diffuser in it no longer smells like a workshop.  

AND, I have 2 of 4 outer borders on my Little Treasures top...including all those circles...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)


  1. The studio has come a LONG way from when you first moved in. Congrats! on getting your space organized.

  2. I think your sewing/creative work area looks fabulous. It is so much larger than most have and so well organized. It would almost make me NOT want to mess it up.! lol You have come a long way since first moving in. Congrats.

  3. Bella stanza da ho solo un angolino....ho visto appesi i semicerchi per trapuntare a mano, ma dove li hai acquistati? Ciao e buon lavoro

  4. Ooooooohhhhhhh!!!!!!! No words.
    Best regards

  5. It's not a quilt cave, but it seems to have everything you could want or need. Happy sewing!

  6. Teresa having long ago seen and loved your organization posts, I have to say your new setup is just great! Regarding the sink and it's cover: do you use a sandpaper board when you do applique? If so maybe cover the wood top with that to make it a template "station"? Second thought was to replace the cover with plexiglass, throw a light down in the sink and make it a light box station. Enjoy working in your new studio!

  7. No wonder you create such beautiful quilts! A place for everything and everything in it's place.

  8. It was great to see all your photo's and I can now visualise it all as one room. Your storage solutions are perfect, you have good lighting and a space for everything - happy sewing Teresa. Oh yes, it was nice to see you still have some glass under the tables; a nice reminder of happier times :)

  9. What a great space you have for quilting and stained glass creativity all in one... I am glad you made the most of what you have!!! I like that you have less used things in the separate space... you have lots of fabric too girl... so therefore lots of therapy??? lol! I have lots too... and enjoy petting it as I create!
    Question for you... when you applique lettering do you have a post that tells how you do that? I have a quilt I am designing that needs to say something on it .. I don't yet needleturn applique and I have some wonder under but you may do it differently... I love how your applique has turned out! Thanks for any advice or previous posts you can point me to :)

  10. Totally awesome space and organization (and here I thought I was OCD lol). I am going to de-stash for sure--feeling like I canNOT find anything and OVER-whelmed...mine is a small room, but it needs to be functional for my little projects of knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, embroidering, etc will need to figure out areas devoted to each...this working out of bins in closets is not good.
    thank you for sharing your beautiful room...hugs and enjoy Julierose

  11. I have been slowly getting my new sewing room ready and it is probably a fourth of what you have in size and stash - it takes time to get it all organized when you are a bit OCD doesn't it. I must say I am truly glad I don't have near what you have stash or supplies it would just be over whelming. Have fun playing in your new room

  12. Thank you for sharing pictures of your new space. You have done a wonderful job of adapting it to your needs.

  13. WOW what a great work space plus I bet you feel like your mom and dad are right there with you. Happy stitching.

  14. Teresa, I think it looks just terrific! From where I'm sitting (in my darling 8' X 8' nook), it looks pretty darn grand!! I destashed pretty heavily at the beginning of the year . . . I think I probably held on to some things "just in case" that I'm now ready to let go. It was good to see you on Thursday! :)

  15. Oh Teresa, you have inspired me. We moved into this new house two years ago and my sewing area has not been organized. Stuff is all around and I can sew and create (so I do), but when I have to look for anything...lots of wasted time. Your room is so wonderfully organized, everything in place, so you can find it. Wonderful. Quilters are "make-do" people. We don't need new and fancy things. We need functional things. And finding cast-off furniture and storage and giving it new life and purpose is what we do. It's time. My sewing room deserves to be put in order. Your organization inspires me. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures. I love your work and really enjoy seeing where you create ! Thanks for taking the time to show us.

  16. I've always been in absolute awe of your organizational skills. I see you've lost nothing following your move. Maybe one of these years I'll even get to play in that cave with you. Looks good, girlfriend.

  17. So happy to see your "sew" space. It's taken a while and I know it's been a struggle and emotional roller coaster, but the result is terrific. I wish I had the space to set up shelves so storage bins could be more easily accessible. Mine I stacked on top of each other so finding things or putting new acquisitions away requires lots of moving. Enjoy your new space. I can't wait to see what comes next after Contentment.

  18. Call me "jealous"!!! You are so organized and ready to be productive! All of your time and patience to get your space to this point of perfection has been worth it and you will so appreciate it as you work every day. Enjoy it all!

  19. Oh my goodness Teresa, your quilt cave is looking just wonderful. I'm so glad you've got your creative space sorted. I imagine you must have felt quite out of sorts not being able to do a little creating in stolen moments.
    *big hugs*

  20. It's fabulous! You will have a wonderful time creating your treasures in that space!
    I wish I had a little of your OCD!

  21. So very organized. My sewing room is too small to ever be this organized.
    Do you plan on doing stain glass projects?

  22. Your space is looking good! I had to go back and look at a couple bookmarked posts from several years ago on your organizing methods, and I must say this looks more achievable, at least from a quantity standpoint. I doubt I'll ever be quite so disciplined as you, but I have implemented some things. Like see-through plastic bins for my fat quarters, and divided by color and somewhat by style. I still need to put the labels in the boxes though. And your comment about big bins of fabric being to heavy and easy to loose things in - amen to that! I'm glad to read that you don't miss anything that you gave up in the move, I can use all the "don't miss it" stories I can get to help me use or re-home more of my stash.

    Do you ever hear how Weasley is doing?

  23. That is pretty amazing! I can see myself getting a lot of sewing done if I had that space and organization. Nice work!!

  24. What a great tour around your new quilt cave. I hope you'll be very happy there, and look forward to seeing some new quilts now that you are finally settled in.

  25. Wow! You've been busy. Your quilt cave looks wonderful. You are way more organized than I am. I have a place for everything, but everything is seldom where it should be. :) I love the way you repurposed all the furniture and fixtures your parents had and made it all work for you. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come. I know you'll put it to good use. Now, relax and have fun creating!

  26. its wonderful!! what a beautiful space to work in.

  27. Oh, yes, that is a wonderful space and your organization is top notch!

  28. What a great area! So organized and neat, everything has a place. Not a cave....It is a fantastic crafting area. TFS!

  29. Such a fabulous area to work in! You have given me tons of ideas. Thank you so much for the tour!

  30. Get in that so organized room and MESS it up....LOL
    room looks great

  31. Wow -- what organization!! I am in awe. You have a beautiful workspace.

  32. If I hadn't seen your wonderful organizational set up in your MI home, I would now be speechless. I was somewhat prepared for you to work your miracles by seeing what you had done there. I love that you have kept touches of your mom's glass work. Everything is so tidy and organized. Can we someday see a picture of a "work in progress" stage? I just want to see one scrap out of place - wink! I especially love the one marked "chocolate box!

  33. Teresa, it is beautiful! I am so happy for you. I can only imagine the wonderful things you will create here!

  34. I can't tell you how many times I drooled all over your posts about your previous quilt cave and I'll do the same here! You have such a great space! I love that you can find your mom and dad in there too. Truly a space full of love!


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