Friday, November 19, 2010

Tiny But Efficient Sewing Room

Hello!  It’s me again, Polly from Aunt Polly’s Porch blog!
I’m so glad to be posting here at Stash Manicure again! :-)
I have been BLOWN away by the ginormous and
extremely organized “Quilt Cave” photos
and posts by Teresa of Fabric Therapy.
(And I thought I had a nice big stash!! 
NOOO comparison!!)school
This is our fourth home over the past 31 years
but it the first one in which I have my own sewing room.
So however tiny it is,
it’s ALLLL mine!!
Samme and I were chatting about
 how her sewing room reflects her love
of girlie things… totally feminine
and frilly… mine- not so much!
I have always loved everything by Mary Engelbreit. 
I have all her books and LOTS of her fabrics. 
I love her use of bright primary colors
mixed with black and white.
So, my little sewing room has her ALL over it-
the curtain valance, the cover of my Big Board,
my sewing machine cover,
all sorts of her  knick-knacks and such.
Because my sewing room is so tiny-only 10’ by 10’,
I really HAVE to be organized or with all my stuff,
I’d not be able to move around in there,
find anything or even get in the door!

I do share my room, though, with my dog Yogi.
  He has a comfy bed up on my sewing table
in front of the window which overlooks the backyard…
man, he gets the BEST sleep there!!
ANYHOO… my favorite organizer in my sewing room
has to be those plastic drawers on rollers. 
supplies storage 1
I have them EVERYWHERE!! 
I like that they can fit nicely under tables and can
also stack on top of each other without the rollers.
I store my saved scraps in these drawers under the sewing table extension.
( My sewing table is the larger “Quilter's Dream” by  Horn.)
When I have allot of leftover scraps from a whole collection,
I’ll put them together in a Ziploc before putting them in the drawer…
which is good to quickly pull out to make smaller projects
like purses or table runners and wall-hangings.
  These above are perfect for patterns and embroidery supplies
like rolls of stabilizer and design CD’s.
When I’m in the middle of a quilt, the design wall
is usually full of blocks, but other times I just pin stuff
up there to inspire me or that I need to work on next!
Just a few months ago, I cleaned out
and reorganized my stash closet,
which I like to do about once a year.
I have grouped my stash into
colors, then a shelf of novelties,
a shelf of decor weight fabrics, two
shelves of garment fabric, a shelf
of flannels, a shelf for fall and winter
fabrics, a shelf of spring and garden fabrics and
a few shelves of florals separated into main color groups. 
I  LOVEEE Florals!!
I have a row of plastic show boxes filled with quilt labels
and panels and then above them I have
several plastic bins sitting on their ends
on top of the grey metal shelves
in my stash closet that house
larger pieces of fabrics for backings
and several bins with bundles of coordinated fabrics
ready to make a whole quilt with…
just waiting until I make up my mind
what pattern to make or design.
They are very patient fabrics!! 
I keep a big roll of Warm and Natural batting
in one end of my closet
and packages of other battings in the other end! 
Above the tall bins on top are packages of Polyfil stuffing
for dolls and pincushions and such!
I like to put on a DVD while I’m
sewing… all chick flicks mostly,
so I have a little media shelf which as time goes by
is getting taken over by jelly rolls and charm packs.
FQ cab nice
My fat quarters are stored in a little wooden antique chest of drawers…
but I removed the drawers and use the chest as little cubbies!
I stacked 2 of the drawers up on the right side to make a bit more room!
Here on top of a cutting table that is never empty for cutting,
I have my Alto’s Quiltcut  and Accuquilt Go! and dies,
 as well as, all my rulers.
And I LOVE quilting books. 
Such inspiration for me… 
maybe some day, I’ll write my own!  :-)
So, you see, you really CAN fit
ALLOT of sewing and quilting
stuff in a tiny little room if you take the time
to organize your fabric, scraps and supplies. 
As my dear Mother always says-
“where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
And I AM one strong-willed lady!!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your sunny space. I too have a very small space but it really is like a cave as no sun gets in there, but my Miss Polly, a miniature foxy terrier has her own spot out of any drafts.
    Have a great weekend in your space

  2. First - can I come and play? I am blown away by how much you have in a little room, but I nearly fell off my chair when you opened the doors to your "closet" - now that is another room not a closet! I love the rolly carts - for tucking into places, easy to move around, pull a drawer to take to work area (and then return it). And I love Mary Engelbreit too. Thank you for sharing your corner of the quilty world

  3. wow that is an awesome room and i love the way you have your stash organized. and of course yogi is a very nice added touch

  4. I am blown away by your fabric stash. I thought that I had a good bit of fabric when I filled a tote. Can you say envy? one day I suppose.
    Thanks for sharing your quilting room.

  5. WOW! I think you have me beat. I hope all of my friends see this post. I love your room and you got it all in there. What a happy place!

  6. I love your little sewing room! One day I hope to have one of my very own. I think that the bright colors and Mary Englebreit look is fabulous!

  7. Knock Knock, Hello Polly, it is Madame Samm...mmmmm nobody answered..well I am coming in...OMG...10 x 10 space, you have got to be kidding.? Where do I sit? What will we be creating today? lol. I love it...Hi Yogi. where's Momma? Lookie here a pic of my sewing room, you are right, there is no comparison, I don't have 1/100th of what you have managed to pack in here...I really don't even know where to start...I love the shelving, rolled carts, your closet well, you and Teresa are on the top of my list for best friends ever if ever I am short of fabric...I love that it is a bright place, I love my sunshine too, and M.E. is one of my fav's. This is a lovely tour. sorry you were not here...I took a few things I am sure you won't be missing...Yogi, hush hush ...lol
    Tell Momma, it was a grand tour into her world, I will see her soon...

  8. american's amuse me... you have so much space in that huge country of yours... :0)
    10 x 10 described as
    "Tiney"... i live in a traditional 2 up 2 down English Victorian Terrace house, our largest room is 11 x 10, and that's the 'master bedroom'!
    love your organisation though, thanks for sharing!

    1. I know what you mean. We live in a duplex here in Israel. It's probably about the same dimensions. I feel very lucky to *have* a sewing room. It's 8.5 feet square. I try to be organised - am always looking for more tips though, which is why I'm here - but I think Polly has me beat!

    2. I know what you mean 23rdspiral, we live in a duplex of about the same dimensions here in Israel. I feel very lucky to *have* a sewing room. It's 8.5 feet square. I'm always looking for more organisation tips - that's how I come to be here. But I admit defeat - Polly has me beat! Yogi really ups the cuteness factor too.

  9. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground! I thought my two boxes of fabric was a lot!!! =) Love your space and wow, there's not much after you put everything in it, but it's still so neat and organized...way to go! Love getting a tour!

  10. Oh my goodness. I would love to live in your sewing room. Or at least "shop" there, giggle.

    Yogi is precious. I am sure he helps with inspiration too.

    Happy weekend and thank you for sharing. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful craft room.


  11. Love it!!! I also have a very small sewing room, and stackable drawers on rollers are a life-saver. I *love* the antique machine "coat rack" (hooks) on the wall!!! And your little dog, Yogi, too! ;)

  12. That is an awesome room. I love it...especially all the nic-nacs....Really makes it personal and cosy.

  13. my goodness you sure do pack a lot in a small space. I recently blogged about my small sewing room here
    it is amazing what kind of small space we can work in if we have to!

  14. 10x10 is tiny? Mine's the same size and I share with my husband's office! Looks very nice, though. :)

  15. Wow, you really do use your space efficiently. Thanks for all of the great storage ideas :)

  16. I just love you sewing room...so much in so small a place and very organized...and Yogi...I just love that dog...I have a Westie also, Molly, she is 9 years old..how old is Yogi..

  17. Yogi is too cute! I have 2 Cairns and they love to be in the sewing room with me too but they stay on the floor.

    I have a small sewing room too that is not much larger than yours. I don't have as much in the way of supplies as you do but it's nice to know that my room will continue to work even after I accumulate more things.

  18. You do have a lot of things in a small space and have done it wonderfully. I do like using plastic containers and drawers, it is neater and easy to find things.


  19. I am jealous, jealous, jealous!!! I sew in my kitchen, store stuff heaped on my dining room table and on the floor, (I'm ashamed to say) and in my basement in bins! Fortunately, I know where everything is, thank God. (At least, so far!! LOL)

  20. My favorite line... "They are very patient fabrics!!". Sure to be quoted!

  21. I have a small room as well but not nearly as organized as yours. Seeing and reading about your room gives me some inspiration. It can be so daunting to organize such a little room. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I love your little space and I have seen some of the great stuff that comes out of it on your blog so it does pay to be organized! My favorite tip in this post is to put fabrics from the same line in a zip lock bag, this is something I will have to start doing.

  23. WOW I'm impressed with the stash you have. I have a much smaller room with no closet, however we are moving hopefully in the spring. Now I have a wonderful idea how to use the closet. Beautiful sewing room.

  24. Yogi is adorable!! What a perfect sewing pal. Love the Mary Engelbreit theme! What a happy, well thought out sewing space for your lovely stash, Aunt Polly. Are you adopting nieces? I volunteer, if so!!

  25. Thanks for sharing! It may be a little space, but to me it looks like a cozy quilting shop!

  26. I need to come play in your room! Looks like a cozy and creative space to be in....well done! Mine is a work in progress...my closets need a major overhaul...you have inspired me! Thanks for sharing!

  27. You may think you have a tiny quilt room, but seeing all your fabirc it looks like a small Mary Engelbright quilt shop to me. Your Go cutter dies are so organized.

  28. Polly, your space looks great! Thank you for the inspiration. I have a new sewing room that is 10x10 and in the works of being set up...in between sewing projects. Maybe after the Holidays I can spend one full day organizing it. I keep telling myself that organization is key!!! I especially love your fat quarter dresser section. I could live in that corner! And Yogi looks very comfy...I sometimes feel that if I was sitting on a comfy chair while sewing I would fall asleep from the "whir" of the machine...you would find clumps of my hair in the bobbin case...LOL!

  29. I have sewing room envy! I think I could sew in your sewing room for years!

  30. Yes, I was thinking....well, that's all good, but it's not really much of a stash.......then you opened that closet door!!!! It made me laugh out loud......*LOL*

    What a great job of organizing. When you have a small space like that, using up every wall up to the ceiling is imperative, right?

    Thx for letting us visit.

  31. You may win the award for the most stuff in a 10x10 room!! And you have such great stuff too!!! Thanks for sharing and happy sewing.

  32. I am totally amazed and in awe of all you got in there. That's the same size as my sewing room and I just thought I was organized. I was wrong. I'm going to do better though and take some of your hints to use. blessings, marlene

  33. Yogi is too sweet! My little dog loves to sleep in my sewing room when I'm sewing as well. You sure fit a lot into your small space. I can so relate my room isn't very large either, but I have a good size closet which helps.

  34. You do a great job of organizing in a small space! I know as my sewing room is 9x10 and is a cluttered mess! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. You certainly fit a lot into your "little sewing room". And that stash! WOW! I have a small sewing room that I have to share with the computer desk and a piano! Yogi is very cute. He must be nice company when you are sewing. Regards, Christine

  36. WOW! when can you be at my house, is Saturday too soon?

    glen: only the Smelly Basset comes in my sewing room, and that is to snuff around to see if there is anything new. Once she found a dog biscuit someone hot glued to a basket they gave me for Christmas........

  37. My oldest daughter was looking at your sewing room with me and remarked at how similar our two sewing rooms looked! I will admit however, yours is much more well stocked and organized than mine. I am in the process of reorganizing so it was great to take a peep at your room. You gave me such great ideas. I love looking at other quilters sewing caves/rooms. Thanks so much!
    Gmama Jane

  38. Loved seeing it all! I have big plans for daughter's room (she goes to college someday soon). Great idea - taking out the drawers of the chest. Smart.

  39. I am beyond im0pressed! How you keep track of where everything is stashed - even in your incredibly organized sewing space - is beyond me! It lookslike a very happy cheerful place to sew! Love it!

  40. Thanks for the ideas & inspiration to better organize my 8 x 10 "quiltery" nook in the basement.

  41. I too, am a Polly and I too, have a Westie. Her name is Ginna. She is 13 1/2 years old. Westies and quilting and our name, boy do we have a lot in common. You are very very orgainized. I am trying.
    Thanks for the post

  42. You have the most magnificent ironing board... its quite huge - did you have it made for you..i tried to see the legs, but they look like the bought kind (under a regular ironing board) but i've never seen an ironing board that size.

    that's the kind of ironing board i want to eventually have. one that you can easily throw fabric widths over to iron them before folding them in that "organized" place!!
    look forward to hearing about it.

  43. I love your sewing room. It's hugs compared to my 5"x8" sewing room. When my kids move out of the house, I'll be able to move into one of their bedrooms,and use it as a sewing room. But that won't be for a few years still. I love how you organize your stuff. Love it. I didn't know you had a GO! Cutter. I like how you have your dies all organized. Thanks for sharing your space with us. It's very inspiring. Love it!!!


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...