March is National Quilting Month! We are starting out on the right foot by organizing our sewing spaces. Okay, so really, we are pinning clever ideas for organizing our sewing rooms over on our Pinterest board, but our hearts are in the right place! In all seriousness, Sue and I were talking about where we sew and she shared these pictures and ideas with me. Now, I’m getting really excited to actually get some of the stacks in my sewing area picked up and put away! Check out Sue’s organization tips below:
It doesn’t matter if you have a dedicated sewing room, or if you stitch at the dining room table after the kids are in bed, spending a few minutes getting your tools, notions, and other sewing gear organized, will yield more time to create and less time looking for the supplies you need to create!
I love to quilt and I LOVE fabric. But I have other hobbies I enjoy as much as quilting. I love to fish. My husband and I have accumulated far too many lures and we have boxes of them in our fishing supplies (lots of lures, lots of fabric…). It was my love of fishing that led to one of the greatest developments in my sewing room: a system for organizing my supplies and keeping them tidy.
We had a couple of empty lure boxes and as I looked at one, I decided I could put it to good use in my sewing room. When I took them upstairs and looked at what needed organizing in my sewing supplies, I decided to put them to good use organizing my thread. It was the best thing I’d ever done! My hand-stitching threads, both floss and pearl cotton balls, are easy to see, everything stays untangled, and the boxes are slim and easy to put away in not-so-high places…under the bed where I keep my cutting mats! They are also easy to grab for working on a hand-stitching project while I watch TV or to pack to take on vacation.
And then there was the spare tackle bag. Wow! What a bunch of pockets and compartments! I use mine to stash boxes of buttons and beads. There are zipper pockets for my scissors and seam rippers. I can put my fabric pencils in the smaller boxes that sit on top of one another in one compartment of the bag. It is really a mobile sewing room! I can easily bring my supplies with me to a sewing retreat or quilt guild meeting, or pack it all up and put it away neatly (knowing that my scissors are safe from being used to open a package!).
Other than my mats and rulers, I can pretty much take all of my sewing gear with me anywhere in my tackle bag-turned-sewing bag, along with my thread boxes.
There are a ton of great boxes and bags in your local sporting goods store that can be reimagined as organizers in your sewing space! Just spend some time really thinking about what you need to organize, then go to the store and find what will work best for you!
My fabric shelves are ones I bought at Target. Each box is about 16” x 16” and there are nine boxes in each unit. Target also sells fabric boxes that fit into the cubbies. I purchased some of those as well and use them for scraps, fat quarters, and my wool pieces for appliqué. I pin a notecard to the handle of the boxes with a note on what’s inside. It saves me time by not needing to pull out every box when I’m looking for something specific.
The two units I purchased used to sit one top of the other, but when my mom came to live with us, I had to dismantle my sewing room. I moved them to our bedroom and I set them side by side and was able to use the tops as a TV stand. Every morning when I wake up, I can see my fabric. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it and jumped up and pulled fabric for a new project!
If you don’t have a dedicated space for your sewing and crafting, there are a ton of solutions waiting for you in the home storage section. Covered, watertight tubs make it possible to store fabric in the basement without worrying about mildew. (Worried about how to organize that fabric? You can download our Stash Markers here.) Flat, underbed storage boxes can be used to easily store and access things like rulers and cutting mats. Plastic drawers on casters can provide moveable storage that can be brought out when you have time and space to work, and tucked away in a closet when you’re done. Share your favorite sewing room organization tips and tricks in the comments below!