The Never Ending Quest for Organization

If you are like most quilters, sewists, or frankly any crafter on the face of the planet, you probably struggle with organizing your work space. My personal journey has been fraught with trials, tribulations and missteps, but I have begun to work out a solution that seems promising. Let me take you on a short tour of my current workspace.

Keep in mind that I am a bit of a multi-crafter. That is, I pursue several creative outlets, which has made getting organized more difficult for me than I ever thought it could be. A big part of the problem has been the lack of space for all of my sewing machines, because let’s face it, actual sewing cabinets are pretty expensive. I bought one several years ago (when they were MUCH cheaper than they are these days), and I love it. But with multiple machines in and out of the studio, I have found myself manhandling them far too often to be enjoyable as I switch them in and out of that cabinet.

I tried out the IKEA Linnmon tables, and they work ok, but they are not my first choice for a sewing table. My primary issue is that there’s no way create a a truly flat surface with these tables, and having my arms up that far all the time created some shoulder pain. Over the years, I’ve researched ideas on how to fix my issue, but until recently, I couldn’t bring myself to take the plunge and do something about it. I guess moving in to my smaller studio has lit a fire under me to take care of all of these issues.

I finally found a solution on Pinterest, which led me to From Marta With Love. She used an IKEA Ingo table, and cut a hole in it. Now, my plan isn’t exactly like hers – I want my table to be useful with pretty much any machine I put in there, so my plan is to cut the hole to the same size as the one in my Horn of America cabinet, and use my Sew Steady quilt table without the legs as an “insert” of sorts to create a more flat surface. I am setting up this table initially for my Pfaff Creative 4.5, since I’m using it mostly for embroidery right now.

To the right of the Ingo table, I have an IKEA Billy bookcase, and next to that, an IKEA Kallax unit. My original plan was to remove the Billy bookcase when I added the Kallax unit, but they both fit, so I figured I would keep it. I have been considering replacing it with another Kallax unit, but I’m undecided. I mean, this works just fine.

My current studio is pretty small, and floor space is at a premium, so the best way to organize a lot of my things was to go up the wall.

I love being able to adjust the shelving to my personal needs, and while I didn’t make good use of the slat wall to begin with, since I’ve added the Ingo table, it has been super useful to hang scissors, a rotary cutter, and some little trays I keep clips and such in for easy access. Yep, I have a tv in my studio, mostly for noise. That’s sort of a lie … I love The Big Bang Theory and Friends, and they keep me company while I sew.

I’ve shared my Kallax ironing station hack before, but let me say that this has been one of the absolute best additions I’ve made to my studio. I love that there’s a lot of extra storage space – the IKEA Drona cubes hold a LOT of supplies – and I use one cube to store my Brother Coverstitch machine when it’s not in use. It fits perfectly, and doesn’t take up valuable tabletop real estate when not needed. Soon, though, it will be moved to the elfa shelving, because I’ve been able to free up some room there.

While it isn’t exactly in my studio, I love my cutting table that I made by putting two IKEA Hemnes dressers back to back. They make for quite a nice sized workspace, and there are seven drawers in each one for storage. I have been considering having a custom countertop cut for the top, so that I have a smooth surface, but I haven’t taken that plunge just yet. Still, I do love the idea of having that done, so I may be checking in to it soon.

The last thing I want to share with you are these rolling carts I bought at Container Store. They are the elfa brand, and they are absolutely perfect for storing thread, zippers, vinyl, and pretty much any other crafting/sewing/quilting supplies you can imagine. They are fairly pricey, so I suggest purchasing them when they’re on sale, but I think they are worth the price. Even just one is an excellent addition to any studio.

I have an entire cart dedicated to just thread. Yes, I am shameless …

Well, that’s it for today. Please excuse the mess in the studio, because I’ve been trying to re-organize and it’s much slower than I expected it to be. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you come back soon!

One comment

  1. Oh how exciting this blog was for me! I love organization and enjoyed following your journey in it. I am glad Ken tagged me to this!

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