Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2019!

 Hello friends!

I hope you are enjoying the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2019 so far! It has been so much fun seeing other sewers spaces, organizational tips, and projects. I would like to thank Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin for being our gracious and wonderful host. This is the 5th year she has run this blog hop and I know we are all thankful for the kick to get our studios organized and cleaned.

For all new readers, let me tell you a little bit about myself! I began quilting about 7 years ago but didn't get seriously obsessed until about 3 years ago. I've had my longarming business for a little over a year but have recently taken a hiatus on longarming and started the so-fun-I-can't-stand-it dream of pattern design! I've got some pretty exciting designs I will be releasing this year but in the meantime, I am having an absolute blast pattern testing for others (Beach Sunset pattern test shown below).

Beach Sunset Quilt and Simone

I am naturally a pretty tidy creative. I can't seem to start a new project unless my space is at least tidy enough to where I can hop from my sewing machine to my ironing station to my cutting table. But that leaves a looot of other places that piles can magically appear! Moving quickly from one project to another to meet deadlines leaves little room for thinking about cleaning up or finding better ways to organize to get a better flow. This blog hop was almost like permission to give myself the time to do just that and hopefully these changes will serve me well in this next phase of my business.

I chose to not only deep clean (because for real, fabric creates a LOT of dust) but to also find better ways to organize what I have, get rid of what I don't use or find joy in, and actually get some pretty projects up on the wall. 

First, I needed to get a handle on my fabric storage. I have these cube storage shelves that I got last year in a hurry because I was running out of tub space and wanted to be able to see my fabric so I would actually use it. I started with wrapping every piece around some comic book boards but found that I gave up on that pretty quickly. So the fabric just started piling up instead of being put away nicely. I also noticed that my fat quarters were needing to be put away two layers deep in these cubes and I would end up not seeing half of them!

Super messy cube storage

My solution was to get these half-height fabric Better Homes and Gardens storage bins from WalMart and more efficiently use the space there. These bins are 6 inches high, which work perfectly for folded fabric stored vertically. My husband helped tremendously by cutting some shelves out of plywood and inserted these shelf ?pins? into the holes that were pre-drilled into the cube walls. This allowed each half-height fabric bin to sit on it's own shelf and I can double up into each unit. This solved my issues of not being able to see or access all my fabric that ended up in the back. I also plan to make some pretty labels so that I know what's in each bin and maybe jazz them up a bit since the grey and white are kind of boring.

I moved all of my scraps from my plastic tubs and gallon storage bags into these bins as well, so I can access them easily and actually use them now! Each bin holds two colors, and each color is divided into solids and prints (just a few pictured here, there are 6 bins of colors total).

These shelves are also where I store my longarm quilting rulers, camera supplies, lint rollers (can never have enough!), and design books. It's nice to have most of my supplies in one spot.

Second, I had to tackle my thread storage. My thread cones were all exposed to dust and sunlight and I didn't want the hundreds of dollars to be wasted because I wasn't able to store them correctly. I decided on some simple plastic storage containers from Target. They are separated into the types of thread I use: So Fine 50 wt, Bottom Line 60 wt, MicroQuilter 100 wt, specialty threads, and filled bobbins. Simple yet effective.

Third, I wanted a design wall. Bad. I have been pining for one for years. I had had one when I first started quilting 7 years ago but never used it (because I had no idea what I was doing back then, haha) and so we took it down and put a couch against that wall. I managed to convince my husband this year that I needed a design wall since I am starting to produce my own patterns for sale. We agreed to get rid of the couch we never use and to use that 8 foot wide space for a design wall!! I cannot tell you how excited I am to have this up soon. For now, you can see the wall space and how it is right next to my longarm! And I just had to tape up a block to see what it would look like while I work on this quilt!

Fourth, I needed to tackle my area of shame. The batting-pocalypse under my cutting table. This is where I just shoved all my batting off cuts from completed quilts that still had some fabric attached that needed to be separated so I could store the scraps. Being so busy, tasks like these seem like such a waste of time!

But it totally is necessary to take care of periodically if you want to keep any sort of mess down. I have now made it a rule for myself to manage any batting off cuts right away. I won't even have a temporary spot for them in my new set up. I was able to use the tubs that used to house my fabric scraps as my batting cut off storage. I plan to use these batting bits to make cute scrap-busting rugs or bowls (tubs on the right). Now I can store WIPs in that spot as well! (both tubs on the left).

Lastly, I put up a few finished projects that bring me so much joy to look at. I strive to one day have no wall left uncovered of mini quilts that make me happy. Pictured here is a Dream Big Panel I free motion quilted using different sized feathers! And the tiny cuteness to the left is a coaster I made when reviewing Carolina Moore's Learn How to English Paper Piece book.

Some things that did not change since I find they work well: my board of rulers and scissors next to my cutting table. The only thing I might add is a wood frame so that it doesn't bow as much, but this isn't a high priority. My ironing board/station contains all my ironing tools and is organized well. My little plastic shelving unit that holds marking tools, pins, rotary blades, etc on my sewing table. My larger plastic shelving unit that holds things I don't access as often - my huge store of paper patterns, random notions, and embroidery thread.

I did end up throwing out or donating my clothes mannequin, tools that were broken, apparel fabric and fabric I didn't like anymore, and seriously tiny scraps that no sane person should really keep!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the before and afters of my sewing studio, and have gotten some ideas on how to organize your own. Make sure to check out all the other fun studio spaces on the blog hop! The tips and tricks from everyone are fantastic!

Would you like to get notified of other fun blog posts, new pattern releases, and exclusive coupons/discounts once a month? Sign up to the newsletter! You will also get the Marion quilt pattern for free! Click here!

April 29 - Linda Bratten - http://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
April 30 - Sandra Johnson - http://www.sandrajohnsondesigns.com
May 1 - Jennifer Schifano Thomas - http://www.Curlicuecreations.com
May 2 - Becca Fenstermaker - http://www.prettypiney.com
May 3 - Sue Griffiths - http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
May 4 - Kate Starcher - http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
May 5 - Jo Westfoot - http://www.thecraftynomad.co.uk/blog
May 6 - Sam Hunter - http://www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 7 - Simone Fisher - https://simonequilts.com/blogs/news  ---> you are here!
May 8 - Elisabeth DeMoo- http://www.brownbirddesignsquilts.com
May 9 - Sarah Myers - http://www.quilted-diary.com/blog
May 10 - Amy Bradley - http://www.purplepineapplestudio.com
May 11 - Kathy Nutley - http://www.QuiltingsByKathy.com
May 12 - Carla Henton - http://createinthesticks.blogspot.com/
May 13 - Sherry Shish - http://www.poweredbyquilting.com
May 14 - Kate Colleran - http://www.seamslikeadream.com/blog
May 15 - Pamela Boatright - https://www.pamelaquilts.com/
May 16 - Cathy McKillip - http://wishuponaquilt.com/blog
May 17 - Cheryl Sleboda - http://blog.muppin.com

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