Have you ever noticed how curious women are? We want to know everything there is to know about other women without giving away very much of ourselves. For instance, if I dye my hair I might not volunteer that I keep Lady Clairol in my medicine cabinet but I'd love to know if you color yours and, being given the opportunity, might find it very hard not to take a peek the next time I'm in your bathroom. I'm not talking about myself you understand, but women in general. I would never look in your medicine cabinet. Never. Sort of. Well, maybe if we're really good friends. Or really bad friends. It's all Eve's fault, really. She was the first of our gender to demonstrate curiosity when she just couldn't leave that apple alone. It's all her fault.
My quilt guild meets once a month in a local Senior Citizens Center after the "old folks" leave for the day. It's a wonderful big room with access to water and bathrooms and a sound system. We meet in the evening beginning at 5:30 with a workshop and then a "snack" and our business meeting/program/show and tell starts about 6:45 or so. We have 120 members but only average 60-65 at our evening meeting. In addition once a month (First Wednesday) we meet for a potluck and sit-and-sew at someone's home. Since many of our members work we only have about 20 there for First Wednesday. One of the best parts of that day is getting to see our friends sewing rooms. Needless to say we all clean and organize our "stuff" before everyone comes but it's so fun to see how others store things, what tools they have out and use the most, and even some of their work on the walls. That's where the curiosity comes in. Since I love looking at other women's sewing rooms I thought it only fair that I show you mine. When we moved into this house 5 years ago I took the small third bedroom as my studio (I use that term loosely!) It has evolved over time as I added and took away but this is what it looks like today.
As you walk into the room my sewing table is on the wall facing you in front of the only two windows. I keep my embroidery thread sorted and in bins under the left side of the table. The stack of "stuff"on the table is a conglomeration of wallhangings, etc. ready to be quilted. The small plastic drawers to the right hold Pigma pens, chalk pencils, etc. in the first two drawers, scissors and rotary cutters in the third, and hmmmm can't remember what's in that bottom one! There's a thread holder on the wall to the left of the table for my quilting thread, and the drawer on the table holds my sewing machine attachments and bobbins and that sort of stuff.
Just to the right of the sewing area is my ironing center. I keep a small Ott light there because that corner is a little dark. The baskets on the wall hold starch, a spray bottle of water, iron cleaner, glue, spray adhesive, Magic Sizing, and a lint roller. I also hang my applique ironing sheet there. My husband put a television shelf above it so that I can glance at it from the sewing machine. I use a Maytag cordless iron with a titanium plate that I dearly love. I bought it 4 years ago for $130 (on sale at the time) and would do it again.
The wall to the right of the ironing board is my design wall. I used a piece of foam insulation from the hardware store and covered it with flannel, stapling it to the back. Then my husband nailed it to the wall. In the corner to the right of it I have UFOs - nicely organized don't you think? I even labeled each one....mystery quilt, yellow spring quilt, sampler, etc. The basket is the fabric for my Botanika applique quilt, also a UFO. Then I sit this quilt rack in front of those in a failed attempt to hide them. On it are finished tops ready to be sandwiched. Some are quilts, some wallhangings.
On the wall opposite the sewing machine I put cabinets where I store all kinds of stuff from quilt kits to notions. If I hadn't dumped everything I've had out for the last week on top of the cabinet you could see my cutting area. This is the real deal, girls....it's a mess right now. In my defense I would remind you that I can't get in there right now because of the electrical problems. :) Above the cabinets are these shelves. I use old wire gym baskets salvaged from the junk pile at a local school as well as antique blue canning jars and baskets to store my patterns, redwork books, tea towels, applique patterns, buttons, embroidery floss, etc. If you look closely in the picture on the left you will see that when the electricity blew I was cutting strips from my leftover fabrics and hanging them over a hanger. Also there on the wall I have pictures of friends from quilt guild.
The door where you enter my sewing room is a cheap hollow core door which needed to be replaced when we moved in. Instead I use push pins to hang my square and odd shaped rulers. It's great because they're easy to get to, I can see exactly what I have, and they are right at my fingertips. The long rulers are in one of those wooden holders on the cabinet.
That wall is to the left of the sewing cabinet and has two closets but I absolutely, positively refuse to open those doors for you right now. You could be hurt. Seriously hurt. I have a couple of quilt blocks pinned to the doors of one closet and a leftover piece of the foam insulation on the other. My husband put shelves above then so I would have more storage. Wonder what's up there....let's see, there are some red hand towels waiting for Christmas or Valentine's Day, my iron cover, a big box of colors and coloring books for children's travel bags that I make, a lap hoop and even a couple of old irons - you know the kind you keep "just in case." One of them my Dad bought for me at a garage sale and it's not a steam iron. I love it - no holes in the bottom and gets really, really hot.
So, there you have it. I spend a lot of time in this room - even more than I spend in my bedroom at my desk. :) If I had room I'd just move my desk in there so I'd have my computer with me when I sew. I'm really jealous of Ivory Spring and the wonderful setup she has.
Now, when are you gonna' show me your medicine cabinet?