Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beauty vs. Functionality – Where Do You Stand?

I’ve been looking at sewing rooms for some time now – magazines, books, online, pretty much everywhere.  I’ve gotten lots of good ideas from the articles and pictures and tips I’ve read.  I’ve seen some beautiful sewing rooms that I just want to clone and put in my house.  I’d love to have a cabinet like this one in Heather Bailey’s Studioheather bailey

And how about a computer corner like this one in Murphy’s Studio?computer corner

But I’ve decided I’m just grateful that I have a room to sew in because I know lots of women who don’t.  Lots of you out there are sewing in a corner of the dining room, or you’ve got it all in a closet and have to drag it out every time you want to stitch a little, or maybe you’ve taken half the guest room and have to clean it all up when you have company.  :(

I use the smallest bedroom in our house and I have it stuffed full.  So full that it’s overwhelming to me right now.  I’ve worked several days this week trying to organize and declutter.  It’s getting better and it’s definitely more functional, which has replaced beautiful as my goal.  004 I started on these shelves and went through everything.  Everything.  I love my old PE baskets because I can see everything but the fabric is exposed to light and that is worrisome.  All of those baskets contain a UFO.  Well, not all because some have fat quarters in them and when I finish all the UFOs I want fat quarters in them all.  And yes, I have enough fat quarters to fill them up.

006 Unfortunately my design wall is also covered with UFOs.  I stopped counting at 40 because I was too…well, overwhelmed comes to mind and so does embarrassed.  Some of them just need binding, some need quilting, some need blocks put together.  Some will be quickly done but some will be pretty involved.  And I didn’t count the kits I have in drawers.  But I’m focused now.  Right, focused.  I’m determined, yes I am.  Help me out here ya’ll – I can finish those UFOs in 3 months, right?  Four?  Oh my.

009 I took everything out of this closet and started over.  Those are Christmas wallhangings that are hanging on the right and other seasonal decorations on the left.  I have large pieces of leftover batting in the big basket – they’ll be big enough for small pieces but not big quilts.  I have embroidery things in the small basket, ready to be stitched.  And that’s fusible fleece on the shelf.  I use it making bags – like the one I’m giving away here.

I put my batting up on the shelf next to the ceiling so I could check it easily when I need one, or when I see them on sale.  I mixed a little fabric in there to add a little color.  My feeble attempt to decorate a little!007 And over by my design wall I put bins with lace, rickrack, ribbon and other notions like that so they’ll be easy to get to.


Have you noticed something’s missing?  Fabric for one thing!  It’s in a closet and I have 4 shelves all neat and organized but the floor is full of fabric spilling over like Niagara Falls!  And where do I iron?  Couldn’t show you that either because I have tubbies under the ironing table overflowing with my wool fabric and my scraps.  And then there’s the cutting table.  It’s really cabinets with a countertop.  I’ve cleaned out two of the four cabinets.  Someday, maybe in a week or two I’ll be able to say I’ve gotten through those too and I’ll take pictures.  For now, I’m ready to sew!

I found this great fabric that glows in the dark.  :)

001 003 002

I prepped it all today and will make Trick or Treat Bags (a smaller version of the Everything Bag I’m giving away) for some very small children I know.  :)


Sandy said...

My little sewing room is overwhelming me also....I've been sewing in it, but I'm not happy...need to de-clutter this week. I, too, am just happy that I have a room.

Adrienne said...

Oh, you're not alone, my friend! I've been collecting ideas for my sewing room for months. I need to clean and toss and organize, too, but it seems to be the last thing that gets done. I love your old PE baskets. What a fun way to organize things! I like to have my sewing room look nice but it MUST be functional!

Michelle May said...

It's not the size, the decoration or the organization that makes a sewing space great. It's the art that comes out of it. Inspiration, love and great art comes from the heart. A loving heart is endless with possibilities and I know you have one. ;)
xx, shell

Lindah said...

I like pretty, but first priority is functional. Sometimes pretty is not functional. Your sewingroom looks functional and comfortable. Happy! I am thankful to have a room --albeit a shared room--'cause when the kids were growing up, it was the kitchen table. But you know, I was thankful for that table because meals could be eaten in the dining room. But even with my current room, I find that I still am traipsing hither and yon to ironing board and/or storage in other rooms all over the house. But, hey! That gives me needed exercise so I can stay limber. lol And when the family business takes over the room, I can take my handsewing to the backporch for awhile. It works. Quilters are adaptable by heritage.

Momma to Many said...

My sewing corner has been collecting for weeks/months and it has been driving me crazy! So today I jumped in this afternoon and cleaned it all up. I swore that I was going to find time to sew more. Seeing all the fabric piled up made me really want to start a project!

Julie Fukuda said...

I think Michelle May said it well.
I sew in a corner of the livingroom and my stash is in stacked buckle boxes piled in the hall. (Funny how the fabric one wants to use is always in the bottom box.)
Looking at pictures of sewing rooms in magazines makes me gasp at the thought of space that big only for sewing.
I hope some day my great great grand kids look at what I have made and think I had a studio!

Marie said...

My craft room is quite overwhelming too Marlene. I think because it is so small and I have way too much stuff! I need help! xxoo

Madame Samm said...

Hi are one grand lady who has the same concerns as we all we will never have enough
Blessings msamm stash manicure...Ohhh you are at the 200 follower now yeah...

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

For me functionality wins out every time... beauty is nice but who would/could work in a space that gorgeous... I mean, really work? Where in the world did you find those PE baskets? That brings back high school memories for sure. What a terrific way to re-purpose them.

Maggey and Jim said...

Well at least you have a good start and it will go from there. I need to do the same thing. I have a room for my stuff too and it is my hideaway.. Thanks for sharing.

SewLindaAnn said...

My sewing room is large, and I too have way too much stuff that I collected before I even knew a bit about what I was doing. This past Saturday I spent hours, again, removing stuff I don't need. I also gave myself permission to stop worrying about finishing those UFO's from when I first started and gave them away. Aha, freedom! Function over beauty right now.

Purple Pam said...

Love the new car. Love the idea of a perfect sewing room. Love, love, love the Halloween prints. Congrats on 46 wonderful years, and here is to 46 more.

Angie said...

I used to use a small spare room at our former house as my workroom for doing my sugarcraft in. Not ideal but better than nothing. Because it was upstairs I would trot back and forth to the bathroom for washing things up. I suppose anyone else would have thought that room a mess but I liked it that way, knew where to find everything and might have had to shoot anyone who thought of tidying it up!

Karin said...

I can relate! We live in a 40' 5th wheel, so all my stuff is stashed in cubbies & drawers & totes, scattered all thru the camper. Whatever I need is bound to be somewhere other than what is currently accessible. A lot of times I've forgotten which cubby stores what, so I have to empty out several before I find what I'm looking for. And since I cut on the floor (and take up the whole floor doing it!) and sew on the table (again, taking up the whole table), I have to finish before we can cook or eat, or put away unfinished before we cook or eat. Oh well...the ends always justify the means, right?

karenfae said...

I have most of a small bedroom which is no longer a bedroom. My big 3 roller quilting frame takes up one whole wall - underneath it is plenty of things neatly stacked. I have 3 shelves on the walls with fabric neatly stacked among photographs in frames. Nice looking boxes hold my scraps. I have a large skinny wall hanging on the wall. I do not have space for a lot of stuff so what I do have I like to arrange nicely and functional - I think a small space can be arranged attractively and functional at the same time. I work better in a pretty space even if it is small. It makes me keep my stash and UFO's at a minimum.
I can't work in a sloppy room - I'm too much of a neat freak.