Thursday, March 17, 2011

One 2011 Goal Down – On to the UFO's

I completed one of my big goals for 2011 last week. My sewing room/studio is CLEAN and ORGANIZED. I can find everything. My fabric is sorted and folded. My patterns are all put away in notebooks. My books are organized by topic on the shelves. My UFO’s are packaged, numbered and boxed so I can find them. My laces, ribbons, buttons, threads, paints, and other embellishments are all neatly stored in boxes. I am giddy with happiness. I am actually SEWING in my sewing room now, instead of at a table in the living room or at the dining room table. I have a cutting station, a real ironing board that is not piled high with stuff, and all my rulers and other tools are where I can find them. It feels fantastic to accomplish this goal. Here are some before and after pictures so you get an idea of the scope of the task.

Pretty messy. Piles of stuff everywhere. Could hardly walk through the room.
Here are the "after" photos.

Here are a few of my storage/organizational tips. I store my fabric by color, theme, or type. I separate the envelope from the instructions and tissue paper pieces in my commercial patterns (McCall’s, Simplicity, Butterick). I store the instructions and tissue paper pieces in plastic baggies, numerically by pattern maker. I store the envelopes in notebooks by the type of item it is: dresses, home décor, purses, kids clothes, dolls, etc. This works really well for me. I organize all my quilting books by topic, labeling the shelves so I can go directly to the section I need a book from. I have over 500 quilting-related books so this is a necessity. I store all my precut fabric sets (charms, jelly rolls, layer cakes, fat quarter sets, along with accompanying yardages) in a large plastic storage bin. I have clear storage boxes for zippers, Velcro, cording, ribbon, rickrack, interfacing, fusible web scraps, and templates.
Bookshelves and pattern notebooks
Pattern envelopes and pattern instructions & tissue pieces

Now all I have to do is keep it this way!

If you have a organizational or storage tip please share it as a comment. We can all use new ideas.

Now on to the next goal! I've already finished four UFO tops in the last month or so. Now must get them quilted.


  1. THIS is impressive. Very impressive indeed.
    A couple of things: Where is your music/media source? I know Jamie and Claire were with you for the big clean. And: Why are there paper cups upside down on top of your spray sizing/starch? Do I need to do this too?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future, but for now I leave you with this one. When can you come to my sewing heap?

    Good job, Wendy

  2. Hi Karen, where is your sewing machines? Do you keep them up or put them away when not sewing? Do you have a specific sewing table? Inquiring minds need to know! Melissa

  3. Can I come shopping in your stash??? lol Very nice, I'm looking forward to the time when I HAVE a sewing's all in my dining room at the moment!

  4. Wendy: I use my iPod and sometimes a CD player which I moved for the photos. The paper cups are for pouring water into the tiny spout in my iron. All the stuff under the ironing board is for pressing--starch, press cloth, applique sheet, small fusing irons, etc.

    Melissa: I keep the Juki out, as that is my machine of choice unless I need some other stitch, as the Juki only sews a straight stitch. The other machines are stored under the table or elsewhere in the room. My sewing table is shown in one of the photos above.

    Thanks, everyone for your comments. Karen