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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Productivity of a Different Kind

Well friends, I haven't done a ton of sewing since last Thursday, but I have been working on something that will affect my quilting for years to come.  For the last few days, I have been working tirelessly to convert my dining room (which we never use, and always has fabric and a cutting mat in it anyway) into my new sewing studio, with a lot of help from my fantastic husband, of course!


 There are a couple of big things that have been stopping me from doing this sooner.  The first was that I just didn't want to be sequestered upstairs away from my family.  Since we only have one child, I could have easily taken over a spare bedroom, but I knew that would result in either seeing my family less, or sewing less.  Neither of those outcomes was okay with me.

So, once I determined that I would need the dining room, the second issue was the fact that I just couldn't decide what to do with my dining room chairs.  I finally decided to suck it up and just put them in the attic for the time being which feels like a waste, but oh well.  My dining room table works beautifully as an extension and cutting table though, so no need to store that!


We managed to finish this project in a single weekend, with only a couple of hiccups.  The first one is pretty clear in this photo.  One thing that I love about this room is the amount of natural light it gets.  In fact, as far as my wood floor is concerned, it gets TOO much sunlight.  When we took up the rug, it was really shocking to see how much the sun has faded our floor over the course of seven years.  The light coming through the window in the picture makes it look much worse than it is, but even in person, you can clearly see the line where the rug used to be.  I guess we will be adding a that to our list of home improvement projects!

The second issue, which actually caused the most immediate headache, was the paint color.  When I decided on the color for this room, those of you who know me are not shocked one bit to see that I chose a shade of green.  I wanted a crisp, apple green- something energizing, but would also play well with the rest of the colors in my house.  Since the room is in plain view, I knew that I couldn't go with something too shocking.  

Unfortunately, the subdued shade that I thought I chose turned out looking more like electrified Kermit the Frog, rather that a fresh Granny Smith.  And even more unfortunately, I didn't realize this until the room was almost completely finished.  Thankfully, the second shade is exactly what I wanted.


I love that the furniture arrangement in the room gives me lots of floor space for basting, and I can pull the ironing board out when I'm pressing a big quilt as well.  My husband is thrilled that we won't have to move our couch in the living room nearly as often.  I can't quite baste a queen size, but anything up to a twin should be no problem.  This is also helpful with laying out quilts that are too big for my design wall.  You can see my design wall in one of the pictures above.  It is 4 x 6 feet.  The window, doors, and chair railing made a huge design wall just about impossible.  You can see that the only wall I could have easily used has the thermostat right in the middle.  Since I only work on one project at a time though 4 x 6 ft. is really plenty of space for me!

My fabric cabinet has a new home out of the foyer, and now my fabrics, as well as all of my rulers are easy to access, right next to my machine.


 My new space looks right out of the front our house, and although I love the view, I often sew late at night in my pj's.  I made sure to put up curtains with grommets that could easily be opened and closed so I don't have a nightly peepshow.  The bright sunshine made it difficult to get a good photo, but this is the view from my machine.


As much as I love the room as a whole, I have to say that my favorite makeover is this antique cabinet that I found on Craigslist for only $50.  It didn't have a back, so I had to add that.  The toughest part of that was getting the finish on the new wood to match the old.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out though, and the top is the perfect spot for a little TV!


What sewing room would be complete without fabric on display?  Since my main fabric cabinet has a solid door, I wanted to do something pretty with my scraps.  Sorting them into apothecary jars makes such a lovely rainbow of color and is really one of my favorite parts of the room.  I originally wanted 12 jars with four on each shelf, but the center shelf is slightly too short for these jars.  So, I only had room for ten.  My extra bits of white are in the basket, and I just had to forego the black/brown jar, which is really fine since I don't keep many of those colors anyway.  In case you're wondering, that last jar is for my multi-colored scraps.  You know, those fabrics that are a true blend of more than one color.  Oh, and I just couldn't resist putting out my Amy Butler hoard collection to fill up the shelf!


I love, love, LOVE my new space and the convenience it will undoubtedly offer, but the absolute best part is the fact that I can easily do WHAT I love, all while spending time with WHO I love!


33 comments:

  1. Great space! Love the shade of green! Energizing and soothing at the same time. Congratulations on the transformation! Enjoy!

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  2. Looks great! I can't wait to see it in person!

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  3. It turned out beautiful!!!!! I am super jealous. I wish I could get myself out of the basement, but I don't think that will happen. So enjoy your upstairs room with natural light!

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  4. Yay for you! I love your new space. You will be more productive than ever now!

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  5. Your new studio space looks great and I like the green walls.

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  6. Looks so welcome and inviting. You will have a lot of fun in there.

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  7. Your make over looks fantastic. Love the color and the colorful scraps.

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  8. Wow! This is really great! Love all that light, and the hardwood floor space. My tiny abode is carpet throughout (except the kitchen but it has a non-movable island) so I covet your hard floor space!

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  9. Oh how I wish our house had a dining room I could take over! Your new sewing studio looks fantastic. I love the shade of green you chose and all that light is fantastic. Enjoy!

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  10. what a wonderful re-purpose of this room -- I know you are going to love being in there. My sewing room is upstairs and in a corner so I know what you mean about feeling isolated

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  11. Wow, I dream of a sewing room like this, you're going to have a great time sewing in there! If we ever manage to move I will be looking out for laminate!

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  12. Great job! So pleased that you've expanded into this space...you'll love it!

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  13. it's so perfect. Congrats on your new space!

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  14. It looks great - I wish I could call by and share a coffee with you in the new room. I love the colours for the walls and the decorative touches of fabric showing here and there. I'm sure you'll be even more productive now you have a dedicated space. Congratulations!

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  15. Love the new space! We're planning to convert our office into and office/sewing room so that I am out of the middle of our main living space. I hope it looks half as nice as yours!

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  16. I'm so happy for you...the perfect "first project of summer"!! And what a great view while you sew...enjoy!!!

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    1. Hey!!! You finally had a post to rejuvinate!! YEAH!!!! This one is perfect for our YOUR space theme. You'll have to email me about your year, now that you aren't teaching and just craving that five day week coming up next week! LOL!!! ANytime...just wonder how it is going for ya....:)V

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  17. You are fast! I've been working on my new creating space for a few months now. I'm not sure when it will be done enough for photos. Love it...VERY spacious!

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  18. I love your room, and it's given me some great ideas to work into mine. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. This looks fantastic. I love the scraps in jars. So pretty.

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  20. Great working space!! Thr should definitely make all those projects easier!!

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  21. what a great space and a wooden floor, so easy to sweep up all the bits rather than carpet. Snap I too have the horn cabinet but I sew in the kitchen so it is not used, need to sell it really. Love the green, it is my favourite colour too. I cab see you are going to really enjoy sewing here.

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  22. It looks great! I have a sewing room off my bedroom, but I like squirreling away up there away from everyone. My kids are older, though, 12 - 16, and no one minds Mom going off to sew. What's important is to have dedicated sewing space that works for you, and yours is wonderful. You'll enjoy it so much.

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  23. *Love* the apothecary jars, Kelly! What a delightful idea. Your space looks wonderful and I'm jealous of your floors - I sew on carpet and rue having to vacuum up thread instead of sweeping : P

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  24. What a bright and happy sewing space, Kelly! Looks sew organized and functional. Thanks for giving us a peek into your world!

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  25. What a beautiful space! I admit that I'm a little jealous, but since we downsized, there's no space for me to have a dedicated sewing room ... unless we finish a portion of the basement. That would mean I would have to sequester myself downstairs, I'm not interested. Like you, I want to be able to do what I love near who I love! I just "make do" with a little corner of the spare bedroom. ;-)

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  26. That's a beautiful room you've put together Kelly! I so agree- it's great to sew upstairs when the kiddies are young. I love all your storage ideas (might steal a few), they keep the room pretty while being 100% functional. And such a pretty, peaceful view too.
    I'm getting a new sewing space soon too! No view since it's downstairs, but I'll have 3 windows and lots of light. I'll post pics soon.
    I can't wait to see what you make in your new space!!!!!

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  27. It's a great space! I'm in the same boat as you but I can't change my situation right now. In the house we were renting while our home was being built, I made the dining room my sewing studio and it worked out perfectly. Now that we're in our new home, I have a dedicated office space (a second spare room). It's nice having an actual room with a door to keep out the four-legged fur babies but I don't get as much sewing done when I'm separated from the family. We have a flex-space front room which is currently being used as a play room for my 4 year old. For right now, that is the best use for that room but I'm seriously considering converting it once he's older.

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  28. Your space is lovely. It makes me want to go clean up my sewing room and try to make sense of it. I love greens of any shade and your walls are perfect. Really nice.

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  29. What a beautiful room Kelly and being downstairs will work so well for you. Be careful where you store your fabric with all that sun coming in!

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  30. RIght now my sewing room is in the basement& I totally get what you mean about not wanted to be so far from everyone - sometimes I end up bringing my cutting upstairs to the kitchen counter. And your "electrified Kermit the Frog" comment had me cracking up!! I have pink room, so I totally get the bold color choice!!

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  31. Love the display of your colorful scraps in the jars. I would need to store my scraps in 5 gallon jars since I have sooooooooo much! LOL!!!

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  32. I love your fabric display, and the rulers look really cool hanging on the side of that cabinet.

    I remember when my mum picked a lovely green paint colour for our dining room when I was younger, only to have it feel like we were living inside of pea soup - needless to say, it was changed quick smart.

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