Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 1: Studio Before & After

Blog Hop Graphic 1@4x-1

This week is the launch of the six week Creative Spaces Blog Hop and I’m so glad you stopped by!  Well, until I have to show my messy studio that is…I’m starting to sweat…..

Each week we’ll bring you tips, tricks and out insights into dealing with our studios, organizing and lots more! Let’s start with the incredible line up we have for you.  I linked the blogs and days that posts will be up for each designer:

Cherry Blossom Quilting

Morning Glory Designs
Sew Many Creations (You’re here already!)

Seams Like a Dream
Poor House Quilt Designs
Desert Bloom Quilting

Canton Village Quilt Works
Cranberry Pie Designs

Avery Lane Designs
Christa Quilts

Swan Amity

Funky Friends Factory
Simple Arts
Joanne Sharpe

Well, here goes.  This week’s topic is Studio Cleanup Before & After.  Unfortunately my studio is always a bit of a mess whether it’s before or after.  I decided to share with you some slightly mortifying pictures of how I work. My husband would die if he knew I was posting these so let’s not tell him ok?  First, let me rewind a few years back and explain why it is what it is.  Back in 2013 or so (honestly I can’t remember now because it’s been so long) we decided to start renovations on our house.  First tip, never renovate a house you’re living in.  Anyway, we made the decision to put a new roof on which then lead to new siding, which also meant it made more sense to change the layout if we were going to invest in the roof and siding.  We moved walls, doors and took out windows.  My belongings went into boxes and storage.  My studio was gone.  New walls, windows and doors eventually went up and then the dreaded happened… business changed direction and one job was over.  Don’t get me wrong, great things came out of our decisions BUT that meant the house was put on hold.  That also meant that my beautiful, spacious second floor studio was gone indefinitely and I had to find a new place to sew.  That place became the living room.  In a corner.  On a 4 foot table.  Why am I sharing all this?  Because I’m honest.  But mostly because I hear the same thing all the time from other quilters/sewists: I don’t have the space/my sewing room isn’t great/my house is too small.  Well ladies (and gentlemen) I am here to tell you that is doesn’t matter how small of a space you have as long as you make the best use of it!  If I can sew on a 4′ table in the living room, you can make do with the spare bedroom you have or the dining room table.  In fact if you have a spare bedroom I’m quite jealous.  And you have another spare bedroom, can I use it?  Just asking….

So here goes, my “studio”


I did technically start in the corner but I have since moved closer to the fireplace in front of the picture window.  That’s my ironing board in front.


My messy cork scraps and ironing board.  I was embarrassed to show these and almost had a heart attack when I saw what the theme was for week 1.  I started to sweat and tried desperately to think of a way out of it.  But then I thought, who cares, I can only go up from here right?  We are working on getting me am even better studio so fingers crossed for that!  And the bonus to being in the living room is that I get to watch the good TV and hang with my dogs more.  Oh and my husband too….


This, sadly, is the most organized part of the living room.  This is my fabric shelf and while I have no clue what’s on it at the moment, it’s pretty!

So there it is.  The most honest craft room you will ever see.  Please know that if you’re unhappy with where you have to sew, you’re not alone.  We can start a support group if you want….. We can call it S.W.I.S.S.  – Sewists With Icky Small Spaces.  What do you think?  Feel free to leave me a comment if you have a space like mine, a better name for our group or if you enjoyed this post!

Happy Sewing 🙂
























28 thoughts on “Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 1: Studio Before & After

  1. Monica says:

    I have a quilting room, but my husband doesn’t understand why it so clean or why I clean it up and then mess it right back again when I start a project.

  2. Rosalind Gutierrez says:

    It is a challenge to keep our spaces organized no matter the size of the room. It sure feels great when it is neat and ready for a new project.

  3. Melody Lutz says:

    Oh yes, I enjoyed reading this. I have limited space and sew in my bedroom, or I as tell it…my sewing machine lets me share her room to sleep!

  4. I sew in my bedroom. Fortunately I have a big bedroom. Thanks for your honesty and for choosing to participate in this blog hop. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your small space.

  5. Deborah B. says:

    Thank you for sharing your space and your story. My sewing space is shared with my husband’s home office. Thankfully, I will be able to sew during the day while he is at school teaching. I still haven’t found a way to keep the ironing board up, or a cutting table separate from my sewing space. I may come up with a plan after seeing the different studios.

  6. goonyburd says:

    My husband had promised for 11 years to finish my studio. I give up. I gave up. I’m using a now-extra bedroom. I’ll never get over being mad…🙁

  7. I can totally empathize to life changing suddenly. Really hope you are able to get into a larger sewing space soon!

    I have a bigger space now, but when I was in the barracks in the Marine Corps I had one bedside table that was just big enough to set the machine on, and I would only keep 1 or 2 projects. Those had to all get put away when we had inspections. Even after I have been on a dining room table with a small ironing board and some sort of storage. I have only been in my current space for about a year.

  8. Judy Forkner says:

    Thanks for showing us your “real” sewing space. I took over the entire downstairs when we became empty nesters, but my space is a mess! When the kids come home for holidays/family celebrations, it is a HUGE job to clear off the downstairs beds for them!

  9. Sobana Sundar says:

    My long comment yesterday vanished so here I go again – crossing my fingers. I like the idea of sewing in the living room with Tv, dogs and spouse – in that order. Sadly dogs are a thing of the past as we have moved to a retirement facility and this year I am sewing out of cartons. Thankfully I have enough space for my machine and cutting mat.

  10. Lj Meyers says:

    No matter the size, I can make it look like a ‘real sewist’ lives and works in the space!! Congrats on being innovative.

  11. Beth T. says:

    Thanks for keeping it real. Your photos are a welcome relief to the beautiful, aqua-colored, sleek sewing rooms–which I admire, but will never have. Mine is our former dining room, exploding with fabric and detritus, many projects going at the same time, the cats dropping stuff on the floor from the table as fast as I can work on it.

    • straightstitches says:

      I try to keep it real. And I too would also love to have one of those fancy sewing rooms but let’s face it that might not ever happen in my lifetime! I’m still hoping though 😉

  12. Nancy says:

    Wow! I feel your pain. I do have a dedicated space to create but it is shared with my dh’s office. I don’t have space for a design wall so have purchased one of the portable ones but that is a hassle setting up, so it doesn’t get used as often as I would like. My cutting area is squeezed up against a window so it’s kind of a hassle to get to as well. I envy friends with a whole room to themselves. I am at the point with my quilting skills where I would actually appreciate a long arm, but alas space and $ are an issue. Ah well, we make do…I have SO very much to be thankful for, I really can’t complain! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Debbie Miller says:

    I understand your situation and appreciate your keeping it real! According to my husband, my stuff is everywhere. I too have a fold up table set up in our living room where I love to sew and watch the “Good” TV. He travels quite a bit, so I set up my sewing as soon as he leaves and take it down before he returns. At least I try to but sometimes I want to finish something and he gets to observe the process as he watches the ballgame!

  14. Pat Anderson says:

    I think most of us have had less than perfect spaces for quilting, but our mental health depends on it so we use what we have. Hope you have a wonderful studio one of these days. I moved over a year ago and my two sewing bedrooms aren’t organized yet I’m embarrassed to say.

  15. craftygramma says:

    Love your SWISS! So true here as well…sharing a tiny folding table with the 9 yr old for cutting/sewing and using her machine! Yikes!

  16. craftygramma says:

    Love your SWISS! So true here as well…sharing a tiny folding table with the 9 yr old for cutting/sewing and using her machine! Yikes!
    OOPS! I almost forgot…her machine is a little Janome!! Works great!

  17. Judi Rutherford says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have sewed in many small spaces including a corner of the living room. I agree you do not need a giant space to sew and quilt and be happy and productive! I look forward to teh rest of your posts.

  18. Rita Sxott says:

    I will sometimes bring my sewing upstairs in the winter when it’s to cold to be in the basement. Why heat two areas? Thanks for sharing and yea my area is a mess too.

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