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Sewing Room Compromises

This past year, my husband and I moved to Shelby, North Carolina. Our new house had plenty of room to grow into, but needed a lot of work for the basement to be a usable space. Over the past year we have scrubbed, sawed, nailed, and painted our way to a new office, den, and sewing room.

I admit it, I love projects. I love to start something completely new with a big giant step towards the finish line. Unfortunately with this basement, the finish line has become more and more distant the longer we work on it. Remodeling an entire basement (about 1400 sq. feet) is a huge ordeal, and sometimes you just have to call it quits and make do with what ya got.

My sewing room was left to last, as sewing rooms typically are in the grand scheme of things, but I still want to have that perfect room. Since I just don’t have the energy, time, or money to put into finishing it off completely I’ve decided to work with what I have and make do. The nice thing about this space is the ample room. I’ve got plenty of space for large tables, storage shelves and my ironing board. I know that most crafter’s don’t have this kind of space usually so check out my other article on working with small spaces.

Despite the large space, kitchens are awkward and funky by nature. Here’s a photo of the horrible tile floor that serves no purpose except to hide dirt, and it doesn’t even do a good job at that! Eventually I will scrape all this up and install a floating laminate wood floor. For now I’m just going to wing it with a green rug.

As my sewing room is going to reside in a former basement kitchen I’ve decided to keep the sink and stove (as they might come in handy for painting or dying fabric later!), but the cabinets have seen better days. I’ve compromised by pulling off all the old contact paper the former owners put on and giving them a good scrub. I’ll keep my extra sewing machines and batting in the cabinets while the counter will be used for books and a new cutting surface.

For my sewing station, I use two 3 x 6 ft plastic banquet tables that I bought at Lowes. I’m eventually going to get a third one so I can put them all together and baste anything I want. I think there about $50 a piece, but transporting them is tricky. Make sure you have a big enough car BEFORE you go shopping! I set them up perpendicular to each other for general use (piecing), but will set them up parallel for quilting so I have more space off the back of my machine for the quilt to rest on.

For storage close at hand (like scissors and feet and what not) I use plastic drawers that I bought at Kmart. I don’t really like them at all, but they get the job done. Eventually I will replace them with something nicer that maybe works better, but for now this is okay.

I use this cubbyhole book case to house my fat quarters, miscellaneous fabric, and magazines. During the next remodel I will install a shelving system along one wall for my fabric. I also use plastic storage boxes to house more fabric in another room. I wouldn’t put unprotected fabric into the kitchen cabinets. It just seems wrong….

So there you have it. No, my sewing room is not exactly what I want, but when will it ever be anyway? We quilters are a resourceful lot and can make do anywhere. I love my space and will fix it up nice when I have the chance, but for now I’m just going to go with it like it is.

Happy Quilting,

Leah Day


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