Pretty new sewing space

I have always been sheepish about sharing pictures of my sewing space, mainly because it wasn’t very pretty. (I tend to be kind of a messy sewer.) I have a spot in our basement where I keep my crapola stash and supplies, but I prefered to migrate my machine and whatever current project I was working on to the kitchen table so that I could be where the action was. It was never a pretty sight and clearing the table every night so we could eat, resulted in a pile of my stuff on the floor next to the kitchen table. Not a good look. And frequently my children’s friends would comment to my kids that their mom sure sewed A LOT.

This past fall I had one of those clever “a-hah” moments – which tend to be rare, so it was especially exciting. Our house happens to have a dining room open off the front room, which is the one room I try to keep tidy. A dining room was nice in theory, but we rarely use it for dining – even when we have people over. The only thing I consistently used that room for was photography, since it has two windows that face south and west with the best light in our house.

So my “a-hah” moment came when I finally realized that we could hang doors between the front room and the dining room (creating the ability to close-off the back room and thereby, hide my messes) and I could move my sewing machine in there. It has been fantastic! I’m right off the kitchen so I’m still where the action is, but it’s so nice to have a place to keep the machine set up, and to not have to re-clear the kitchen table every night. (I know what some of you are thinking, “Duh! What took you so long?!”)

We also did some painting before we made all the switcheroo and hauling fabric into the dining room. Our walls were a really brown-ish taupe and ready for an update. We ended up painting them blue and it is SO pretty and refreshing. It took me forever to pick the paint and then, I’ll admit, a little while longer to feel at peace about the shade of blue. (Sherwin-Williams Tidewater) I am the WORST about making those kind of decisions.

One other thing happened to spur me on to finally just make a commitment and paint. We had a leak in the bathroom above our front room which resulted in water dripping through the front-room ceiling. Which, ironically started happening the day I was leaving to teach at the Riley Blake fabric fest in Las Vegas. Of course. Ugh. I had no choice but to walk out the door to catch my flight with water dripping through a hole in my ceiling! (Ahh, such a glamorous life…) The one good thing about having to rip out part of your ceiling and repair it, is that it forces you to finally make a decision about paint…

So, three cheers for a fresh paint job and a simple fix like hanging some doors so that I could shut off this room and make it a usable space. We kept the refurbished china hutch in the room as it provides good storage and the table in the room so that things can be easily cleared and the room could be used for actual dining, if needed. But it’s sure getting a lot more use now and not just with my sewing. I put the kids craft supplies in another corner in the room opposite the china cabinet (not pretty at the moment, therefore, not photographed) and I love it when they come in and sit at the table while I sew and work on Perler beads or homework and doing things like sing songs from the Frozen soundtrack. I also LOVE having my design wall right next to my machine! It’s so handy.

To increase storage, I added an Ikea Hemnes Dresser which looks pretty and can hold projects while I’m working on them, helping to decrease the clutter. I love it! (And I’m proud to say, I even assembled it myself one weekend while my husband was out of town. Thank you.) Finishing the modern colorwheel dresden wall hanging was the perfect finish for this room. I’m so excited about how things turned out! Plus, it’s fun to have a pretty place to set up Big Bertha (the Bernina 710) and give her the space she needs.

I’d like to make a few more mini’s to hang on the walls. Right now I just have this little scrap-bag mini. Here’s a close up. (This scrappy little mini-quilt project is in the latest issue of Fat Quarterly online magazine – issue 16.)

I may take forever to finally get there, but it sure feels good to get this far. Now on to the rest of the house…could someone please come hold my hand and help me make decisions? Hopefully without a leaky upstairs bathroom to finally get me to take action.

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  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 3:46 am

    looks wonderful! I love lightbulb moments 🙂

  • Reply
    Sew HappyNess
    January 30, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Congratulations on your new space. I know how it feels to have to pack away the sewing machine at the end of the day. I'm working on getting my sewing space set up. I like how you use the Ikea drawers to store your projects. I've been trying to come up with some ideas and I'm liking yours best so far. Thanks for sharing. One room down so the next one shouldn't be as difficult.

  • Reply
    Karen M
    January 30, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Your new sewing space is beautiful. There's nothing like creating in a nice space. I used to have to move sewing projects off the table to serve dinner each night. (What? You want to eat again? I just fed you yesterday!) I now have a dedicated sewing room (kids are grown and gone) and it is a real treat to be able to leave projects out. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 4:53 am

    What a great new space! Love your new mini.<br /><br />I&#39;ve just switched out my guest room for my sewing room as I decided I preferred that room better. We pulled out the carpet and installed floor boards, and painted. Now we&#39;re working on putting my old sewing room back together to become the new guest room… and I think I want my old sewing room back!! There&#39;s something about

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Amy it is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jenni E
    January 30, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Amy it turned out gorgeous! I love that you get to be a part of the action now too. That wall color is gorgeous and I may have to go get that for my place!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 5:24 am

    It looks great Amy. Terrific lighting in there too.

  • Reply
    Granny Maud's Girl
    January 30, 2014 at 5:45 am

    We use our dining room for jigsaw puzzles and eat around the kitchen table. It sounds like a sensible plan to me, and I love blue rooms.

  • Reply
    Karen - Quilts...etc.
    January 30, 2014 at 6:11 am

    nothing like having your own space and plenty of light too.

  • Reply
    my happy bluebird
    January 30, 2014 at 6:19 am

    You space looks lovely — the paint color is perfect.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 6:25 am

    It looks great. Love the paint color!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 6:28 am

    There&#39;s nothing quite like having your very own space. The light, the paint color, the location…perfect!

  • Reply
    Missy Shay
    January 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Your room looks great! I agree it is easier to get things done when you can leave your sewing machine set up!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Amy, congratulations on your new space! It is lovely and cheery! I love the idea that you can sew and the kids have space to hang out with you. You are going to have so much fun in this space!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

    it looks great! my sewing space is painted aqua too–but it&#39;s a super crazy shade and I&#39;m wishing i&#39;d gone with something a little more like yours.

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    January 30, 2014 at 7:07 am

    It looks wonderful! I love the double doors and the wall color.

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    January 30, 2014 at 7:08 am

    What a bright and inviting space. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I love your space! very pretty and calming.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 8:03 am

    it looks great, and the paint choice is perfect!! I share my sewing room with our spare room….I keep thinking &quot;do we really have that many guests…&quot;

  • Reply
    Amanda & Brian
    January 30, 2014 at 8:09 am

    So pretty and the paint is gorgeous!!!! It all looks so light, and airy, and inspiring. I&#39;m jealous of the gorgeous light you get.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Amy, your room is beautiful. 🙂 I was going to say, &quot;Hey! I love your blue walls&quot; before I even got down to the part where you said you painted. Pretty color.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I love your new &quot;clean&quot; look space with lots of light. I&#39;m moving my space around in the same room to get more light. I like your work and would love to know which Bernina that is you have there, I clicked on the picture but even blown up I can&#39;t make out which model it is. Thanks, Julietwood191@gmail.com

    • Reply
      amy smart
      January 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Good question – I&#39;ll go add that info to the post. It&#39;s a Bernina 710 and it is dreamy! I have it on loan from Bernina for a year, but I&#39;m thinking I may never be able to go back to my 1979 Bernina Sport. 😉

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Yay!!! You&#39;re SO brave! I&#39;d love to do that, as I&#39;m a dungeon quilter too, but I&#39;m just too chicken. I&#39;ll breathe a wistful sigh everytime I see your room though. It looks great!

  • Reply
    Esch House Quilts
    January 30, 2014 at 9:10 am

    What a wonderful space! I love the blue color – I can bet it was hard to choose – so many pretty colors available!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 9:30 am

    You have a terrific space now. I love the blue wall color and with your quilts hanging up, the room is so cheerful. Thanks for showing. One question, how do you hang your quilts up on the wall?

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Brilliant! What a lovely space, and soooo much more useful than an &quot;extra&quot; dining room. My mom has always had houses with a formal dining room and I&#39;ve always thought &quot;oooooh, if that were mine….&quot; :). Way to go making things right, Amy!

  • Reply
    Farm Road Ramblings
    January 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Sooooo pretty! And fun.

  • Reply
    Leanne Parsons
    January 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

    That looks so beautiful! Unfortunately, our house doesn&#39;t have a dining room I could convert so I&#39;m still sewing at the kitchen table. And putting everything away so we can eat at the table like civilized people. Hmmm…the spare room doesn&#39;t get a lot of use. Wonder when I can turn that into my sewing room.

  • Reply
    Live a Colorful Life
    January 30, 2014 at 10:46 am

    What a lovely place to create. I did the same thing years ago–our &quot;living&quot; room was the room that we never lived in. It is the first thing you see when you walk into our house. I haven&#39;t shut it off with doors and I decided not to even apologize for its cluttered state. It is one of the largest rooms and has good lighting. My husband has been super supportive and never ever

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    It&#39;s beautiful. I can&#39;t wait till my kids are old enough that they can sit and work on stuff while I sew. For now it is strictly nap-time sewing only (unless I get desperate, then it is &quot;Elmo&#39;s World&quot; and &quot;Blues Clues&quot; sewing). It must be really nice to sit down and work whenever you get a minute and still be a part of what is going on. 🙂

  • Reply
    Susan at TheBoredZombie.com
    January 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Yep, I totally turned out &quot;formal&quot; (never used) living and dining rooms into studio spaces. It was totally worth it, I pay tons of dollars for this place, why in the world wouldn&#39;t I use the space exactly how I want? 🙂 Mine doesn&#39;t close off as neatly as yours – it sits right at the front door. I don&#39;t care though – folks who visit have to love me as I am. Crazy and all! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Marie
    January 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    You are so lucky to have dedicated sewing space. It&#39;s gorgeous, light, and bright! For me, it&#39;s still taking out and putting away at my dining table 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    A sewing space is just what we all need. Congrats on the &quot;ground breaking&quot; and the color and natural light are perfect for picking out fabrics! Although I don&#39;t know how you sew with kids in the room LOL The chatter inhibits me from doing quilt math!

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    January 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Such a beautiful room, and all that light, so jealous!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    What a bright and pretty room to sew in! Congrats~

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I recently did the same thing to our dining room! Threw up doors and now it&#39;s my &quot;office&quot;! It makes me so happy – I hope you enjoy your space as much as I do mine!

  • Reply
    Lynne Tilley
    January 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    It looks fantastic and the dining table is so roomy for quilting. Great job, congratulations!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    so so pretty Amy! I love the windows and it looks super cozy. Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Lucy @ Charm About You
    January 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Great job on creating a beautiful space! I love that blue, it looks so fresh!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Gorgeous! That shade of blue is peaceful and fun all at the same time. Happy sewing!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Such a beautiful space. I&#39;m glad it&#39;s working out — you need a dedicated space!

  • Reply
    Michelle Jensen
    January 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Cute! What a great idea to add it right there in a room that has been slightly used! It totally makes sense and I bet it will the best room ever 😉 We are currently trying to find a new home and at the top of the list is a bigger sewing room. I am a little spoiled already because I do have a good room and it is big because I have my long-arm in there but I need one bigger so I can have some

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Missouri Mel
    January 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Very nice and the room has great natural light. Plus, the kitchen is right there! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Wwwooowww Amy! Congratulations for your new space! It looks gorgeous! Enjoy it a lot! Many kisses from Barcellona! Montse lesmiliunaidees.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Terry@ a quilting blog
    January 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Great decision to make use of a little used room…looks great!!! Love your mini and modern color wheel dresden 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Oh your room is so pretty! We&#39;re moving in June, and I am determined to have a sewing room in our new place so I have been collecting inspiration 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    It&#39;s a fantastic room Amy! Isn&#39;t it a beautiful gift to have a sewing room?!

  • Reply
    Stacy Olson
    January 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Congratulations on your new sewing room. It looks so bright and pretty. I am lucky enough to have my own room in the house but it&#39;s in the basement so I know what you mean about not always being part of the action. Your string quilt looks amazing and your mini is SO beautiful. I need to make one.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Good for you turning that dining room into your private area for sewing. I don&#39;t know too many people who do use a dining room these days. Unfortunately my sewing area is in the guest room. Which is OK until company comes to visit and then I have to do like you did in the kitchen…clean up and move out until company leaves. BTW…thanks for the info on Fat Quarterly. I signed up tonight and

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    wonderful space!! You are going to be so more productive-if that&#39;s possible! Isn&#39;t amazing how when an &quot;aha&quot; moment hits the next thought is why didn&#39;t I think of that eons ago?? I just did it myself with the furniture arrangement in my sewing space—so much more room now—how did I miss it. Love the blue paint too–which I think is one of the hardest decisions to make

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Your space to create is so fun and tidy I may add ! :). Question for you, I recently relocated my space also from &quot;the dungeon &quot; to an unused bonus room above our garage that my husband redid for me. It&#39;s beyond amazing! I am in a quandary about my design wall and I see yours and really like the simplicity of it. Did you put grommets ( or something like it) through flannel and

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Amy your new sewing space is so bright and happy! Such a fantastic idea to hang doors to close it off. I think your family is like most of us nowadays and rarely use the dining room for actual dining 🙂 Great way to repurpose it for something you love and will use regularly.<br />Amanda

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Yes….duh!;) I also wonder if I&#39;ll want to sew in my upstairs sewing room once our house is finished as I sew at the kitchen table now!:)<br /><br />Um….you could put my little &quot;apple&quot; mini next to your scrappy mini and then I would always be looking over your shoulder!:) xo

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Good for you! I designed an area in our daughters&#39; bedroom (after she graduated, found a job and moved) that I absolutely love. I exhale a little every time I walk in. It is filled with fabric, family photos, my Bose sound machine and fresh flowers. The only items I purchased were 2 new tables for my machine and cutting fabric. It&#39;s so nice to have your own &quot;nest&quot;. Your

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Tidewater sounds familiar. I think I might have that color on one of my walls. Congratulations on having a space that works for you.

  • Reply
    Natalia from Piece N Quilt
    January 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Love it Amy! And perfect location, who doesn&#39;t want to be in the middle of the action while sewing!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    The lighting, the color, the location. Just perfect!

  • Reply
    ✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾
    January 31, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Very nice redo! I just painted my sewing room a light gray but everyone keeps saying &quot;nice shade of blue.&quot; I&#39;m with you on the picking paint color. Glad I took the plunge though!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    What a beautiful space

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 2:59 am

    What a lovely room, Amy! Very productive inducing too!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Oh I just love your new space. The natural light is just fabulous. And I&#39;ll come hold your hand and help you make decisions any time. Just say when.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Hooray for new sewing rooms!! I too just moved up from the depths of the basement into the LIGHT. INTO THE LIGHT! What a wonderful day! I am also working on making my space into a fun little sewing room. I&#39;ve less space than in the basement, but it&#39;s mine and it&#39;s bright. Did I mention I can see DAYLIGHT?!?!?!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Your sewing room is beautiful! What a great and inspiring space to create in!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Lovely sewing room Amy. I am most impressed by the fact that you assembled the Ikea dresser though. That is something I would not even attempt. Congrats!

  • Reply
    Amber Johnson
    February 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Amy! I&#39;m just catching up on your cute blog! I loved your post about Quilt Bliss and I LOVE your new sewing room. Yay for you!!! It&#39;s really cute and I love the paint color. And you&#39;ve inspired me to make some more quilt minis!<br /><br />Have a great day!<br /><br />Amber!<br /><br />PS. It was fun seeing you at Quilt Bliss. Hope we can do it again sometime!<br />

  • Reply
    March 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Great Room! Our sewing rooms could almost be twins 1) if mine actually was finished being set up for sewing (the kitchen table is still the hot spot, with things relegated to the end of the table and floor as needed) and 2) it actually had that lovely doors open to the kitchen feature yours boasts. Other than that, mine too, had a run in with an upstairs bathroom calamity, and Tidewater blue

  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 12:55 am

    I know this isn’t a new post…but I’m just seeing it. 🙂
    Love your sewing area and it just so happens I have very similar quilt squares up on my design wall (in Christmas fabrics)!

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