Sew Loving Life

My adventures in "making" – mostly sewing & quilting – and in traveling.

Happy Leap Day!

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It must be time for a progress report. I could wait until the end of the year again, but that is a little bit painful, really. Therefore, here’s a summary of the first 2 months of 2020.

The high point for me is the latest improvement to my sewing room, aka my “studio”. Honestly, I understand that people want their sewing and quilting to be acknowledged as actual artistic work, but “studio” is odd and awkward on my tongue. So I have a sewing room.

The big development is changing the “storage wall”. I’ll lay it out in the pics in this post, but first, let’s remember where my “sewing room” started back in October of 2016, about 4½ years ago. (Really? It’s been that long?)

View from archway

The “table” is really adjustable sawhorses with the countertop from the old kitchen peninsula, liberated during the kitchen renovation (pre-retirement). There are a couple more sewing machines and a lot of fabric and tools under the table and on various shelves around he room. On the right side, there are two computer workstations, one in each corner. I was still sharing my space at this stage.

Sewing tables after storage has been added

The first improvement to my sewing space was the creation of these tables. I designed them, and Larry and I built them. He did a large chunk of the building, partly because we don’t actually work together all that smoothly. The shelves in the tables were deliberately designed to accommodate the plastic drawers and bins I was already using. Much more efficient and easier to build than creating all new cabinets and drawers. Note the mix and match bookcase arrangement on the back wall.

The preceding slideshow has two views of the sewing room in use after the new tables were made. The mismatched shelving on the rear wall are fairly evident here. On the upside, we have moved the back right computer workstation to the front left corner of the room, not visible in these pictures. These pictures also demonstrates the utility of my movable, convertible sewing tables and ironing board (on a wheeled platform). In the second pic, I’ve taken the sewing machine down for the table and placed the insert in the machine “hole”, then lined the surfaces up lengthwise. The fabric I’m laying out here became the roman shades on the French doors between my dining room and sun porch.

Four out of Five Bookcases in Place

So this January, on New Year’s to be precise, the “storage wall clean-up” project began. Basically, we purchased 3 new bookcases similar to the 2 largest oak bookcases we already had, and began mounting them on the far wall.

Riser Detail

The Riser Detail pic shows the base that Larry built to start creating a “built-in” look and feel. Notice the electrical outlet in the riser face. He moved the two wall outlets down behind the bookcases and through the riser so that they would remain accessible. He really hated the process of doing it, but he did it anyway, and they work wonderfully. Larry does many nice things for me.

Restoring the Fabric and Tools

What might not have been obvious at the start is the amount of fabric and tools that had to be packed up and moved out of this room so that these bookcases could be installed. Their installation isn’t complete yet, but they are still good enough for me to retake possession of the space. The blue painter’s tape near the ceiling are the notes Larry made about the location of the wall studs. He mounted a 2 x 4 across the back, screwed to the studs, then used angle brackets to attach the tops of the bookcases to the 2 x 4. Those shelves are not falling down! Note the finish on the bottom riser: ¼” oak plywood, stained and polyurethaned. Again, Larry does many nice things for me.

This set of pics shows the current state of the storage wall, with my different collections of fabrics. Note the quilting fabric storage only holds my larger pieces. I have an extensive collection of “quilter’s pre-cuts” – fabric sets in half yard, fat quarter, 2½” strips, 10″ and 5″ squares. These are stored in various plastic bins and drawers. My “resolution” this year is to sew from my “stash”, and end the year with less fabric than I started with.

You may also note that one entire unit is dedicated to yarn crafts of all kinds – because why focus on 1 or 2 crafts when you can indulge in 5 or 6? Even I recognize this is a little bit nuts, but fabrics and threads just sing to me, and then they are in my house, who knows how.

Finally, a few views of my sewing room overall in this new configuration. The “ditch stitching” is making use of both sewing tables, the ironing board and a large piece of corrugated plastic bridging the gap between board and table at this end. When I stand in front of the machine next to the windows, I’m half surround by tables, and the quilt doesn’t drag anywhere.

The installation of the bookshelves is not complete yet. We still need to design and build a “face frame” to bring them all together. The design is not complete yet, but below is a sketch of how it might look.

Possible Face Frame Design, Sewing Room Bookcases

All we need is time, energy and a bunch of oak “1 by” boards. However, that will have to wait until after our trip to Hawaii at the end of March.

Author: sewlovinglife

I'm an "old retired lady" working hard at learning how to play. Fabric is my favorite toy, followed closely by food, and our RV.

One thought on “Happy Leap Day!

  1. That looks gorgeous. The light is lovely, and the fixtures really shine in it.


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