Saturday, October 27, 2012

Studio reorg: the agony & the....reclamation

For the last 2 weeks I have been very busy.  I have avoided, avoided, AVOIDED the inevitable task of doing a deep sorting, culling, and reorganizing my studio space.  For the last 3 years I have been rushing from deadline to deadline, repacking for the next class or adding yet another strata of mess while working on a new piece.  This is my confession!
After finishing the latest set of projects I forced myself to begin this project.  My rule was that I had to look at every single thing in the studio.  I decided to separate all the things that I no longer use, including tools, threads, and even (gasp) fabrics.  Ugh!  
 Actually, this part was simpler than I imagined because the past 3-4 years has been more studio work intensive than ever.  I have a much clearer idea of how I work and what I use.

Some "before" shots:  stuff piled everywhere, both on top of and below my work table(s).

Here is one of the new tables, under-construction.
The electric, adjustable-height table goes from traditional height to 60 inches!  Woo Hoo!

starting to clear....

my Horn table with sewing machine

I removed my old, much-larger studio sofa and replaced with this one from another part of the house.

I built these new, awesome vertical shelves for books, 
as well as another for copy paper and other supplies

The new supply shelves are industrial metal on heavy-duty casters

I used one foot sections of R-Max covered with silk and spaced between cork boards 
to create this set of bulletin boards for my long hallway into the studio!

Much more to come, but this is a taste of what I am doing right before I leave for Quilt Market/Festival!
Stay tuned!


  1. I'm so impressed with your reorg! The vertical bookshelves are a great idea. My sewing area is way worse than your before photo -- piles and layers of so many projects that I can hardly think. I need to just finish them off and start with a clean slate.

  2. Ha, I've gotta say if my studio was that neat I would be breathing a sigh of relief. Our small office is right off my studio so it has been easy to stuff overflow into the studio. Hubby is as bad about it as I am. So today we worked on putting together new floor cabinets for the office. They have doors! and they make a nice wall to the laundry and studio area. This extra storage allows me to remove one bookshelf from the studio to make room for the new mid-arm. In fact, I like them so much I may decide to remove all the open shelving in the studio and replace them with these.

  3. I added a few more "before" pics. Apparently my photography did not do the chaos that was my studio justice. I need to add a few more "after" shots.
    I am still not finished, but I'm liking the way it is functioning. I am doing a much better job of keeping things in place now that I have a better system.

  4. There must be something in the water, I've spent the last days reorganizing my space as well. I have a shameful amount of fabric!! Now it's all folded in a uniform style so I can actually find what I need...what a concept! I was able to pull small pieces and put them on my cutting pile; I cut them into strips, squares and rectangles and keep them in plastic drawer units that I keep under one side of my longarm. Very handy, and out of the way. Your studio looks like a really fun place to work!! The next thing to go in my space is all my husband's crap that gets dropped on the way to or from the garden shed...right in MY studio!!! I'm sick of walking around a brand new firepit! lol

  5. I culled a bunch of fabric that I know I'll never have a use for in my work and invited my fellow Mod Guild members over to "shop". I asked them to make a love-offering to the guild treasury. The rest I am sending to an organization who will use the cloth and thread to make clothes, etc. I'll donate the remaining books to the library. I'll take some more photos soon. Stay tuned!

  6. Looks fabulous, NOW maybe we might even be able to have lunch sometime here in the city wherein we actually live nearish to one another! I'll be in Waco helping my mom next week but will call the next one, in case you have time for a bite! Susi

  7. What? You mean we could actually see each other HERE? What a novel idea! I'm in!

  8. I really LOVE the bulletin boards down the hallway. Very nice! The vertical shelves are brilliant. They look great and organize everything so well. My heart is palpitating over the orange couch! It is so beautiful and bright! :D

  9. I also have been reorganizing my studio in preparation for painting the walls. I love the R-Max/Cork Board arrangement, as I am trying to come up with a way to hang completed work without just "push pinning" it into the wall. I've considered curtain rods, but your solution is so attractive. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad to be of help, Marit. It is difficult to make all those decisions, isn't it? I'm still refining my set-up, but it is so much better now than it was. My biggest challenge is to put everything away after each work session!


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