What A Mess!

Today’s Plan

My plan this morning was to photograph the 16 quilts I recently finished. To get the process started I carried my photography supplies downstairs to my studio and started pulling out props to help with staging. After documenting the smaller ones and trying to reset for my larger pieces I got frustrated. The table I wanted to use was filled with segments of an in-progress art piece. Everywhere else I looked there were stacks of supplies waiting for my attention.

My Mantra

We make frequent trips to our little cabin in the woods (lcitw) during the months of May through October. Many of those trips are for seven days or more. The visits north, with all of the related commitments, eat up a large portion of our available time. During those months I have this mantra running through my head, “Not until after October 15th.” The 15th of October is the last day our lcitw is open. With colder weather just around the corner we use that date as our deadline to close-up and winterize the cabin.

Tasks, other than those that are essential, typically must wait until our lcitw is closed. Adhering to the mantra can at times be challenging. As long as I keep reminding myself that superfulous projects will receive their needed attention after October 15th I can overlook those elephants in the room.

My Propensity

For the women of my family the propensity to rearrange furniture is common. About three years ago we moved into a smaller home. This smaller home leaves very little opportunity for reconfiguration. Even though we custom designed my studio to fit my long arm quilting machine it takes up the majority of my space. The constraints it puts on the rest of my work area greatly limits the ability to move things around.

Today the challenge of overlooking my studio’s on-going condition became overwhelming. It was disappointing that my mantra failed me but I just had to remedy the situation. Without a resolution I wasn’t going to be able to proceed with my photography. Thus, I bit the bullet and tackled the problem.

There Has To Be A Better Way

In my studio, as I’m sure most of you do, I have a sewing area, a cutting or design area, a storage area and a pressing or ironing station. Efficiently fitting all of these spaces into a studio can be challenging. With careful planning this hurdle can usually be overcome. So far all that my careful planning has accomplished is frustration. I’ve tried configuring my furniture into several different arrangements but have yet to find one that doesn’t leave me feeling cramped.


The first step in achieving a peaceful studio was to rearrage my work spaces. Here are a few photos of my studio before completing the task.

View One-Before.jpg

View Two-Before.jpgView Three-Before.jpg


View One-After.jpg
Sewing Area
View Two-After
Storage Area
View Three-After
My View
View Four-After
The Other Half of My View
View Five-After.jpg
My Design Area and More Storage
View Six-After
My Pressing Station

While rearranging my work area I neglected to consider a place for my ironing board; thus it has been assigned a floating area. Thankfully my ironing board is very mobile so as long as there is power available it can function just about anywhere.

View Seven-After.jpg
My Long Arm Machine Serving Double Duty

My long arm quilt machine with its rollers and available table top make a great place to temporarily stage some of my supplies. Obviously it’s not to practical because the items must be relocated when the machine is in use. But, since I can’t long arm quilt and create new art pieces or quilts at the same time it has to serve two purposes. I guess that is the compromise I had to make when I decided to purchase the machine.

View Eight-After.jpg

Goal Accomplished

Once my frenzy to re-establish order was complete I returned to my original plan of photographing my 16 quilts. I am happy to report that I was successful in conquering that task and was even able to spend time doing a little sewing. The photos of the 16 quilts will be shared in the days ahead.

Thanks for visiting and listening to my rant!



12 thoughts on “What A Mess!

  1. I, too, have a small work space that becomes ridiculous from time to time and requires me to sweep everything to one side and start over with re-organizing. The only must, which dictates some of the rest, is I want the sewing machine and table in front of the window so I can rest my eyes on far points occasionally. Plus, I just like to see something going on in my neighborhood. You have a beautiful environment in which to work, and the longarm is definitely a huge plus, even though it takes a lot of room.

    1. Outside light is a wonderful influence. The natural light brings out the beauty of the fabrics. It also is wonderful for your attitude. Thank you for your kind compliments! I truly feel inspired and blessed by the environment. Thank you also for reading and following my blog.

  2. I am behind in reading posts, I saw some of these awesome photos on your Instagram but I did not have a context for them – ah! Your sewing/quilting area all cleaned up looks spectacular!

  3. There was a day when I reorganized my living room right before the Charter installation person showed up. My husband thought I was nutty. I regret nothing. :p

  4. Hi Cindy,
    What a great job you did reorganizing and straightening your studio. So many things to comment on, but most of all I love your quilts that you have hanging around the room. They have to make you smile when you take a moment to enjoy them. I agree that your long-arm can and should serve double duty until the time when you can quilt and sew/design at the same time . . . or you have a helper doing one of those jobs. I have my ironing board at the foot of my bed for the summer. It was making my sewing room too darn hot – I also replaced all the light bulbs with LED ones. It is amazing a) how cool those bulbs are, and b) how much room the darn ironing board takes up! Anyway, really nice job. I look forward to seeing those 16 quilt pictures. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Well, thank your very much for the compliments. I do enjoy the quilts. They remind me of so many past experiences. With all the quilts I’ve been making and finishing they just may have to be cycled out so that others can take their place. I can totally relate to the volume of heat an iron can produce. I especially notice it when I in a small space. I have replaced some of my lights with LEDs too. Eventually they all will be replaced. Once again, many thanks! Those photos are being worked on as well as the posts. Thanks for being patient! Your friend in quilting! 🙂

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