Learn How To Quilt - Organization

Organize Room for More Quilting Time

I quilt, I am a quilter, I love quilting, and I love to quilt. Quilting has enriched my life in ways I never dreamed of. I have learned interesting facts about history because of quilts. I have made a ton of friends; and I have traveled because of quilting opportunities.

To make quilting fun and to be able to start and finish projects with the less amount of stress and to avoid hunting for tools a well-organized sewing room is a must. Here are tried and true ideas and tips on how to organize a sewing/quilting room, no matter the size. If you use the room for other purposes such as an office, craft room or even a bedroom organization can create more time for you to focus on sewing and quilting.

1. Have your sewing machine, ironing board, and cutting table arranged so they are easily accessible. Get a system going so you can take fewer steps between the iron and the sewing machine which will save time and you will be more efficient. Or if you don't have room for all of these in the same room just think you are getting exercise going from room to room rather than saving time.

2. Use baskets or other gadgets fabric and quilting stores store sell to store your tools in. Place them next to where they get the most use. Be sure to put them back in the same container after using them as this will save a ton of time. If you store your tools in a room different from where you sew, containers make it very easy to transport the tools to where you need them and then they can go back to be stored with a minimum amount of effort or time.

a. For example, place the tools you use at the ironing board near the ironing board. This could include a pressing cloth, spray bottle, pin cushion a small pair of scissors and a measuring gauge. I purchased an ironing board cover with measurements printed on the cover.

b. Next to the sewing machine you'll need a pin cushion, scissors, seam ripper, waste basket for threads, or you can tape a plastic or paper bag to your sewing table for the threads. Also keep extra thread and bobbins near the machine. A magnetic board to hold the project directions is very helpful. I love my Side Winder portable bobbin winder that I keep on my sewing table.

c. At the cutting table have available a rotary cutter, rulers, cutting mat, pencil, pen, a note pad and pin cushion. Cutting directions for your project can start out here when cutting and then can be moved to your sewing machine area when you start to sew. Either tape them on the wall or pin to a curtain or attach a small magnetic board on the wall to hold them.

3. Sort your fabrics by color and then organize within color group such as batiks, novelty, florals, flannels and homespun. Or organize by lights, medium, and darks within the same color. Clear plastic boxes/bins work well to hold and contain fabric. When replacing fabric put it back where it belongs, this saves time and frustration later. If you store your fabric on shelves you could label the shelf with the type of fabric that goes on which shelf.

4. Vinyl project bags with zippers are great to use for short term storage. The plastic bags with zippers that sheets and other bedding come in also work for storage and are a great way to recycle. They can hold a project, strips or a kit. They are easy to grab and go if you have a project you are taking to a class.

By organizing your sewing room or sewing space in a way that your supplies and tools are easy to find and are convenient for use you'll have more fun and more time to sew rather than spending your time hunting for what you need. It takes time to get everything like you want it but it will be worth it.

Happy sewing/happy quilting.

Marilyn is a creative organizer who has been organizing for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Organizer. Professionally she has been organizing homes and offices for two years. She holds a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has reared five daughters and currently lives in Utah.

Go to her website where you can find free organizing tips and interesting blogs and helpful articles on organizing.

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