Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sundays Sewing Space - Ayumi from Pink Penguin

Wow have I got a treat in store for you today. Ayumi has kindly agreed to show us around her space and I think everyone is going to be totally jealous of the amazing fabric stash and wonderful eye candy that Ayumi has in her work space. I know that I am!

Over to Ayumi -

Where is your Sewing Space?
My teeny sewing space is shared with my husband's gigantic computer. I think the room is split fairly - 50/50, but he clearly has a different perspective on this. This is what he has to say:
"My small computer desk is shoved into the corner of the room, with all my electronics either on top of the desk or under the desk. So the only space I take is the desk itself and my small wooden chair. My feet have to rest on top of electrical cables and speakers.  The rest of the room is used entirely for sewing stuff. The walls have finished projects hanging off of them. The floor is covered with half finished projects. There is fabric hanging off of chairs, tables, and cupboards. Sewing books are stacked on random surfaces, including the floor. I've tried to make a stand and declare my small corner off limits to fabric related stuff, but I am losing that battle. If I leave for any amount of time, slowly but surely the fabric jungle will start to grow over my area. fabric will be hanging off of my chair, or random pieces of fabric stacked where my mouse used to be. It doesn't matter if I raise a fuss over my area being encroached upon; Ayumi will silently and swiftly come and take her craft stuff away, killing any chance I have to make a point. As soon as I leave, it will return."

What 3 words do you feel best describes it?
Hmmm.. I would love to use nice words to describe it, but in reality my sewing space is in a serious chaos most of the time. Obviously I worked really hard to make my stash look nice and organized this past few days for this blogpost. (Thanks for this opportunity, Charlotte!) It is usually a huge mess, and I know many of you reading this can relate and easily imagine how it must look like usually! So three appropriate words would be " Messy", "Disorganized" and "Chaotic."

What are your most important things in there?
Handmade gifts from friends. I just love, love, love it when my friends make personal handmade gifts for me. My space is filled with lovely lovely things made by my virtual and real friends. Every time I look at them, I feel loved, cared for, and cherished. I do know how much time and thought it takes to make a single gift because I too sew to make gifts. Each of these items sent by my friends (mostly surprise gifts!) speaks to me the reason behind the choices of fabric and patterns (yes I love pink! yes I love penguins, etc) and I just feel so warm and fuzzy inside, imagining my friends making things for me. I can be my worst critic, but I can't find a single flaw in handmade gifts whipped up for me from friends. Receiving handmade gifts is such a therapeutic part of my crafty life partly because this gives me the best time to think about "what sewing can do to your life". Quite often I find myself being pretty frustrated due to my projects being not perfect enough. Sewing not be about aiming perfection or competing against anything, but sometimes I need a reminder. I can't think of anything other than handmade gifts from friends that can remind me of the true joy of sewing. OK, I don't mean to sound so dramatic, but my point is.. I just love looking at things whipped up for me from lovely friends ;)

How is the room laid out?
I have two tables, each at a corner of the room so I get a great sunlight! (This, my husband doesn't have too much problem with, because his computer has to stay away from the heat. Thank goodness to the technology!

What sort of sewing machine do you have and how do you feel about it?
I have Janome DS4030 which I bought directly from a sewing machine store for approximately $500 US. It has every function I usually need, so I am satisfied with it. I hope my next sewing machine will be a bit fancier and larger so that quilting large quilts will be easier. I also would love it if my next one is a bit quieter so that my husband won't have a hard time sleeping while I sew.

Do you have anything in the room for inspiration?
Gifts from friends!

Where do you keep your fabric stash and how do you organise it?

I have several places I store my fabric stash. 

These are the shelves in the sewing room where I store smaller pieces of fabrics (most of them are smaller than fat quarters) that I used for my recent projects. I don't call a fabric piece a scrap until they are smaller than 2" at one edge. Anything larger than that is folded nicely and stored in these shelves. I sort them by colors

White section. I have a big stash with white as a background color. This section was growing so fast I recently divided the stash into two groups: light white and beige-ish white. 

I have lots of pink fabrics and moderate amount of red fabrics.

This is a space for yellow and orange, but as you can see I have very few fabric with orange as a base color. I think I need to start building orange stash some more.

I love brown, especially chocolate brown, but I don't have very many brown fabrics.

 Next to our sewing/computer room is a Japanese style room with Tatami mats on the ground. In the room, there is a closet called Oshiire which is supposed to be used to store Japanese style futon, clothing, etc, but guess what it is that is using up 90% of the space. Ya, you got it!

In Oshiire, I have multiple plastic shelves. These above are used to store larger pieces of my fabrics, again sorted by colors. I thought these would give me enough space to store fabrics, but how could that be possible? I ended up buying two more similar shelves AND am thinking about getting one more. (Don't tell Joe about it!)

In the other side of ohiire is a place for fabrics for sale. I occasionally list Japanese fabrics in my etsy shop as I find unusual fabrics locally. My inventory is quite small, so I have these two shelves for it.

Do you have any top tips to do with work spaces?
Hmmm... I wish I had cool top tips, but the only thing I can think of is to clean up the space each time you use it. If you are anything like me, you have tendency to wait until it's a real chaos to start cleaning up. My mom hates it when rooms are in mess, because she thinks how clean your room is reflects how clean your heart is. I'm starting to understand what she means by this. The cleaner my place is, more clearly I can think about things and I just feel happier. Sewing space should be a very welcoming place that encourages us to have a lot of fun sewing. I am not succeeding in keeping my space nice and organized (in fact, I'm probably closer to failing according to Joe), but keeping the space nice is one of the top tips I've learned so far.

What would your ideal workspace look like?
Oh my goodness I can think of so many! I have been heavily inspired by Jessie of Messy Jesse's workspace recently. I keep going back to this post and see how I can make my space look like hers. (Ya I have a lot to work on, haha!)

Thank you so much for sharing Ayumi, your space and fabric collection are amazing and you must have some wonderful friends to have such beautiful works on your walls.


Katy Cameron said...

Oh wow, love Ayumi's space (oh, and Joe's space, let's not forget ;o) ) And I want that stash lol

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Wow, I am completely jealous of Ayumi and poor Joe!
Wonderful insight xxx

verykerryberry said...

Wow it looks amazing, the plastic shelves looks like a great idea- you can see everything and it is all protected. It all looks so pretty and cosy everywhere, Joe's corner is especially snug, he might end up under the desk!

pippablue said...

What a beautiful space! and all those yummy fabrics :)

Marit said...

Lovely sewing space, Ayumi! And your storage in those drawers are genius!!! Thank you for inviting us in and showing us around. I think Joe is lucky to share the room with you ; )

Suzanne said...

I love the tour both here and on Ayumi's blog. She has such a talent for sewing and her space reflects her taste in fabric as well as her great friends.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Great tour! I so enjoy seeing other people's work space. This was a great post.

Natalie said...

Wow, this is such a gorgeous and inspiring space! Thanks so much for sharing it with us :)

Finding Fifth said...

Small but really organised...and great to have a fabric perve. Thanks for sharing.