Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Sewing Space - Laura from Needles, Pins and Baking Tins

Hi everyone, Today we have the lovely Laura from Needles, Pins and Baking Tins sharing her space with us. For any of you that have dealt with Laura or read her blog, you will know what a sweetheart she is, funny and kind and generally lovely. She has a great space that she has really made the most of. Im loving her wall hanging storage and she has provided some lovely work space inspiration at the end!

Ok so here is Laura

Where is your Sewing Space?

Sewing Space
I live in a teeny tiny terrace house Ö. It is knocked through on the ground floor, so its really just one large-ish room plus the kitchen. The front part is my dining room and this is where I sew. I do have an attic conversion, which I would love to turn into a studio, but access is via a slightly wobbly ladder, and not all that practical! I also like to be in on the action. If Im downstairs I can flop on the sofa, make a cup of tea, watch those crazy cats or nip outside, should the mood strike.

What 3 words do you feel best describes it?
Really hot mess.
I am a messy person. Very messy. No getting around it. Im of the "let it build up until you are sick of it, then clean like your granny is visiting!" school of thought. Since my granny rarely visits, it's rarely tidy ;-) I made a concerted effort today so it looked acceptable in the pictures!

What are your most important things in there?
My Sewing machine. I've had it since I was 16, doing a textile course at school. She's a trooper (although prone to the occasional tantrum).

How is the room laid out i.e. Sewing machine, ironing board, cutting table etc.
The room has a natural alcove at the front, created by the chimney breast. This Christmas, my parents helped me create a little craft nook type thing on the wall above the alcove. So, moving from left to right we have:

Sewing Space
Big crafty chest. I seriously donít know what I would do without this storage. I have 2 knitting drawers, one for actually knitted items (hats, shawls etc. things I grab on the way out the door), and the rest is quilty stuff. You know, the not so pretty stuff that doesn't need to be out on show. Batting, insulbright, interfacing, UFO's I don't know what to do with, cross stitch stuff, miscellaneous untidy items. I also iron on the top here.

Sewing Space
Dining table, with cutting matt and sewing machine pretty much always out. I remember buying the biggest cutting mat I could afford at the time, and don't regret it! It's just bigger than a FQ, and I wish it was bigger still although; I'm kinda limited by the size of the table anyway.

Sewing Space
Left hand side of alcove where I hang my rulers and embroidery hoops.

Sewing Space
Top of the window seat. I have 2 file holders here, one for patterns and sheets of paper with various scribbles, the other for my go!baby dies and basting spray. Then we have the go!baby cutter, and my sewing box. I like to use this area to take photographs of small items, because it's the only light place in the house!

Sewing Space
Above this, on the wall, is the piece de resistance! My hanging space. I have all sorts ram jammed into these pots, one for zips, pens, scissors, ribbon etc. (I wanted white tubs but they only had blue at the time. I'm going to change them next time I go to Ikea).

Sewing Space
2 little hanging racks for pin cushions and pins, stamps and tape measures etc, and a further one for buttons up top.

Sewing Space
Probably my favourite thing is the spool rack. I can't get over how cute it is!

What sort of sewing machine do you have and how do you feel about it?
I sew on a Brother NX400. My parents bought it for me about umm... 7ish years ago now and in my opinion, she still competes with the big boys. The throat space is sadly lacking, but I have managed to wrangle a king size quilt through it, and what it lacks in girth it makes up for in know-how ;-) It has an automatic needle threader and thread cutter, can stop with the needle down, does FMQ and came with a walking foot.  It can do all kinds of fancy schmancy stitches (approximately none of which I ever use), and is really more than adequate for my needs!

Do you have anything in the room for inspiration?

I'm kind of holding off on filling the walls with mini quilts and other stuff, just because this is the first thing you walk into when you enter my house and I worry it would look a bit odd. I do have my tiny squares quilt, and my Perv Bird quilt that Susan made for me up on the walls which make me smile. And a mini swoon block hiding under the plant. And a couple of quilts on the sofa. And a quilted pillow. Okay. There's no denying it. It's taken over my house.

I also have all my craft books on a shelf here, which I always find inspirational.
Sewing Space

Where do you keep your fabric stash and how do you organise it?
My fabric is stashed in one of 2 places. The first point of call, for anything bigger than 5" square is a shelving unit at the other end of the house.
Sewing Space

I try to keep these relatively tidy and pretty, as they are in my 'lounge' space. They are not looking their best at the moment, I do have to say! but it's a constant battle to keep everything folded up all nice. I don't have a massive stash, really. I buy what I like, when I can afford it, and tend not to hoard stuff.
Sewing Space
Although, that stack of FMF might not get used just yet ;-)

The top 2 shelves have my knitting projects and spare batting (and scrabble weirdly), followed by 2 shelves of fabric, and another for random bits like pre-cuts and blocks waiting to be sewn into quilts, or sent out for Bees.

Sewing Space

I store my scraps in ziplock bags in the bottom drawer of my big crafty chest. I have a bag for each colour, and one for selvedges. This has worked well for about a year, but recently I've been thinking of other solutions. The bags aren't really big enough any more, and they are starting to look kinda dishevelled. I'd like some sort of freestanding plastic drawer affair, but floor space is at a bit of a premium and I don't know where it would go. Does anyone else have a better scrap storage plan?

Do you have any top tips to do with work spaces?
Just find something that works for you and stick with it. Make the most of the space you have by going up! look at walls and ceilings as viable storage options. Don't worry too much about what the actual storage furniture looks like, as long as it works for you.

What would your ideal workspace look like?
I have neither the budget nor the space for something like this, but aren't they lovely?!

Karen Lewis AKA Blueberry Park

Anna Maria Horner

Monica Solorio-Snow AKA Happy Zombie
My ironing center
Thanks so much Laura for showing us around, you have definitely given me a few ideas for setting up my own space (fingers crossed it will be soon), I only hope I can be as organised as you are (never going to happen!). Head over and check out Lauras blog, she always does lovely things, im loving the paper pieced peppers she has been doing recently.


Kathy said...

Oh, I am in love! With the whole and the parts (especially that spool holder:)
Thanks for organizing all these wonderful sticky-beaks into other peoples sewing spaces....some weeks though I get a severe case of sewing room envy......
Hugs, Kathy

Soile Kivinen said...

wow, that was interesting. i need to start to do theBIG makeover in my quilting space too. Tkahk you for shareing yours with us.

pippablue said...

I was just thinking how tidy Laura Jane must be. till she unveiled her cleaning style. You sound just like me! Leave it till it's super messy and then have an insane cleaning burst! I love the wall storage and definitely something that could work for me! THanks for the peak :)

Susan said...

Fantastic sewing center!

Sheila said...

Really enjoyed having a nosey around your space Laura, I also clean and tidy following your granny principles!!

Leo said...

all those lovely sewing spaces ... if I only had the room ...

ScissorsandThread said...

Love it, great ideas for fitting things in your living space too.

Judith, Belfast said...

Go LJ! Fab space! Jxo

Katy Cameron said...

Love the tour LJ, oh, and that you actually care what your visitors think, you'll grow out of that ;o)

Sarah said...

Bloody hell Lauli, just how long did it take to get it all looking like that?! Beeeautiful. Love it.

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Nothing less than I expected from the Lolly!

Carmen said...

I love peeking into others' spaces. Your sewing box is adorable!!

luckys said...

scrabble word finder
Great article . Extremely helpful .