Creative Spaces… Week 3, Day 1

Week 3 is here and our focus is organization… yes, a place for everything and everything in it’s place, right? Well, that doesn’t always happen, but for me, a messy space isn’t very productive, so I try to stay on top of things, especially with the tools I use regularly and my work spaces… and for work spaces I try to brake things into zones when possible: sewing, fabric, rulers/embellishments, patterns, etc. We’ll share a bit more on that in the next three weeks.

Some of the things that help me stay organized are…

Everything that I make “usually” get’s a label. I enjoy writing/drawing/coloring my labels with fabric markers, so I keep these handy, especially because they’re so colorful and pretty in this little trio holder I found at a big-box store near me.

One of the most important spaces in my studio is my cutting table, and boy is it hard to keep it clear!

We found this old office table over 15 years ago; it’s been stripped down to the bear wood… yes, that took some serious elbow grease and several cans of stripper, and it was beautiful at the time, but, if it doesn’t move, it usually gets painted, haha! And since there’s so much color in my room, and especially because of all the odd little pieces I’ve collected over the years, when possible, it all gets a coat, or several, of white paint. I love the size of this table, not too large, not too small, and the two drawers are perfect to hold cutting tools……the drawer on the left holds my scissors grouped in little inexpensive trays. The shorter bin holds a variety of small scissors, the bin in the front holds my serrated scissors, next are cutting shears, and the last bin specialty scissors that are used occasionally……the drawer on the right holds rotary cutters that are easy to reach for but can be tucked away in an instant. I found the small tray with all the dividers at a local office supply store… makes it so easy to find all those small tools and blades.Besides painting everything, if it can, it will have wheels! I find these at a local home improvement store and really love the ability to move the cutting table away from the wall when I need to trim the excess batting and backing from a quilt, then I just push the table back in place and lock the little wheels. 

This was another fun and very useful find. This old card file sits right next to one of my sewing machines, and yes, it also got the white paint treatment! The only thing missing? It needs to be labeled!I love being able to find all these tiny supplies/tools so easily… extra bobbins, machine needles, machine specialty feet, pins, marking tools, etc.And of course, wheels…

And speaking of things on wheels, yes, I had to have one of these carts from that very popular big-box store! The top tray holds threads grouped by the various projects I’m working on, so it’s easy to grab the little basket and bring it to the sewing machine or my desk when I need to add thread colors to a pattern. The middle tray holds various brand thread charts, and the bottom holds embroidered projects that must be completed soon.I love all that color…

I have a second one of these trays and it’s perfect next to my longarm…… it holds all the little tools I need while quilting, extra bobbins, needles, marking pens, different presser feet, and on a side note, I love that the Q24 can use the same presser feet and needles as my sewing machines!The middle tray hold the rulers and threads for the current project, and the bottom tray stores my machine’s manual and tools, plus small quilt sandwiches I use to test tension prior to beginning a new project.

My ironing station is an old kitchen island with, yup, white paint, haha! I substituted the original top for a slightly larger 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood I picked up from the home improvement store, covered it with cotton batting, topped it with white fabric, and voila, a perfect ironing table! I can’t remember where I found the cord holders for each of the irons, and you ask, why two irons? One is for steam and the other one, well, since it can no longer hold water, it’s perfect when a dry and very hot iron is needed.The drawers in the island are perfect for holding everything related to ironing… smaller irons, pressing sheets, iron cleaners, lint rollers, glue… yes, I am a fan of glue!These baskets help hide the starch and fusibles while still easy to reach for!

Going back to my cutting space, to the left of my cutting table I have a cart that holds thread… more on that later in the hop, but the top holds my Crossover and some of my favorite dies.The brochure holder is perfect for the machine’s cutting platform supplies!And I’m loving this ArtBin magnetic storage case! It has magnetic sheets to hold your dies securely and holds up to 21 of these sheets, plus room to keep the little idea cards included with each of the dies.

This ruler holder was another fantastic find, it can stand on the table or hang. I have it on the wall next to the cutting table and it helps to keep the cutting space clear. I love having the rulers I use regularly only a few inches away!The mini quilt above the rulers is a fun colored-in project from many years ago using fabric pens.

Love, love my Daylight LED Slimline lamp, so bright and perfect lighting when choosing fabrics/thread. And under that fabulous light is a favorite organizational tool that came from a hobby store. It holds supplies used constantly and the little handle makes it easy to move when I need the entire cutting area.

It holds a few cuties that make me smile, tweezers, pins, glue, the fantastic Quick Ripper, marking pens… 

I have a similar tray next to my sewing machine that spins……and holds everything I use regularly… marking pens, extra needles and bobbins, sewing machine cleaning supplies, and old medicine bottle to collect used needles, a dusting wool puff I absolutely love, clips, thumb drives…

I have these child plates next to both sewing machines… well, they were the right color! Okay, they hold small tools that are used constantly within easy reach and help keep the little screwdrivers used to change needles from rolling off the table and getting lost.

I could keep going, but I hope seeing my space will help with a few ideas on getting your space organized. Don’t forget to visit Tammy! She’s also sharing some of her favorite organizing tips today.
An what better way to organize your space than with the perfect lighting provided by a Daylight LED Slimline Table Lamp?
A huge thanks to the Daylight Company for giving a Slimline Table Lamp to one of the readers of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop!

Enter below. Contest open to all, International winners pays for shipping.

Jan, you are the winner! Congratulations!



66 thoughts on “Creative Spaces… Week 3, Day 1

  1. Judi Rutherford says:

    I use the no name walmart match box car holders for my sewing machine feet. I also have a small tackle box that holds all the tools I need to take care of my sewing machines.

  2. Debra Miller says:

    I use the little stackable plastic drawers to store items. With the clear drawers it is easy to see just what I need.

  3. LJ says:

    I can’t get over all your marvelous organization and the tools you use. Love the card file – perfect; the child’s plate is perfect, too; wheels – always; perfect light to illuminate the area….on and on. Thanks for the tour and the great ideas.

  4. LJ says:

    Oh shoot. I forgot my best organizational tool(s). It’s Ziploc bags in lots of sizes. I use and re-use them to keep needles in order, to keep other items corralled, to put fabrics pieces in after they’ve been cut, for traveling with hand stitching projects. I used to go to the kitchen and ‘steal’ a few but I finally just bought my own boxes for the sewing room.

  5. Anita L Jackson says:

    I love fabric baskets with handles on them for almost everything! Thanks for sharing all of your lovely storage ideas. I like to keep things used most in little bins on the side table but the cake tier look to be even better ieas!

  6. Allison Evrard says:

    My favorite probably isn’t so much organizational as it is safety. My grandkids love to come to Grammy’s and play in her quilting space. I’ve got all kids of wonderfully interesting things. Since they come over fairly often, I make sure to keep my rotary cutters in a tall container with a lid. It isn’t see-through so they have no idea what’s in it. So far, they haven’t asked to see what’s inside. 🙂

  7. Kelley says:

    I use the dollar special mini plastic boxes. They are a great size for pins and itty bitty items and close securely when not in use. Also pencil holders work great for my clips and bigger items. I wish I was organized enough to label them but such is life ……..?

  8. Christi says:

    I think my best tip or tips are put everything in clear plastic containers with labels. When you are done with something put it away. I personally have a huge pegboard. I love it. Covers a whole wall.

  9. Caryn says:

    I love my ArtBin SuperSatchels for my projects. I label them and I am ready to go. Another one is using the drawer organizers from an office supply shop.

  10. Laura M says:

    For what it’s worth “like things together” and always put tools back. I also like large ziplock bags for projects in progress or file folders for projects in process.

  11. Lorene Holbrook says:

    I have an old metal 5 drawer pattern holder. It holds all of my scrap sqs i have cut. Easy to store and easy to find what i need. They are separated by size. 1 1/2” to 5” sqs.

  12. Sue says:

    I have a wheeled 4 drawer storage container that just fits under my custom sewing machine table next to my chair. I use plastic pencil boxes to store like items, one for elastic, one for Velcro, one for needles , etc. Unfortunately my sewing room doubles as a bedroom for my grandchildren when they visit, so everything needs to be able to be stowed away, so I can’t have cutesy containers that sit out. I also have a set of bunk beds and a twin bed that take up lots of soace!

  13. Nancy says:

    I try to put things away when I am done. I have started to put fabric in bins that are similar, whether by theme or color, etc.

  14. Sharon Aurora says:

    I am overly organized. I pretty much know where just about everything is. I’ve found that a good place to look for organizational containers is in the tools/hardware and sporting sections of a department store. I have a nice cabinet that was meant to hold things like screws, nuts, and the like.

  15. Tina Wootton says:

    My number one organizer idea I use all the time is a label maker! So I don’t have to dig through stuff to find any item. I get plastic gelato containers fill with notions and label . Perfect and cute and organized!

  16. Helen Glover says:

    i have several toy car cases with dividers that hold all my thread. Love that! Also, two kitchen drawer divided baskets for individual tools that are handy to my machine. I would love that lamp as my space is small and I know it would fit it well! Thanks for the giveaway and the helpful hints.

  17. monica says:

    I found a antique letter organizer and i use it to hold patterns that for the swaps and bees that i participate in. By the way ive been looking at those carts at that big box store.

  18. Marilyn Porterfield says:

    Thanks for sharing your all of your storage ideas. After seeing how you used the card holder I will definitely abscond with the one my husband has in storage. I have 2 rolling cabinets that fit below my sewing tables. And of course they have rollers. The 2 top drawers on both of them are only 2 1/2” deep and perfect for trays for organizing tools including all my sewing machine feet.

  19. Deb says:

    I have an old design wall mounted above my cutting table. I pin cutting instructions to the wall so I can easily see it and it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

  20. Cecilia says:

    I am not very organized and when I clean up I end up tearing things apart to find what I need. I need to sit down and think through the supplies again, because when it gets too bad,I have a hard time focusing on getting things done.

  21. Lori Morton says:

    I’m not even close to being as organized as you lol But I have plastic bins to keep single projects
    ready to go. And do have drawers for notions & such. 🙂

  22. psnowl says:

    I have a rolling cabinet with drawers that I keep all my extras in feet, needles, scissors, etc. I keep this beside my machine.

  23. Barbara G. says:

    I want to know where you bought that beautiful ruler rack? I’m in love with your drawers and carts! My favorite organization tools are my shelves, decorative functional tins, and “S” hooks!

  24. Susan says:

    I use a little table top cabinet that I think is meant for basically nuts/screws/etc. for small quilting related items such as sewing machine feet, needles, thimbles, a few buttons, bobbins.

  25. Eva Lyn E Williams says:

    I use portion size zip bags to keep the same color thread and bobbin together. I can see the bobbins to know which machine I am going to use.

  26. Jacque Nino says:

    I have some clear plastic shoeboxes with lids so they are stackable that I can easily organize fat quarters vertically. Each box is clear so its easy to see which box has the blues or whatever color Im looking for.

  27. Deborah B. says:

    I keep all my works in progress or planned quilt projects in labeled see through containers on bookshelves. I have also folded all my stash yardage so they can be stored and viewed easily.

  28. Linda says:

    I really love all your little rotating holders and I am envious of your card catalogue. After seeing your rotary cutters I am afraid that I don’t enough of them. I only have 3. What am I missing out on? I have some bamboo silverware trays that keep a lot of my drawers organized. I am loving this blog hop!

  29. Pam says:

    Thanks for all the great storage tips! I like using clear plastic scrapbooking boxes for storing fabric and notions.

  30. Carmen says:

    I love to repurpose all sorts of containers. Altoid tins fit vertically in my shallow drawers of my cabinet and are all labeled with the contents. Everything in my sewing room gets labeled.

  31. NancyB from Many LA says:

    “Try” to pick/clean up every day so the me doesn’t get out of hand. Notice I said “TRY”! LOL!

  32. MoeWest says:

    I have a CD shelving unit from Ikea to store my fat quarters in. It is about 7 feet tall and 8″ wide so it doesn’t take up much wall space.

  33. Judy Forkner says:

    I have an old silverware dish drainer holder that holds my rotary cutter, some marking pens & my point turner. I sits on or near my cutting table at all times.

  34. Arlene says:

    I love all of the storage ideas….but I really love the added wheels. I do not know why I never thought to add casters to make my heavy cutting table mobile 🙂

  35. Elana Goldberg says:

    I keep one rotary cutter just for fabric and a separate one for cutting paper piecing projects. This way my fabric rotary blade can last longer without being dulled by paper.

  36. Lisa Whitcomb Huckins says:

    WOW, the Daylight LED Slimline lamp, was the one thing I copied to comment on. This is perfect!!!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  37. janet says:

    I love my kitchen island from Ikea with a butcher block wood top so my fabric doesn’t slide around while measuring, cutting, arranging my pattern. I have a bar stool I slide up to it when hand quilting – it’s the perfect height for holding my quilt instead of in my lap. The 6 large drawers hold so many supplies and the top 2 drawers have a sliding tray for all of my scissors, tools, etc.

  38. Nicole Sender says:

    I use plastic shoe boxes for my scraps and charm packs. I really need to work on my organization. Love your cutting table!

  39. Pingback: Creative Spaces… Week 3, Days 3, 4 and 5 – Cherry Blossoms Quilting

  40. Sarah V says:

    Great prize! Love your quilts and great organization containers. I use a plastic cutlery drawer insert inside one of my cutting table drawers to hold thread. One of my serendipitous repurposing hacks 🙂

  41. Kathy E. says:

    Cherry, you’re the queen of organization in my book! I’ve wanted one of those 3-tiered carts for a very long time, but the nearest Ikea is over 6 hours away. Someday! My best tip is a high tower of small cabinet drawers I bought at Hobby Lobby. Each drawer is painted a funky color and has a label, so I keep my stash of small pieces each in a drawer….like zippers, elastic, fancy scissors, buttons, washi tape, etc. It looks great and gives me a place for so many items!

  42. Karen says:

    Wow, your space is a dream! How big is it(if I can ask)? My favorite organizing tip is to keep it simple. I try (and fail) to only have the essentials. That way, everything is easier to keep track of. I do have two drawers and a cabinet of little-used items, and they are so disorganized!

  43. ekbuckeye2001 says:

    I have 2 magnetic strips-one mounted on the wall to hold scissors not used often, and one mounted under my cutting table for rotary cutters and most used scissors.

  44. Beth T. says:

    The organizational plan that has helped me the most is keeping an “Ongoing Projects” notebook, in which I keep master copies of the quilt patterns for all the quilts I am currently working on. That way, if I lose track of a pattern or page while I’m making a quilt, I don’t panic because I have a master copy in the notebook.

  45. Beth T. says:

    One thing that is helpful for me is to label the cute little boxes and containers I use to hold things so that when I go looking for something I don’t have to open a dozen lids to see if something is in there.

  46. Kellie W. says:

    I’m super organized, not only because I’m a neat freak, but because if I am not organized in my sewing studio then I don’t work as well. I love love my carts. They are just like yours! I have 3. I have drawers units from ikea in a couple different sizes. I use those mainly for sewing notions and sewing machine supplies. I have one other that’s larger in the closet that has larger miscellaneous needs and it labeled what each drawer is. My shelves have baskets or totes depending which shelve unit your at that are carefully thought out. I tried to set my room up to where it flows nicely and is easy to keep me from becoming to messy while working even though it still gets messy when I’m in the middle of a big project sometimes! But I make sure to clean up each time I’m finished and put things away so I stay on top of it. It’s just easier than having to break my room down and clean the heavy out of it later for sure! I still have things I need but in good time.

  47. toni.leggate1 says:

    I keep my threads, colour sorted, in plastic boxes that can be divided to hold the different shapes of reel and cones. They have lids with handles and can be clipped together in stacks. So useful when a particular colour needs to be found or a selection taken on a course or retreat.

  48. karen s says:

    I love your turquoise plate for organizing. Reminds me of all the melmac in my childhood 🙂 At the moment I’m in love with the little jars that the new Yoplait yogurt brand Oui is using. And you can even order cute little lids. Great for holding clips, basting pins, . . .

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