Friday, 3 May 2013

Sewing Room Storage

Life presented me with a few sewing room challenges this week – firstly my fat quarters were overflowing and I had started to stack them on the floor - not an ideal place for fabric. Then my jelly roll strips were disorganised and untidy and getting more so each time I went to use them.  And finally, the bookshelf in the sewing room fell down on Tuesday evening!

The bookshelf dilemma was relatively easy to solve in the short-term – I moved all the books to the living room bookcase.  However, the fat quarter storage required a trip to Ikea where I purchased two tall CD storage units.  There are enough sections to seperate according to colour and pattern.  I love it.  When I walk into the sewing room now it feels ordered and calm - as opposed to chaotic and messy.
As for the jelly roll situation – serendipity stepped in to help solve that mess.  Firstly I folded each strip and secured it with a plastic coated paperclip.  This is providing a great way of keeping the strips tidy and it allows me to swap them around when deciding on fabric choices (I wouldn't recommend using metal paperclips as they may rust over time).   
But I was still left with the problem of storing all the folded strips.  That is where Amy from Amy Made That comes in (and quite frankly, it is hard to keep her from nosing around any sewing room – so be warned!)
It was Amy’s turn for the May sew-along project and she chose ‘May baskets’ as this month's project.   The baskets can be any type you like whether it is appliquéd or quilted baskets or actual pots constructed from fabric.  Amy mentioned two fabric constructed baskets on her blog and I decided to make the free basket pattern from The Sometimes Crafter.  Less than one hour later and I had created the ideal place to put my jelly roll fabrics.   
I hadn’t checked the measurements before making the basket so I didn’t know that it would be the perfect fit for my new storage unit too. How cool is that? 
I adjusted the pattern slightly because I didn’t have stiff interfacing and the box was too floppy for my needs.  So I top stitched each side and along the bottom edges.  This firmed the box up considerably and helps it keep its shape.  If you decide to do the same then do not top-stitch right to the edge or into the corners as you may catch the other side – stop stitching ¼” from the side/edge.  An alternative would be to top-stitch the sides and place a piece of card in the bottom of the box. 

Check back with Amy this month as she will be showing off her choise of May basket and if I know Amy it will be a stunner.  Also pop over to Susie's Sunroom where Susie shows off her string baskets made using the Pink Penguins free tutorial.
The bonus for me in all this (aside from a neat workroom) was that I was left with 4½” square scraps after cutting out the box and, as the project took less than an hour, I still had most of the evening left - with nothing planned.  So I set up an audio book on my tablet and set about making a pretty little coaster using one of the gingham scraps, my Spring Lambs mug rug pattern and a few simple embroidery stitches. 
What a blissful evening – May sew-along project done; storage sorted; I listened to good book and hand stitched a pretty little coaster. Evenings don’t come much better than this.

If you fancy spending a blissful evening making May baskets then hop on board the sew-along and make some friends on both sides of the pond.  And don't forget to post your photos to the Across-the-Pond Flickr group. 

Sew until next time .......


  1. Well done, Amanda! I just love nosing around your sewing room...I never know what I will find. :) The Ikea shelves are just right for orderly access to your prettiest prints. And that little spring lamb is such a sweet reward for making a great little basket...the stitched flowers are super cute!

  2. I love nosing around peoples' sewing rooms too - I see so many cool ideas. Good project choice ..... again.

  3. Cute! Your new storage units look great too.

  4. I am jealous that you are so organized ! Your red fabric basket is a delight to see, in or out of the case!

    And your dear little lamb is sooo sweet! I love the little flowers you embroidered around it... just dear.


  5. Wow, that is a very smart and pretty way to store all of your fabric!

  6. I use the exact same cupboard for the kids DVD, showed hubby your picture and I got the uh oh comment, yes it will end up in my room. Our cupboard has a single glass door from another unit fitted to it, for dust free DVD. Really glad I kept the spare shelves. Good work for out of box thinking..........