Studio Tour – Part 2

Thank you all so much for the wonderful, overwhelming response to my previous blog featuring the before and after photos of my new studio! I can’t begin to thank you enough for your sweet comments! Initially, I tried to answer each and every one, but couldn’t keep up — so please rest assured that I read each and every comment and tried to answer any question you asked.

As promised, here is part two — with detailed pictures of some of my storage systems, organizational ideas, and a few of my cherished and favorite things. On a side note, I love the orientation of our house to the direction the sun crosses the sky throughout the day. My sewing studio gets the late afternoon sunshine streaming through the windows and especially at this time of year, I find the fading November sunlight simply enchanting.

Here you see a new quilt in progress (book #5!) at my machine. I admit — the white leather chairs were a splurge and you should have seen my sweet husband roll his eyes when I told him that I wanted to buy two of them. But ultimately, he grinned and gave in. If you find you can’t live without your own white leather chair, you can find them at Staples. Since the wood floor is new, the plastic mats were a necessity — not a splurge. There is one here at my machine and another one underneath the chair at my desk. I have a pretty floral wool rug on order to go beneath the cutting island, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

I was tickled with so many emails and comments asking me if my room is always so organized, so I want to offer proof that it isn’t. Sometimes I make a mess, as evidenced here. But I admit that I am a “neat-nick” and I do take time to tidy up every evening so that I can start each day with a fresh start.

This is what my cutting island has looked like lately. I’ve been playing in my stash of purple and green batiks for that new quilt you got a sneak peak of which is meant for book #5.  Don’t you just love the colors? Oooohhhh, I’m seriously in love with this new “modern” design with a traditional twist. The fact that I used fabrics from my stash without any new fabric purchases makes me pretty happy, too.

Many of you asked to see what I store behinds those gleaming white cabinet doors.

I utilize plastic storage bins and baskets to hold projects and all sorts of miscellaneous items. The little brown basket on the right contains some hand sewing (yo-yo’s!) for when I travel on road trips. The green carryall holds all sorts of useful notions and things I keep handy and close to my machine.

The cabinet below has roll out wooden shelves that give me quick and easy access to my favorite threads and precut fabric bundles.

The down side to this studio (yes, there is a down side) is that the room isn’t large enough to store the bulk of my fabric stash. That is stored downstairs in our basement area where I have cabinets lined up along the wall and my fabric is stored similarly to this:

I designed the center cabinet (12″ wide) to be tall enough on the inside to hold my BIG BOARD ironing board folded and standing up, a broom, my ultra-necessary STRIP STICKS, a drying rack (not for wet laundry, but for hanging fabric strips and blocks in progress) and a shelf for a few cleaning supplies.

Behind another cabinet door I store some extra mats and most of my rulers. They are within easy reach of my cutting island and I can find what I am looking for at a glance.

More specialty threads for embroidery and a couple of extra lights…..

My secret is out! I love to do machine embroidery, too! (Although I rarely have time to do it anymore...) In one of my roll-out wooden shelves I store all my machine hoops.

In this set of cabinets I keep instruction manuals, travel cases for notions and gadgets for my machines, a couple of Vera Bradley tech storage cases (for electronics and charging cords), my projector, and a laptop case. The red yarn? To make yarn balls for the kitties, of course.

Here’s what’s in the top drawer of my cutting island. I just love this neat little fold-out drawer that holds my rotary cutters! Originally, this island began as two standard sink cabinets that the carpenters put back to back and created an island with a white Corian top that measures 36″ x 48″. (The size of the top was no accident. I chose it because I could use two – 24″ x 36″ mats to cover the surface perfectly.) The second drawer holds large rulers and other items that don’t fit in the wall cabinets.

Peek-a-boo! Look who I found hiding in the bottom drawer while I was taking photos!

A drawer on the other side of the cutting island holds extra cutters, various scissors, and a sticky-tape lint roller.

In one of the two large drawers below the scissor drawer, I have several tins I collected when we lived in Europe that I use to store notions and sewing items. Although not original or terribly creative, the plastic box is a fishing tackle box that holds all my extra sewing machine presser feet, empty bobbins, and other things I need specifically for my sewing machines.

I think every sewing space needs to have a few special, sentimental or personal touches to make it truly feel like home.  I truly treasure these two items. The glass stingray is a gift from my 13 year old son after we went swimming with the stingrays in Stingray City, Cayman Islands.  And the metal figurine is a gift from the Command Chief Master Sergeant after she commissioned me to create a memory quilt for the four-star general and his wife when my husband was the Deputy Director of Staff for USAFE.

A few more things I treasure: a pretty mug from the first year I judged and taught at the Vermont Quilt Festival, two very special military coins awarded to me while we were in Europe, and a paperweight I was given at the premiere of the TV series, the American Quilter in Paducah, KY.

I love this corner of the room. This storage cabinet contains stencils, computer discs, template plastic and templates and a variety of other things. I made the floral arrangement from silk flowers I bought on sale at Michael’s and a vase I found at a flea market for twenty-five cents! The speaker is a birthday present from my sweet husband so I can listen to my favorite tunes while I sew. And the photo is of my very best friend and college roommate, Beth. We’ve been best friends for 30 years (even though I have never been able to convert her to become a quilter.) May I ask you to say a prayer or send healing thoughts for Beth right now? She is bravely battling Stage IV cancer. So far, the chemo is winning……

The lighted cabinets on my desk hold my antique toy sewing machines. I admit — these cabinets were a bit of a splurge, too. I wanted to showcase these in a way that would keep them relatively dust-free and on display in a pretty way. Want to know which of the machines is my favorite?

My favorite is the machine on the bottom of the right side cabinet with the cute little wooden extension arm. My husband and I found this neat little English brand of machine in a stall on Portobello Road in London. It is the only antique toy sewing machine we’ve ever seen with an extension table!

Sitting right next to my sewing machine is my favorite basket (made by my sweet friend, Katie. She sells these wonderful baskets, in case you’re interested!) This basket holds some of my favorite sewing tools including my pink pincushion, seam ripper, lint duster, the stork scissors I bought in Switzerland, fabulous snips (a gift from Karen Kay Buckley) and a scissor fob with my name made by one of the ladies from the Manatee Quilt Guild at their retreat last year. The hedgehog magnetic pin holder was a gift from my dear friend, Sue Hausmann. (Years ago, on a trip with the Pfaff and Viking Sewing Stars to Sweden hosted by Sue and her husband, Herb, my husband found and picked up a baby hedgehog. Since then, he has been collecting hedgehog items and friends send them to him, too.)

This pretty blue/white bowl is a new addition! Early last week, Katie had a link on FB about the new bowl she had just made. She received tons of comments about it, but I instantly emailed her to see if she would sell the bowl, and guess what? Lucky me — it is now mine. Don’t you think it fits perfectly in my studio?

Thank you so much for taking the tour of my studio. I hope you may have found some good ideas to implement in your own sewing space. The most important thing is to carve out a place for yourself and make it feel like someplace you want to be — where you want to create. Make it personal. Tidy up or organize if the clutter is out of control or you feel overwhelmed. Not everyone can create in organization — and not everyone can create in chaos. Find what works for YOU.

As I finish up this blog post, this is the view from my studio window right now. There is just something about the late autumn sky that I find so peaceful and beautiful. My wish for you is that you find peace and beauty all around you — no matter where you live!

Thank you again for stopping by!

  1. Kimberly, I’ve enjoyed this 2 part tour of your new sewing studio. It is a dream room, and I’m sure you’re thrilled!
    How nice of you to take the time and to give us ideas for creating or redesigning our own creative spaces. I’ve been asking my personal Santa for the same white chair at Staples since late summer. I may not be able to wait for Christmas now that I’ve seen how pretty it looks. I’m making valances, and have chosen some awesome “Cat’s meow” pink paint. Oh, for that built-in storage! So organized! You thought of everything. Enjoy! Can’t wait to see your new quilts in Book #5.

  2. Also, your dear friend Beth will be in my prayers. As I am a recent cancer survivor, thank you God, my heart breaks for her and for you. Strength to you both.

  3. I have to ask, have you used anything other than a Pfaff?

    I’ve used most other brands, my main machine is a Bernina 550 QE (just got it last year and now iI want a 700 series with the larger throat) and my other is a Juki, I love both equally!

    Love your new space, I have no space for display items. ;D

    • Hi Tabatha – Yes, I have used Bernina and Janome. I had a 730E (Bernina) and loved it. Now I’m eyeing the new 700 series as a potential purchase next year. I have a Janome Memory Craft 10000 as well. I also have a Pfaff 2170 that I love.

  4. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your studio with us. It does my heart good seeing someone have a dream sewing room. The windows are my favorite. Enjoy and please keep sharing!

  5. I enjoyed peeking into your sewing nest. I’ll send out prayers for your best friend and I ask for some back for my sister in law. It’s a difficult time.

  6. Thank you for the tour of your beautiful sewing studio. Your storage is out of this world! I am taking some hints from you for getting my studio more organized. Your friend is in my prayers.

  7. again i must say, the colors are wonderful. so soothing and with the sunlight streaming in how can you not have inspiration and the urge to sew sew sew!

  8. Beautiful space, all the colors and organization are wonderful. God Bless you and enjoy.

  9. I LOVE your studio. I especially love the kitten hidden in the drawer. You should have a contest for finding the hidden kitten, LOL 🙂

    Those hinges on the cabinets are very nice. I’ve wanted some of those. I also love the cabinet recessed lighting with halogens, very smart. With such a beautiful studio do you ever just sit there and admire it? I’d have a very hard time dropping ‘stuff’ on the floor in something that gorgeous.

  10. Soooo jealous, my dream room. Love, love, love it.

  11. Thanks for showing us more of your new sewing room. It is awesome! I love all the great storage; but I ,especially, like those white leather chairs. They are perfect for your room.

  12. The tours were great and thank you for taking the time to do it. What a great view from your gorgeous room and all that wonderful storage. You really put a lot of thought into the arrangements. Will pray for your friend Beth. Bless you both..

  13. Excellent! I was thinking “is that all the fabric Kimberley has” in your sewing room until I saw the cupboards full of your stash. Now that’s more like it. Feel much better about my own now! I am really going to showing my husband now and giving some pretty big hints of my own. Your room is just lovely and well organised.

  14. Have you heard of the phrase “Man Cave”? Your quilting space is the like the ultimate “Quilter’s Cave”. I love the blue and white. Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing. I am enjoying my Craftsy Magic Jelly Roll Quilts class.

    • Love the phrase “ultimate quilter’s cave!” I’m going to use that. Thanks!

  15. Thanks for sharing more of your sewing room. and as a byproduct more elements of your life. It is always a please to see someone enjoying life and their world.

  16. Hello, Kimberley!
    You have a wonderful studio! So spacious and beautiful!! But first off, prayers for your friend, Beth. No matter all the material things we have, friends are our most precious possesions!! I hope and pray she does well!!!!!
    I love your ‘favorite antique sewing machine! It resembles my Wilcox and Gibbs antique machine….that sews a chain stitch and uses no bobbin! Old machines are great!
    All of your studio is soooooo nice! So organized with all the drawers! None of it is a ‘splurge’, it is all “necessary” to make it so wonderful!
    Enjoy!! Sylvia

  17. What a wonderful tour of your sewing room…it is beautiful. I especially like the little green carry-all….I am now searching for one to use in my sewing room. I am also anxious to see your new book #5 with the pattern that you are creating. I am enrolled in your jelly roll class and am having a wonderful time creating with the fabrics that I have ordered. Thanks for all of your sharing.

    • Hi Dorothy! That nifty little green carry-all was a find at JoAnns and I believe they have them. Use a coupon and get them on sale!

  18. Thank you for opening the cabinet doors and drawers to help beginners like me begin to make sense of how to store (and find) all those great fabrics and tools and rulers that we are starting to accumulate. I agree with your ideas to make the space a place we want to BE, no matter what that takes. I miss my Dad who died last year and I have a two-shelf stand that I found at a thrift store that used to be in a train station (he was a train buff) and it holds succulents (he was an avid California succulent gardener) in little bird shaped planters (we shared a love of bird watching). That makes me smile and I feel a sense of peace just knowing he’s close by. Thanks to Craftsy for introducing us to you and other fabulous teachers who come right into our homes for private (it seems) sewing lessons.

  19. Hi Kimberly, WOW – Love your studio and thanks for letting us in to take a look. I’m green with envy.. LOL

    Thinking of your friend and will say some prayers for her.


  20. Wow! You are so blessed! I am a little envious of your beautiful sewing studio and I hope to make my dream of one come true too 🙂 Thank you for giving us a tour! It is a beautiful place to escape and sew to your hearts content 🙂

  21. I will be praying for complete healing for your dear friend Beth
    In His Service

  22. thanks for sharing, I love blue and white–it makes me happy. I can dream, at least I can keep my room organized.

  23. Kimberly – thanks for part two! It was very interesting to see how you have organized your space and to see your collectibles. It is a privilege to pray for your friend Beth…believing in the best outcome for her!

  24. Kimberly, many thanks for sharing your new studio space. Stunning and so well planned. I’m green with envy!
    Special prayers for your friend as she continues her brave battle and for all of those close to her.

  25. So beautiful and nicely organized! What a joy it must be to sew in such a wonderful atmosphere! Thank you for sharing with us, Kimberly.

  26. Hi Kimberly
    Congrats, a beautiful place to work, really enjoy it.The place for every special stuff is amazing,I notice you have a lot of years making this complete sewing studio.thanks for sharing with us your treasure

  27. Loved your tour Kimberly. Sending good vibes to you and your dear friend. Loved your recent class on Craftsy especially all your accuracy tips. I have ordered your special ruler and will try it for myself and share it with my customers too as well as your books and Craftsy Classes. We are so fortunate to have the internet so that our world can be smaller and more integrated.

  28. Me parece una habitación fantástica , me encantaría poder hacer en mi casa una igual , espero , en un futuro hacer algo parecido ,gracias por la idea , me parece estupenda

  29. Kimberly – Thank you for sharing your studio with us, it is a wonderful space. I am moving on December 1st and will have my own little space and your pictures have inspired me. Your friend is in my prayers. Have a wonderful holiday season; be safe. Laurie

  30. Love your studio – so perfect! I loved your ruler storage – mine are lumped together and I can’t find a thing – some rulers I bought twice!! Thanks for sharing!

  31. I loved the tour! I just purchased the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000 and having a great time learning about the machine. Would love to have a place that is so organized. Maybe when I get a bigger room. You have given me a lot of new ideas and they are very helpful. I have also enjoyed your program on Magical Jelly Roll Quilts. I am working on the Holly Goose Chase quilt and find the part on making flying geese very helpful. Thank You So Much.

  32. Kimberly, Prayers for Beth have been sent up. So hard to have such a long time friend go through so much.
    I’m sure it means a great deal to her to have you in her life. Thank you for taking time out time out to update
    us on your studio tour with this second session. It is truly a dream. As much as you have moved, this looks like a thank you from your hubby! Thank you for sharing all your tips and storage solutions–well thought out. Your reflections
    on your new space and how the waning November sunlight pours into your sewing room is so nice. The sunset
    was icing on the cake! I’ve loved your class on Craftsy too. I’m busy working through the projects. Hope to see a new Craftsy class in the future featuring your new sewing room? Work hard on book #5, we are patiently waiting!! Have a Blessed Thanksgiving and a Joyful Christmas.

  33. I enjoyed the first peek at your studio and really love the second look also. It’s always fun to see how some people organize and utilize space. I’m jealous! Hopefully my space will get done this year. We have been converting a country school house into our soon to be new home. I will then have my own sewing room. Can’t wait. Enjoy your space and happy quilting.

  34. Loved the idea of using the sinks back to back and the tilt down drawers work just fine for storing small objects. One of my sewing machines has such a drawer. Thanks for the tour I enjoyed it. As an 11 year cancer survivor, I took one day at a time and always looked forward to tomorrow. Best friends are forever. God Bless you both.

  35. Hey Kimberly!
    thanks for sharing! simply gorgeous. still waiting for another crafsty class, You are a wonderful teacher. can’ wait for the new book.

  36. Nothing like designing your own sewing space!!! I think I especially love the roll-out drawers with the thread. Although you have them on the bottom. How convenient is that? My sister has a similar graduated holder mounted on the wall. Right now, I have mine in a plastic bin that is the right height for the large cones. Working on redoing the basement as a sewing room. I came across an incredibly neat idea… using the steps as storage! Remove the riser front board and attach it to a drawer (not unlike a kitchen cabinet drawer). Depending on the stairs, you would have to figure out how to attach the piece that the drawer slides on, but what an awesome way to utilize wasted space! First, remove the old shag carpet… ugh!

  37. Part 1 was great to see of your new studio, but part 2 was definately worth the wait to see all of your organization of the many tools we quilters need. I too am sooo envious, what a great place to be able to create in. Thanks for sharing with us! I will keep your friend Beth in my prayers.

  38. I am glad to see someone else who has as many rulers as I do. I am a quilt tool hoarder…can’t have too many scissors, rulers, or threads. Love your studio, and the little kitty in the cupboard. Prayers for your friend Beth and thanks for sharing.

  39. Thanks so much for the studio tour. My husband and I moved 4 times in his 8 years in the USAF. You made my day when you admitted to not having enough room for all your fabric in your beautiful studio. I am constantly getting in trouble for stashing my fabric around the house. I have a great sewing room that just isn’t big enough to hold all the fabric treasures I find. (Well maybe I have a few UFOs too!) Thank you so much for sharing. I will prayer for you friend Beth and her cancer battle.

  40. What a super Quilt Studio. Since we became Empty Nesters, I’ve taken over the second bedroom for my little quilting haven. Every home should have one – ideally, one as lovely as yours. God bless and thanks for inviting us to see your lovely haven. I will keep Beth in my prayers too.

  41. What a great studio- never too many photos! Maybe if I win Powerball tonight, we can buy a house with a room (or rooms!) that I can convert into a studio like that! Best wishes for your friend Beth. I, too, have gone through chemo and it is no fun, but I’m glad to hear that the chemo seems to be doing the trick.

  42. Thanks for sharing your new sewing studio. It was great to see it. Loved what you have done with it.
    Will keep Beth in my prayers. I had just started to organize my sewing room and had everything out in the middle of the floor when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma stage IV and immediately started chemo in 2011 and this year is maintenance and next year is the last year for maintenance. Am doing well but the sewing room is slowly coming along but am looking to having it done.

  43. Love your new digs. Are you going to be giving any classes in the Virginia, DC, Maryland area? Hope you are enjoying this busy area. Just did the Quilters Quest a few weeks ago. We were on a bus tour from Mt. Airey, MD and managed to visited all of the shops on the Quest.

    • Hi Carolyn – I’m not scheduled to teach here in the DC metro area in the near future, but you just never know! That Quilter’s Quest sounds like a blast! Someday, I’d love to do one of those myself! Hope our paths cross in person in the future…..

  44. Your new studio is gorgeous and that sunset is to die for. Thanks for sharing it with us. I love your class and hope to see more of your work in your new book. Happy quilting Diane!!!

  45. Kimberly,
    Do you know the dimensions of your room? I hope to retire later this year and I have been saving to build a separate sewing house. I like the layout of your room and thought it gives great idea of how I could arrange mine. I love your craftsy classes and can’t wait for more.

  46. I came across your quilting studio photos on Pinterest. Looking at the photos gave me some ideas of what I could pull into my sewing room. I too have collected a few items while in the Air Force living in England and then at Ramstein. All except one piece of furniture came from Germany. I do have items that are stored away that could be hung on the walls though.
    Thanks for sharing the photos.

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