I tend to work better in clean organized spaces. I’m able to focus better, and I feel more energized to work on projects. This would be great except that my studio is rarely what I would consider clean or organized. Most of the time it looks like a bomb just went off, or a tornado (known as my toddler) has just blown through. I can usually tidy up enough to work on something and ignore the rest. Because, really, when my sewing time is measured in naptime, the last thing I want to do is spend it cleaning.
But, the chaos in my studio finally expanded to the point where something had to be done. I store most of my fabric in big plastic tubs, and most of the quilt fabric in modular wire shelves against one wall. However, lots of little projects and digging around for specific pieces of fabric had left things piling up all over the place, including stacked on top of the already stacked tubs. Needless to say, it was a pain to get anything out of the tubs, particularly the one on the bottom.
Conveniently, I had an old door sitting around from a closet we removed a couple of years ago. The door was a little narrower than standard, and having seen a post a few years ago about turning a hollow-core door into a desk, I thought I’d hang onto it just in case. At some point, the idea of making a shelf out of the door popped to mind. Something high enough that I could fit some of the fabric tubs underneath it (making them more accessible), and put my wire shelving on top of the shelf (thus making better use of the vertical space). My wonderful husband cut some pieces of scrap wood for the legs and helped me assemble the shelf.
The shelf is pretty quick-and-dirty compared to the desk that inspired it, but I’m okay with that. Really, I plan to bury the shelf in so much fabric it will barely even be visible. The unstained bits on the edge of the door are where the hinges used to be. And yes, that pink area towards the back of the shelf is Hello Kitty duct tape. Did I mention this was a quick project? Anyway, I didn’t want any creepy-crawlys building webs in the hole where the doorknob used to be. With my studio being in a basement I get plenty of spiders already, no need to provide them another place to live.
I can’t believe what a difference it makes just re-arranging the space with the added shelf. It feels so much better working in here now. And I was able to add a couple of additional cubes to the wire shelving, which meant I could store more of my fabric in sight instead of in a tub. As an added bonus, going through most of my fabric has inspired me to sew more of it up! I pulled out a small pile of “sew up soon” fabrics and left them on my ironing board. I’ve already worked through most of the pile (although some pieces have been cut up, but not sewn up yet).
I should note, piling up fabric and patterns on my ironing board or cutting table is pretty much my version of a sewing plan. For anyone else who is as bad as I am about planning what to sew, might I suggest this excellent post? The first bit is pretty darn funny, and offers a good reason for a little planning. Now that I’ve got a better handle on my ridiculous fabric stash, I just might try a little better planning to sew through some of it. Once I get through the pile of fabric on my ironing board that is.