Another Mystery and More Organization Tips

Our next mystery will be on Super Sunday, February 2, 2014. Fabric requirements and cutting instructions are at

Resolve to Get Organized this year! (part two)

If the primary use of your sewing room is sewing, do the layout before putting any items in your room. Everything that goes in that room should have a purpose and more than one use. Think about every item in that room. For example, white flannel (or fleece) curtains can also serve as a design wall.

Foldable Table attached to the wall with piano hingesIf you were sitting at your machine in a dark corner before, maybe you could move it to face the window. If you don’t have a cabinet, consider using a long, narrow table with your machine off to the right. You will be able to machine quilt a little easier, and the space underneath can be used for rolling storage bins or a file cabinet. Plus that empty space can double as a cutting table if you don’t have a separate one. Use adhesive Velcro strips to secure dangling cords to the underside of table. If you are sharing the room, maybe someone handy can attach this table to the wall using a piano hinge and folding legs or collapsible brackets. That way it can fold out of the way when not in use. There is a great how-to article at

Can you hang a light from the wall or ceiling over this work station? Maybe this would be a good place for a Battery Operated OTT Light. If you have to use an extension cord, try to use the smallest one possible, or a retractable one, to minimize the trip hazard. Consider plugging the iron into the same switched outlet that controls the lights. You will never forget to turn it off when you go to bed at night.

Where will you put the cutting table so you can walk around it? Would a smaller cutting table work better? A rolling kitchen island cart with a butcher block top would make a good portable cutting table, as well as a place to store items. Don’t forget about the back of the cabinet door – it’s a great place for a pegboard and S hooks. Attaching a metal utensil rack (like you use in the kitchen for hanging spoons) will give you a place to rulers and rotary cutters.

Think about fabric storage. Can you put clear boxes or bins under your cutting table? If you use bed risers under the legs of the table, it will make cutting easier and give you more space for storage. Label everything on the top and at least two sides so you don’t have to pull out bin after bin looking for one thing. Your cutting mats should be stored flat – would they fit on top of the bins?

If possible, hang a corkboard near your sewing area. This can be removable if you are in a shared are like a dining room or really small area like an RV. Use it for pinning test blocks, patterns, ideas and reminders. Pencils can be laid across two push-pins strategically placed. For a sturdier solution, stretch fabric around a piece of Homasote from the home supply store and staple it in the back. (Or use leftover wallpaper to cover it.)

Don’t forget about the ceiling. If you have a suspended ceiling, you can buy plant hooks that hang from the cross braces. Lightweight items such as stencils or templates or can hang from these. Old style metal shower curtain rings can hold together your quilting stencils. The small hangers that come with socks are great for hanging strips or binding and could easily hang on this ring as well.

Can you hang a shelf on the wall above the windows for seldom used large items? Use it for PIGS (projects in grocery sacks), extra batting, those rarely used specialty rulers, your sewing machine manual, button jars, a dishrack, etc. The dishrack can hold little used patterns, ribbon reels, pigma pens and so on.

Illustration of hanging pole between bracketsIf your shelves have brackets, maybe you could connect a pole between the brackets to hang organizational elements as shown in the picture to the left from Attic Magazine.  How about a hanging magazine rack or wall file folder for rulers? You could use a back-of-the-door type shoe organizer (or jewelry hanging bag) to help store threads, scissors, pencils, rotary cutter blades – anything you don’t want the cat to play with. Save the back of the door for two wreath holders. Place a dowel between them to hold fabric, tops or any WIPs. (works in progress)

I will finish this in the next post. If you have any comments, Leave a Reply below or use the Contact Us page to send me a picture.