A few years ago when M was born I had to move my craft space out of the spare bedroom and turn it into a nursery.
But I had to have a craft space. And the only space that was left in the house was either the dining room or the basement. I wasn’t thrilled about either option. The dining room is the first space you see when you walk in the house and we use it a lot. The basement isn’t finished and is dingy and was a complete MESS.
But, Mr. Steam and my mom did an awesome job getting the space set up for me. Mr. Steam even got me some new HUMONGOUS shelves to hold my fabric stash. I repurposed an L shaped desk as my sewing table. My sewing machine was set up on one leg of the L. My cutting mat was on the corner of the L. And my thread, and notions were on the far leg of the L. I had my grandma’s library table behind my sewing table that I would cover with a heat proof pad so I could press my seams. This was the perfect sewing triangle for me. I could sew, cut, and press all in the same space and had everything in easy reach.
I really didn’t like being in the basement. But, it did have one serious benefit. The other side of the basement was turned in to a play area complete with an indoor swing and slide. There was even room for the kids to ride their bikes. This resulted in me having WAY more crafty time. Because as long as they could see me they were happy to play and leave me to craft.
The space pretty much stayed as you see it above until a year ago when I took the plunge into long arm quilting and bought Millie. We had to do some serious re-arranging to get everything to fit. You can see that things got pretty cramped. There was only just enough room to get around on either side of Millie. And when I wanted to piece it was really hard to use the library table for pressing. But believe me, I had waited 10 years to get Millie and it was worth the sacrifice!
I was happy to work on Millie, but when ever I did any piecing or any paper crafts it seemed the basement exploded. There just weren’t efficient work surfaces or space to get around.
That is until last week. I got a hand-me-down china cabinet and 2 storage cabinets. So Mr. Steam and I rearranged the craft cave a 3rd time. And I LOVE IT! It feels like a whole new space.
The two large cabinets were put behind Millie and offer a TON of storage options. I have diaper boxes that I will either paint or cover in contact paper that are storing different supplies. Behind the glass doors are my current works in progress (WIPs) like the tree skirts and a quilt I want to make M for her birthday (more on that later).
Underneath the glass doors there are these small compartments that are just a little wider than a cookie sheet. Which is perfect, I love using cookie sheets to stage different paper and piecing projects. The cookie sheet helps keep everything laying flat and all together. I can just slide in the cookie sheet in its cubbie when I am done for the day and know that all the little project parts will stay together.
Next to my sewing table I have my Cricut which is perfect, because my sewing table is also my main craft surface. So I can just sit at my table and let the Cricut work away. I have a milk crate with hanging folders to store my scrap pieces. I prefer to leave it out in the open as that encourages me to put the scraps away IMMEDIATELY and it also is easy to get at which encourages me to use the scraps before cutting up new paper.
We moved out the huge blonde amoir cabinet and put the china cabinet there. The china cabinet is shallower and narrower than the amoir so it allowed me to move the library table up against the wall. Now I have room again to walk between the table and Millie. And if I need to do piecing work I can just pull it out from the wall a little to use the whole surface for pressing.
I still have a bunch of fabric that needs to get put away. I have ordered some plastic tubs that will stack under Millie. They are the perfect size. They will stack 4 high without interfering with the machine. And they are short enough that I won’t kick them when working from either the front or back of Millie.
All in all I am THRILLED with the new layout. It feels so much bigger and so much brighter. I can’t wait to start working on the next project!