Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 6: Tool Storage

Sorry I am a day late posting my blog.  I have been traveling the last 2 weeks, and FINALLY arrived home this afternoon.  I am collapsing with my feet up in the recliner while I am writing this post.  It has been a fun trip.

  Image result for image of exhausted shopper

I left on July 31 and flew to Texas, then back to Kansas City, then to Nashville, Cleveland, Chicago and finally home 14 days later.  Phew!  Saw Family, friends, and lots of great quilts and ate some great food!  Now, back to work!!!!

This week I will take you on a tour of my my tool storage.  You have already seen some of this, but as we wrap up this 6-week long blog hop, I will show you a few of the storage ideas I have come up with over the years.

Let's start with Rulers.

Who can resist a new ruler?  Not me, for sure!  I love to explore new cutting and piecing techniques and a new ruler gives me the chance to try out new ideas.  I store rulers in wood ruler racks on my worktable.  The big ones are in a large rack on the left.  These are square rulers from 7" up to 20".  It protects them while keeping them handy.

The smaller rack to the right holds short rulers and small squares.  A bin with extra rotary cutters in several sizes sites next to the ruler racks. In addition, my Martelli turntable is nearby.  This is a great set up for pressing and trimming blocks and smaller units.

To cut strips and larger cuts, I keep my long rulers in a rack mounted to the post just above my large cutting table.

Notice my brown stool in the bottom picture?  I pull that out to sit at my cutting table if I am doing a LOT of cutting.  It is a back saver.

I also keep a few rulers on my ironing board.  If I am paper piecing or sewing and trimming at the machine, I keep a turntable and a few trimming rulers on the ironing board.  It is all about keeping things close to where I use them.

Notice that I have a basket with ironing stuff right on my ironing board too.  Starch, Best Press, water spritzer, and cups for filling the iron all go in there.  There is also a pressing cloth folded and tucked in there when I need to protect surfaces I am pressing.  

Beneath the ironing board is a 3-drawer storage container which holds more pressing hams, a clapper, and other pressing tools left over from my dress-making days.

Specialty rulers and templates I don't use often go in a storage drawer under my long work top.

I typically keep rulers I use for classes in the box that holds all the class stuff, but I also keep a large supply of extra templates in the storage drawer.  

Smaller templates and rulers I use very seldom go in a small bin stored on my shelving units.

They are easy to find when I need them and out of the way when I don't.

Big things too big to put in a drawer or a bin are stored at the end of my worktop or behind my cutting table.

Because I teach a lot of quilt classes and vend my patterns at a lot of shows I have to be able to store things I need and access them quickly.

This long narrow table holds bins that store patterns, class supplies, and vending supplies, below the table.  Each bin is labeled with its contents and I can pull out just the patterns I need to ship or the class I need to teach.  This has made my life SOOOOOO much simpler.

Quilts for trunk shows are stored on my storage racks and in suitcases.

I actually need more room for quilts!

This is part of my fabric stash, by color.  These reside next to my quilt storage racks.

I have this old pie safe cupboard I use to store my light boxes, paining supplies, extra irons, my Brother Scan and Cut and a few other odd goodies.

 When I first started quilting everything I owned for quilting fit in this cupboard!  hahaha

So thanks for hanging out with me the past 6 weeks.  Watch for the announcement of winners of my weekly give away coming at the end of the week.

Easy Binding Winder
Karen K Buckley 4" Scissors
Aurifil Thread Pack
and this week. . . .

A Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle!!!

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win.

Thanks for hanging out with me for this blog hop.  It has been a blast.

Here’s the list of participants and the days of the week they’ll be posting. Click the links to go to each of their blogs below and follow them, or bookmark their sites so you can check out what each has to say every week!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 5 - Thread, Buttons, Embellishments Oh My!

This week I will show you around my thread and buttons and odd stuff storage. 

The first stop is thread storage.  Let me begin by saying I love thread!

I keep all my cotton thread on spool racks on my sewing table where I can reach them in a hurry.  I use Superior Masterpiece 50 wt thread for most piecing and machine applique work (spools on the right).  I also use Connecting Threads Essential threads.  I find they come in many more colors which I need for machine applique and they are a sturdy cotton 50 wt 3 ply long staple cotton.  I don't use them for hand sewing, however, as the twist is not as tight as Masterpiece thread, and it tends to wind up and knot faster when whipping down binding.

In the drawers beneath the sewing table I store polyester and rayon thread for machine embroidery.

I use Superior Thread (spools) most of the time, but I also have a nice selection of Iris embroidery thread (small cones), which I really love.  It has great sheen and is very strong, with great colors

In the next drawer down is Wonder Fil thread in several weights.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE using InvisiFil 100 wt for machine applique.  It is my new go-to applique thread.  I don't need a wide range of colors like I do with cotton, as this thread blends into everything.

I also use Wonder Fil Deco Bob, an 80 wt bobbin thread.  I can't say enough about this great thread for machine applique work.  It is the best.  Yes, I even like it better than Aurafil, which is a wonderful piecing thread.  I also have a small tub filed with prewound bobbins.  Yup, I love them in my 240 and my 440, but sadly they don't work in my Bernina 790.

My serger sits on my sewing table so I also keep serger cone thread handy.  I have basic colors stored in the plastic drawers which sit under my ironing board.

On the other side of the room is a storage drawer with thread I don't use often.  One box (the one on top) holds silk thread.  I love to use this for machine applique, but have a very limited quantity of colors.

 The plastic containers keep it clean and dust free, and keeps moisture out.  I can grab the plastic tray and bring them all over to the machine when I am ready to use them.  I keep a selection of 50 wt and 100 wt silk thread on hand.

Beneath the silk thread is an Aurifil collection of 30's colors I use when work with reproduction fabrics.  There is also a storage bin for rayon thread and extra spools of embroidery poly I don't use very often.  Most are duplicates of spools I have in my other drawer.

Last, I have this old cute storage draw container for odd bits.  I don't use it much but it was my first storage purchase when I was a new quilter, and it held ALL my tools, back then.  Now it holds odd bits I don't use very often.  LOL

As for button storage, um, you can tell I am a bit low on buttons!  Hahaha.  I actually do have more, but they are in my vending bins with other items I sell when I have a booth.  I have been downsizing my buttons for several years now and this is a good thing!

 This little clear jar has a spinner top with 6 compartments for buttons.  I store them by color.

Now you get to see the real me!  This is my ribbon, elastic, and zipper drawer.  Yes, it is all thrown in there in a jumble and I am fine with just closing the drawer and not thinking about it.

I am a bit better with crochet thread and embroidery floss.  Although, I also have bins with hand embroidery projects stored for a rainy day.

Ok, I have a lot of bins with embroidery projects store, and some Block of the Month kits, and some themed fabric, and. . . . .

a few project bins with fabric and pattern ready to go when I have time.  And a few bolts of fabric just in case I need some.  (Tongue firmly in cheek)

So that is the tour of my thread, button, and embellishment storage.  Hope you found a few ideas you can use.  This week, I have a pack of Aurifil thread to give away.  Leave a comment below to be entered to win.

And as always!  Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to visit the other designers on the hop to be inspired by their storage solutions and enter more giveaways.

Here’s the list of participants and the days of the week they’ll be posting. Click the links to go to each of their blogs below and follow them, or bookmark their sites so you can check out what each has to say every week!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Week 4 of the Creative Space Blog Hop - Fabric Stash Oh My!

This week we tackle fabric storage.  I would like to say I am totally organized, but my fabric bins quickly became too small for my stash when I moved from a tiny sewing room to my new larger studio.

This is my fantasy, 

but unfortunately THIS is my reality!

 I started storing my fabric stash by color in labeled bins stored on a set of closet shelves my son built for me.  When I moved to the new studio I lost the closet shelves so I bought metal storage shelves and run these down the middle of the room.  I can store bins on both side of the racks.

I also have additional bins with fabric by theme, reproductions, and batiks.  There are also project bins for storing all the "stuff" needed for a project. . . when I have the time.  hahaha

Finally, I have bins for each Grandchild.  I put goodies in there I think they might like.  When the come to visit they can get out their box and play with the items in there.  They go back in the box when they are done.  I am always adding more things to the box so they never know what will be in there when they come over to play.  It is a great distraction for them when I am in the studio working and they want to be down there with me.

Thanks for stopping by!  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Creative Spaces Week 3: Organization Tips

REVISED Week Three

First things first.  The winners of Week 1 and Week 2:

Week One:  Complete 2018 BOM Pattern:  Cindy Shelley

Week Two:  Easy Binding Winder:  BJ Ramey

Congratulations Ladies!!!! 

Contact me at reeze@morningglorydesigns.com to claim your prize.

This week I am sharing a few of my favorite organization tips.  Here are a few of my favorite.


This is a Pampered Chef kitchen tool spinner.  I bought two of these and put one in my studio and the other out in our RV.  Nope, don’t need one in the kitchen.  I have a great drawer for that.

I love this because it keeps all the tools I need and use most right at hand next to my sewing machine.  I labeled each spot so I can return items to the correct cubby and keep it organized.

Another favorite organizer is a small drawer unit that sits on my sewing table.

IMG_0883            IMG_0882

I labeled the drawer pulls N T R, which stands for Needles for my sewing machine, Tape measures, and Rotary cutter blades. I love having these nearby but away from little fingers who like to explore my studio.

IMG_0884  IMG_0885  IMG_0886

On top of this little cabinet I keep a small notebook.

IMG_0899       IMG_0898

In the notebook I keep track of my machine settings for the project I am working on.  This page shows a Deco Rose block I am machine appliqueing.

The notations show my thread, machine stitch settings, tension, foot, throat plate, and the stabilizer I am using.  I also add the date I worked on the project.  This way I can pick up a project later and have all the information I need to pick up where I left off.  Gotta tell ya, this has saved me more than once.

I am used to working in a small space so I have arranged my sewing space so the things I need and use all the time are handy.  In the 5-drawer unit next to my machine table I have organized more tools I use a lot.

The top drawers holds extra scissors, snips, paper piecing tools, extra thread, and other “stuff.” 

Notice that I keep a lot of stuff in closed cases.  This is so I can grab what I need and throw it in my travel case when I am getting ready to go on the road.  When I get home it goes back in the drawer it came out of and I am ready to get to work at home again.


Drawer #2 keeps all my sewing machine accessories and users manuals nearby.  These drawers are large but shallow, so they hold everything where it is easy to see.  I have 3 Berninas so I label each box and case with the machine it goes to.  It is also a good place to tuck my machine quilting gloves so they are handy when I get out my quilting foot or stitch regulator.


I’ll save the bottom 3 drawers when we get to thread.  hint hint

My best organizer in my studio is my 14’ work top with cupboards underneath.


The drawers are labeled so I know what is in each one.  I have a drawer for rulers, for embroidery machine hoops and stabilizers, specialty thread, fusible web and stuff on a roll.


Specialty rulers and templates live here.  These are things I don’t use often but are too large to fit in my template tub.


This drawer holds my hoops, basting spray, stabilizers and other things I need when doing machine embroidery.   Unfortunately my embroidery unit is too big to fit in this drawer so it sits up on the counter.


I use a LOT of fusible web.  I keep my large rolls and small pieces in this drawer.  I love having different kinds of web so I can select just the right type and size for the project I am working on.  Scraps and leftovers go back in the drawer when I am done working.


This last drawer holds stuff on a roll.  Freezer paper, parchment paper, pressing mats, quilting paper, and clear acetate sheets all live happily together in here.

Yes, there are more drawers, but I will save those for next week.

Finally, I have these great cubbies beneath my cutting table.  The are just perfect for storing my GO! Cutter dies and mats.  I keep an inventory of what I have so it is easy to go right to the size I need when I am planning a project.

 Big dies are stored in those blue bins.  One for narrow dies, and one for the big square dies.  My large cubes are there too, although I keep the small dies for my 8" and 12” cubes on the shelf above my counter top with Big Boy keeping watch on his hamburger, and the sheep!

IMG_0866    IMG_0874

So that is all for today.  Join me next week to see how I deal with fabric, thread, embellishments and all the other “stuff” that fills up my studio

OH, I almost forgot. 

This week’s give away is a pair of Karen K Buckley 4" Perfect Scissors

Leave a comment to be entered to win. 

Share your favorite organizational tip.  Or give me a few suggestions for how I can be better organized.  My studio is clearly a work in progress. LOL

By the way. . . .

IMG_0784     IMG_0786

Here are the owners of those little fingers who love to play in g-ma’s studio.  Of course they are eating popsicles and ice cream cones.  This IS gramma’s house, after all!!

Red heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heart

Be sure to visit all the other Hoppers in this second week of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop.

Here’s the list of participants and the days of the week they’ll be posting. Click the links to go to each of their blogs below and follow them, or bookmark their sites so you can check out what each has to say every week!