Thursday, August 18, 2011


One of my favorite art/craft magazines to look at is Cloth Paper Scissors Studios. One hundred and fifty pages devoted to the working rooms of artists, quilters, mixed media mavens. I love to wander through the wonderful spaces that creative people have designed for themselves. I tell myself that I’m looking for storage solutions but really I’m just enjoying the eye candy. There are a lot of talented people in those worlds.

I try (but don’t succeed) to call my workspace a studio. I'm lucky enough to have a spare bedroom devoted to my quilting. For years I sewed on the dining room table. My space is but it’s never going to be more than a sewing room to me. Aspirations of a studio aren’t enough.

This week, I’ve been cleaning out (as opposed to cleaning up) my sewing room. I came to a giant conclusion this week. One that I probably should have realized a long time ago: I have more stuff than I have room to store stuff.

Though seemingly obvious, this notion didn’t come to me quickly. It’s been a slow burn rather than a bolt out of the blue. In fact, this is the third culling I’ve done in the last two years. Third time’s the charm as they say.

I have a tendency to keep it if I have a space for it. That doesn’t take into account that I might buy more stuff or that I don’t actually need that thingamajig. Having space to put something can’t be the only criteria. Am I ever going to return to making Humbug bags? I’ve got six or eight cut out but I haven’t worked on them in two years. Time to cut them loose.

If you want to truly make space, you’ve got to get real about what you’re actually doing vs. what you’d like to be doing. Or, heavens forefend, what you should be doing.

I sorted hard. The baskets that hold my fabric are now about half full. Half full feels good. Instead of jamming in as many books as the bookshelves will hold, I cut my collection in by a third. I got the boxes of fabric off the floor and managed to get everything in the closet.

Having less stuff means more visual space. I like it. My sewing room may never come up to the level of a studio and it’ll never be as beautiful as those featured in a magazine, but right now it’s appealing and fun to be in.

What about you? Sewing room? Studio? Dining room table?


Becky Levine said...

Cleaning my office never feels truly complete until I have extra space on the bookshelves--yes, half full feels good! It means you're leaving room for all the wonderful stuff to come. :)

Terri Thayer said...

Stuff to come, aka stuff to clean out three years from now!

Betty Hechtman said...

I know what you mean about making room for what you have. I brought back a small suitcase of yarn from the Knit and Crochet Show. I haven't opened it yet because there is no place to put the yarn where I'll remember where it is.

Dru said...

I have a sewing corner and have to keep it neat since I see it all the time and with limited space to put stuff, I only buy what I need for the project.

Terri Thayer said...

I know that feeling, Betty. Trunk of the car is always good.

Terri Thayer said...

Dru, I'm heading in that direction. Finding my stash isn't where I look for fabric any more. Still I feel the need to use at least some of it up.
Better go sew!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm glad you can't see my office, Terri. Organization is not one of my best skills!

Terri Thayer said...

My office is next, Linda!