How to Organize a Fiber Arts Studio

Organizing your fiber studio can feel like a chore—no fun at all. But it is a necessary chore that will result in a more functional and enjoyable space.

During my 35+ years as a weaver, I stashed looms and supplies wherever there was empty space. Today, I’m lucky. My studio is a roomy, remodeled garage. The only clues that it once was a garage are the large carriage doors that open to the driveway.   It is light and airy—a dream of a studio that accommodated my looms and is now a functional and comfortable quilting/sewing space.

Donna Cooper’s Weaving Studio

 Identify Your Major Work Stations

Start by identifying the work stations that you use most frequently. That probably includes your:

  • Sewing table;
  • Cutting table;
  • Design wall; and
  • Iron

Make It Functional

Locate these work stations in close proximity to each other.   I have my sewing machine, cutting table, design wall and ironing board in a rough square. I can stand in the middle of this square and reach any of them in one step.   With this approach, you won’t waste time and energy walking from one to the other, making your space very functional.

The beginning of Red Squares Reversible Quilt
My design wall is hard at work

Keep Organizing Tools and Supplies

Continuing this organizational frenzy, you can now organize supplies for each of your work stations – such as sewing needles, thread, rotary cutters, etc. Small storage compartments can be very useful. I have a 6-drawer organizer on my sewing table that keeps my machine and hand sewing supplies close at hand.

Smaller Storage For Smaller Items: Make It Useful As Well As Ornamental

This can be the fun part of organizing your studio. Gather up attractive baskets, boxes, decorative tins, glass canisters—whatever will be useful for storing similar items together.

What’s Left? Your Fabric Stash

You can organize your fabric by color, patterns, fabric types – whatever works best for you. I think a quilters’ fabric stash can be very personal. My experience has been that even looking at a certain fabric can be the beginning of a wonderful project.   Let this special part of your studio inspire you and make you anxious to begin your next quilt.

Finished! Red Square Reversible Lap Quilt

A functional and organized space can be a joy to work in.   Developing the habit of keeping your space tidy and picked-up can also help. More than anything, make your space work for you.

Messy sewing machine work station
My messy sewing table looks like this in the middle of a project. I will clean it up tomorrow…

 

 

 

 


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