Tuesday, January 4, 2011

... making lists

my sewing space

i really like what jo is doing over in her corner of blogland. i, too, feel the urge, in my sudden need for order and getting things done, to have some kind of master list to manage my creative endeavors this year. but whoa! have you seen her list? just looking at it makes my head spin. so my list will be a bit smaller in the hopes that i can accomplish everything on it. and really, it's actually more of a "what ara jane wants to accomplish this year" list, with only few specifics. so here goes!

  • finish my september [cough cough] quilt for the do. good stitches bee. i have the backing fabric, binding, and the finished quilt top sitting around, now i just need the energy to put it all together. also, the heat is really on to finish this soon since it looks like march is my turn again for quilting. yikes!
  • finish the quilt for my now not-so-new nephew.
  • finish my mini-quilt project that i was so excited about last year. (see above photo for this project on my sad little "design wall".)
  • make my own sewing machine cover. why do i not have one already? poor, dusty sewing machine.
  • make my very own baby quilt (i'll get started on this once i learn the sex of this little peanut inside of me.)
  • once and for all learn to sew clothing, starting with baby clothes. baby clothes!
  • seriously, i will learn to embroider this year. i swear i will. in fact, i just today signed up for a crewel class at assemble next weekend. yay for crewel!
  • finish knitting the cutest little baby hat that i started pretty much the second i learned i was pregnant.
  • send off all my bee blocks on time. i've been good so far, but gosh darn it, i don't want to fall behind!
  • make a table runner. i've been dreaming about having a handmade one for quite a while.
  • make a cute little dishmat (ala this one from r0ssie). i always seem to have some kind of bunched up, sad towel on my counter for my drying dishes, and i've wanted something just a bit more lovely and stylish, not to mention, practical.
  • fix up my little sewing nook (see above for current set up... i am ashamed to admit that my fabric is stacked on top of a box spring with a sheet draped over it and that i've been too lazy to just get rid of that box spring). i'm currently sewing in the back sun room on our main floor, but am considering moving everything upstairs to what is currently my "office" i.e. the place where i pile up a bunch a papers but never actually spend any time in, thus making it an actually useful space. question to the mothers out there: do you think it's best to have your sewing space separate from the family area (what with keeping sharp objects and such out of reach) or is it best to be set up in a main living space where all the action is? having no experience here i'm not sure what the best thing will be once the baby comes and once that baby turns into a toddler.
  • quilt quilt quilt!
  • sew sew sew!
  • knit knit knit!
  • and, you know, all the other gifts and inspiration and various projects that will invariably pop up along the way.

yup, that's a pretty good list to get me started.

color play blocks for do. good stitches

blocks for december do. good stitches. mailed off in the nick of time to melanie at texas freckles. what a fun block to make!


  1. How to set up your space will depend upon your child a bit. Some get into absolutely everything and take up so much time and attention that the only time you can do any sewing is when they are asleep...which often ends up meaning you are asleep, too. On the other hand, I've heard that there are some toddlers that play with toys quietly while their moms cook and clean and sew. I haven't really experienced this. So it's hard to answer your question...but I saw the nice stack of fabrics and could just picture those all tossed around in a heap on the floor from a sweet little toddler. It's a good thing those are up high! Overall, I'd prefer to have my sewing in amongst the action. Otherwise, I'd really never get a chance to even look at it sometimes after having a baby!

  2. Ooh, lovely blocks! And I wish my fabric stacks looked that neat. With the kid thing... I guess it depends on when you plan to sew. I only sew at night - it works better for everyone that way - so it's most convenient for me to just keep everything stashed away in a different room, out of sight (and where the girls are not allowed to play by themselves). When they do get to play in there, to love to pull out and play with lots of mommy's "pretties" (i.e. fabric). Fun, but a really big mess! I hope that, once my children are all older and in school, that I can have my sewing stuff on the kitchen table on the weekends and things and be able to sew while they do homework or whatever.

  3. Love the idea of a list! But slightly scared to make a list for myself. Re: sewing + children (congrats by the way!!!!)...my boys are older. I can sew on the kitchen table and they won't touch anything (they are 6 and 8). And I do that if I'm working on a specific project that I want to finish. However, I'd rather not have all that out in our living space, so my machine lives in the upstairs office otherwise. The problem with that is that I can only sew when they are otherwise occupied (school, sleeping, etc.) because I can't really hear them up there and I like to hear what they are up to. For a toddler, I'd keep my stuff in an out-of-the-way room, and either sew when they are sleeping or with Daddy; or bring them into the sewing room with a "special" area of things for them to play with while you are busy sewing.

  4. i keep my sewing studio in the basement so mary margaret can never get there unless i invite her in (she'll be 2 on saturday). i'm too messy of a sewer--lots of pins and about 20 pairs of scissors on the floor, ha. i only sew when she's asleep so there's no need for me to be near the sewing machine at all time.
    congratulations on your little one!! :-)

  5. Awww, you sweetheart! Although my list is going to be even longer, because you've given me even more ideas... Your list looks just a teensy bit more achieveable than mine, I have to say!

    Regarding sewing space, I found when my son was little it was great having at least something in the family area that I could pick up and put down (at the time I also had my sewing machine in the family area, but I didn't use that a lot). I had my cutting mat, fabric, a knitting project and sometimes some hand piecing all dotted around the areas where we spent most of our time. As the baby has turned into a toddler I've found it easier to keep the bare minimum in the living area (usually just one quilt that i'm hand quilting or perhaps a basket with a couple of knitting WIPs) so that if he does go investigating there's not TOO much for him to destroy! Also I'm actually less able to get stuff done during the day than I was when he was a baby, so it's a bit pointless filling our living area with things I'm not allowed to pick up on pain of toddler tears!

  6. ooh, set up is a hard one. With a baby, you can sew while they're sleeping in a portable moses basket or having tummy time on the floor. In both instances they want to be near you. I didn't sew with a toddler, but my friend does - in full sight/access. She's taught her kids that NO ONE touches the machine but mommie. I would aim for that. So, i'd keep it in the normal space. Once they're older (3 years up) if you want to sew during the day, you'll want to be in a common room. They still want to be in the same room as you, even when they're doing their own thing.

    Your list is great - so many important, worthwhile things. I wish I could waive my wand and give you a sewing machine cover. They're so worth having!

  7. I don't have any available space for a separate sewing area, so I make do with the kitchen table. Usually hubby ends up entertaining our 3-year-old son so I can work. Safety wise, I really like the deluxe rotary cutters from Olfa because you can lock the blade (http://www.olfa.com/RotaryCuttersDetail.aspx?C=2&Id=5). If you want to start sewing clothes for children I highly recommend Oliver + S patterns (http://www.oliverands.com/patterns/). Congratulations on the little one!

  8. What in the? Did you say baby??!!!

  9. Here's my two cents - particularly when they're really young it's probably best to have it where you do most of your "living." You'll probably only get five minutes here and there to do any sewing, so it's best to have it close by. Plus, when they're little they're nice and immobile. As they start to get more mobile you may have to re-asses. My sewing stuff is down in our basement which is sort of a pain, but I am worried about pins and scissors everywhere.

  10. What a great list. . .I should do make one myself. I've destashed my sewing area so maybe a list is my next move! Sewing areas are funny, a separate area is nice, but for me, it makes me feel cut off from my kids' goings-on. So, I have a sewing room, and a sewing machine set up on my dining room table so I can be with them and sew too! My kids are all teens and tweens so I don't have to keep "sharpies" stored well; but when they were little I had a small tackle box for pins, scissors and rotary cutter with a "tricky" closure to keep their curious little hearts safe!

  11. I love to have a separate space for my crafts and sewing. It means I can close the door and lock away all the sharp bits - but also - get some much needed 'me' time without distraction.
    When I need to, I can bring my sewing machine and set it up on the dining room table to watch my boys play nearby.

  12. First of all - congrats on the baby!
    I am just catching up on all your posts, sorry I'm late to the party;)

    i used to have a sewing room that was right next to the toy room - that was great (ideal) but now my sewing area is in the dining room, right in the middle of our main living area and it totally works. I have to watch the baby (simon just turned one) a little closer, but my 5 and 4-year old both know that it's not ok to get into my stuff -- and they've grown up watching me sew, so they are used to it i guess. we've never had any mishaps....

    anyway, i love your blog and all your great projects. keep it up!
    hope the pregnancy is treating you well.


  13. wow, thanks everyone for the helpful comments! due to downright laziness i haven't even moved my sewing space yet, so i might hold off for a while and see how it goes. sounds like it might be best to have it in the main living area, at least for a while. but i'm glad to have the option to move it should i need to!