In My Work Room 1

I’m joining Anne in the first of her In My Studio series.

Mine is mainly a sewing space, but it also holds equipment for drawing, painting, knitting, crochet, gilding, pyrography, pattern cutting, beading, felt-making and photography. As well as that, it contains my old Mac computer, now rather slow and clunky, which has many years’ worth of images and records of my work in iPhoto and a huge iTunes music library. I’m extremely lucky that I don’t have to share this space with any other functions or people.

Visiting ChairThere’s a Visiting Chair, for when the Husband comes up to spend time with me while I’m sewing; he can play games on his tablet while I stitch and we’re not isolated from each other in separate rooms.

Sewing tableUnder the window is the sewing table, clear space to the left for the project I’m working on, and on the right a clutter of tools, coasters for the inevitable cup of coffee, scraps of paper and fabric with notes and stitch samples on them, and occasionally, a timer to remind me to stop and do something else!

Cutting tableTo the right of the sewing table is the cutting table, which I’ve raised on special feet to make it a more comfortable height to work at while standing. Here’s where the early part of my patchwork pieces start life, where I trim out paper projects, audition colours and fabrics, and where my quilt notebooks are assembled. Above it is my tool board, with everything I need close at hand.

On the opposite wall is a floor to ceiling bookcase, taking up the whole width of the room apart from the space occupied by the Cupboard of All Colours. The bookcase contains not only a large library of fiction but also all my craft and quilting books, back copies of magazines I’ve kept for a specific reason, and storage of clothing waiting to be recycled into something else.


Cupboard of All Colours








Finally, the aforementioned Cupboard, a beautiful hand made American oak item which I designed and which was made by my brother in law, a talented cabinetmaker. Inside it’s all cedar shelves, on a system which enables them to be positioned at any level. It’s one of my most treasured possessions. As it’s incredibly heavy, it’s fortunate that it comes apart with just a few screws!

On the innermost wall of the room is my design wall, a flannelette sheet hung on a rod on hooks. It will just accommodate a queen size quilt, which is the largest I’m ever going to make. This wall allows me to lay out the pieces for an entire quilt in one go, so that I can be satisfied with the arrangement and colour balance before I start to sew it together. In the short term, the fabric pieces will stick to the flannelette; longer term, I pin them on when I’m happy with the arrangement; the air conditioning and ceiling fan tend to blow them off otherwise!

So that’s my creative space.  At present, it’s fully occupied with my latest project, the Cloths of Heaven quilt, which my followers know as a long term piece I’m hoping to have finished by the start of May next year. Around the margins of that I have three blocks a month for the F2F block swap, and also a ‘scrappy’ post on 15th of each month.


39 thoughts on “In My Work Room 1

  1. Great to have your own space, isn’t it? Yours looks neat and efficient. What do you store in your oak cupboard?

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a real luxury, and one I’m grateful for daily. I suspect the Husband is also quite grateful, because I have committed to keeping everything IN that room (apart from some small and well-behaved cross-stitch projects)… The oak cupboard (aka The Cupboard of All Colours) is where I keep my stash and most of my scraps. The rest of the scraps live in the book case to the left of my sewing table. Not yet totally out of control, but working on it.

  2. katechiconi says:

    Too untidy? Or too organised? It works for me, and most of the time it’s nearly this tidy. I put a couple of things away to free up the chair, but that’s about it. You don’t get to see much of the wooden floor, you’ll notice, mainly because it’s thickly littered with scraps of paper, fabric, batting and threads. It gets swept only at the end of each project!

  3. You have such a well-organized space, which I aspire to but which is rarely as tidy as yours. My good intentions fly out of the window the moment a project comes into my head. I don’t have a design wall. (yet)

    • katechiconi says:

      I can recommend the sheet on a stick route! It’s just a long piece of dowel pushed through the large top hem of a queen sized flat sheet. The dowel rests on three cuphooks. You can take it down and roll it up in a flash if you want to get rid of it, even with stuff pinned to it. I had it hanging on the front of a book case in the last house.

  4. tialys says:

    I am rarely in a position (i.e. tidy enough) to reveal my workroom to the world so well done you.
    I have a ‘visitors’ chair’ or three but, unlike yours, they tend to end up with stuff draped over them or put on the seat ‘for just a minute’ so no visitor would ever be able to find anywhere to sit without feeling they are creating a disturbance. Never mind 😉
    I aspire to a design wall because I’m going to need one for my F2F blocks before too much longer. I have a mini one which is a 16inch padded square covered with brushed cotton which I use to test the layout of a block and, recently, I have drawn a 2inch grid on it so that I can lay see through interfacing on top, then my teeny postage stamp squares and iron them directly on the block.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m a bit short of spare surfaces, so the chair does get dumped on at regular intervals, but only stuff I can easily pick up and put elsewhere. I used to lay stuff out on the floor when I was single, and happy to walk around it, but I don’t do that any longer because it’s not fair on the the other half! I came up with the flannel sheet option when my sewing room was much smaller, in the last house, and it works very well, especially the ability to roll it up and put it elsewhere if necessary. Clever idea with your ‘design square’ and the postage stamp blocks. Are you going to share some more of those, maybe in the ScrapHappy post on 15th?

  5. Look like a lovely place to be!

  6. rutigt says:

    All in one room, that´s not bad. I´ve managed to spread my hobby all over the house and I still have a sewingroom 🙂 I can see that you are wellorganized and so am I. Or at least I try. Everything has it special place, makes it easier to find things when you need them!

  7. Grannymar says:

    I love that room. I never did manage to put everything in one place, but everything does have a place. My dining table fully extended was my favourite place to sew, the light was just right. At this stage I don’t expect to be taking on any major projects, so my table or my lap will do just fine.

    • katechiconi says:

      When I was single and living in northern NSW, all alone in a big house, I had the best ever set up for a quilter. I took over the open plan dining area, with a huge picture window for lots of light. I made a vast table out of several flat doors with legs screwed on underneath, and set up my sewing machine in one corner, my desk and computer in another, and all the rest was free for laying out and assembling the largest quilt. All round the outside of the room I had bookshelves for my equipment. I still miss that room…

  8. EllaDee says:

    I think a dedicated space honours and nurtures the creative process and creator… although not to say it’s not possible otherwise… so I’m intrigued to see the spaces shared via Anne’s series.
    I love the thought you’ve put into your space so it’s an extension of your life. I love the big cupboard but it’s your bookcase that I’d find fascinating.

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s just one of many… more bookcases downstairs, and actually, still more books in boxes as yet unpacked because I don’t have any more bookcases to put them in! I love the room also as a retreat, somewhere I can go to think exclusively about creative ideas, rather than being distracted by laundry, washing up or sweeping the floor. The other stuff gets done, it just doesn’t nag me visually!

  9. knettycraft says:

    Oh how lucky you can be with that wonderful sewing space… an own sewing room… wow!!!… I use a corner in our bedroom now… no chance to occupy an own room 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I feel for you; I had to work like that all my life until I emigrated to Australia. Here, I have always had a space to work in – it’s a big country, and houses seem to be larger! But I never forget what it was like to work in a corner, and always have to move things and tidy them away. Your work is remarkable considering the restricted way you have to produce it.

  10. anne54 says:

    The luxury of having a room just for your own work ~ satisfied sigh…..It was delightful to be able to see your space, Kate. I have seen your wonderful work appear, and now I can visualise where they are being made. Thanks too for joining in my In My Studio post 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It was fun! Only not so much today, when it’s 31°C and we’re having a power outage. I have sought refuge in the breezy storage space next to the garage, in the shade… Thank goodness for mobile phones and laptops!

  11. At least yours is contained in one room. I have my sewing nook in half the ‘office’ I share with hubby. I also have the Cupboard of Shame in one spare bedroom, a design wall hanging in a second spare bedroom and a comfy armchair for hand sewing in a living room. Tonight, I sit at the dining table so I can baste hexies and watch over dinner at the same time. Yep. Craft crap strewn all over the house.

  12. That looks like a good sized room or else you are making excellent use of space. It looks quite functional and lends itself to creativity rather than chaos. The bookcase has me drooling and I love you stash cupboard. Anything made of real wood is a bonus. I could not contain all my fabric in there. I bought a lot before my divorce knowing that I would not be able to purchase after. Seeing the dramatic rise in the prices of fabric, I’m so glad I did. I’m like you with the need to clear up the space after each project so it’s orderly when I start the next. Order helps the creative juices flow. But I’m not fanatical about it. My room is quite tiny, but I have one and am quite grateful. Have a wonderful day.

    • katechiconi says:

      The room’s about 10ft square, and I like to think I’m making good use of pretty much every inch of it. My stash is not that substantial compared with that of many others, and now that I’m trying not to buy new fabric unless I have a quilt designed and planned, it’s getting smaller! I have very little actual yardage, quite a lot of fat quarter sized pieces and an awful lot of scraps! I would be worried, now, about having a huge stash, because each project demands something different, and I hate the idea of fabric sitting around collecting dust.

  13. dezertsuz says:

    What fun to see your workspace! I love the visiting chair idea. I can’t believe that room is only 10 ft. square. That’s the size of my kitchen, and it is too small to do anything! Of course, it does have two doorways and a window, but still, you are amazing!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m not sure where I’d fit another doorway in my current setup. I have a place for pretty much everything – another ‘putting down place’ would be great, but not having it means I have to put things away, so perhaps it’s not a bad thing after all…

  14. Oh, how lovely it is to see how real artists work. Love the comfy chair (with ottoman) and that wall! That cupboard! One day soon my sewing room will be ready…..but oh boy, it will have a long way to be efficient like yours. And I love that you always have a coffee going, too. 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I have to make it worth the Husband’s while to spend time up there, so a comfy chair and something to put his feet on were a must! The cupboard is gorgeous, isn’t it? One of my chief treasures, and I love that fabrics come out of it smelling of cedar!
      There’s always a mug in the room too; we’re coffee fiends, and actually have a coffee machine in the bedroom. We take a tray with water, cups and a thermos of milk up every night, and the Husband does barista duty when we wake up, so I get freshly brewed latte in bed every morning!

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