Lessons Learned In My Quilting Space

My Quilting Space / Sewing Room Before:

Organized chaos

Collage of before images from My Quilting Space sewing room

And Now: How it’s going…

Cluttered room with paint supplies - the during phase of sewing room re-design

As you can see, the sewing room makeover is still (just like a few of my quilting projects) a work in progress.

As much as I’d like to start another sewing or quilt project, it’s just not feasible.

I so wanted to participate in this year’s National Sew A Jelly Roll Day (Saturday, Sept 17th). It is something I look forward to each year. Jelly Rolls are not my favorite fabric cut but the Moda Bakeshop and Blog is filled with so much inspiration I felt if there was any way I could swing it, I would.

And, if that isn’t enough, I also visited the Fat Quarter Shop! There I found several patterns – all are free and look like a whole lotta’ fun!

Below is one of my favorite quilts made 100% (except for the backing) from a jelly roll. You can read more about it here.

Up In The Air quilt made using a jelly roll fabric cut from the Hushabye Hollow fabric line by Moda

Design Details

What started out as just painting the walls and replacing the old, tired, worn-out carpeted flooring has evolved into painting the trim, every door (and changing out the hardware on the closet bi-fold doors) and closet. Viewing the clean off-white walls (Swiss Coffee by Valspar), and envisioning a new floor, it seemed the only missing piece of this re-design puzzle would be to replace the window treatment.

Taking another look around the closet began to call out, “Hey what about me? I deserve a nice new coat of paint and a little attention too!” And that’s how one project will beget another…and another…

So yes, the closet gets new paint, a pegboard on the south wall and shelving on the north. After all, it’s getting a new floor too!

Below is a second draft of a very rough design board showing the current finish choices:

Sewing room design board

(Don’t ask me what happened to the text describing the wall, trim and flooring…it was perfectly aligned when I created it in power point)

Man Plans & God Laughs

All was going along according to plan – smooth sailing as they say…until we learned on Friday the flooring is taking at least another week to
be delivered.

Here was The Plan:

1) Finish touch up painting this weekend

2) New flooring installed on Tuesday and/or Wednesday

3) Install closet shelves and pegboard Thursday.

4) Move furniture back into room on Friday.

5) Return to business as usual on Saturday.

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

So now, I have a little extra time – like at least a week – on my hands.

Question: What to do?

Answer: Make that pitcher of lemonade & start pouring!

No sooner than I started slicing into those lemons that I discovered there is enough lemonade here to carry me through the end of the year, with or without a new floor!

The $15 thrift store find from 20 years ago (that received a very hasty and half-a$$ed refinish) needs a total do-over. In it’s prime it didn’t look too bad but time and a couple of moves has taken it’s toll.

Thrisft store dresser painted off-white, glass knobs

This time, I’m going to do it right. Instagram and YouTube have been so gracious. Not only in taking some of this extra time off my hands but providing me with much need inspiration as well as introducing me to so many talented people!

Right now I’m leaning toward Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk Paint

Dixie Belle Chalk Paint

In one of these colors:

The piece below was refinished in the color Mason Dixon Gray. It was finished with what appears to be a colored wax. I love the contrast with the wood tone top and legs. I need to research this further to see exactly how to achieve this look!

Antique Sideboard painted in Vintage Duck Egg with woodtone top and legs

Or, a combination of French Linen and Sawmill Gravy as seen in the headboard below:

Headboard painted in colors French Linen and Sawmill Gravy by Dixie Belle Paint

I think this would be gorgeous with a wood tone top as well.

To add to the mix there are two other color choices to consider:

Vintage Duck Egg: A Grayish Green

Dresser painted in Vintage Duck Egg by Dixie Belle Paint - Image courtesy of Painted Barn Vintiques on Etsyint

And Stormy Seas: That is more of a Grayish Blue

End tabels painted in Stormy Seas Chalk Paint by Dixie Belle Paint.   Image courtesy of Painted Barn Vintiques on Etsy

While the blue and green tones really speak to me, I will likely go with the French Linen and Sawmill Gravy and slightly distress it with a tinted wax. My quilts will provide an abundance of color and texture – they don’t need to compete with another piece of furniture!

If all goes well, I’ll give this little vintage sewing table a face lift!

It’s in dire need of some TLC.

Wooden vintage sewing table

Glass #2

Re-do my design board. It needs a new cover and a better location. I feel this is smaller board – 3′ square – is a better utilization of wall space vs dedicating one-half the three-fourths of an entire wall to be used a design wall only. Over the past year I haven’t hardly used it anyway. I’d rather have something pretty on that wall space instead!

This is more in line with what I’I want to do::

Design Board on wall with pieced quilt blocks - Messy Jesse

But I want a wooden frame border – just like an image I once saw in one of my Facebook quilting groups but I cannot for the life of me find it again!

Glass #3

Spoonflower Fabrics. It’s high time I get serious creating my own fabrics. I’ve played around with a program similar to Adobe Illustrator called Affinity Designer. It has all the bells and whistles I need without the obscene Adobe Illustrator price tag. I’m also using Affinity Photo (very similar to Adobe Photoshop) to create vector images from sketches.

Once you have a repeat pattern created, you can go to the Spoonflower website and upload this image. It can then be printed on fabric or wallpaper.

Here my first attempt at creating a repeat pattern: (Hint: this is not a true repeat pattern that can be used for printing)

Snowman repeat design for print

This one is more representative of a true repeat pattern.

Example of a repeat pattern using Affinity Designer

I have a few more examples but it does not look like I saved them.

As soon as I have a color palette and pattern worth sharing you’ll see it here and in my IG @susanwalden98.

Glass #4

Electric Quilt 8 (aka EQ 8)

EQ 8 Quilt Design software

A flavor of “lemonade” I’ve wanted to try for quite some time. This is a full-featured quilt design software that:

“… lets you see your quilt on the screen before you cut a piece of fabric. Be inspired as you swap and rotate blocks, add borders, and play with different colorways.”

Words here won’t do this program justice – instead, go here to learn more what all the fuss is about!

And sure, I could go ahead and download this now but I’m afraid of falling down the EQ 8 rabbit hole and my sewing room remodel will never be finished! Instead, I’ll save this as a gift to myself when I get this sewing room back in operation!

Happy Quilting!

1 thought on “Lessons Learned In My Quilting Space”

  1. Look like you are in the same small boat that I am in. I am awaiting the order of a wonderful sewing table from a company in Arkansas who makes ” custom sewing machine tables ” he has several tables to choose from and will make the changes you want. I have picked out the one I want and my husband says that he will order it for Christmas ????. Hope springs eternal in the Human heart, so I will keep praying ?? that it will happen.


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