Studio Organizing, Week 8

Posted on February 19, 2015 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio Organizing Challenge

It was interesting to hear about all the tools you are trying out. I had to go look up what a couple of them were!

I posted HERE about using the Easy Dresden Tool.

And while I have yet to take any stitches, I have been cutting with my mini Double Wedding Ring templates. So far, it’s going well.


And all that stuff I’ve been doing has led us to this week’s task:

Put away stray fabric and other items

When I get started on something, I pull things out, push them aside, make scraps, pull more stuff, make notes, fling stuff everywhere, and never seem to put anything away!

That’s how my cutting table gets into such a mess.

So this week, our task is to put away the things we’re not using, the things we’re done with, the fabric we’re finished using . . . store your tools all back in their proper places, file your notes, throw away the trash, etc.

If you recently finished a project, then put away all the extra stuff from having worked on it.

It’ll just make your area a bit cleaner so you have more room for the work at hand.

One of my main catch-alls is this basket where I put all the fabric I’m done with until I put it away or cut it up into my pre-cut scrap bins.


It gets out of control in a hurry. I tell myself I’ll deal with it once a week, but it ends up being more like once a month. Now is the time to take care of it yet again before it goes from bad to worse.

I already gathered up all my pens and pencils I had scattered around and got them back in place (now that I have places for them all after Week 4’s task). I also corralled all my loose notes and got them in my notebook so that I don’t lose them. Now to get that basket emptied out!

If you’re not a flinger and a scatterer like me, then you’ll have an easy week of it this time. I’d like to hear from you either way. Do you fling and scatter like me until you have a royal mess? Or do you pick up after yourself every time so that things just naturally stay neat? (My friend, Barb, is trying to teach me how to do this — so far I’m not such a good student . . .)

0 responses to “Studio Organizing, Week 8”

  1. Sue H says:

    I did find a tool to use this week – it is the tool to make half square triangles. It was easier making the 130 half square triangles.

    I am like you I have to constantly make myself clean up. My niece requested a purple and gray quilt so she picked two main fabrics and I thought I would use scraps to make the rest. Long story short after two hours sorting through fabric I have piles of fabric on my cutting table -pile for her quilt – pile of fabric for dress for great-niece – pile of fabric for new purse for myself – and pile of fabric for two other projects. Doesn’t leave much room to cut out my quilt. Oh well – baby steps đŸ™‚

  2. Meloney says:

    I try and pick up between projects, but this week has been a crazy, non-sewing week. So, it needs picking up.
    this post shows a very bad photo of what area needs the most work, so I hope I can fix that quickly.
    thanks for helping us be accountable and picking areas. it is actually helping me pick up other areas when I see them.

  3. Although inherently a neat person, I make big messes with my sewing. I usually end up with three or four projects going at once and don’t want to put away one because I may go back to it at any moment… Consequently, I end up barely being able to find a path from the cutting table to the machine. So I will tidy up today before I take another stitch đŸ™‚

  4. Cindy says:

    Found a tool, that didn’t involve me starting a new quilt. It is a hand held magnetic wand. I had a long skinny telescoping stick thing, but it didn’t cover much area with a swipe
    I do like this thing.

    I always seem to have fabric that needs to be put away. We could probably do this one every other week and I would still have something to do.

  5. Linda Knight says:

    Keeping things organized is a must since my work space is small. When I am cutting out a new project all the left overs go either in the trash or on top of my big scrap tote to be sorted into the colors and put into the bags inside the tote. Don’t know what I will do when my tote is so full I can’t put another thing in it. Oh well, that is tomorrow’s problem.

  6. charlotte says:

    Oh my, you must have been in my sewing room!!! You hit it right on!! I may have 4or 5 some times more different quilts on my cutting table at one time.. I have a hard time in butting thing back after I get them out to work on!!! Maybe there is still hope for ME!!! Thanks Charlotte

  7. Ranchwife says:

    Me thinks you need a bigger basket for those scraps!

  8. Karen says:

    I ended up using two rulers I hadn’t tried yet, to make an Ozark Star. You can read more here:
    Since the clean-up at Christmas, I’m really liking how my tables are arranged for cutting. I’m trying to keep them cleared off as much as possible, which is making cutting alot easier.

  9. Kathy says:

    Well, I do pick up as I go. If I don’t I have a cat who will bring it to me in the living room. So each day I sew I take 5 minutes to pick up and put away. I have no choice. My sewing room is 8×10 and I have a lot in there. I am making Teddy Bears right now to go with rag quilts I am also making for the kids at Barbara Bush Cancer Center. What I am saying learning to always pick up takes time and persistence. Make reminders to yourself each day to pick up and put away. If you take 5 seconds to take it out take 5 seconds to put it back. That is what my mother in law taught me many years ago. She was a very special lady and I miss her.

  10. Lori says:

    I’m a fling-and-scatter-er…and THEN, I make piles of what I’ve flung and scattered. Holy Moly…I make some terrible messes.

  11. Now this is progress. Your studio organizing events are giving me some progress in getting a handle on quilty things. I invite you to link up to WIPs Be Gone(closes Monday, midnight) to tell others about your great idea – will make progress on our WIPs actually happen-grin.

  12. Barb B says:

    Oh, Shelly, you crack me up! You are a good student! Even if you haven’t cleaned up each time as well as you’d like, just that fact that you REMEMBER it needs to be done is a step in the right direction!

    Cleaning up your studio isn’t that hard–just 5 minutes of picking up, putting away, throwing away, and general tidying up after a sewing session does a world of good! Dig out your timer, set it for 5 minutes, and play “beat the clock” if you have to. Then if that isn’t enough motivation enough, ask yourself, “Would I be embarrassed if someone came in my studio unannounced?” That thought makes me take a second look…

    Last week you encouraged us to use a new tool. Well, I didn’t use a new tool, but reacquainted myself with my tiny 1 1/2″ Block-loc ruler and trimmed out over 300, 1 1/2″ half square triangles. It is so easy and accurate–no wobbly ruler being held over the seam–it locks into place and holds firm. The second tool I reacquainted myself with was my stiletto–Very useful for sewing all those tiny pieces.

    I will use a new tool on my next project, but I’m not ready to start that project quite yet. So, that new tool will wait a week or two longer, but it will come out to play soon!

    Oh, I have a solution for cleaning up your basket of scraps–dump them in a bag and give them to me!!! đŸ˜‰

  13. katie z. says:

    I am a piled and stacker, since I don’t have much storage next to my sewing machine (everything else is in totes in another room). I need to work on the mending and a customer’s seat cushion and I will have doubled my available space!

    I’m trimming down my scraps at the beginning of every month, and the bind is full so I’m hard at it!

  14. Susie Q says:

    I don’t pick up after myself. Most of the problem is there are so many things that don’t have a home…. I did not do a very good job with week 4 so back to week4 before I march on to week 8.

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