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Watch my live studio tour on YouTube! Plus all my studio must-haves

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Want to go behind the scenes with me in my studio? Watch my video tour of my studio space! Click here to watch.

I’ve been in my studio for 6 years, ever since we converted it from our formal living room/kids’ playroom (click here and here to see what I wrote about it at the time). Now I’ve spent the past few months reconfiguring it a little, to better suit my current needs. In the video, I’m showing you:
• the changes I’ve made recently
• where I sew
• how I keep organized
• some of my favorite tools and notions
• what I’m doing to improve my quilt photography
• and more.

And whether you watch the video or not, scroll down to check out my sewing space must-haves! These are all items that I bought and use in my studio on the regular, and highly recommend to quilters of any level. (Some of these links are affiliate links.)

FURNITURE AND DECOR
Counter-height cutting tables
I bought my cutting tables (two of them, positioned end-to-end) from Improvements six years ago. Those particular tables are no longer available, but these from Amazon look to be very similar. I love the convenient storage cubbies on each end—I use one set of the cubbies for my scrap storage.

Arrow Gidget 2 Sewing Table
This is the sewing table that my machine sits on, along with a plexiglass custom insert for the drop-in area (see below for link to the insert). With my desk positioned to the left of the sewing table, I have plenty of space to spread out fabric and quilts.

Custom clear plexiglass insert for Gidget 2 Table
This is what will make the Gidget 2 perfectly fit almost any machine! You enter the make and model of your machine, and they’ll cut the insert to fit your machine, giving you a seamless sewing surface that’s level with the bed of your machine.

Daylight Company Duo Light
I love the dual lights, because you can position one in front of your machine and one towards the back, giving you amazing light coverage. I don’t know how I sewed before I had this light!

Quilt Ladder
I got mine on Etsy before the rustic farmhouse look was all the rage and quilt ladders started popping everywhere! But this one on Amazon looks very similar to mine. The key to a great quilt ladder is making sure it’s wide enough. Many of them are quite narrow, but I wanted more display space to show off those quilts.

DESIGN WALL

Felt tiles for design wall
These felt tiles come in a variety of colors, are super easy to install, look great, and can be cut to fit any space (I used my rotary cutter to trim mine to size along the window!). The tiles basically turn your wall into a giant bulletin board (yes, you can put pins into them). These tiles are in the “Silver Gray” color.

Mounting squares for design wall tiles
These work great for installing your design wall tiles. (I can’t vouch for whether it will damage the paint on your walls, so use with caution—once you put them up, you may be committed.)

FABRIC AND STORAGE

Fabric shelving
Billy Bookcases from Ikea are perfect for the way I store my fabric because they’re shallow and inexpensive! There are also doors you can buy if needed.

Comic Book Boards for fabric shelving
These are the key to great-looking fabric storage! I wrap all my fabric (fat-quarter size and above) on these comic book boards. (See the video tour for a demonstration of how I fold the fabric when wrapping it around the board.) Then I store the wrapped boards just like books in the bookcases. It’s the perfect system to keep my fabric organized and VISIBLE—because when it comes to fabric selection and using your stash, knowing what you have is half the battle!

Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids Color Card
This is indispensable if you want to order solids online! Kaufman is my favorite brand of solids due to their huuuuuuge range of colors and ready availability (usually … recently the pandemic has made getting some colors a scramble). You can sometimes get these color cards from your local or online fabric shop, but if they don’t have them, Amazon has them as well, at the link above. I actually always have two color cards on hand: One to cut up into color chips, while the other card stays whole (I find the un-chopped card is easier when you’re searching for a certain shade).

QUILTING TOOLS

Creative Grids rulers
Creative Grids are my favorite brand of rulers by far, because they have textured spots that grip the fabric really well. They’re a bit more expensive, but worth the investment! I will speak on the live tour about what sizes quilters really need, but here are links to some of the more common ones:
6.5″ x 24.5″
12.5″ square
3.5″ x 12.5″
6.5″ square
4.5″ square
A set of square sizes

White cutting mat (reverses to black)
I LOVE my white cutting mat for taking photos, and just for how nice it looks in my studio! Mine is by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake Designs. Unfortunately my large version (24″ x 36″) doesn’t seem to be available anywhere anymore. But the 18″ x 24″ version is still around, so that’s what I’ve linked above. Hopefully Riley Blake will put this cutting mat back into production!

Olfa Rotary Cutter
Well, you almost certainly have one of these already. But if you don’t, you need one, obvs! My favorite size and brand is Olfa 45mm, but I have several other sizes as well.

Somolux Rotary Cutter Blades
Change your blade early and often! Off-brand rotary cutter blades are soooo much cheaper, but the quality/sharpness can be hit-or-miss. Lately I’ve been buying these Somolux brand blades—they have always been great!

Ruler rack
This one sits on my cutting table and keeps them all organized and handy.

Clover Wonder Clips
These work particularly well for holding binding onto a quilt before you stitch it down, but they have tons of other uses as well. I linked the “real” Clover brand above, but you can also buy off-brand versions for much cheaper right here (though I haven’t purchased these, so I can’t vouch for the quality).

Grabaroos quilting gloves
I literally cannot quilt without these gloves, whether free-motion or straight lines. They just help me grip the quilt so much better. I even use them when I’m binding. I love this brand because they’re made of a super thin material and have the grippy texture on the fingers.

NOTIONS

Aurifil White Thread Cone
I almost never use any thread color other than white or maybe light gray. So a cone is much more economical than buying tons of smaller spools. Aurifil 50wt cotton thread has always been my preferred brand/type for its relative lack of lint, but I’ve also struggled with the way the smaller Aurifil spools work with Bernina machines (more about that in the tour). So the cone solves that issue for me as well.

Thread Cone Holder
If you’re going to use a thread cone, you’ll need a cone holder! This is the one I have—it works great with my Bernina, and probably most other machines as well.

PRESSING

Reliable Velocity Iron
You guys. The iron struggle is real! I went through at least four brands before I got my Reliable—including a very expensive Rowenta, which leaked almost immediately. But for me, my Reliable has been the gold standard of irons. I got it more than four years ago and have never had a single problem with it. The one linked above is a newer version than what I have, but Amazon reviews look to be similarly fantastic.

Brabantia Ironing Board
I sewed for years on a narrow, wobbly ironing board before I finally got fed up and bought this one. Why didn’t I do it years ago? Yes, this is pretty expensive compared to some ironing boards on the market, but I love love love how wide it is and how very steady it is. When you think about how often quilters press things, it really makes sense to invest in a good, steady board.

Wool pressing mat
I was getting some shiny spots when I was pressing bulky seams, so I decided to try a wool pressing mat to see if that resolved the issue. It did! I love this mat, even though it does smell a little like a wet dog when I use steam. Fortunately I haven’t noticed the smell transferring to anything I’m pressing!

PHOTOGRAPHY
Light Ring
Perfect for lighting quilts straight on, so no shadows! It also does double-duty as my tripod (it works with both phones and DSLRs).

Reflectors
Light reflectors help with better lit shots.

Thanks for checking out my studio today! Enjoy your own sewing space!



Source: https://freshlypieced.com/2020/09/watch-my-live-studio-tour-on-youtube-plus-all-my-studio-must-haves.html


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