Welcome to my Sewing Space

With too many projects on the go and nothing to show that is completed, I wasn’t going to write a post this week. But it felt wrong to miss a deadline — even if it is a self-imposed one. So, when I noticed the soft autumn light in my workroom this morning an idea popped into my head.

I have a voyeuristic fascination with other people’s studios when watching online interviews with textile artists and assume I am not the only one! Recently I was entranced by posts by blogging friends that offered “tours” of their studio and sewing spaces through a set of photographs and am unashamedly copying Tierney (https://tierneycreates.com/2020/12/19/in-the-studio/) and Emmely (https://infectiousstitches.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/sewing-room-tour/). So here follows a set of snapshots of my workspace. It comes with a viewers’ warning that I did not tidy up before I took the photographs. This is what greets you when you open the front door to our house. A cupboard full of fabric (!) and, behind that, signs of sewing activity.

My work space is in the entrance room to our house. While it is a fairly large room, it also houses the staircase and the front section of the room acts as a passageway. It was therefore quite a tight fit to get the worktables and storage units into the remaining floor space of about 5 square metres. The only option for the cupboard holding my fabric stash was facing the front door (behind it is a large map cabinet in which I store finished quilts, etc.) I am embarrassed that the prominent position has not encouraged me to be more tidy. But, as quilters will know, fabric has a way of disarranging itself while one is looking for that particular piece you know is stashed somewhere in the pile of red (or blue, or black, etc.) materials.

Once you are inside and the door is closed there is a little more space. The following photographs were taken in an anti-clockwise direction.

From this view, the screen blocks off the array of fabrics, rulers, cutters, works in progress, clutter, etc. on the work surfaces.

The screen was made for the practical purpose of screening off the untidyness but it does also give me pleasure when I see the light shining through the fairly translucent Island Batik fabrics. If I am working on a large project or pinning a quilt on the cutting table (also made by The Woodworker) I move the screen aside.

So what is behind the screen? Here goes, and please remember that you have been warned:

Then we move to work surfaces for sewing and ironing. My ancient workhorse Bernina is under cover in front of the ironing station, waiting for the next heavy duty project. The desk I use daily holds the younger 1008 Bernina. Alongside is the map cabinet and various inspirations pinned onto a pegboard and the back of the fabric cupboard.

The textile works on the walls and pinboards are part of my inspirational pieces and were not made by me. Here are some close ups.

And now it remains to show some photographs of the top of cutting table. It is customised to my height and easy to move and is an absolute pleasure to work at it.

31 thoughts on “Welcome to my Sewing Space

  1. Like you, I enjoy seeing where others create, so thank you for showing your space. I would settle right in there, it looks inviting. My quilting space is continually in a lived-in state, yours is tidier than mine at the current moment ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll consider doing a post on this in May, I think!


  2. Yes, so fun to see your room too! It looks like you managed to make the most out of the available space. I should put up more inspirational images in my room, I think, I really like that touch in yours.
    Are such large entrance rooms common in South Africa? Here they’re often so tiny that it already feels cramped when you are putting on coats with 2 or 3 people at the same time and that’s without any furniture added.


      1. Ah, if it was a typical layout my next question would have been “what do other people use this space for?” since it seems a bit of a waste of space to only store coats and shoes here. A sewing room is much better!


  3. What better way to welcome others into a quilter’s haven than directly into your studio space nestled within the foyer! A delicious treat for the eyes, indeed. I do like that your screen serves a practical function within the scheme of your creative space, too!


  4. Thanks so much for the tour โ€“ I kept thinking oh please zoom in on that, on this, on those โ€“ and then you did! As others have said already this was a huge feast for the eyes, what fantastic pieces of textile art. Thanks again, you have a beautiful house and I love your studio.


  5. Mariss, love the idea of the small but well organised space and using every crook and cranny to store. And from what I can see, you make it well known that you’ve an person with “making supplies” – love the screen which would be so useful at my pad, where a lot of my supplies are on view as soon as anyone visits…


    1. I have found that a small sewing space works for me because one has to be more organised and everything is within reach! I did try sewing in a larger room for a bit and wasn’t comfortable there.
      Thanks for liking the screen


  6. Wow I loved seeing your sewing space and your idea board areas. Plus I wanted to open up some of those cabinets and peek further inside (I am so nosy, ha!) . Glad you did not “tidy up” as we want to see what it is like in real life. Glad my post inspired your post! I love tours of sewing and artist studios, I even have several books in my home library with those sort of tours!
    Your space looks like it generates a lot of creativity (which it does!)


    1. Thanks for ‘visiting’ and for your encouraging comments about my sewing haven. Do you know that I opened the top drawer of the map cabinet, which contains odds and ends related to quilt making, with the intention of photographing the contents, and then my courage failed me!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so interesting to see your workspace. It makes me panicky though to try to imagine keeping track of so much stuff that may (or may not) become so essential to future creative projects.Its kind of like an ongoing visual juggling feat through dimensions of space and time! Awesome!


    1. Can I quote that last sentence?! You have put your finger on it exactly. It can become like a scavenger hunt sometimes. My archiving skills have come in handy in that I label all the boxes and so usually do find what I am looking for

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am shocked!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
        P.S. After seeing the pics taken inside your Grahamstown house I actually had a rather nostalgic Grahamstown-infused dream that night!


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