Come Take a Tour of My Sewing Room!

My sewing room lives at the front of my house, in a second living room between the front door and the open plan kitchen/dining/lounge area. It's a lovely, big, long room that I share with Tim, who also works from home, and it's one of the main reasons we decided to buy this house. Rooms always take a while to wear in, don't you think? For the last year or so, we've been getting acquainted with the way this room interacts with the rest of the house, the way the sun tracks through the room, the way it makes the most sense to set up. I don't know if this is the final iteration, but so far, it's my favourite, even with a few drawbacks.

sewing machine storage

I Made Some Changes to My Sewing Room

When you see sewing rooms on Pinterest, you often see everything out on display - fabric, threads, sewing tools. It's usually very beautiful, all in colour order, but I've discovered over the years that this style of sewing room set up doesn't really work for me. And, so, slowly, as I've saved up, I've cleared out book shelves and replaced them with cupboards with doors, or drawer units. I like that when it's tidy, it feels like a clean slate, and when I'm in the middle of starting a new quilt or trying new things, and I have fabric everywhere, it doesn't feel so overwhelming. Also, if you have doors and drawers, you don't need them to be perfectly tidy for the space to feel nice. I try to keep them tidy to be useful, but the insides don't have to be beautiful, also.

My desk is now right near the open hallway that joins the front door and the living area. It's noisy and interrupted, but my plan is to keep my concentrating work to mornings while the kids are at school, and then bring any afternoon stitching I want to get done to the family room where I can be available when they get home. My goal this year is to keep my desk reasonably clear and inviting. Last year, I stored my sewing machine at my desk, which took up a lot of room even though I didn't use it often. I also kept my backdrop blanket that I use for photography out and my clamp-on phone stand set up. I would push it all aside to work on my laptop, and it always felt cluttered and awkward. I've put my machine above my WIP cupboard now, and my photography gear in the top draw beside it so that it's always easy to work at my desk. I hope it works!

WIP storage
Sewing room layout

Quilts in Progress

My green WIP (works in progress) cupboard hit capacity last year and was overflowing. I sorted through them all and put some aside in my pink locker. Those are my 'some day' quilts, which means my 'in circulation' quilts are now easy to find, near my desk and cutting table.

I started buying fabric from the Australian distributor for Moda and Ruby Star Society, and I store bolts in the steel-coloured locker. (I got all my lockers from Mustard Made and I love them!) My daughter Eve has been busy cutting them into fat 16ths for pocket money! Once I have enough prints, we'll make them into scrap bundles.

My design wall was made with these acoustic pin boards that I covered in wadding before Tim drilled them onto the wall. It's the first decent design wall I've had in about 10 years and I'm besotted with it. At the moment, it's storing my Pirouette quilt and a bunch of other random blocks, making it more of another WIP storage or inspiration board, rather than a design wall, but that's fine with me. I've really enjoyed my Pirouette quilt being out and waiting patiently for me to get inspiration for how to finish it. It means I can work on other things while my brain mulls it over, but not forget about it completely.

my design wall
Fabric stash storage

Stash Storage

The white drawers hold most of my stash, separated by colour. The top drawer is too high for me to access easily so it's used for random storage. The next 3 drawers are split into low volume, warm, and cool fabrics ranging in size from about fat eighths to half yards. Anything much bigger goes in the bottom drawers for backings and bindings. Anything smaller goes in my scrap baskets. 

I keep solids and flannels in separate baskets above, which means they never get used! For now, I'm ok with that, but it's kind of an uncomfortable acceptance. I don't like having things I don't use. I discovered years ago that if I merge all my fabrics, regardless of designer or substrate, I was much more likely to use my stash. But, after merging everything, I still didn't use solids in my quilts. So, they sit up there, waiting.

my sewing room
view from my cutting table
my cutting table

Cutting, Scraps, and Quilt Storage

My cutting bench is a kitchen island from Ikea. It's the perfect height for standing and cutting, and the perfect size for a large cutting mat (24"x36"). It has a large gap on one side for stools, but it fits these Raskog trolleys perfectly. I use them for storing my basting pins, glue sticks, stationary, and cutting tools. The two shelves on the other side are great for my scrap baskets. I got these from Mustard Made also.

My quilt storage is my favourite part of my sewing room. I've tried so many different ways to store my quilts over the years, always wanting something like this, but not really having the space for it. As soon as we walked into the house, I knew these Ikea cabinets would go perfectly here. It's the first thing you see as you walk into my house (apart from my quilt ladder!), and it's beautiful. 

I didn't have room for my ironing board to be set up in our previous iteration, so having space for it here feels like a treat!

quilt storage and ironing board station
quilt storage
scrap storage and Barley

A New Photography Area

My husband, Tim, who works full time from home, also, now has this desk by the corner, which used to be mine. I will miss looking out the window at the greenery, and not being the first port of call for interruptions at the door or from the kids, but Tim has several zoom meetings a day, and has to keep working once the kids get home from school, so it made the most sense for him to have a bit more distance from the main living area. 

My most exciting new addition is this Ikea trolley on wheels. It lives to the left of this window most of the time with hats and dog walking things stored beneath it, but when I need a light space for photos and videos, I wheel it under the window! I'm so grateful for this set up because when I worked under the other window, sun would come in most of the morning and afternoon, and I would only have a short hour or two over lunch for photography. This window faces south (which, in the southern hemisphere, means I don't get any sun through it, ever), and gives me perfect, even light all day.

photography window
photography setup

Want to spruce up your own sewing room?

So that's my sewing room! I've linked everything I can throughout the blog if you'd like to find your own sewing room furniture. I feel very, very lucky to have such a beautiful space, enough room, and, after years of trying various rescued cupboards and benches, furniture that works for me! 

Have I inspired you to try some new storage solutions for your sewing room? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Norma

    Hi, I am so glad I found you. I read an article about in my recent All People Quilt Magazine and said I have to check out your “Tales of Cloth”. I am really getting interested in English Paper Piecing and may try some of you designs at a later date. Right now, I am more interested in how you choose the chair you use for sewing and crafts. My husband and I recently bought a new house and I now have my own small room for sewing. I need to use something besides kitchen table chair or a fold up chair in my old sewing space. Hope this was not too long a messge. Thanks, Norma

  • Eve


  • Denelle

    Amazing space & I too have the mustard lockers & baskets. I’ve just moved my sewing room to another room & feel inspired to keep tinkering to get it just right. Thank you.

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