Organize your sewing room with these out-of-the-box ideas. Plus, hear an interview with Rachel Thomeczek of Wren Collective.

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Unexpected Storage Ideas

As quilters, we’re always on the search for the perfect storage solution. There are a lot of storage products out there, but today we wanted to share a few out-of-the-box ideas (many of which you may already have hanging around your house or can find at your local big box store. Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares some great ideas!

Things That Hang

  • 3M Command Hooks can work miracles in your sewing space. They great for transforming previously unusable spaces like the sides of cabinets or tables, backs of doors or closet doors, and even wall space into storage. They’re especially useful for larger or more awkward-to -store items such as acrylic rulers.
  • A towel rack, curtain rod, or kitchen rail filled with S hooks can hold scissors, rotary cutters, or acrylic rulers – basically anything that has a hole for hanging. You can also use the hooks to hold kitchen flatware caddies, which are like little buckets that can corral your smaller tools such as marking tools, small rulers and snips, and even thread. Curtain rods can also hold spools of ribbon, rickrack and other embellishments.
  • Pegboard isn’t a new idea in the sewing room – but it can be an important one if space is at a minimum. Pegboard accessories have come a long way – yes, they still have pegs in many lengths, but they also have mesh baskets and shelves in a variety of shapes and sizes, and even magnetic storage, which means you can customize your wall space to hold exactly the tools you need. We like the idea of putting a pegboard above your workspace to hold your most used supplies like rotary cutters, rulers, fusibles, and threads

Things That Sit

  •  A wine rack is the perfect option for holding rolls of fusibles, interfacing, and small batting scraps. The spaces in the wine rack can each hold multiple rolls, so you’re not wasting any space!
  • A paper towel holder is also the perfect holder for a fusible. Fusible can sit on the roll and you can pull it out as you would a paper towel to cut off what you need! You can also use the same method for rolls of ribbon or rickrack.
  • Another common kitchen tool to use in your sewing space is a spice rack. The empty spice jars can help organize buttons or beads by color or size. Not only is it a convenient way to store small embellishments, but it looks pretty on your sewing table! Depending on the size of the rack, you may also be able to fit spools of thread or ribbons in it. Or you can leave the jars open and store marking tools or small snips. Plus, if your spice rack rotates, you have access to all the embellishments and tools easily!

Things that Travel

  • Plastic lunch box sets aren't just for food. Utilize the divided compartments and stacking containers to create an on-the-go English paper piecing kit. Stay organized by storing tools and notions, templates and fabric pieces, and basted hexagons in dedicated spaces.
  • A magnetic tray, usually found at hardware stores and used for holding nails or screws, is also a great on-the-go holder. Because it’s magnetic, it will hold snips, needles, metal bobbins, pins, clips, metal thimbles, and any other metal tool tight in place, so you can move your project’s tools with you no matter where you travel.
  • A clear plastic bead organizer makes great storage for your machine’s feet and parts. Each small compartment can be filled with the parts then labeled, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Because the container is made of plastic, you can easily place it in a drawer, or stack if with your other storage containers. And they’re available in many sizes, so you should be able to find the perfect one for your needs!
  • 3-Ring Binders with plastic inserts can hold fabric panels or even small acrylic rulers. Many times a fabric panel can get lost in your other fabric, so keeping them separate and in clear plastic sleeves allows you to flip through the panels when deciding which one to use. If you’re storing acrylic rulers in the sleeves, make sure to also include the instructions in the same sleeve so you remember what they’re used for. When not in use, the binder can be stored in a drawer or on a shelf.

Behind-the-Scenes from the Crafts Lab

Elizabeth and Lindsay talk about their staff's recent trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri. They talk about their tour of the warehouse, the different stores and restaurants in town, and what they purchased on their shopping trip.

Quilting Changes Everything with Alison

Alison Gamm, the design of Quilts & More, shares stories of quilters making a difference in their communities. The first story is from the Curry Costal Pilot. Members of the Brookings Emblem Club #256 in Oregon just completed their 4th annual Quilt Giving Project. The group has donated around 400 quilts in the past 4 years. Quilts go to places such as a child abuse intervention center, a shelter for battered women, and police and sheriff departments. The quilts and blankets given to law enforcement are "for deputies to put in their patrol vehicles and give out to kids who we come in contact with who are innocent victims of domestic abuse, or any other tragic events".

The next story is from the Richmond Register. Earlier this year, it was reported that there are nearly 10,000 youth in Kentucky that are in the foster care system. This is a staggering number, and with holidays around the corner, it’s a lot of kids without permanent homes and families to celebrate with. The CASA of Madison County Quilt Project is an initiative that provides handmade quilts to children in the foster care system. The program was started in January of this year by Ruth Hawkins, whose goal is to make 100 quilts by December 1st. She said, “The primary objective is for each child being served by CASA in the county to receive a handmade quilt as a Christmas present.”

Getting Sewcial with Jess

On today's show, Jess Zeigler of Threaded Quilting Studio chats with Rachel Thomeczek of Wren Collective. Rachel started quilting in 2017  and is a talented blogger and pattern designer. Rachel talks about how she started sewing, tips for hand quilting, and details about some of her popular patterns, including Ivy League, Rainbow Falls, and Tail Feather.

Follow Rachel on Instagram to keep in touch.

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