Sew Inspiring Rooms {Amy's Creative Side}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Tuesday Everyone!
Welcome to
Today we have Amy Ellis here to share her creative space with us.  Amy and I met a year or two ago through Alpine Quilt Retreats, where we were both scheduled to teach.  You may know her from the blog, Amy's Creative Side.  She blogs about all things quilty and is the creator behind the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  She is also the author of the book, Modern Basics! 

I'm so thrilled to have her here today.  She is an inspiration to me and I know many of you will be able to relate to her space!


Hi there! I'm Amy from Amy's Creative Side, and I'm happy to share my sewing space with you today! When Amber first asked if I would do this guest post, I responded - "I'd be happy to share, but I don't have a studio!" We agreed that there are plenty of sewists like me and sharing how I make it work would be great fun, so here I am.

Here's our kitchen table, which also serves as my blogging/writing space - I'm smack in the middle of the house, and like that I can keep an eye on our kiddos, while keeping up with my commitments.

I repurposed a printer cart for the corner, to store sewing machines, notions, and the white you see there is interfacing. Also in the dresser, I have two drawers, one holds my precuts, and the other has a couple half finished things, and more notions. My method to working in the kitchen, is keeping things within a stashable reach!
While sewing our table often looks like this:

Always a collection of stuff! And my boy, he's the only one not in school (we have 4 ages 4-11) so he often explores the machine feet, or will rearrange pins in the pin cushion while I'm sewing. He's very curious about the different feet, and what they do - the why stage is sometimes tedious!

I stash my iron high, and the ironing board in the corner, opposite the sewing machine. When I'm busy, this will go up and down a few times a day, as I need it, or the family is around.

In the other half of the kitchen we have a cart, that is primarily used for cutting. When it needs to be cleared off, the mat goes behind a book shelf in the living room, and the smaller items stowed in a drawer. I like the cart, because it is taller than the table, and I can move all the way around it, or re-position it as needed.
Now I'm sure you are thinking, where's the fabric??
This was the top of the printer cart a couple months ago, fabrics were falling behind, off the side, I was frustrated, previously, I hadn't really stashed I needed to find an alternative.

I need a new system!

We had this storage else where in the house, and had recently taken it apart, and it was not in use -

I put it on our stair landing. Yes, space is at a premium here!
On top I have bundles, then a couple of collections for specific projects, on the next shelf, and a stash of solids -

On the lower set of shelves, I have random stashed prints, some larger cuts in the bottom shelf, and to the right a scrap bin, and another collection of notions. My current bolt of batting is there, along with a box of envelops for shipping books out.

It's not super close, but it is better organized, and I have room for the current project fabrics in the kitchen. I just have to put things away once I've finished up!  I've learned that there's lots of little spaces to store what I need, yet have it close at hand - I just have to be creative! I hope you are inspired to make your kitchen table work better for you too.

Thanks Amber for inviting me to share!


Thanks for sharing Amy!
I love your cutting table on wheels!  Genius!
Please leave Amy some comment love below!

Happy Quilting!

Cutting, Cutting and More Cutting.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Apparently I'm really lazy because I don't seem to make much headway on anything lately.  I've got lots of projects going and I really need to focus. 

Hmmm.  I'm always saying that, aren't I? 
Well.  I do the best I can.

Anyways, one project that I shouldn't be working on but that is towards the top of the list is my Scrap Jar Stars Quilt.  Leanne from the blog, Lizzie the Quilter, inspired me to go "all out" and make my red, white and blue table topper into a large throw-size quilt.

I had a little time the other day while my daughter watched a show and the boys were out.  I brought my cutting mat downstairs so I could be by her (and still feel productive).  I was able to get a lot of squares cut.

I did the math and it seems that I will need about 456 more 2" squares and 152 more 4-1/4" squares.  All this cutting is really putting a dent in my red, white and blue stash.  I like it :)

I will be making a total of (42) 12" blocks (only 38 more to go).
The quilt should measure out to be 72" x 84".
At the rate I am going this quilt will be finished in 2015.

You can find the tutorial HERE for my Scrap Jar Stars Quilt.

Have a good day :)
~ Amber

Sew Inspiring Rooms {Aunt Polly's Porch}

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hello, Hello! 
Welcome to another addition of

Today we are lucky to have Polly here from the blog, Aunt Polly's Porch.
She was so sweet to volunteer when I did my call out for more Sew Inspiring Rooms a couple of weeks ago (Thank you, Polly!!!)  Polly is a fabulous quilter, ultra organized and super on-the-ball.  I LOVE her Christmas Tilt quilt which you can see HERE and her darling little dog, Yogi.  Polly's sewing room has got it all so prepare to be in awe...


Hello!  I’m Polly from Aunt Polly’s Porch!  I am so honored to be able to show you my sewing room here!   My tiny sewing room was featured in the Winter 2012 Studios magazine by Interweave,

          so I can share some photos here that didn’t make the final cut there!
I will admit it - I am an organization freak…and that’s a good thing when you have as much sewing and quilting stuff as I do in a room that is 10’ by 12’ in size!

I am lucky to have a nice wall-to-wall closet in the room, to house my rather large stash.  I use grey metal shelves in the closet for stacking/sorting my fabrics.

I have a nice bookshelf I bought at Target with all my quilting and sewing books and notebooks from classes, as well as, sewing machine manuals.
But I really love the white plastic rolling chests of drawers for storage that are available in so many sizes and shapes and are so reasonably priced at local stores.

I have this set right next to me with all my sewing machine feet, threads, notions, buttons and other supplies within close reach!

I use this double tall stack of drawers for organizing my many patterns, buttons, stabilizers,and embroidery supplies. Next to those tall stacked drawers is a black metal shelf with my TV/DVD on it and I also have 3 little sets of white plastic drawers on those shelves, as well!!

These two sets of drawers fit nicely under the sewing table extension and house organized scraps and other bundles of coordinating fabrics.

This awesome round wooden revolving organizer is actually made for scrapbookers, but is also perfect for us sewers with lots of drawers and sections for keeping our many tools organized and close by!  I bought it at Michael’s with a coupon!  Woo hoo! 

This little black shelf unit was made for media storage and I actually do have two shelves on it loaded with my sewing room chick flicks!  But the rest of the shelves are just perfect for storing pre-cuts like charm packs, jelly rolls, FQ bundles and such!

And this antique wooden cabinet used to have drawers in it, but I removed them so I could use the resulting cubbies to store my fat quarters!

My thread is stored here on the wall using two June Taylor thread racks from Joann’s.  The white cutting table with drawers below, was also bought at my local Joann’s using a coupon. 

I store my quilting rulers in standing racks on top of it on the right against the wall with my design area. Next to them are all my green Accuquilt GO! dies in racks, too.  Above these is a bulletin board for displaying photos, articles and other ideas collected for inspiration!!

So, even if you have a tiny little space for sewing like me, if you are organized, you can fit everything in and easily know where to find things in a snap!  (And not spend a whole lotta money that you could be spending on fabric!!) 

I also have a sewing companion…my little Westie named Yogi!  He has his own bed on top of my sewing table next to the window.

When he’s not lulled to sleep by the hum of my sewing machine, he will be watching the squirrels scamper around below on the deck! What a life!!
Please come visit us soon at Aunt Polly’s Porch!


Thank you so much, Polly, for stopping by!
What a treat it was to see your fabulous sewing room.
I think we all can take a lesson from you on organizing!
P.S.  I love your display of spools of thread and how you have so many bobbins organized and ready to go!

Please feel free to leave Polly some comment love below!
Have a great day!
~ Amber

Sew Inspiring Rooms {In Color Order}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Valentine's Day everyone! ♥ ♥ ♥
Today we have another addition of


from Jeni at the blog, In Color Order.  I've been following Jeni's blog for a while now.  I think it was the vintage linen quilts that got me hooked.  She's teaching {again} at the 2012 Sewing Summit, loves to sew with bright, modern fabrics and has lots of great tutorials on her blog.  I am SO in love right now with her Patchwork Chevron Quilt that she designed for the Moda Bakeshop!  Oh how I love it. 

Hi Everybody! Thanks to Amber for having me here today to talk a bit about my sewing room! I live in a teeny tiny apartment with my boyfriend and bunny, but am lucky to have our entire second bedroom for my space! There is fabric stuffed into every nook and cranny!

Sewing Room by jenib320
Sewing Room, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
My all-time favorite piece of furniture is the antique schoolhouse table my Dad gave me when I moved into my first apartment. It houses my sewing machine, cutting mat, lots of notions, tools, and even my fabric stash! It's sturdy and old, and I love it!

Sewing Room by jenib320
Sewing Room, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
This is my view from my sewing machine. I like to keep my inspiration board filled with things that make me happy: business cards and notes from friends, sweet mini quilts/embroideries, ornaments and a few fun notions. Hello burlap ric-rac!

Sewing Room by jenib320
Sewing Room, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
As I mentioned, the majority of my fabric stash lives under my sewing table. I keep them organized by color in rubbermaid containers to make it easy to find what I need.  Since they're hidden away under the table, they are protected from the sunlight, which can be damaging!

Sewing Room by jenib320
Sewing Room, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
The back wall holds my vintage sheet stash, and whatever fabrics I'm currently using.

Sewing Room by jenib320
Sewing Room, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
And finally, my favorite part of my sewing room is the quilts and mini quilts hanging on the walls. As renters, we are unable to paint, so I bring color to my space by hanging lots of quilted treasures on the wall! And, fairy lights tend to just make everything better! :)

I hope you've enjoyed looking around my space!

♥ ♥ ♥

Oh my gosh, fairy lights do make everything better.  I need some!!!
And, what?  Burlap ric-rac!  I never knew...  What an inspiring room. 
Thank you, Jeni for sharing your creative space with us!

Feel free to leave Jeni some comment love below.
Have a great day!

V-Day {or any time of year} Table Runner

Friday, February 10, 2012

You know how certain colors just call to you?  Well, I was cutting some of these Breakfast at Tiffany's {Fig Tree} fabrics for a customer the other day and had to scoop up some of the corals and creams before they were gone.  I knew I wanted to make a little Valentine's Day something out of them but didn't have a plan in mind.

Of course, it would be in the form of something quilty. 
But I didn't want it to be too cutesy or heartsy {are those words???}
This is what I came up with.

I kept the runner pattern simple so I could really highlight some custom quilting.  Don't you just love feather circles?  I thought they would be perfect in the blocks, definitely keeping with Fig Tree style.

{Kaylene Parry in Lehi, UT. quilted this for me and did a beautiful job!}

I used four 10" squares for the blocks and 1-1/2" wide sashing strips.
(This would be a perfect way to use up some left-over layer cake squares :)

I also used the EZ Flip 'N Set ruler by Darlene Zimmerman
to figure out the cut size of my side setting triangles.
Have I told you how much I love that ruler?!?

This runner measures 15" x 60" {from point to point}.

I have a feeling I will enjoy this simple runner throughout the year.

Happy Quilting!
~ Amber

Scrap Jar Stars Quilt

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Have you seen this?
I thought I'd share these pictures.

Leanne from the blog, Lizzie the Quilter,
whipped this quilt up.  Ten days after posting my tutorial for these Scrap Jar Stars, Leanne had made 20 blocks!  Boy was I impressed.  I don't even have the attention span to do that!

Leanne made a total of 25 blocks and added on a very fun, scrappy border.  I'd say this project is one fabulous stash buster!   I haven't touched my little red, white and blue version since I posted my tutorial -- so I am grateful for the kick in the pants, Leanne!  You definitely inspired me to go on making more Scrap Jar Stars!

Thanks {Leanne} for sharing and congrats on a fabulous finish!

Happy Quilting everyone!
~ Amber

Scrap Jar Stars Tutorial can be found HERE.

A {New} Finish!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Monday everyone!

Thanks to all of you who offered names for my orange and turquoise quilt.  There were lots of great ideas and I'm going to stew them over for a bit, but I will announce the winner soon :)

For today, I thought I'd share my latest finish with you.
You like to see finishes, right???

I talked about this quilt a little HERE and HERE.

It's my Accuquilt Go! Quilt.  That's not the official name of this quilt, but I did use the quarter square - 4" finished triangle die.  It was awesome.  It saved me hours of time and my points are way more accurate than they would have been if I had cut them all by myself!!! 

The color scheme is a little different for me and I am loving it!  My friend Liz gave me a bunch of the fabrics for my b-day a while back (Hi Lizzy!) and then I threw in a bunch from my stash to mix it up a bit.

For the background I used a beige fabric with little white polka dots
[Naturally Naturals II for Red Rooster Fabrics #19039].

And for the binding, I used more polka dots!  I'm one of those people that really doesn't mind putting dots next to dots (as you may have noticed :)  As long as you have enough contrast in color and/or scale, I think it works.
The more the merrier -- in my opinion :)  The taupe/dot fabric for the binding is printed by Lecien, but that's all the information I have on it right now.

I used a Riley Blake solid blue fabric for the backing.  Since the quilt is queen size, I felt really happy about the $6.99 per yard purchase (plus my employee discount!)

My quilter did some free hand quilting on it with loops and flowers.  She always throws in one hidden object, just for fun.  As you can see, we found the butterfly!  Jen Ostler in Cedar Hills, UT. did a FABULOUS job quilting it!  The density was perfect, she was fast and she had it all trimmed, wrapped up with a chocolate on top when I picked it up.  I was a happy customer!

I started this quilt at the beginning of August.  7 months later and she's finally finished!  She's going on our guest bed, so now I just need to get those walls painted, buy a dresser and get some accessories. 
Oh, one of these days, right???

Happy Quilting!