Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ten Tips Tuesday {Moving My Sewing Space}

As of Saturday, we are officially living in our new place! Hooray! We have unpacked a good portion of the boxes, are sleeping in our actual bed, and the bunnies are set up in their new space! But since I haven't even seen my sewing machine in over a week (I do know where it is and how I plan to set it up) I thought I would share today about packing and moving my sewing space as a part of Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.

1. Know your moving timeline.

Unless you are a professional quilter, more than likely, your sewing space is not an essential part of living (I mean it IS, but it isn't) so a sewing space is a good option to pack up and move early. I packed up my sewing space and it was one of the first things we moved. (We also needed the space as our "staging area.")

2. Prioritize what needs done before you move.

Bees, swaps, baby quilts, commissions -- anything with a deadline. I finished up my two traveling quilts and mailed them early but decided to put off my February bee blocks until after the move. (And don't forget to update your address with any bees and swap groups!)

3. Suitcases are your friends.

I packed all of my yardage into one of my largest suitcases because fabric in a box can get heavy quickly. Suitcases with wheels are your friends. I wasn't able to fit everything into suitcases but I put my lighter supplies into boxes.

4. The amount of "stuff" will surprise you.

I am very guilty of harassing my husband about his book collection, but packing and moving my fabric stash, notions, and quilts has humbled me a little bit. Even if you are the most organized person in the world (which I am not) you will still be surprised with how much stuff you might have.

5. Destash and declutter.

I have put up quilts for sale as well as offering giveaways for things that I just didn't love anymore. I also went through all of my quilt magazines and ripped out patterns I wanted to keep and threw away a bunch of old issues. Be critical of what you have and what you think you will use (or never use!).

6. Think about your ideal sewing space.

What is working in your current space? What is NOT working in your current space? For me, my wire rack shelving works great, but my plastic table isn't the perfect height and having a storage bin under my table makes things crowded. I plan to move the bin into a different location and save to purchase a sewing cabinet.

7. Project boxes/bins/bags.

I made sure everything for each in-progress project was all in one location -- box or bin or bag -- so that no part was lost or misplaced or accidentally used for something else.

8. Keep your rulers handy.

A long ruler or flexible measuring tape works in a pinch for measuring walls and aligning pictures if you don't have a metal measuring tape handy. Be sure to pack them so that they don't get snapped (this happened to me once, it was heartbreaking!) but make sure they are accessible!

9. Prioritize unpacking.

For me, getting my wire rack rebuilt and everything that I store on it back together eliminated two medium packing boxes, a large suitcase, and a bunch of smaller boxes. Packed up, it took up more space than when everything was put away. We ended up having to re-use the packing boxes for other things!

10. Reassess WIPs.

If there were WIPs that you somehow forgot about, you might potentially stumble upon them in the moving process! I had done a pretty thorough inventory of all of my works in progress, but I still found more orphaned blocks than I thought I had.

Do you have any additional tips or ideas? Check out everyone's tips and tutorials at Quilting Jetgirl/Late Night Quilter!


  1. These are fantastic tips, Alison! My husband and I are not moving but we are going through a very intense downsizing process at the moment and I haven't gone over my sewing room with a super critical eye yet. These tips will come in handy. Thank you for sharing, linking up, and I hope you will have your sewing room and home unpacked and running smoothly again soon!

  2. Funny how timing works. I was just reading blogs to procrastinate packing my sewing space. Going to scratch the boxes and go find my suitcases! Or maybe I should reassess first ...

  3. There are some great tips here - especially the suitcase one. I'm not moving, but going through the process of sorting and de-cluttering throughout my entire house. It's amazing how much 'stuff' we accumulate without even realizing it!

  4. It's been 11 years since we last moved and like Beth we are going through the exercise of cleaning out closets and decluttering. You've got some great tips. I'll add one, if you have someone else come pack your belongings (our company does that when they transfer you), pack your own sewing stuff. They packed my sewing things as odds and ends in other boxes. Took me years to find one of my large rulers.


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