Studio Reorganization

Full confession: Over the years I’ve been envious of too many other artists’ studios to count. At the same time, did I do anything about it? Not really. There is ample  space to be organized and spread out in our finished basement. However, due to the many responsibilities in my life, when there is time to quilt or sew I want to do just that, not organize. I would clear the decks, as it were, just enough to work on the project at hand, then bail out before making things better for the next go round. And then, if I needed to take a photo of my work space, I’d carefully crop it so it looked like this:

The Gathering ©Diane Rusin Doran
The Gathering ©Diane Rusin Doran

This was truthful, in that my sewing table was (and is) that clean. Since I’m not an exhibitionist there will be no sharing of what I cropped out, but trust me when I say it was very messy.

Until now! I spent many hours over Labor Day Weekend sorting, purging, rearranging, and organizing my quilting space. It’s very far from finished, but I’m very encouraged by the progress that’s been made and even now it’s a much nicer space in which to work.


I’ll wait for a moment while you admire the fact that there are two flat surfaces other than the sewing table that are not completely covered in stuff.


Obviously, some more organizing is needed, and I’ll definitely be rearranging the layout of the furniture. Here you can see, near the bottom left corner of the photo, that I finally assembled a cutting table that my mother gave me quite a few years ago. I’m thrilled to have accomplished this, as being able to cut things at the right height will really make a difference. It’s on wheels, as well as folding, so it can easily be moved out of the way when not in use.

I also love this little cart I bought at Target. Ikea has a very similar cart called RÅSKOG and it’s very reasonable priced at both places. It’s going to live to the right of my sewing table as there’s not much room there to put scissors, thread etc. when I sew.


Sadly, there’s not much I can do about that carpet, but already have supplies to try and cover the frightening teal support columns with something a little more tasteful. I’d also like to make and install a new design wall (or two) and utilize some vertical storage solutions on the wall. If you look on Pinterest many folks choose pegboards. I’m contemplating reusing/recycling a puppy gate with slats by turning it so the slats are horizontal and hanging things from them, similar to what someone did with the crib side below.

Image source :

Since the support columns are metal some heavy duty hooks with magnets could be used on them for vertical storage as well.

What’s the best part of all this? Hopefully now my work flow will be much more efficient!

What are your favorite parts of your studio setup? Please share any work space organization tips you have as mine is still a work in progress!

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