My first studio in New York was a 4,000-square-foot living loft directly across from the American Stock Exchange. It was so large that I once rode my bicycle from the kitchen across the room to flip a stack of records on the turntable.
Now I live in an apartment house that was built the very year I was born. How’s that for simpatico? It’s not too small and it’s not too big and it has an intimate sewing room. The previous tenant was not a quilter. He used the space, of all things, as a second bedroom. I prefer to call it a sewing room, not a studio. I’m elated to have it.
Its outlook can be entertaining. There was the time I spotted the window washers. Recently I turned my Denver hotel bathroom into a pseudo-sewing room. The lighting was good but the view was, well, you know.
The empty room below is my sewing room days before I moved in, many projects ago. What quilter gets to leave ongoing projects spread out for days on end? Not me. As a result, I’ve come up with hacks to get the most use of the space I have.
My first tip for saving space is: freezer paper!
I iron fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper. (If the iron sticks, then position parchment paper between the fabric and the iron.) Here's why:
- I can evaluate these mockups and easily switch out subunits
- The blocks can be stacked and set aside
- The units are in order, ready to be lifted from the paper and sewn
- I can travel with them
- A breeze or cat won’t disturb them
- Parchment and freezer paper can be reused
I wanted an overview of fabric pairings I’d made for my next quilt, so I randomly placed blocks on a floor. Not my crowded floor, that’s for sure. I cheated. I used the empty apartment on the second floor.
Tip #2 is: Magnets!
Tip #3 is: Wall Basting
Want to learn more from Anita?
Join us in her newest Bluprint class, Quick Techniques for Classic Blocks: Wrenches, Stars and Twists , where you'll learn easy tricks for stunning blocks.