Monday Musings – Our Favorite Things Blog Hop

Island Batik Button completed

Our Favorite things

Happy Monday, and welcome to the kickoff to the Our Favorite Things blog hop from the Brand Ambassadors of Island Batik! Over the next 17 days, we’ll be sharing pictures of our workspaces as well as highlighting some of our favorite things in the spaces. Is it a machine, a favorite gadget, an autograph? When we were kicking around the ideas, we deliberately left it somewhat open ended – it is summer, after all! But I do encourage you to take a peak at what we have planned – and for my part, if you find something particularly helpful, please leave a comment.

Here’s the listing of blogs to follow along between now and July 29th:

07/14 – Barbara Gaddy of Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

07/15 – Maryellen McAuliffe of Mary Mack’s Blog

07/16 – Christine Martinez of Made In Scraps

07/17 – Maria Hrabovsky of Maria’s Quilt Scraps and Quilts For Sale 

07/18 – Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis

07/19 – Joan Kawano of Moosestash Quilting

07/20 – Marlene Oddie of Kissed Quilts

07/21 – Nan Baker  of Purrfect Spots Blog

07/22 – Adele Mogavero of

07/23 – Pam Geisel of For Quilts Sake

07/24 – Bea Lee of Beaquilter

07/25 – Connie Campbell of Freemotion by the River 

07/26 – Pam Boatright of Pamela Quilts

07/27 –  Connie Kauffmann of Kauffmann Designs

07/28 – Patti Bochey of Lemon Tree Snippets

07/29 – Carol Steely of Funthread Designs, LLC

We all have busy schedules, and we all are hard at work on the next Island Batik Blog Hop in August – be we also wanted to do something together this month. It’s a snapshot into where we spend our time doing the thing that we are so passionate about.  I often find that people who are stuggling with how to lay out their rooms find photos and descriptions helpful..that is our collective goal here.

20150711_121111_resizedSo let’s get to it – where do I spend all my time?  My home office serves 2 functions – it’s where the sewing happens, and also where the computer work gets done.  It’s the middle sized bedroom in our home – great light and circulation.  I’ve been sewing for a fairly long time, and I’ve gone from having a basket next to my chair to this – my sewing spaces have had more lives than my cats, but this one fits me perfectly. My husband will be quick to point out that the only room in the house that is larger is the master – and that’s not happening. This is the view from the door.

The bright yellow color on the walls (did I mention it’s BRIGHT?) is Behr’s Yellow Brick Road. I have found that by loading in all the furniture – and using blue as an accent color – it absolutely works for me.  And it’s my favorite color combo.


When I laid the room out, I started by placing my design wall on the biggest open wall space furthest from the door – to gain perspective – and worked back from there.  I hung a wide curtain rod on the wall – there is no window behind it – and then hung a flannel sheet from that. I can place several block sets for a queen size quilt on it at once.  I have found that I hate having a blank white space staring at me – if there is nothing in process, I will put fabric on it until I get to putting the next set of blocks to it.

fat quarter storage

My room’s furnishings are a conglomeration of cast off pieces from when my kids were little, freebies from the side of the road, Craig’s list and items from my husband’s workshop.  The picture at left shows my fat quarter storage (old bookcase rescued from the basement after a decade or so),  resting on top of a piece of furniture rescued from the side of the road.  It actually houses my precut stash (think Joan Ford sizes) and my Island Batik fabrics…yes, they actually do fill a good sized dresser.

Next to the Fat Quarter Tower is my desk, an Ikea find on Craig’s list. No matter how much desk space, I have —it’s never enough. Don’t judge –  it’s not nice.

In case you were wondering if that was where all the fabr20150711_121233_resizedic was – oh, heavens no – you silly thing. It’s here (this piece used to be barn red, live in my family room and hold a ridiculous number of matchbox cars). Now it’s blue and holds the rest of the stash – what’s that saying – go big or go home. I ruler fold the fabric, and it works out nicely for me.  I used to have a giant pegboard to keep rotary cutters away from tiny hands – we’ve cut it down, and now that’s where most of my rulers live.  I love this because it’s a great place to keep my travel cases out of the way…who knew they are the same height as hotwheels trikes used to be?


I sew with Janome machines, and my 7700 does the lions share of the sewing these days. I love having the extra wide bed to work with my quilts. The quilt hanging above was made during a guild challenge  – the New York Beauty challenge.  I still like it (even that cheddar), but if I had it to do over again, the layout would be more interesting.

When we put together this idea, I asked the Ambassadors to highlight their favorite thing, and coming up with mine was extremely easy.


This is a combination cutting and pressing station, and for 20 odd years, it lived in my kitchen as our oversized island. When we redid the kitchen, I opted for a smaller island size – and this came up to live in the sewing room. I have a rotary cutter mat on the left, and a pressing station on the right. It’s the perfect size and height for me, and it’s made a world of difference to my sewing space. If you’re wondering, it replaced and ironing board and a much smaller cutting space.  I positioned a floor based Ott light next to it, and that can swivel between the table and the machine.  The yummy fabric on the table is what I get to play with on our next blog, the Summer in the Country blog which is next month.

There is a closet – no pictures, but just imagine it overpacked to the rafters with everything known to quilters. Oh, and a small sterilite dresser  that returned from college with son #1 that houses my Phds…

What’s the favorite thing in your sewing room?

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