Ann’s Quilt Studio Remodel – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote Part 1 about starting a major redo of my quilt studio to accommodate a newly acquired, used Handi-Quilter 16 mid-arm quilting machine. This installment will include starting the purging process and choosing colors, flooring, and paint. I have come to realize that the proportion of mental and physical effort expended to go through my fabric and supplies, edit what I will keep, and get rid of the excess will be much greater than what is required for redecorating. To honestly reflect the degree of editing needed, I will share with you photos of my out of control clutter.

Before Photos
First, I will show the existing room on tidy Good Days and messy Bad Days. To be honest, the Bad Days were becoming more common, if not seemingly permanent. As a quilter who values creativity over perfectionist cleanliness, a temporarily messy space doesn’t bother me. This level of disorder was distressing, counterproductive, and downright embarrassing. I decided it was time to unclutter my workspace before someone did a reality TV show intervention!

                        Good Day                                                 Bad Day





Feeling better about your clutter? I bet most of you are thinking “Wow, my mess isn’t that bad!”

Emptying the Room
I had accumulated a huge amount of stuff in my sewing room over the years! When I emptied it, I completely filled my daughter’s room (she currently lives in Colorado), out into the hallway, and part of our bedroom with fabric, storage boxes, books, binders, and batting, etc.


The first few days were spent carefully editing everything. Having an audible book called Unstuff your Life by Andrew Mellen playing as I worked helped me with getting rid of things; it was like having a life coach there to guide and cheer me on. I did fill a few bags with fabric odds and ends and gathered fabric for a dozen charity quilt kits to donate. Admittedly, after a few days of conscientious purging, I gave up and moved things quickly to empty the room for painting. I will have to resume the process before things are moved back in.

Part of a Bigger Goal
My family’s goal for the summer is to unclutter our whole house and have a garage sale in August. We recently cleaned and organized the pantry, countertops, and all the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, following the guidelines in the book: “Everything has a home” and “Like with like”. The results were amazing! The kitchen is a joy to work in with less clutter, I know what I have, and everything is in its place.

Yes, I do plan to sell fabric and supplies not deemed worthy of keeping at the garage sale … but it may be painful!  I hope to raise enough money to pay for the carpet tiles for my quilt studio flooring.

Color Scheme
The plan was to decorate based on a gold, cream, and black fabric collection I had for years or a more contemporary pallete of yellow, gray, white and black. The deciding factor was finding a vinyl tablecloth on a roll that was white with yellow polka dots; it will look great on the 12 feet of tables for my sewing machine and ironing board. I chose a medium gray paint for the walls and a bright white for the ceiling.


I picked FLOR modular carpet tiles originally to go with the gold, cream, and black fabrics but will reassess my tile choices to go with the yellow, gray, white and black. The carpet tiles below are small samples; the size of each tile is a little less than 20″ square.

Here again is my Boston Commons floor design with the FLOR carpet tiles:

In Part 3, I will hopefully show you the finished quilt studio, although it may still be a work in progress!

P.S. Did I tell you I also plan to bring my scrapbook supplies and rubber stamps for making greeting cards in from the garage to my desk area?

I would appreciate any uncluttering sayings, techniques, resources, and experiences you have to help with the purging process…I will need all the help I can get!






  1. Susan - August 16, 2013

    WOW you are undertaking quite the project! You have already made so much progress, I’m sure that must feel good.
    I love your color scheme. I just recently completed a black/gray/yellow sampler. I am absolutely in love with that color combo, it’s somehow both trendy and classic!

  2. Patti - August 16, 2013

    WOW! Your amazing – I wish I had that much will power! Great job!

  3. Lydia - August 16, 2013

    At least you had a place to empty into— I am doing the same thing (purging/sorting) but have to leave everything in the room–one thing I found was the way to fold all the fabric the same by turningturning– I found it on Pinterest –

  4. Marvel - August 16, 2013

    I too am in the middle of a room redo – actually we just moved from SD to CA and the master bedroom has been designated as my craft room. It is 12 X 13 one wall is all closet. I have 4 cloth hanging shoe holders full of fabric and cubes full also. Moved 17 tubs of fabric = CRAZY!! The walls were painted yellow and new wood flooring will be laid next week. Am excited to see how it all turns out!

  5. Ceil - August 16, 2013

    Love this redo! But, honestly, I think you have the “good days” and “bad days” reversed! 🙂

  6. jenna - August 19, 2013

    wow Ann great progress! I bet it feels good to purge and clean.

  7. JoAnne Bell - August 27, 2013

    My sewing room is just as bad, if not worse. What I have discovered is that much of it is “other”. Clothing to be repaired, need stuff for crafts and craft shows, etc. So no space to work on quilts and machine embroidering. Am slowly organizing like things into appropriate-sized, clear boxes, and finding other homes for “other” things.