Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tension Rod Storage

My cutting table, ironing board, and sewing table are always littered with scissors, cutters, TV remotes and bits and pieces of "stuff" I'm planning to put away.  I really needed handy access to often used tools and a place to corral all those little things I plan to put away later.  I saw some clever posts in Pinterest that used curtain tension rods under the bathroom sink to store cleaning supplies.  Here's how the idea and being lucky enough to have an Ikea within driving distance inspired me.

I found these inexpensive containers with a lip that just fits over a curtain tension rod. 
My sewing machine is in front of a window.  I put a tension rod in the window and used the containers I found at Ikea.  Now I have places for scissors, seam rippers, spools of thread, sewing machine oil... you get the idea.
I put another tension rod in front of my books in the bookcase.  I added containers for cutters, pencils, and small rulers keeping my cutting surface free from clutter and making my tools easier to find.  They aren't buried under fabric and pattern pieces any more.  
Not lucky enough to have access to Ikea?  Pinterest has several pins with instructions for making hanging storage containers using curtain rods and even embroidery hoops.  I just used an s-hook through the screw mechanism on the embroidery hoop to hang it over the curtain rod.  I encourage you to get a nice cup of tea, a comfy chair and spend a little time surfing Pinterest for your own inspiration.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Undiscovered Storage

I can always use more storage.  I have items I seldom use, but... when I need them, I need them... so I don't want to get rid of them. Ii have bulky stuff... sewing machine cases, pressing hams, I also have jars of beads and other small craft items.  My solution was to: GO UP!
This is the space above the door into my sewing room.  My hubby added a deep shelf for me just above the door and it's a perfect place to store my sewing machine covers and cases as well as pressing hams.  I don't need them often so the fact that I need to get a stool to get them down isn't a problem.
Putting a shelf the length of the wall about a foot down from the ceiling gave me space to store all the odd things I need "once in a while"... jars of wooden beads, pearls, instructional tapes and DVDs, bias tape makers... etc.  Note:  The shelf is level it looks weird because my ceiling is vaulted.  The measurement is from the lowest part of my ceiling.  (See my iron cord?)  I mentioned in an earlier post that hooking my cord up high keeps it out of the way.)
I have a bunch of mat "thingies"... a white slippery one with a hole in the middle for machine quilting; a couple that are sticky on both sides; some applique pressing sheets;  Store them under your the mat on your cutting table.  They stay flat and they're easy to find.  This smart tip came from my sister, Marilyn.  Thanks, Mare!
I have a bunch of rolls of stuff... chalkboard cloth, vinyl, screening, headliner, etc.  A simple five gallon bucket keeps them collected and it fits easily in the corner of my closet.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ironing Surface

How old is my ironing board?  The legs are harvest gold if that tell you anything.  Since I am an avid quilter at this point in my sewing life I really need more wide surface and that "long pointy end" pretty much goes to waste.   I also needed to be able to move it easily because my sewing room is very small and it stands in front of my design wall.

I purchased a small roll around cart from Walmart.  With my hubby's help we replaced the top to
give me more overall space with a smaller foot print.  The shelves allow for additional storage.

I measured the plastic containers I wanted to use and placed the shelves to fit the containers.  Now all my pressing clothes.  applique pressing sheets, starch, filling container for my iron, etc.  are within easy reach.  

After putting the cart base together we added some extra bracing to the back using some metal strips and plastic electrical clamps.  Chuck painted the metal black to match the legs  before attaching them.

Black knobs on the wooden top that came with the cart just drop into the hollow metal tubes that are the legs.  We purchased a large dowel, cut it into four sections and screwed them into a piece of oak plywood 20" x 42" we already had in the garage.  Chuck rounded off the corners.  We put the dowels into the tubes.  (I didn't think to take pictures until I we were finished so I did a quick sketch.)

I made a cover using one layer of Warm and Natural batting and muslin.  I cut the muslin about four inches larger all the way around;  put a casing along  the edge and used 1/4" elastic for the string.  I pulled the elastic tight and tied it to make the cover fit snugly over the wood.  It's easily removed to be washed or replaced.

Ta-dah!  Because it has locking casters on the bottom it stays in place when I'm pressing and is easily moved out of the way when I need my design wall.  It's also the same height as my cutting island so I can easily slide the two together and have an extra large horizontal surface if I need it.  

Last, I had access to electricity near the ceiling on this wall so I was able to plug my iron in "up high".  The cord doesn't drag along the floor anymore.  (I've lost more than one iron because I caught my foot in the cord and pulled the iron off onto the floor.