Quilty Love » A quilting creative blog

I don’t know about you but I have sewing room envy.   Gorgeous sewing rooms get me every time.   But alas, I don’t have one.  At this point, I’m just thankful for the little corner of the house I’ve been allowed to take over as my small quilting space.

I know a lot of you are in the same boat with little to no sewing space so I wanted to offer up what works for me and maybe even draw from some other inspiration out there.

Quilting in a Small Space

My current quilting space is along a nook in the dining room.

Our house is pretty open so it’s basically right in the the middle of it all.   Most days I’m ok with this as I’m always around when the kids are around.  It would be harder to sneak away to a sewing room when the family is home.

My husband is a neat freak a little tidier than me so keeping everything organized and not too chaotic is important.   Plus it’s literally the first thing you see when you walk into our house.

quilting workspace

Use Furniture for Storage

One of the things I’ve tried to do to keep my space looking tidier and more intentional is use furniture pieces as storage.   I picked up this teal cabinet from Target and love the pop of color it adds to our house and the practical fabric storage it provides.

The wall shelf to the left of my desk is also from Target.   I use it to display newer bundles or favorite bundles.   It also holds thread and pincushions.  I love the fun happy colors it provides the space also.

My main work space is an IKEA set.  One side is designated for my computer and the other my sewing space.  Those drawers… they hide away a lot of junk!   ;)  The matching chairs…als Target…  starting to see a trend here… pretty much all IKEA and Target.

Since my IKEA desks don’t fit wall to wall (like i wish) I use an IKEA cart to hold miscellaneous items like works in progress, larger cuts of fabric, rulers and extra thread.  Target has a similar one if you don’t have an IKEA near you.

I probably could keep this cabinet tidier by folding everything the same but honestly I don’t see myself maintaining that so I’m ok with a little haphazardness.

Find cute accessories

Do you even need an excuse to buy an aqua cutting mat ;)   Since my cutting mat is always sitting out I chose a color I would enjoy looking at all day every day.   This double sided Riley Blake one fit the bill.

Before I opted for the larger size mat I used this gorgeous American Crafts aqua one.  I got mine from Amazon but it doesn’t look like they have it anymore.   They do have this size in pink.   Or Riley Blake has this cute red and pink option.

Same goes for the other things that stay out a lot like your pin cushions, scrap bin (I’m using a stainless steel canister) and your rotary blade for that matter.

Keep it Minimal

Easier said than done… right!?

I naturally prefer to keep my quilting stash under control because I’m easily overwhelmed.   But it’s also a necessity when your in a small quilting space.   I don’t really have any other option than to limit my fabric stash to fit the storage I have.

If you are in the same boat, I suggest finding a nice storage piece and only allow what fits to stay.   De-stash and let go of the rest!   Are you really going to use up all of that fabric in your lifetime?!

Stick with the Basics

I’m not a gadget collector.   I’m not a thread collector.   I’m not a fabric collector.

I don’t have a lot of threads and the ones I do have are basic colors like white, grey and black.

Keep rulers to a minimum.   Use your favorites and let the rest go.   Or find your favorites and then stop collecting them ;)


While I have never actually done a destash, I have bought from others who are destashing ;)   Instagram is a great place to do this using the hashtag:   #thegreatfabricdestash

Etsy could also be a good place to sell off some extra fabric.

I admit, I also get fabric stash envy when I see beautifully organized shelves that look like they belong in a fabric shop.   But the truth is, that doesn’t work in my current situation and really I don’t think that works with my personality type either.   I tend to have weird guilt around all this unused fabric sitting around.   Not sure what that is all about ;)

Having fabric out in the open like this is a good reminder that it needs to get used!  These Target shelves get shuffled around a lot usually holding either new stuff or favorite stuff.  Since my quilting space is small I usually switch over to kitchen table quilting when it’s time to quilt a quilt.  (How many more times can I add quilting to that sentence..hahah)

Our kitchen table is nice and big which makes for the perfect surface to wrangle a big quilt.   And it’s just behind my actual sewing space so swapping my machine back and forth is no big deal.

See…. these are the perks of not having an actually sewing room… you pretty much can have a sewing HOUSE.    Or at least that’s what my husbands calls it.  ;)


Creative Spaces

I’m pretty much a minimalist and never quite polish off my spaces so I had fun scouring the web for others who make small spaces work for them.   I hope you enjoy!

Here are some of my favorite small space ideas from the web:

A house full of sunshine uses a nook in her home also for her work space.  Looks like plenty of room for a computer and sewing machine.   She is also using IKEA furniture to customize her space.

Our Fifth House took over a wall in the basement for her work space.  Love the chalkboard wall.   Do you see how the calendar is just drawn into the frame.   So clever!

Fabric Paper Glue has an actual room but this little set up right here looks good enough to go anywhere you have an extra wall space.   All the black and white!!   Good stuff.

This built in nook is pretty much amazing.
Rosehops and Petticoats office area is an IKEA masterpiece!   Love her use of wall space to organize all the things.
This is a fun space by hey lets make stuff I could get on board with!   Love the wire shelves for holding fabric.

Thread Storage

I would love to have this thread cabinet!  Not a bad way to keep your threads out in the open.
Portabellopixie uses a thrift store shelf to display her threads.   I love how they are grouped in colors.   This is definitely pretty enough to be on the wall anywhere.
If your quilting space is in living space this might be a much better solution from tanyabrown.com… hide your thread away nicely organized in drawers.   These are similar drawers to the ones I have but just a bit wider.  I like this solution.

Fabric Storage

Love these wire shelves for fabric from Hey Lets Make Stuff!  Look how pretty they all look out in the open.
This armoire – turned – fabric storage by The Craft Patch Blog is brilliant!   What a great way to use a piece of furniture for quilting storage.
How about storing your fabric in a dresser or a similar type of furniture like Quaint Handmade does.  This is an antique cabinet she found.
I love this CD holder that Vintage Modern Quilts uses.   I’m sure these are becoming readily available at thrift stores these days!

Favorite small space finds


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  • Shannon - I too work in the dining room! And as much as I would love a dedicated sewing room, I actually love being out in the open and part of the action! Thankfully, we eat in the kitchen, so I only have to clear the dining room table when we entertain ;) My fabric and supplies are actually stored in another room, which helps me stay focused on the project at hand…I think I would be easily distrated otherwise!! Love your space and thanks for sharing lots of tips and tricks!!ReplyCancel

  • Kay - Love your little sewing space. I have sewing room envy too. We don’t even have enough space to give me a section like you have, my sewing machine is on the hall floor, and everything else is tucked under my bed in pull out boxes. When I sew I have to clear the kitchen table and bring everything I need. It takes a good while to get everything set up each time. I know I would sew more often if it was out and easily available. xReplyCancel

  • Emily - My sewing space is a sewing table in our living room and a work table/cutting table (aka our dining room table that I put on bed risers) in our dining room. I actually love having my sewing space as part of our living space. I like having the kids nearby, plus this way I can work away at a project a few minutes here and there.
    We mounted shelves to the wall above my sewing table which is great for quick access to supplies, thread, needles, etc. So handy!
    Thanks for sharing your space! I love your little shelf with new fabrics!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Love what you have done. Quick tip- comic book backers make the perfect board to wrap fabric. This allows me to shelf it like a book! Just thought I’d share.ReplyCancel

Weekend Quilting Book

Weekend Quilting: Quilt and Unwind with Simple Designs in No time is a brand new quilting book by Jemima Flendt of Tied with a Ribbon.   I was thrilled to participate in this Book showcase as I’ve been a long time follower of Jemima on Instagram.

This book is full of quick and easy projects from pillows to quilts to wall hangings.  Weekend Quilting is full of basic instructions to get you started like quilting basics, applique, and paper piecing.

Hearts on Fire Quilt

I chose this adorable Hearts on Fire quilt pattern from the book.   This really is a weekend project!   I had mine done in no time.   It’s a perfect throw size and ready for gifting.


heart quilt_quiltylove

I chose to use Good Neighbors fabric by my friend Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts.   Really love these bright and fun fabrics in this quilt pattern! heart quilt_quiltylove heart quilt_quiltylove I don’t piece backings very often but I thought the extra fabric added a fun pop of color against the Target Sheet.   I love using Target sheets as backings   They are soft and inexpensive.   Just look for the 100% cotton sheets. heart quilt_quiltylove heart quilt_quiltylove heart quilt_quiltylove Hearts on Fire is quilted with 3/4in straight lines using my walking foot.   I recently got a Hera Marker and love how much straighter my lines are when using it!   heart quilt_quiltylove heart quilt_quiltylove heart quilt_quiltylove

Go grab your copy of Weekend Quilting and sew something up on your next free weekend :)

Follow Along on the Blog Hop

Mon 29th May             Lisa Cox – A Spoonful of Sugar Designs
Tues 30th May            Robyn Shapiro – The Strawberry Thief
Wed 31st May             Melissa LeRay – Oh How Sweet
Thurs 1st June           Emily Dennis – Quilty Love
Fri 2nd June                Samantha Dorn – Aqua Paisley Studios
Mon 5th June              Nadra Ridgeway – Ellis and Higgs
Tues 6th June             Peta Peace – She Quilts Alot
Wed 7th June              Stacy Olson –Stacey Olson Design
Thurs 8th June           Sedef Imer- Down Grapevine Lane
Friday 9th June           Elizabeth Chappell – Quilters Candy Box
Mon 12th June            Suzy Williams – Suzy Quilts
Tues 13th June           Rachel Howard – Family Ever After
Wed 14th June            Amy Sinibaldi – nanaCompany
Thurs 15th June         Jodie Carleton – Ric Rac
Fri 16th June               Ange Hamilton – A Little Patchwork
Mon 19th June            Heather Andrus – Quilt Story
Tues 20th June           Elea Lutz – Elea Lutz Design
Wed 21st June            Lauren Wright – Molly and Mama
Thurs 22nd June        Claire Turpin – Claire Turpin Design
Fri 23rd June              Jennie Pickett – Clover and Violet
Mon 26th June            Fat Quarter Shop
Tues 27th June           Alisha Orlando – Ministry of Fabric
Wed 28th June            Minki Kim – Minki Kim Sewing Illustration
Thurs 29th June         Jemima Flendt – Tied with a Ribbon

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  • Melanie C - I love this quilt so much!!! Absolutely beautiful!!! The straightline quilting is perfect!!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - Love this heart quilt! I can see quilty snuggles being extra good with all that straight line quilting!! I too love my Hera Marker – total game changer ;)ReplyCancel

  • Janet Sanders - This is really cute. I need to check out the target sheets. I am all about the straight line quilting. So far my brain doesn’t want to free motion. I enjoy your IG stories. Good luck on you quilting adventure.ReplyCancel

  • Ali - Thanks for the tip about the Target sheets as backing!!! Great idea! your quilt looks terrific!!ReplyCancel

  • Chris - Very nice, would be a great pattern for my box of triangles.ReplyCancel

  • Kristine Clay - Stunning! I love the directions of the lines and the scrappy amazingness. Just perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki H - I love minis for my sewing room wall. I like pieced backings too.ReplyCancel

Today I am sharing my Pineapple quilt just in time for summer picnics :)  I started this quilt almost a year ago at a retreat with friends and finished it shortly after.   It has sat patiently waiting for it’s photo shoot since then..lol.

With Summer just around the corner it seemed like a good time to share this bright and happy summery quilt.

This pineapple quilt pattern is from Jackie Padesky.   Find her on instagram.

I used mostly VandCo fabrics for this quilt.  They are the perfect shades of yellow and greens for the pineapples.   This really is a fun pattern to put together. The quilting is a free motion stippling pattern.   I’m still in the free motion practicing stage but it’s coming along!   Free motion quilting really is fun!   You just have to give yourself a lot of grace starting out.

I was so excited about this backing!   This cotton and steel pink gingham makes for the cutest backing and really makes it look like a summer picnic quilt.   I used the left over backing pieces I cut off for the binding.


Greens and Yellows:   VandCo
White:  Kona White
Backing:   Cotton and Steel gingham
Batting:   Warm and White
Thread:   Aurifil

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  • Sara - I have wanted to make this quilt for a while now. I love how your version turned out! I especially love the pink gingham! Could you share the dimensions of your finished version?ReplyCancel

  • Samantha D - It’s so cute Emily! That backing really makes it extra delightful!!
    And I am glad I am not the only one that has a backlog of quilts waiting for me to blog about – lol ;)ReplyCancel

Today I’m excited to introduce this fun new fat quarter friendly Quilty Arrows quilt.

Quilty Arrows is a modern take on the chevron or arrow quilt design.  This one goes together pretty quickly using your favorite fat quarters.  Quilty Arrows is great for the beginner quilter.

Quilty Arrows has instructions for Crib, Throw and Queen Sizes.

Arrows Quilt I used Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics.   I had this stack hidden in the back of my fabric cabinet and had pretty much forgotten about it.   It felt a little like Christmas finding this fabric bundle as it was perfect for this quilt design.

I used one of my favorite background fabrics for this one… Essex Linen in Black.   I recently wrote a blog post all about using Essex Linen in your quilts Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Quilty Arrows is quilted on my domestic machine with my favorite multi zig zag stitch spaced 3/4in apart.  Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern Arrows Quilt Pattern

Quilty Arrows Pattern is available in the shop as both PDF and Paper copies.

Fabrics:   Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda
Background:  Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman in Black
White:   Kona in White
Batting:  Warm and White

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arrows quilt pattern

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  • Samantha D - Your designs always amaze me – you have such a distinct style, and it’s awesome!
    I really love the fabric combination in this quilt – especially the dark background and backing that really make your arrows shine :)ReplyCancel

  • Donna - Cute idea!ReplyCancel