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Getting in gear for 2011

You knew it was coming. It happens every year. It might be the indulgence of the Christmas season or the abundance of holiday ‘stuff’, but it never fails to arrive in my house right before New Year’s. It’s that feeling of ‘enough already!’ It’s time to get back to work, to put away the glitzy decorations and clean up the mess!

I’m not the only the one who feels this way. Thrift stores see a surge in donations as people clean out their closets right after the holidays. January is the home of the White Sale in every department store across the nation as people want to start with a fresh slate. And it’s not just the home. People also tend to want to ‘clean up’ themselves! January is the busy month in every health club across the nation.

Where it really hits me is my studio. It’s this time of year that I surrender to the fact that I’m not going to make another fabulous collar like the one I stitched in October, or a pink version of that tan/gray tote I fashioned in August. No matter how much I love that Seashell quilt, I’m not going to make another one. I struggle with recognizing those facts and feel guilty about crossing them off my to-do list without completing them. But accepting those decisions gives me a renewed energy that I’m carrying with me into the New Year.

So it’s time to wipe the studio clean. I’ll take all the fabrics out of their temporary and hopeful staging areas and put them back into their proper color families to wait to be selected for new projects. All the purse and tote bag hardware that was sitting in the jump seat are now back in the drawer labeled hardware.

My hoops are organized and nested in the hoop stand waiting to be put to use. I’ve scrutinized all the saved scraps of stabilizer and tossed away any that were too small for a 4” x 4” hoop.

It feels great to have clean studio, a fresh to-do list and the energy to attack new projects! How about you? Do you go through the same feelings every year around this time? Or does this hit you at springtime? Or never?

Tell me how you get a renewed sense of energy in your sewing room and you could win my favorite organizing tool, the Embroidery Headquarters Hoop Stand.  Leave a comment under this post to be entered to win.

Last giveaway post we asked what your favorite cookie was to bake for the holidays. We have two shopping sprees from DigiStitches to giveaway! And the winner are…SJ and Linda Kwolek!

SJ–  “Having all 7 gluten allergies, there is no baking at my house, just embroidering and sewing. I do remember the fun making cut-out cookies with my Mom as a kid. If Rudolph’s leg happen to break off, we had to eat him without decorating. The cookies were so good that we didn’t even care if they were decorated.”

Linda Kwolek“Sugar Cookies are a must. We start out making a batch for 5 dozen, 4 dozen make it into the oven, 3 dozen make it to the cooling rack, 2 dozen make it to the decorating table and 1 dozen make it to the cookie plate. Whaaa happened to the cookies, where did they go?”

Congratulations!  DigiStitches will be contacting you next week (which is next year!) to get you your coupon codes. 

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  • Theresa Perkins

    I get renewed by piling everything that is not in it’s proper place on top of my 5’x7′ cutting table – go through everything piece by piece – put it in it’s proper place ~ vacuum, dust, take a DEEP breath and then start messing everything up again!

  • Karen Rilstone

    I think this cleaning, purging and organizing is in the air! I have decided that my creativity is being bogged down by stuff, some useful and some not. So just before Christmas, I started examining everything with a critical eye.

    Do you all remember that piece of fabric that you could not do without – 10 years ago. Or how about those patterns for clothes that were in fashion 20 years ago. I am donating or giving away this stuff and feel so much lighter. So much to do still but I feel better about it ever day. And the best is my mind is racing with new ideas.

    Come on 2011. Let creativity roar.

    • eileen

      I’ll second that! 2011 is going to be a fantastic year!

  • Shirley R

    Oh, what a hoop stand would do for my renewed energy! I have been sorting through my scraps of stabilizer used to make Xmas presents and saving what I will later use on smaller projects, starting a box of fabric pieces to “pay it forward” for a quilter who would use those for smaller quilt blocks and generally putting away all the fabrics and supplies that I used during the Christmas rush to complete projects. Right now my fingers are simply itching to start working on the Cosmopolitan jacket in Eileen’s Scrumptious Sweats program. I have a plan for a tee and jacket to match, so this is driving my clean-up efforts. My dear mother always taught me the ethic of “work before pleasure”, so I’m sure this job will get completed post haste!

  • Janice Murry

    I have recently moved and my sewing room is the last to be organized. I have had to take my machine into the Den to sew. Now that Christmas is over and the last of the family will leave this weekend, my next goal right after putting the rest of my house back together, will be to get my sewing room organized. Can’t wait!

  • Karen Isham

    For the past 3 yrs around Jan. 1 I start a whole house purge from basement to the 2nd floor. It is such a good feeling. Every year I think I am done, ha! I am done till I get to the sewing room. I got so close last year. I had everything organized except for 4 sweater containers of printouts etc. I thought oh I will get to those later. Well here it is a year later & that stuff has once again grown! So this year I will start on the sewing room & work my way down to the basement, 🙂

    Happy New Year!


  • Paula Somers

    Organization is the key for any sewing studio, room and/or place in the house and financial “happiness”. There have been so many times that I have purchased items and/or tools only that I have a duplicate. I hang my head in shame and resolve that I will organize the studio so that I will not purchase the same tools for a third time. I like the ideas of putting all the items not in their proper storage place in one place while cleaning the area. I also like the idea of sorting the fabrics according to their color and fabric groupings. I will be using them when I tackle the ultimate straightening of my studio. Love this blog, too, for I have gleamed so much information and put them to play in my sewing and embroidering.

  • Nancy Blanks

    I get renewed energy with an organized studio and the weather outside is not acceptable for being outside. I can use several new items for organization.

  • carroll

    I will feel more organized once I make up all the fabric I have for donation quilts. I try to take at least 1 load of stuff we accumulate to donation each week. I have plastic bins to sore stuff in my sewing room but it still looks like a toronado has gone through.I have every wall of my sewing room full so I have no where to store my stabilizer. I get it in such a mess I never know what I have. My messy sewing room is so full that I don’t know what is in there. There could be a dead body in there and I wouldn’t know it unless I triped over it.

    • eileen

      Too funny, Carroll. I have a garage that looks like a used furniture store. I could definitely hide a dead body or two in there!

  • Nancy

    Best ever inspiration has been taking over my older son’s bedroom after he moved out and painting it bright pinks with white furniture and loads of storage space. Now that everthing has a place (and looks so pretty and cheerful) I tend to keep it picked up and organized. Whenever I finish a project or a step in a large project I clean everything up and it makes the work go much more smoothly. The bright colors keep me happy–and it keep my husband and other son out–they say it has too much estrogen!

  • Bev Passwaters

    I guess you could say my sewing room is an ongoing cleaning project. I get it all nice and in order then I get a bug to make another project and everything is back in disorder only to be reorganized again. My latest project is just about done so hope I can enter the new year with an organized room and if the mabe I’ll have an organized room the rest of the year.

    Happy New Year and Hope all had a Merry Christmas

  • Patricia Jones

    I get a renewed sense of energy in my sewing room when I can find everything I need for the pruject(s) I’m working on and have my equipment close at hand and not falling on top of everything.

  • Harriet Piper

    Just getting my sewing room straightened up with all my project files and fabric cache in order inspires me! I can hardly wait to get back to it!

  • Dianne Judalet

    I get organized for the new year by taking inventory of all my embroidery threads.It takes a little time but I separate them by brand and colors and list them in my “to go” notebook.That way I can hit the sales at my favorite shops and replenish my stock.I do the same thing for my stabilzers.I would love to win the Embroidery headquarters hoop stand.I love to be organized.

    • eileen

      Great idea. Does your thread breed? I think mine does but it never replenishes itself in a shade that I need!

  • Karin

    I just put away a bunch of new fabrics & completed a camo-quilt that will be donated tomorrow. I found a box to hold my new yarn, and I broke down & tossed the scraps of stabilizer. Whew! Must be time for brownies by now!

    Being in the camper, I pretty much have to get everything picked up every day or we don’t/can’t eat at the table. I keep a large basket with UFO’s on the chair next to mine, so I’ve always got something at hand that needs doing (besides dishes).

    I know it’s crazy, but I always get inspired by clearing the countertop & shining up the microwave & oven doors. Like I said, it’s crazy, but it works for me! 🙂

  • illyse

    I get the clean bug 2x’s a year. At the end of December and end of April. I get motivated by the messy area sadly. I reorganize and re-prioritize the purchases, the stash and more importantly what my next top 3 projects are going to be. By selecting smaller numbers of project to complete i feel more accomplished sooner. I even trade out my walk of “want to dos” so i SEE what the projects are every time i walk into the area – to keep me more focused. 🙂 I am already working on it this last week. Enjoy everyone.

  • Melissa

    Just today I got some plastic baskets at the dollar store and I am using them to store WIPs and planned projects. They stack nicely and it keeps me motivated because I can see the fabric peeking out at me from each basket! I stack them in “do” order, too!

    Boy could I use that stand! Thanks for the chance!!

  • Donna Viar

    It is not hard for me to get a new serge of energy at this time of year. For the last two months, ALL of my time has been for others. No complaints – just a fact. NOW it is my time to do a project for me, my house, or something new I have never done. I love to take a class at this time of year teaching me a new technique. Cleaning the sewing room is important but to me it is a real treat to do something for me.

  • Diane Hilton

    During the holidays, everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else gets thrown into MY sewing room..So afterwards, as it is now…I now need to do a deep cleaning and organize everything….If I don’t, I just will not be able to find or get to any of my projects..My hoops are in one place and stabilizers in another area…and the threads are all over the place..I also have design cards in many places..There is so much piled on my cutting table that I can’t see the bottom…
    OH, I got a gift card for fabric for Christmas..But I already have fabric in every box,basket and shelf to put it on…I not only need to organize….I need an ORGANIZER…..H…E…L…P…….
    So tomorrow, I hope to start moving everything out of my room…Then when it goes back in, everything will have its own special place…The items that I don’t need or want will find a new home..[i know a lot of people that need to build their stash, so I will share..some are new to embroidery and sewing..I love to help newbies..] So wish me luck as I begin this great endeavor.. THEN I CAN START NEW PROJECTS AND BUY MORE STUFF….

    • eileen

      Ahhh….my family used to do that too! If an item didn’t have a home, it got chucked into the sewing room – literally! They used to open the door and shout, “Incoming!” Argghh. I put a stop to that and haven’t heard that phrase is quite some time.

  • Sorcha girl

    Yes, Eileen. I get the same feelings about organizing my sewing room. Several Christmas items were sewn this year, a couple at the last minute. So, like you, the beads and buttons need to be organized, fabric scraps sorted (stay or go) and threads stored with the bobbins when an odd color.

    It’s time for a new Block of the Month at the fabric store and Valentine’s is just 6 weeks away.

    Thanks for your weekly message. The hoop storage rack looks very useful.

  • Bonnie Gale Favorite

    My sewing room is the place I go to when I need a renewed sense of energy, not just for sewing for all aspects of my life. Often, I go into my sewing room early in the morning, cup of coffee in hand, and just sit quietly in the old rocking chair that I have placed in a corner of the room. I slowly look around the room, taking in the brilliant colors of the fabric displayed on tall white bookshelves. I think about the projects I have made in the past – what they meant to me and what they meant to the people I love for whom I made them — and the projects I am planning to make in the future. These quiet moments give me a still, quiet “center” from which to start my day. What joy!

    • eileen

      I do the same thing! Love that quiet, renewing space!

  • Rho

    Now that the decorations are down and company is gone I will tackle the sewing room which is a mess from the Christmas sewing. I like to put things in their proper place, which is usually a plastic tub (similar to yours), dust and clean everything and give my machines a good cleaning.
    Then I get things together for a couple of projects I plan to work on in the new year. This gets the energy and creative juices flowing and I’m ready to sew! I love the hoop rack storage/organizer – looks like a great addition to the sewing studio. Thanks so much for sharing all your useful info with us and giving us inspiration to follow through on our ideas. Happy New Year!

  • Michelle Flynn

    I just brought my new designer diamond home on Christmas Eve. I haven’t even had a minute to play, but can’t wait. The hoop storage rack/organizer would really be a nice a addition! Happy New Yearto all!

    • eileen

      Congratulations on your new machine! Hope it brings you hours (and years) of enjoyment. Happy New Year.

  • Susan Weber

    My embroidery machine hasn’t stopped running yet and I am consstantly trying to find my hoops. I have two embroidery machines so I have a few hoops to keep track of so the storage rack would help to organize the hoops so I knew where they were and would also get the stabilizers out of my drawer so I can put more thread in the the drawer.

  • Wendy

    I love the fresh feeling of an organized sewing & crafting space. I converted my son’s room into my space when he left for college 10 years ago and thought I had died and gone to heaven – no more dining room table spread with crafts instead of dinner!
    Five years ago we remodeled the house and I converted my old kitchen cabinets and countertops into storage and work space for the sewing room. It looks so fabulous that my friends call it the “studio”.
    Despite all that space, I still tend to get disorganized as I still have some of the space devoted to storing my son’s “treasures”. Having the hoop stand would allow me to keep track of the hoops and keep them nearer to the machine.

  • Rhonda Gillette

    I can’t stand my sewing room to be cluttered. It get’s a bit messy throughout the day, and even throught the week, but at the end of each week, (friday’s) after quilting or doing other projects, I do a thorough clean up. It feels so good to start off the next week with everything back in its place, clear tables, trash emptied, and I’m ready to go. Love the prize – and I sure could use it. Rulers are the one thing I don’t have a special place for. I’ve been meaning to make me something that hangs, but seems like my quilts always take up all my time. LOL Have a great new year!
    Dedicated Follower – and love this blog. : )

    • eileen

      Hi Rhonda,
      I can only hope to aspire to your good habits! But unfortunately this ‘cleaning, organizing phase’ is short-lived for me! I tend to purge/clean after really large projects (like an issue of the mag, a new book) get crossed off my to-do list. Which unfortunately is not weekly!

      Thanks for your kind words – and for visiting this blog! We wouldn’t be here without readers like you!

      • lodenthal

        I am so glad to see so many of us are purging and cleaning! I took last week off from work and did a huge purging and cleaning of my sewing room. I mucked out the mess, sorted and put everything in its proper place. But then came the hard part, throwing away the UFOs and stuff that I will never finish and keeping things I can really use rather than “hope” to use someday. That is the challenge which I struggle with daily! It is so liberating to have a clean room in which to begin the next round of projects!

  • Yvonne Menearr

    I like to get all my little projects done and out of the way by the beginning of the year so I can look ahead to upcoming classes and begin the prep for the class samples. My problem is, where do I put all my finished quilt projects when they are done. I have hundreds of quilts now!

  • sjc

    I did a quick put away in the “studio” before I left for a New Years holiday, but it is time for a real clean/organize in there and I am itching to do it when I get back. I am also planning to get new towels at the January white sales, so I guess I am normal, too! That’s a good thing, right?

  • Karen Trott

    It is so nice to have the sewing room all neat and tidy. It would be even better if I had a hoop organizer to with the “getting it straight”.
    I am working of rearranging things and hoops for 3 machines gets to be a challenge.
    Happy New Year to all

  • Diane Estrada

    Renewed energy comes my way when I have a new design and stitch it out for the first time. I think of all the possiblilites that can come with this design. Each design will make someone, somewhere very happy and bring joy to their life and in a small way I am a part of that happiness, now thats is some awesome new energy going around.
    Happy 2011, hoping this will be a successful new year to all.

  • Laurel Turner

    I think the organizer would be so helpful. So much is required for embroydery, my studio looks filled. I am new to this and require all the help I can get.
    Thank you. Laurel

  • Donna G.

    I admit, I’m a “neatnik” when it comes to my sewing room! I like to be organized, because that energizes me to get started on a project. Then every year I go through all of my stash and unfinished projects and weed out the stuff that I know I’ll either never use or never finish. In December our sewing club holds a swap and give-away, so whatever I no longer want goes there. The key, of course, is NOT to come home with more! I also make a list of sewing goals in January, and even though I don’t reach all of them, I at least don’t spend time wracking my brain for what to do next! I haven’t seen this hoop stand before; what a cool idea! Thanks for this great blog. I learn a lot from what others share.

  • Lois

    I love going thru my Sewing room after the Holidays, and I’m lucky enough to have a room dedicated for that purpose. It is small, but a real retreat.

    The re-organizing is essentially like Christmas all over again!! I find things, get inspired to create with ‘scraps’ and indulge myself with remembrances of projects created before those were re-classified as ‘scraps’.

    Yes, it is like having two Christmas’s a year.

  • Ellen Steele

    The holidays are over the blizzard is clearing and now the sun is shining in my sewing room.Yikes needs to be straighten so I could find my stuff without an hassel A new year and a new beginning now is the time to start just reading everyones replies inspires me to get up and go to it

  • marsha nelson

    My sewing room was a complete disaster. There was a path to my machines. It was making me crazy so I started cleaning it 2 days ago. Organizing things so I can feel wonderful when I go to sew. It is such a great, free feeling. Creative juices start to flow and I am excited all over again. Thanks for sharing with all of us and for the opportunity to win great things.

  • Kathi Miller

    You’re so right about this time of the year bringing on a renewed need to organize. I have a tendency to pile things on my cutting table rather than putting them away. Pretty soon I find myself with only a tiny space in which to work. Last evening I cleared the table off and it’s so nice to be able to see the whole top again. Next project is the closet in the spare bedroom. Every time I open the door, I fear everything is going to tumble out and crush me!

  • Carol Runkle

    I organize between projects, after Christmas it is a necessity. Today, I finished organizing as my 6 and 8 year old granddaughters are coming for New Years Eve and we are going to make sock monkeys. My next project is stacked and ready to start. I found several years ago that not to feel guilty and just organize between projects. Once during the year I go through every single thing. But never at the beginning of the year. It is always when I can’t find a couple of things. I have a very large basket for my stabilizer, and a large copper canning kettle for other bolts of interfacing etc. Keeps it neat but yet handy. I am now anxious to get started again after a very busy, but happy season.

  • Jackie

    I’m one of those people who completes every project before starting a new one. Once the project is complete I tidy up my sewing area, decide on the next item I want to work on and then start sewing/embroiderying. Many of my friends have numerous projects on the go at the same time and have piles everywhere but they call it organized chaos and can find most things when they need them.

  • Kathy Schmidt

    Oh how I NEED & would love to have this hoop organizer! Right now I am in a “very small” extra bedroom as my sewing room and have a very hard time keeping everything organized as I would like, everything having it’s place & storage for everything so I can find what I need without tearing the place apart is what I dream of. I am hoping in the next year to move into what is going to be the “old” living room, which will give me more than 3 times the area and hopefully get much better organized, but everything takes time. Love this site and all the blogs, comments & tips I read. Thank you

  • Gail Beam

    I would love to have a hoop orgnaizer! At least one thing in my sewing room would then be organized! Unfortunately, my sewing room is not organized, and I could probably win a contest for the most unorganized and filled sewing room. I did collect all of my 18 in doll patterns into a bag and plan on sending them all to my grandduaghter! Now, I just have to think about getting rid of a ton more patterns, and at least something will be organized!

  • nancy

    When you talk about being organized…that is not me. I always try. Whenever I get something new for my sewing room, I start getting those feelings again that I could do better and try again. I believe that I could really begin that task for 2011 with a brand new hoop organizer. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  • Mitzi

    I started a major reorganization in my studio this time last year….finally getting back at it again. Now, I need to figure out where to find a home for the new fiber-art related toys that Santa brought last week. Appreciate knowing I’m not the only one who pulls fabric for a project, and at some point needs to recognize that the pile represents a project only in aspiration….sigh 😮

  • Sue Anderson

    My organizing bug hits me twice a year–at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of fall. It always feels good to have new projects lined up and ready to go! I also wanted to thank you for the idea that it really is okay to let go of old projects that you know you won’t finish. I haven’t given myself permission to let them go but now I can! I am going through my UFO’s this weekend and decide which to keep and which to let go. Thanks, Eileen.

  • Enis

    Oh yes, its a new year and a soon to be clean slate. I’m sitting in my sewing room surveying the damage. Most of the projects I had planned for Christmas gifts and decorating were made. Some projects sitting in the staging area just couldn’t ge accomplished. Luckily those were just for fun extras and no one missed them. There are piles of leftover fabrics and trims waiting to be put away and a carpet in desparate need of a good vacuuming. Well, today is the day. The men are engrossed in “football frenzie” downstairs, and don’t need me for anything other than checking on empty bowls and reheating chili and sloppy joes. Ah, that leaves me to renew and rejuvenate both me and my creating haven and get ready for a new year of making the creative part of me to come alive again.

  • Aunt Lynn

    I am going to choose my favorite project, either new or UFO and start work. This is a ploy to divert my attention from food because I am also going to start on a diet. I will get some books on tape to listen to while I do hand work. I can’t read because reading means eating. But while my hands are busy I don’t eat. I am also going to move some of my exercise equipment next to my machine so while it is running I can be too. LOL A Happy, Healthy New Year to all!

    • Denise Holguin

      Oh, how I can relate. I found it was hard to be home for the holidays with chocolate cookies that seemed to call me by name. I console myself between bites– the sooner I eat these cookies– the sooner they’ll be gone– and the sooner I can work them off at the gym!

      Good luck with your diet– I am sure you’ll be successful!


  • Kathy Harrison

    I had a forced head start on the cleaning up and organizing of my sewing room! We had a houseful of guests for Christmas and I needed to set up the futon in my sewing room as an extra bed. I carefully sorted through all of my stabilizer stash as well, no matter how much I didn’t want to, all the scraps found their way into the trash can. When I look around the sewing room, it looks so nice (and big!) when everything is in its’ place. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I know this is short lived. Although my first project of the New Year is going to make new draperies for my sewing room (I bought the fabric 2 years ago!)

  • Dale Fedor

    After reading your email, I went & cleaned up my sewing room. Thank you Eileen. I then cut the material to get ready to start my next project (next year’s Christmas gifts). I made a New Year’s resolution while cleaning: since my sewing room is next to the laundry room, on Saturday mornings when I do the laundry, I will spend time cleaning my sewing room while waiting for the clothes to dry. That way it won’t get too out of control.

    • eileen

      Sounds like a great plan!

  • Marge Geraci

    Gee, it hit me as I came down to my little sewing space this afternoon. I must get this cleaned up before I start anew in 1011. So,into my stash all the scraps, into my used but usable stabilizer box all scraps, all thread into proper places, all material folded and put into proper bens, and yes I’ve even put all notions up and in their proper place on the peg board and etc, etc, etc. and finally swept and cleaned all machines. Took me all afternoon and then finally I had time to look into my email and lo and behold it seems others are doing the same thing. It is the best feeling to now sit here and not have anything pressing to do and have a clean and inorder room. Just a few things do not really have a good place to really call home, but in time they will have their own home also. but in all my work room is ready for 2011.
    Marge Geraci,
    Florissant, MO

  • Dale Fedor

    How do you ladies store your scraps? I like to save pieces that are big enough for most appliques but don’t yet have a system to store them. Please give me ideas. Thanks

    • eileen

      Hi Dale,
      I save my scraps in plastic bags – sorted by color. Recently, I’ve been putting scraps with fusible web already applied in a separate category. It saves time when looking for just the right color of a small piece. I’ll have to admit, every couple of years, I’ll give the scraps a critical once-over and toss them in the wastebin if they’ve been sitting around too long.

    • Jean Williams

      Dale, a program called Scrap Therapy, it might be exclusive to Bernina, I am not sure, has a whole process to go through that really teaches you and helps you make a habit of how you deal with scraps. The scraps are stored in those wonderful old clear plastic boxes. If Scrap Therapy is not an option, Bonnie Hunter does a lot with scraps too. She keeps hers organized in plastic drawer bins. She too, has a great sorting method. GL!

  • Carol Douglas

    Often I feel too tired to sew, especially after a day at work. Luckily my sewing room (son moved out) faces south so the sunlight shines on the warm yellow walls. It warms and brightens the room. I have 3 1/2 desks against two of the walls which hold my sewing machine, serger, thread boxes, printer/fax, lap top and programs. My cutting table is against the third wall with four old style sewing machines for inspiration. The fourth wall had the small closet. I took off the doors and put another desk in there. I have sewing magazines, books, photo albums, plus scrapbooking supplies tucked away in there. The walls hold cork boards with many and sundry supplies, pictures and do dads. I have push pins stuck in the walls to hold more stuff, including my embroidery hoops. When I sit in my room a feeling of renewed strength and energy comes over me. So many things to do and it will be hours later that my husband will come and drag me off to bed. Another day over and another project completed. I’m at peace.

  • Susan Spiers

    As soon as I sit down to my embroidery machine, with my beautiful colors of thread, I am newly inspired! I am hooked!

  • Marilyn C

    I usually do a clean and re-organize in my sewing room this time of the year. Everything gets thrown around trying to finish all the gifts and this year it’s extra bad because now there are threads and stabalizers and hoops and……………..

    And when that’s done I get to start new projects 🙂

  • Ruth

    I try to clean up any project/task that I avoided because I didn’t want to deal with it at the time. After I get a few tasks accomplished I feel less torn to do what I want as opposed to do what I should instead.

  • Linda Snow

    Fortunately, change and reorganizing for the new year is ingrained in our culture. Sometimes it just takes the new year to see a new perspective on an issue. Blessed with a room dedicated to arts, I had been having problems with lighting in my sewing/embroidery studio even though there are french doors and light colored walls. The machine tables were facing the wall. I turned both machines around to face the middle of the room and it was transforming!! I can now see the trees and sky outside and also see who is entering the door. No more facing the wall!! I’ll bet a lot of people have always faced the wall to save space. This change didn’t really take up much more real estate and has completely enhanced the desire to enter the studio and create!

  • wendy fraleigh

    It must be in the air! I have cleaned out, organized and labeled everything in my basement (which hadn’t been done in a few years). I feel so much better! Tomorrow a donation centre does a pick up and I am doing a trip to the dump and then I will be ready to spend another year messing it all up again!



  • Wendy Scott

    I get energized when I have a new project that I really want to sew, this is when I usually take a look around the room and can not find anything in the mess so I will start putting things away. I like to have at least 1 clean table to work on.

  • Connie

    I am perhaps lucky. My sewing room is also my guest room. I am having company this week, so I am really motivated to clean up the mess from Christmas crafting.
    I have spent the last several months cleaning out closets and donating stuff that I was never going to us. It makes me feel great.


  • Barbara Leonard


    I just wish I had your energy and I definitely would clean up my embroidery/sewing area. You are an inspiration, and as soon as I regain my old pep, I’ll do some cleaning, too!

    • eileen

      If I had to choose between cleaning and sewing, sewing would always win! But somehow, the cleaning gets done…usually with a scowl on my face because it’s definitely not one of favorite activities.

  • Sue

    My sewing room is in a constant state of renewal. I start putting things away and find UFO’s that maybe I have time to finish now that the holiday gifts are given. I have a charm quilt for my mother with cat silhouettes crying for me to return. meow

  • Beth

    I get a renewed sense of energy in my sewing room every time I complete a project! It makes me feel great to see a final product, and gives me energy to tackle another one (perhaps even one more difficult than what I just finished).

    I also get a feeling of renewal with each change of the season – when Christmas is over, I know I won’t finish that project to display this time, so I can put it away and pull out the Valentine’s project. Same thing in mid-February – time to work on Easter projects!

  • Susan

    Finishing a jacket I ahve been working on for months then starting an embroidery project on a blank jacket.

  • Christine

    Organize, organize, organize that’s what I say but…… not always done. This product would help. Thanks for the opportunity. C

  • Arlene Norris

    To renew my engery is to take my machines in to be serviced so they will be ready for any of the new project I am planning to do for the new year.

  • Sophia

    Ready to start a new year—a fun notebook, new pen and lists of ideas–no ‘have to’s’ allowed—Just dreaming. then I pick one, lay out all the materials, and stitch away!!

  • Pat

    Every year after Christmas I clean up my office/sewing room and get rid of anything that is not needed or way out of date. This year after cleaning up the huge pile of hoops, stabilizer and stitch outs left from the before Christmas rush to finish presents and going through all the things that didn’t have a good home, I realized my room needed some reorganization if I was going to enjoy it during 2011. Almost everything is now in it’s new place except for the computer printer and PR620 hoops–the printer is on the floor until I can get a longer cable and the hoops are in or on a large plastic drawer since the rearrangment didn’t leave room for all of them to hang beside the machine anymore. How fortunate you are giving away a hoop stand–maybe I’ll win:).

  • Sandra

    For me it is when the laundry is and put away. then i can have fun

  • Jackie

    I have purchased a closet organizer that hangs from the clothes pole and it has about 6 “shelves”. I am organizing all of my fabric scraps and fat quarters, etc. by color and putting them neatly on the shelves. Let’s see how long it takes me to mess this up! And I have a shoe bag hanging on the back of the door where I have my rolls of stablizer organized. This I have been good at keeping in order!! It is so much easier to work in an organized space, but fun to go through the messes I make sometimes!

  • Nancy

    I have begun the sewing room cleanup by putting away my Christmas themed fabrics until next…. I am unable to embroider at present due to difficulties with my Magic Box since my computer with the nine pin port died. That’s my next project; get it up and running again, somehow, since I cannot afford to replace my embroidery machine.

    In the meantime, I am working on some ongoing projects, which are always waiting.

  • Judi R

    I get inspired when entering my sstudio just because I have a wonderful stash (afterall, I am over the hill!) and it seems that I have never met a fiber I don’t love. Ihave fabric, fibers and wonderful designs always waiting for me to twitch and twitter into new ideas as well as a great VIking Diamond and software that can make my dreams turn into gifts for me and my family and friends. Now if I could only get organized so I can find what I am looking for when I want it!

  • Deb

    I get out my notebook of “want to do” projects. Then I tidy up my cutting table that gets sooo cluttered & then I’m off. I coordinate an embroidery club so that gives me a PUSH to get going! =)

  • Denise

    Renewed energy for 2011 for me involves reorganizing the sewing room and approaching the new year with a clean room and clear mind. Clutter free room is half the battle. i get greatly enthused by networking with friends of like mind and coming up with fresh ideas. Websites, internet and magazines like Designs in Machine Embroidery Mag create endless ideas to keep the creative juices flowing. Challenge yourself by becoming a perfectionist in the use of your sewing machine and software. Throw a little exercise in as well and mostly have lots of fun and enjoyment along the way.

    Denise O

    • eileen

      I like your attitude Denise. Very balanced – and doable!

  • Kathy K

    I try to get things back into some order after all the Christmas sewing. My sewing room will never be uncluttered (until I move and get a bigger area!), but I can at least put some things away and see the table top! Then I can get another project out and get started! I enjoy going through the newest magazines and getting inspiration that way, too.

  • Jill

    I am envious of your newly organized sewing area. I usually get excited with a new project, but my sewing area (also known as my bedroom) doesn’t look very neat at the moment. I have been enjoying doing a lot of machine embroidery for Christmas and need to switch gears to Valentine’s Day or new baby.

    • eileen

      Oh Jill, don’t be jealous. We photographed areas of the sewing quite selectively! I could spend 3 full days at my office and home studios sorting through stuff to really clean house! Unfortunately, I don’t have 3 full days to devote to that task. One day gave me a good start so now I’m committed to spending 20 mins. each day going through patterns, fabrics and stuff and purging.

  • Ellen Perry

    I work full time and hate to use sewing time to organize BUT I need to. Right before Christmas I tried and somewhat organized all my stuff but the hoop organizer would really help me.

  • Peggy

    For the past couple of years, I have invited my daughter and granddaughter over, and they help me to take all of the fabric off from the shelves and re-stack it neatly. We have a really good time, enjoy lunch and each other’s company. A daunting task for one becomes a good time for three! That is how I get oganzied!

  • Kathleen Ulinski

    I organized all my embroidery threads by colors with their numbers facing out and put toothbrush holders by my 2 machines and servers to neatly hold scissors when I wasn’t using them. I keep both my fabrics and trims in plastic boxes organized by color so that matching them up is easy and fast!
    Happy Sewing in 2011!

    • eileen

      Love the toothbrush holder idea! Very clever – and so simple.

  • Jean Williams

    Hi Eileen! Happy SewNew Year! Having a project complete- one that I am proud of is most energizing to me. That means that I do NOT keep the never-to-be-completed efforts around and I take Scrapy Therapy seriously. If it can’t be cut into a decent size for later scrapping, OUT it goes.

    So for me, the New Year means I get to take a look at what I have sewn for Christmas and decide if they are worth doing again (file directions!) or not (throw OUT); it means looking at the fabric I used and deciding if I like the fabric enough to use it again on something (what? May make a note OR put it in the give away pile); The New Year also means I get to go through all my stuff and stash, through out anything I don’t want, HANDLE all my fun stash fabrics (do they inspire a particular project for me? Take a note!) Admire all my embellishments, play with ideas and sort some to toss out.

    I LOVE cleaning up my sewing space because I love admiring all the beautiful fabric colors and textures and I especially love to envision them as completed projects. Then, I get to choose one to begin again!

  • SJ

    Whoo hoo!! I was a winner of the DigiStitches shopping spree! Thanks so much! Shopping (and embroidering) will be so much fun!

    Sorry I’m slow to thank you. I wasn’t online for a few days and didn’t know 2011 was already off to a great start!

    I’ve been working on cleaning/decluttering/sorting through a very full, large (and messy) sewing room I inherited. You know the saying,”She who dies with the most fabric wins”? My Mom was certainly in the running. It’s overwhelming but I’ve slowly made progress. I made it my goal to dig and dig until I find what I need. I’m thrilled to keep finding treasures. In the “sections” that I’ve sorted and organized it so nice to go directly to what I want. A bit of sadness at times that my late Mom and sewing/embroidery buddy is no longer here to share the fun. She knows she left her sewing room well stocked and that I’m enjoying her stash. I’ve used A LOT of a fabric but there is A LOT more! No hoop stand though.

  • Cindy McCord

    Since I sew in the dining room, I must keep my area clean. However, don’t dare look in my 2 sewing closets, my sewing desk, or in my bedroom closet because I have fabrics, patterns and books shoved everywhere!! For the last 6 months, I have been working on Christmas gifts so all of my fabrics and threads are a mess. The other day I even came across the blue/brown fabric that I used to bind your quilt when you were in San Antonio in September- it was shoved in the middle of a stack of fabric!!! I plan to spend the majority of next weekend reorganizing my fabric stash and all of my thread. Since my CRS (Can’t Remember Sh*#) seems to get worse as I get older, it is important that I have all of my sewing/embroidery stuff organized so I know where everything is!! It feels so good to start a new project and be able to quickly find everything I need!! Happy New Year Eileen!!!

    • eileen

      Hi Cindy!
      Great to hear from you! I find it really hard to believe you that you’re disorganized. You seem so completely put together! Good to know you’re human! Happy New Year, Cindy!

  • aurora

    OK, I’m new to this. We just recently moved and are still in the upacking stage. The benefits of moving is that I have a clean slate. I have a desk for each machine (2) and a new work table. I can not decide yet what to store in the closet! My design wall is next to go up. Right now, most everything is sitting in the garage waiting for a permanent home in the sewing room. I will start organizing by weeding out anything that will no longer be needed/used. I will be sharing those items with my neighborhood group.

    It is a wonderful feeling to go in and START a project, rather than going in to clean and sort so that I can begin a project.

    Happy New Year

  • Myrna Leard

    I completed ten large quilts for my grandchildren as Christmas gifts this year so I have had little time to organize. However, I have most of my fabric in cupboards on shelves and all of the notions are hanging on a peg board between the top and bottom cupboards. BUT, the projects that have been started are sitting here and there and need to have something done with them. Also, I have two embroidery machines, therefore, double the number of hoops. A hoop stand would fit right in to my sewing room with no problem; the hoops just don’t fit on the peg board.

    Happy new year to you, Eileen and to all your family, friends and the staff at Designs.

  • Jeanette Letson

    Unfortunately I do not have a “sewing” room to organize so the hoop stand would really come in handy to me. I take care of 5 senior ladies in my home 24/7 so all my bedrooms are all being used by them…My designated sewing area is a little corner in my family room. My organization is limited to a 4 drawer cabinet that I keep all my fabrics by solids, colors and holidays. Everything else is organized in plastic dressers in my front closet and laundry room. Since the holidays I have a pile of fabric (on my washer) that I now need to sort and put away with the rest of my stash…needless to say, I now have a bigger Christmas section of fabric….My teenage daughter says I’m addicted to fabric! I also have a couple thread racks that my husband/daughter bought me for Christmas hanging on the wall to organize my threads. An organized sewing room would be a dream to me. I got a serger this year for Christmas so I guess I better get busy and set up another sewing area! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! Jeanette

    • eileen

      You’re hands are so full! I hope you set aside some time for yourself in this new year! Happy New Year.

  • Kathy

    I (re)organize whenever the inspiration hits me. In winter, it happens when the sunshines on really cold days. So, that was just last week.

    My hoops are stored in a file sorter from the stationery store. They have tall dividers so my hoops don’t fall through each other.

    My greatest change this last week was I put that nonskid shelf liner in my top drawer where I store my embroidery threads. They no longer move! It makes it a joy to open the drawer. I should have thought of that years ago.

  • Gail Lents

    My sewing room doubles as my guest bedroom so trying to keep things organized is always a challenge. I currently store my embroidery hoops on pegs on the wall. When I prepare for guests I take them down and put them in a plastic box. I am always amazed at how they get together and hold a party or something because when I open the box to hang them back up or use them they are all sort of tangled together.
    My husband is planning a sewing area in the basement for me using a kitchen counter top and some drawers as bases. I will think I have gone to heaven with all the area. I have always used a student desk for my sewing/embroidry machine and set one down on the floor when it is time to use the other.
    Love to read all the comments and your articles, very instirational.

  • Berenice Trickett

    Yikes! Here I was thinking that an organized sewing room was a sign of a sick mind!! My “sewing room” is a 24″ X 18″ folding table in the living room. The stash is kept in plastic bins, coded by anticipated project. I have to switch machines off the table depending on which is needed, and do not ever come over if it is dry and you have static cling, you will go home with thread bunnies all over your clothes. No explanations to family and friends, they know what to expect. The kids’ friends have learned to move around Mrs. T’s projects. If it is not a wedding dress or 15 formals for the annual convention of the kiddos’ service organization, or actually darning hubby’s pants then it is “emergency” party gifts or tote bags for friends. Could not imagine a life not making something out of fabric. One fast rule: NO UFO’s. Do it ’til it is done. (Apologies to girls with formals whose linings are not tacked down) Gotta go, need to find the elastic for those pantaloons!

  • Lynn Reid

    Laughing at myself is always a great pick me up, especially when sorting through stored away purchases of fabric, patterns and what-was-this-again type items from stores from around home and out of state. After wondering where my brain was at the time, I just smile, check their condition, bag the stuff no longer wanted and drop it off at the local Goodwill and public library. I am thankful we don’t have cats or at times they could be missing until the cleaning session.

  • Paule-Marie

    I like to see my sewing room organized – not necessarily neat. a room that is totally neat and tidy, seems to suck energy, at least for me. Right now, though, all I can concentrate on is that dreaded 4 letter word – taxes. (and yes I can count, it’s just that moving and taxes are the ultimate 4 letter words for me) Once that chore is done, I will be able to work on my ideas and projects. I’m sure glad I’m not an accountant. 🙂

  • Cindi Bates

    It’s been a few hard years it started in 2004 with a bad accident, many visits to doctors and other, bought new house 6 mths later asked to move to Wyoming and happily moved to Colorado after 3 yrs. I haven’t sewn much in this time other than at christmas when we adopt a child in need I sew many items for them and truly enjoy that. Since we moved into this house in September 2010 I have been blessed to make a new friend who also sews. I find having friends with the same interest as mine and going to the sewing shop for club with them is very invigorating. I really believe visiting the shop to see what is new and how to use the items is one of the best ways to get sewing. I also love the to read my sewing magazines especially embroidery! I met Eileen many years ago and love her work so I try to read anything she’s involved with! I’ve also sorted, donated and cleaned out all my stuff donating what I could and giving to friends who could use a clean room is a wonderful thing to walk into and start working!

  • Dianne Chastain

    I am about to move my sewing room to a new location in my home for better lighting, and a wee bit more room. A hoop organizer would be great as they seem to be everywhere in the room I have now. I need a lot of organizing help and this would be the perfect start.

  • Cathy Luedloff

    I am going to be getting my own room for embroidering and sewing hopefully within a month. Right now I have to share a room with our family computer and we all know how that can be. People in and out at any time asking a dozen questions. I am a neat freak, I keep everything in containers with labels so I know exactly what is in them. I enjoy my craft a whole lot more when I know where everything is and when I don’t have to ask everyone what happen to something because they were looking at it. The hoop organizer would look so good in my new room..

  • CarpetCleanerNorwich

    When you have a fire or a water loss, one thing is inevitable. You will want your carpets cleaned-up and restored. Oriental rugs are normally the most expensive and therefore require special attention. Proper rug handling methods from the beginning should save you problems in the end.Immediate extraction of the water from the rug/carpet should be the first thing you do! The longer a rug sits in water the higher the chances are that the dyes will migrate. Colour correction can be difficult and maybe impossible if your rugs/carpet are older. Immediate extraction will greatly reduce this risk.When extracting the water, move your wand WITH the grain. This will do two things. One, It is physically easier to do and puts less wear on your body and Two, It will prevent and minimize fibre distortion which on some rugs is nearly impossible to fix.Do not stack your rugs when moving from one area to another! The dyes cold run from one carpet to the other. In the end you could have just a pile of trashed carpets. To avoid this problem do one of two things. One, Roll the rug up and place them in plastic bags (Only if you are transporting and removing quickly from the plastic, long term storage will not allow the rugs to fully dry and may cause mold growth). Two (Best Option), Place a sheet or towel on the rugs and roll them up individually.A popular and probably most damaging way to dry thick carpet/rugs is to lay them out in the sun. The sun’s ray can fade your rug/carpet in a short period of time. I would even recommend not placing your rug in a place where the sun hits it for long periods of the day inside your home let alone outside. This will probably wreck your wet carpet. The best method is to extract the water and put several fans directed at it to get air moving and dry it out faster. If laying them in the sun is necessary, put the top side down and lay on a flat clean surface.Finally, do not drip dry your rugs. Dyes can go into your wool fibres if you do this, or run into the other dyes of your carpet. It will likely end up looking more tie-dyed than neatly designed when your finished. If there are no dyes, you still should not drip dry. The thickness of the carpet/rug will prevent it from fully drying at the lower end where the water is dripping off.In summary, remember these carpet restoration tips:1.Extract the Water Immediately2.Extract water WITH the grain3.Do not stack your wet rugs4.Never dry in direct sunlight5.Do not drip dryI hope this article helps somebody!