Craft Room Tour 2016

What do you call your creative space? A sewing room? Craft Room? Office? Studio? Sewing Studio? I use all of these names interchangeably for the room that most of my creativity happens in – and all of my supplies hang out in. I feel a little pretentious using the word “studio” to describe my space – but I don’t think it matters what you call it – I think it matters what you do with it! Here, I’ll take you on a tour of my creative space!

Always Expect Moore Craft Room tour - lots of photos of the pretty details, plus a youtube video where some of the secrets to a pretty space are exposed!

I’ll take you on a photo tour of the room, but if you prefer, you can watch this video tour. I originally recorded it on Periscope, so I’m not jumping subjects randomly, I’m responding to commenters. Pinkie swear.

We moved into this house a year ago. You can see my old craft room here.I’d done some work to spruce up and organize my space, but when my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage started planning her Craft Room Tour, I only hesitated a second before I signed up. The hesitation was because my craft room is notoriously messy (I share lots of #honestcraftroom photos on Instagram, like this one), and I knew it would take several days to whip it into shape. But a deadline was exactly what I needed to work miracles in this space, so I signed up. And then did very little until last week. Sure, I did a little picking up here and there, but not the dump-out-the-drawers overhaul I wanted in here. Yes, there are still areas that need some TLC, but overall I’m thrilled with the work done in here! So, let me take you on a tour! I’ll start with the big table that greets you when you walk in…

sewing table

This table is a dining room table I found at a furniture outlet store years ago. I splurged last year and bout a self-healing mat as big as the top of my table. I love it! Great for working on larger projects. On my table I have some sewing baskets, pincushions, a current project, and my sewing machine. I sew on a Bernina 710, which is a model they discontinued last year. It doesn’t do any fancy embroidery, but it has lots of throat space for sewing and quilting.

The table is in front of two giant windows at the front of the house. They face SouthWest, and get great light in the late afternoon. These windows are the reason this room was the perfect room in this house for my craft studio. The windows face the street and don’t offer a lot of privacy, so I put a thin cotton curtain on each. These provide privacy while filtering the light – perfect for photos! You can see that I haven’t decided yet what the perfect height for the curtain rod is – they’re both at different heights. We’re renting this house – a 1957 Bungalow in San Diego – so I’m leaving the blinds up, but they’re pulled all the way to the side.

On the left of the table is a tall cabinet with wicker drawers. This holds jars, fabric, and projects in progress. On top are my quilting rulers, in a file-folder holder from the office supply store.

And yes, the chair has an apron tied to it. It is this Apron back from the AGF fabric challenge.

To the right of the table is a big ironing board. Behind that is a large cabinet. It stores a few craft supplies, but my favorite are these jars with various items in them. Decorative and functional. Exactly what you need in your creative studio.

odds and ends storage

On top of the cabinet is a big basket for storing Styrofoam.

styrofoam storage

And to the right is my thread storage.

thread storage

Which takes me to this wall of the room.

desk in the craft studio

Another window (oh, the light!), and my desk. This is actually my childhood desk from back home. To the left is cube storage with baskets. They hold all kinds of random surfaces to craft with. Lots of good stuff going on there. In the drawers of the desk I have a drawer filled with glue guns, and a drawer with my metal stamping (you can check those out in the video above). The desk itself is well decked-out.

notes and buttons

Lots and lots of buttons I’ve collected from people at different events, and a beautiful row of Expressionery Stamps. But I’m about to run out of space (yikes!), so I’ll need to figure out a new solution soon.

Over the desk I have an IKEA lamp that has been converted to work as a camera holder to do overhead video. I’ve used it a couple times… and I love it! I need to do more with this.

over the head video

Continuing counter-clockwise around the room is this giant wall of storage.

lots of creative storage

I have a giant IKEA unit with baskets and bins for holding everything. And lots of room on top for scrapbook storage.

scrapbook storage

And a little room for some decor. But it is functional. Ribbon storage, odds and ends of floral in a large vase, and lots of washi tape in a large jar.

decorative storage

To the right is a tall IKEA shelf which I call my “Tower of Power”. One of the challenges of living in a house built in the 1950’s is the “charming” electrical. Our last house was built in 2007, and had two outlets on each wall. This room has 3 outlets in the whole room. Only one has ground. The other two outlets each have only one working socket. That means I have a lot of extension cords running behind furniture! Having all these appliances near the doorway is also helpful for the family – they can print to the printer, and don’t have to wade through a messy craft room to get their printout.

creative storage space

On top are some smoothfoam half-spheres for an upcoming project, and a wine rack holding rolls of vinyl. Then a rack with paper. Then my Silhouette. Then my HP Envy. Then the Sizzix eClips2, Laminator for Thermoweb Deofoils, and my laptop, then (hidden in this photo), the Sizzix Fabi and my Samsung Laser printer, and finally the Accuquilt Go! and a case of paper. Whew! Lots and lots going on in the “tower of power”. Let’s move to the right…

design wall

You see my design wall, which is hidden behind the door when the door is open. Above it I have some ribbons I’ve won. The red one is a recent win from 2015. The two ribbons on the left are actually from a pie-baking contest. That’s right, I’m an award-winning baker and an award winning quilter!

Next to the design wall is my scissors storage. You can make one yourself with this tutorial, and it is crazy useful.

scissors holder

This whole wall is super colorful and busy.

wall of creativity

Next to the scissors storage is a bookshelf that has (from the bottom up), mason jars, block printing and adhesive, paint, a sewing box, and a bulletin board. The bulletin board is from my wedding – we made it to hold place cards for guests almost 10 years ago, and it is still going strong!

The shelf is actually in a doorway – that goes to the half bath. But, we don’t need that entrance to the bathroom, and it is the perfect place for me to have a shelf.

paint in color order

To the right of the shelf is a quilt rack with quilts in various stages of completion. The bottom has a basket with more projects. To the right of that are the closet doors – which double as a quilt wall for mini quilts. Some of these I’ve made, and some are from friends and swaps. I love this use of space!

quilt wall

Inside the closet is more stuff! Lots of fabric, sorted by type and color, and more craft and quilt storage up top. There is a lot going on in here, but it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, because I like to keep the closet doors closed.

fabric storage

That’s the craft room! Scroll back up to the top to check out the video, if you haven’t already, I chat in more detail about a lot of the items you’ll see in this room. And if you’d like to see more fun creative spaces, check out the other craft room tours over at The Country Chic Cottage.

Foam-Mounted Quilt Block

Foam Mounted Quilt Block

Do you have orphan quilt blocks lying around that need a home? Maybe one day you might turn them into a scrappy quilt… or maybe not. Maybe you have quilt blocks given to you by a friend or relative, and you have no idea what to do with them! Here is a super simple way to turn quilt blocks into home decor – mount them onto foam! I was sent a box of foam to play with, and I’m so excited to share what I came up with!

Foamology is a brand new product, and so easy to use! You can check out the whole line on the Fairfield website. I used just one sheet of foam for this project … imagine what you could do with more! I’ll show you how I made this simple foam mounted quilt block, and you can think of more ways to use this same foam block… once the wheels start turning, you’ll come up with so many ideas!

I started with a package of the Design Foam with Stickybase soft tiles. The tiles are 12″ square – perfect for most quilt blocks.

stickybase design foam

If you have a 10″ or even a 12″ quilt block, add a border around your block. I used a block that was 16″, which gave me plenty to wrap around the back.

quilt block and foamology

The process is simple. Lay your quilt block right side down on the table, then center the foam square with the sticky side up. Peel back the adhesive strip on one side, and fold over the fabric. Then peel the strip on the other side, and fold the fabric over.

secure down other side

Lift up the center paper on one side, and pull the fabric over, then repeat on the other side. And just like that, you’ve mounted your quilt block onto a foam square! You can peel back the rest of the paper, and stick the mounted quilt block right to a wall. Bam. Done.

secure sides and corners

I decided to add some big stitch quilting to my block, just for fun. So I covered the exposed adhesive with the paper I’d removed.

Using 3 threads from a skein of embroidery floss, I tacked the thread in place on the back of the block.

secure thread in place

Then I stitched into the fabric and foam, creating a running stitch.

stitch into foam

Normally, when I do a running stitch, I load up my needle with several stitches before pulling it through. This foam was dense, though, so I could only do one stitch at a time. Which was fine. However, if you have poor strength in your hands, you might want a set of pliers handy to help pull the needle through.

To stitch the center, I just poked my needle up from the back, leaving a long tail.

poke through center

I stitched all the way around.

stitch center of block

When done, I poked the needle back through to the back, and tied a knot with my beginning and ending threads.

tie down from back

It took about 2 hours to complete the big stitch quilting, but I love the added texture that the quilting gives!

stitched foam quilt block

I’m not sure where I want to hang it yet, so to give myself lots of options, I stuck the foam mounted quilt block to a 12″x12″ canvas. This way I can lean it on a shelf, hang it on a wall, or do whatever I like.

stick foam to canvas

Wasn’t that simple? What kinds of decor would you make using Foamology? While you’re deciding on your first project, head over to JoAnns or Fairfield to order yourself some foam squares! If you order on the Fairfield site use the promo code 14FOAM25 at checkout for 25% off of your Foamology order.

Make sure to check out Fairfield on on Pinterest and Facebook, and Foamology on Facebook for more inspiration!

Thanks Foamology for sending me this fun new product to play with! It makes home decor so simple!