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.

Why my Elf on the Shelf is Boring

Let me start off by saying that I have no problem with one-upmanship. Or one-upMOMship. I’m totally fine with moms who want to spend thousands of dollars on their child’s first birthday party (though I’d suggest spending some of that money on a professional photographer so the child will remember it), or who make their children get up an hour early on the first day of school so they can get the perfect in-front-of-the-door-first-day-of-school photo. Partly, because I’m guilty of some of these crazy antics as well (I threw my son a half birthday party), and partly because I know that while you are taking a photo of their child dressed in the perfect princess costume, accessorized with rhinestone-studded kitten heels you DIYed the night before, you are wearing yoga pants, uggs, and yesterday’s mom bun.

Why-my-elf-on-the-shelf-is-

But your Elf on the Shelf baloney is one step too far. Sure, it is cute to have your elf make a mess of cookie crumbs on the counter, have snowball fight with marshmallows in the living room, or play dress-up with Barbie’s clothes and mom’s makeup. But that isn’t the point. The point is: READ THE BOOK.

The Elf on the Shelf is a family tradition that was Hallmark-isized. It was mass produced as boxed sets and manufactured dolls. And I bought one. I read the book and fell in love. Haven’t read the book? There is a movie. But if you missed that too, here are the Cliff’s notes: the elves are spies sent down from the North Pole to check on children. Each night they fly home to the North Pole to report to Santa, then fly back to your house to find another hiding spot so that they can listen to conversations and take notes on the behavior of small children. And if someone touches them, they lose their magic and can’t fly home.

THEY ARE SPIES. Sent to live among us, in secret. And wherever they stay during daylight hours – they are not supposed to be touched.

These moms who create elaborate dioramas that span the length and breadth of their dining room table – you really leave these up all day? You’re not worried that the ants are going to find that sticky syrup trail that Snickers McCandyCane left? You are going to walk around the livingroom, avoiding the cocktail party that Chappy Stockingfill is throwing with Rainbow Brite and and the My Little Pony twins? Really? Between Christmas shopping, baking, and shipping, you have time to dedicate sections of your house as shrines to a stuffed toy?

elf-binge-drinking

When I was a child, the warning that “Santa is watching” was enough to keep me in line. It seems kids today need a little extra coaching. But what kind of sports metaphor has the assistant coach pitching goals into their own basket? Not a successful one.

We’ve taken a story that was cherished by one family, shared it with the world, and allowed social media to bastardize it.

The Elf on the Shelf is the silent, unpaid Nanny who reminds our children to be good. After a two weeks of fall break in October, a week of Thanksgiving Break in November, and two more weeks of winter break in December, we moms need all the help we can get. So why are we tossing down tequila shots with our nanny elves each night, and leaving the trail of salt and lime rinds for our children to witness in the morning?

elf-shooting-down-lego-guys

If you must be a Pinterest Mom or Instagram show-off, have your elf dress up, challenge the kids to do a good deed each day, or leave treats for the kiddos as an early reward for good behavior. Remember that your elf is on a mission from Santa – not out on Rumspringa.

That one time I became an Award Winning Quilter

One of the most interesting and frustrating things I learned when working at a quilt shop is that quilters collect fears from other quilters. One quilter will look at a pattern and exclaim that it is “too hard” because of the inset seams or curves, and the other quilters within earshot will nod… and those originally contemplating the pattern will shy away.

I was determined that I wouldn’t take on the fears of other quilters – but then I did. Shortly after starting at the quilt shop, I attended the local quilt show there in Las Vegas. I asked a friend if she had any quilts hanging. She told me “Oh no! If you have more than one stitch in the corner of your binding, they mark you down!”

Wow. That sounded scary. So I didn’t enter my quilts. I took on a fear of quilt shows.

Ellipsis Quilt(If you’re interested, you can buy the Ellipsis Quilt here.)

After moving to San Diego, I decided to enter the quilt show here. For a small extra fee, I could get feedback on the quilt entered. I wasn’t looking for a ribbon – I was looking for honesty. As a quilter, I think my work is pretty good. But I’m not the best – and I can always use some constructive feedback from an expert. So I chose two quilts to enter. Including an unfinished quilt I (coincidentally) started about the same time I collected my fear of entering quilt shows. I would get these quilts finished, and I’d learn how to get better at my craft. That was winning.

The first night of the show, I went to see all the quilts. I was thrilled to see some beginner quilts hanging – they didn’t take on a fear of quilt shows! Good for them! I wanted to see which quilts had ribbons so I could see what I should aspire to – but none did. Yet.

After chatting with a few friends, the organizers started announcing the awards. When they came to the modern category, they announced my name as the second place winner. WHAT!? I wanted to shriek! But I knew almost none of the ladies there, so I stayed silent as I did a happy dance on the inside. I WON! What had I been afraid of this whole time? How many potentially award-winning quilts have I made, and not entered? Maybe none… but I will never know. Because I accepted my friend’s quilting fear as my own.

I’m so glad that I overcame my fear, and entered the quilt. I only wish I’d done so sooner!

Later that week, I picked up my quilt, my red ribbon, and a check. I also was given an envelope with feedback from the judge. Which told me I need to work on my binding. Maybe my friend was right about quilt shows – but that didn’t mean they were something to be afraid of.

Ellipsis close-up

If you’d like to make this quilt (it is SUPER simple to make, and uses 2.5″ mini charms and a jelly roll), you can buy the pattern in my pattern shop.

Lego Birthday Favor

When I was a kid, we’d bring cupcakes to school on our birthday to share a treat with the class. With 32 kids in a class, that can add up to a lot of cupcakes. But we didn’t mind. However, schools are trying to teach healthy choices to students, so many schools (ours included) have adopted a “no food treats” policy. Only a couple times a year are we allowed to celebrate with food. The rest of the year we’re encouraged to find other ways to celebrate.

DIY Custom Lego Favors

With this in mind, my son and I headed to the Lego Store. I was hoping to scour the pick-a-brick wall for an idea, preferably one that used 10 or less pieces. We were successful on the first, but not on the second. My son and I came up with this fun little car.

mini lego truck

We then picked out 35 sets of pieces. Whenever possible, I put pieces together into 5s or 10s. This made it easier to keep count, but also meant they took less room in the containers (YAY!)

pieces for lego favor

I then cut out and put together boxes, made labels, created custom Lego Instructions, folded the instructions, (with help from my awesome SIL) and put the pieces into baggies. This process took a whole day! But the result was pretty awesome.

custom lego favors

They ended up costing just over $1 each. Not including my time. And my son LOVED passing out little Lego truck kits to all of his friends. And the kids were super excited to get them.

And I have a craving simpler times. And for store-bought cupcakes.

The Process of Creating Community

February 20th we moved into our new house. It was exactly five weeks after getting the news that we would be moving. The 5 weeks of packing and moving is another story for another time… today I’m chatting about being just over 3 months in to our new house.

houseWe lived in Las Vegas for 8 years. and it took all 8 years for us to create a community there. Six months before we moved I found a friend to go running with twice a week. 12 months before we moved I had a blogging community. 3 years before we moved I found my quilting community. It all took a long time to develop. And now that we’re in our new home, I don’t want to wait. I want more than unpacked boxes, I want a community.

swings

I’ve spent a large part of this week getting our summer planned. Our summer in this new house. We’ll spend time at the beach, of course, but I also want to discover the things that are close by. We have 3 libraries, 2 community pools, and 4 rec centers within 10 minutes of our door. There are amazing parks, museums, shops, and festivals. We’re gearing up for it all in a big way. Over the last week, we’ve bought our pool passes for the summer, signed up for swim lessons, found a preschool for the fall, and signed up for library cards at both the City and County Libraries. Eight years in Las Vegas and I never had a library card… just over three months here, and I have two.

We’ve scoped out the summer reading programs, and I am super excited. When we left Las Vegas, my first grader was struggling to read. Fast forward a dozen weeks, and thanks to an amazing teacher and lots of at-home practice, he is reading ABOVE GRADE LEVEL. I’m in tears. Big, fat, proud mama tears. So we’ll work on reading even more this summer, spending lots of time snuggling with books, and toting them back and forth to the library.

library books

I’ve found my quilting community. I’ve visited the four quilt shops closest to my house, all within a 15 minute drive, and I’ll be offering classes at one. I’m planning to enter a quilt or two into the local quilt show (fingers crossed!).  Hopefully I’ll make it to a local guild meeting soom.

There is a fabulous blogging community here as well, and I’ve met a couple members. I’m looking forward to meeting even more of them in person.

And we have family here. I dropped by my brother’s house today, unannounced, to drop off some papers for my sister in law. I’ve never had family so close before, so this is new to me. And when I left her house I thought to myself, “Is dropping by unannounced okay?” Clearly, there is still more for me to learn.

Moving was hard. Tearing myself away from a community that took the better part of a decade to build felt like I amputated a portion of my soul. But I’m finding community here, too. The roots are shallow so far, but the ground is fertile. It turns out that the part of your soul where the community lives can regenerate. Though we miss our friends in Las Vegas, and I still speak with them often, we are moving forward.

It is still new. It still feels strange. But San Diego is our home.

beach

Eating the Frog, and having a whole Frog Farm

I’m coming out of the coma. The mental coma that moving put me into. Anyone who has moved recently knows that moving is brutal. And anyone who hasn’t moved recently probably doesn’t remember how brutal moving is because they’ve completely blocked it out of their memory. Which I hope to do soon. Very soon.

In January we learned that we were moving. We were moving for all the right reasons, and we were happy to move. More about all that later. Probably. Five weeks after the announcement, we were in a new home, in a new city, in a new state. Everything was different. As I unpacked the boxes that I had packed in the previous weeks, and tried to find the perfect place for each of our treasured belongings, I really lost sight of everything else.

When you move, it becomes your one priority. The move comes first – everything else depends on it. Want to make a sandwich? First you have to find the box with the plates, the box with the knife, and find out where the closest grocery store is to buy bread and fixings. And condiments – because all of your food was given away or tossed before the move. Want to take a shower? Find the soap, towel, and change of clothes. And hope the shower curtain was packed on top, or you’ll need some extra towels to mop up the floor. Which you’ll need to wash. But first you need to head to the hardware store for an extra fixture so that your modern dryer can attach to a not-so-modern home.

Everything takes longer. Sometimes days longer.

Which means that all the things that were important before the move have been demoted from first place to 5th. Or 8th. or 92nd.

But now I’m coming out of the coma. The shower curtain has been found and hung. The dryer works. We discovered we don’t have a dishwasher, but we’re managing. And all my old priorities get to be priorities again. We are rediscovering normal in our new surroundings.

But while I was away, my priorities multiplied. Now everything has been waiting for weeks to get my attention. And I can’t take it all on at once. So each day, I’m trying to eat the frog.

Eat the Frog - Always Expect Moore com

I pick one of the big frogs that is waiting for my attention, and tackle that one. One at a time, day after day, I’m taking on the frogs. Some frogs take more than one day. That’s okay. It is too daunting to eat the whole frog farm at once, so I’m eating them one at a time. I suppose that either they’ll stop croaking, or I’ll croak. Sorry. Bad pun. Couldn’t help myself.

Some of my frogs are as simple as sending out e-mail followup. Or writing a post I’ve been meaning to. Some are tackling bigger projects. But over the next weeks and months, I’ll gobble up all the frogs that have been needing my attention.

Though, I’m not sure that Mark Twain had it right. I think that if it’s your job to eat a frog, you should eat it first thing… and then update your resume second. Though I won’t be updating my resume any time soon. I love my job, and all the metaphorical frogs that go with it.

Quilt Market 2014

I thought I’d share a little of Quilt Market 2014, at least the parts you may not have caught on Instagram…

Day one was Schoolhouse … I went to as many as I could, and I got to hear from some of the big names in quilting. Angela Walters talked about her latest book…

Angela Walters at Quiltmarket

Elizabeth Hartman has a book of sampler blocks. I love that these blocks are three different sizes, yet come together seamlessly!

Elizabeth Hartman at Quiltmarket

And this curved ruler demo. I ended up buying myself one of these curved rulers, and have a fun idea for a quilt…

curve ruler demo

I also presented a schoolhouse – for Thermoweb.

Thermoweb Schoolhouse at Quiltmarket

I thought I’d experience Sample Spree, since I’ve heard so much about it. There were wall-to-wall bodies, and I didn’t go anywhere near the Moda table… really, it was like a boy band concert with a lot more grey hair. And more sensible shoes.

 

Sample Spree at Quiltmarket

I didn’t take a ton of pictures at the show, but I did make sure to take one of my new buddy, the Dutch Quilter. She does amazing applique edged with ribbon.

The Dutch Quilter - Quilt Market 2014

I loved this applique quilt… cut with a Silhouette… I can’t wait to do more applique with my Silhouette!

silhouette cut applique

I also took a couple photos of work I did for the Fairfield booth. I made all the pink projects here.

soften booth samples And I quilted all the hearts on these blocks of batting.

Batting samples at Quiltmarket

This was such a fun project – 18 quilted hearts, each on a different type of batting. I learned a lot about my own personal batting preferences – I like lower loft battings, and though I’ve stuck to cottons in the past, Fairfield has some really amazing blends. The recycled batting really surprised me – I loved it!

 

Quilted hearts with feathers

I also took some fun selfies… with Eleanor Burns…

selfie with Eleanor Burns

And with my Quiltmarket Roomie – Jenny from Craft Test Dummies – in front of the Cotton + Steel Booth.

roomie selfie at quiltmarket

I got to meet Tula Pink – which was awesome! She is amazing times 1000. Probably the sweetest badass on the planet.

meeting Tula Pink

And I took a class, on Big Stitch, from Carolyn Forster. I’ve wanted to learn more about big stitch, and this was the perfect opportunity. Carolyn was so fun to learn from!

Big Stitch class at Quiltmarket

That was quiltmarket… amazing! I’m looking forward to going again next year!

Hosting a Dr Pepper and Dye Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

For more ideas on how to create your own #BackyardBash, check out the tumblr page at www.drpepperbash.com.

hosting a dr pepper and dye party

This past weekend, I invited my friends over for a backyard bash for some one of a kind tie dye fun. I recently took a class on shibori dye techniques, and it amped up my pre-existing love for dye. I wanted to share this with my friends who haven’t tried dye before and… (spoiler alert) they loved it! I love throwing parties, including outdoor parties, and this was a one of a kind idea for creating a get together for my crafting friends!

Several of my friends came over, kids in tow, for a fun mommy-date. I hired a sitter to stay inside with the kids while we moms braved the 100+ degree heat to play with our dye.

I have a big bin in my craft room filled with all my dye supplies, so for me hosting the party was as easy as having people bring their own items to dye, pulling out the bin, gong to Wal Mart for some Dr Pepper and Cheeze-Its… and tidying the house of course! If you want to host your own dye party, but don’t have a dye bin handy, I’ll give you some tips on what to buy at the end of this post.

dye party supplies

We had a great time trying different dye techniques. We did traditional twisting dye…

pour on the dye

and I shared some techniques for using rubber bands to get different looks.

rubber bands to tie dye

Once everything was sitting in dye, we headed inside to snack. The fabric got to marinate in the dye, and develop a nice, rich color.

dye in a mason jar

After we ate, we took turns rinsing out our dyed creations.

rinse off the dye

It was so much fun to see what everyone created! This blue shirt below was as easy as folding, clamping, and soaking in dye.

shibori tie dye technique

 

These pearl grey and petal pink dyed fabrics will be going into a quilt.

grey and pink tie dye

Different colors and different techniques, and in one afternoon we made half a wardrobe!

drying off the clothes

Although it was hot, we had a perfect day with just a slight breeze. To keep garments down while dying, I was able to use Dr Pepper cans! These worked perfectly!

use dr pepper to hold down clothes

This shirt is a new technique I thought I’d try – I can’t wait to show you the results later this week!

 

If you want to host your own dye party (and you know you do!) here are my tips:

Tips for hosting a dye party

Start by deciding on a day and time that works. I picked a day when I would have a sitter handy to watch the kids. Half a dozen kids over while I have my hands in dye could be a recipe for disaster… so I wanted someone to keep an eye on the goings-on inside the house. Since I live in the desert, I wanted an early morning time (but not TOO early!), so we went from 10-2. This gave us enough time to prep our pieces, let them soak in the dye for at least an hour, and give everyone time to rinse.

If you’re new to dye, look for some different dye techniques online. Try them out before the party, if you can. I had a sampler from the class I took to show my guests what different dye techniques would look like. You might want to print out instructions for various techniques if you have lots of people coming.

Make sure you have the supplies you need on hand. Depending on the techniques you’ll be showing your guests, you’ll need different supplies. I headed to Wal Mart to buy my Dr Pepper, and any other supplies I didn’t have on hand already. While I was there, I also picked up a little Coleman cooler to keep my drinks cool during the party.

shopping for dr pepper at walmartMy shopping buddy wasn’t in the mood for taking pictures.

Here is my supply list:

Several different colored bottles of Rit Dye
Rubber Bands (I buy the large pack of black rubber bands from the hair section of the store)
Several containers for dye baths (large mason jars, wash bins, and plastic storage bins all work well)
Salt (helps give more vibrant color on cotton)
Stir Sticks (to stir your dye)
Water
A sink close at hand for rinsing
Rubber gloves (or guests who like colorful hands)
Dr Pepper, pizza, and some snacks – like Cheeze-Its!
Puppy Pads (for under dye trays)
Squirt and spray bottles
Plastic bags for taking home wet dyed clothes.

Have your guests bring their own items to dye – shirts, towels, sheets, shoes – anything white or light-colored (over-dying on pinks, yellows, light blues, and other light colors looks awesome!). The items can be old and stained (the dye will help hide the stains) or brand-new from the store.

 

After your guests rinse out their clothes, have an area they can hang them to dry. Because of the Las Vegas heat, lots of the clothes dried before my guests headed home. I also gave them washing instuctions: Wash each piece in LOTS of water (with a second rinse cycle if your washer has it). Don’t mix colors – if you have several garments with blue dye, they can be washed together… but don’t wash two different garments of different colors. Washing red and blue together, if you haven’t fully rinsed, can result in a whole lot of purple (ask me how I know!)…

Thanks again to Dr Pepper for making this such a fun party! #BackyardBash #CollectiveBias

Craft Room Tour

It has been less than a year since I moved into my new craft space, though it feels like longer. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years, and my craft room has been in three different rooms. This is the second time I’ve had my craft room in this room! Before moving into this room, I shared a space with my husband. We had a Craft Room/Man Cave combo. Which is like a sewing room with a flat screen TV and an extra desk. But as I’ve done more and more blogging (and more and more crafting), it became apparent that I needed my own dedicated space. Space where I could close the door to keep children away from projects in progress. And a room where my husband didn’t have to constantly see the mess that projects in progress look like! So, I moved into this room, and have been getting settled ever since.

Always Expect Moore Craft Room Tour

Several months ago, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage asked some blogging friends if we’d like to join her in a big craft room tour. I thought it was the perfect excuse to get my craft room done. Because nothing helps to get work completed like a looming deadline, right? And since the deadline was MONTHS away, I had plenty of time, right? I did get some work done each month, and although the room isn’t perfect (I don’t know if it ever will be?) it is presentable, and that’s really what I was shooting for.

So, if you’re on the Craft Room Tour, and you popped in from the last stop over at Mad In Crafts, Welcome! If this is your first stop, you can go to the beginning of the tour, or you can enjoy this post and click on the link at the end to go to the next stop on the tour.

So, ready to take a peek into my space? Let’s get started! When you first walk into the room, you’ll see my main crafting area right in the middle.

crafting area

This is a dining room table I bought at a furniture outlet. It is super sturdy, and gives me plenty of room for my large cutting mat. It is more-or-less centered underneath the large window. If you go back and look at the first picture, you’ll see that the window has a very… um… interesting valence. The valence that is there is the old sports-themed valence from when this was my son’s room. I have plans to switch it out. It is covered by the blinds, which are tucked up. That’s because my son cut the cord from the blinds, so they no longer function properly. Instead of blinds, I have a plain piece of cotton covering the window. This does a great job of diffusing the light when I take craft photos in this room on bright days. On cloudy days, I just flip it up over the valence, and out of the way.

sewing machine

On one side of the craft table is my sewing machine. This is a Bernina 710, and she is brand new. I’m loving playing with this new machine! On the sewing side of the table is a tall unit with small bins that hold various projects in progress. On top of it is a fabric bin that currently holds two quilts that need quilting.

On the other side of the table is my laptop. That’s where I’m sitting right now as I write this!

large shelving in craft room

You might notice that I have aprons tied to both my chairs. I love both these aprons, but never wear them – this way they get a little use, I can enjoy them, and they are close at hand if I ever need them!

Behind the sewing machine is a large shelving unit that I bought at IKEA about a decade ago. I love this shelving unit! It is sturdy enough to have made it through several moves, and has been used in lots of different ways. Currently, it holds lots and lots of craft supplies! On top of this unit are a bunch of wreaths, and two smaller units filled with scrapbooking supplies.

large shelving unit

The cubbies are somewhat organized. The far right cubby holds all my adhesives and glues, the next has kids’ crafting supplies (like pom poms and pipecleaners) in the wipes box, and the last two hold books and binders.

baskets in craft shelving unit

The bottom cubbies have baskets filled with supplies. From back to front: Duck Tape, Therm-o-Web, and Mason Jars.

The other side of the room is just as stuffed!

quilt wall

I have a large rod with batting hung on it. Right now the batting is all tucked up, but when I need it, I unpin it from the top, and spread it out to make a design wall for quilting. To the right of the batting is a mini quilt I made, and to the left are my paint storage racks. Jessica from Mad in Crafts had paint storage racks like these that her dad made for her. I showed the post to my mom, and asked her to make me some! I love how it frees up drawer space, and adds color to the walls!

Over on the right you’ll see another tall shelving unit.

cabinet

Inside are various sewing notions, buttons, ribbons, and more. It looks nice and neat when the doors are closed.

Next to that is my ironing board.

ironing board

The ironing board never comes down. The mechanism for holding it up broke, so I tied it in place with a shoelace (true story). Now it stays up permanently. Which is fine – it gets a lot of use.

Behind it is a quilt rack. It is actually a piece from the crib we no longer use, and the slats are perfect for hanging quilts. Most of these are waiting for something – borders or quilting.

To the left of the ironing board is another shelving unit.

craft shelf

On top are some mason jars filled with pens, pencils, and paintbrushes. And a bowl filled with more odds and ends. In the unit are all kinds of things – clay, styrofoam balls, dowels, maps, flower stems… even some mini pizza boxes! Most of the items in here are things that I hope to use in a craft project one day. It is like a mini hoarding unit. At the bottom you’ll see my serger tucked away.

To the left of that is my comfy chair.

sitting chair

I bought this chair about 15 years ago at a thrift shop. It was covered in yellow velvet, and all the wood was painted black. I stripped off the paint, and re-upholstered it. On the chair are a couple pillows. I made the one on the left as a child. The one on the right was a gift at my Modern Quilt Guild Meeting. Under the chair are a few bags of fabric – all the fabric in these bags has deadlines. There is a quilt, and some projects for upcoming classes at the quilt shop.

Behind the chair is a large bolt of batting, and a bolt of upholstery fabric. Also bags and embroidery hoops hanging from a mirror. To the left of the chair are two more storage bins. The one on the bottom holds embroidery and yarn. The top holds denim squares for a jeans quilt I want to make. Someday.

That brings us to the closet. I’ve been quilting since I was 12, so I have a decent fabric stash. That needs some organization. Ugh! Above the fabric, on the shelves, are boxes filled with stamping supplies.

right side of closet

On the left side of the closet are boxes with UFOs (that is Un-Finished Objects for you non-quilters) on the bottom, and bins with jewelry making supplies on the top, and a bin with my glue guns on top of that.  Also hanging in the closet are more quilt tops. Some need quilting, some just need binding.

left side of closet

Above the closet I have two long dowels of ribbon. I used to have my ribbon in a giant, messy box. This makes it so much easier to find the ribbon I need for a project.

storage solutions

On the right you’ll see a similar solution for washi tape, and underneath the washi tape holder, my scissors pocket storage, which was one of my early blogging tutorials, and I still love.

Partially in front of the closet is a small rolling table. On top is my Silhouette, and a bin of supplies for upcoming projects – reviews for Craft Test Dummies and some more Easter crafting I’m hoping to get done. The top of this table is often used for craft projects. One side is white, and the other side is black chalkboard. I can just flip over the table top if I want a different background.

craft cart

All that leaves us is the area over by the door that we came in!

behind the door

Behind the door are a few mini quilts – the top one uses the Laser Cut Applique, and the bottom one is from the improv piecing class I took. To the left is a ribbon-crossed black bulletin board. I made this for my wedding, and it held all the seating cards. Now it holds all kinds of little treasures! On the left is a tall brown cabinet, on top of which is my AccuQuilt Go! and a rack with my quilting rulers. The drawers hold extra paint, RIT dye, fabric, and other odds and ends. To the right of the cabinet, leaning up against it, are canvases, extra cutting mats, and trays that I use as backgrounds when taking tutorial photos. Leaning up against the wall is extra cardboard for crafting.

WHEW! We made it all around the room… almost! There’s one spot we haven’t looked yet!

under table storage

This is under my table! I have shelves that hold projects, binders, and all my fat quarters of fabric. It keeps them accessible, but away from the sun that might make the fabric fade. To the left of this unit are my two older sewing machines. They are no longer used on a regular basis – but I like to have them handy.

I cram a whole lot of stuff into a relatively small space. That’s what happens when you’ve been crafting and sewing for as long as I have… and when you hate letting things go! While getting this room all spiffed up to show you, I did manage to fill one large box with craft supplies that I’ll be mailing off to a family member. I can’t keep everything forever… it is good to purge every now and then! … just don’t tell my husband I said that, or he’ll encourage me to purge a lot more often. I’m not sure I’m ready for that…

Thanks for joining in today! To continue on to the next crafty space on the tour, go check out Amy at The Idea Room.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We started our day with a Valentine’s Day breakfast, and I’ll be ending my day out on a date with my wonderful husband..

Simple Valentine's Tablescape

I hope your day is filled with love in all forms…

Place Setting for Valentine's Day

a call from a friend. a kiss from a loved one. a hug. a smile.

Valentine's Day Table

Happy, happy Valentine’s.