Ankeny Quilt Studio Reveal

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It has been a little over 3 weeks since we moved to our new home in Ankeny, Iowa and we are finally getting settled. I promised you photos of my quilt studio and that is what you’ll get to see in this post.

We chose to buy a house with an unfinished basement as it was about $40 thousand dollars cheaper and we didn’t really need a family room in the basement. Bob spends most of his time in the man-cave and I spend most of my time either in my office or quilt studio.

Quilt Studio Reveal

The first thing you will notice about my quilt studio is that it is a functional workspace rather than a beautiful one. We have seen quilt studios that are gorgeous with everything matching and beautiful windows for outside light. I am just as happy with my mix and match furniture that is functional and works for me.

My quilt studio uses many of the same pieces of furniture that I’ve been using through 3 moves. My most important piece is my cutting table and I was so afraid the movers wouldn’t be able to get it down the stairs but they did!

This is a brand new house and the fire code now requires basement ceilings to have sheetrock on them. I’m happy with that.

my new quilt studio in Ankeny, Iowa

Originally, there were 3 light bulbs in the ceiling for lighting that weren’t very bright. We found these neat lights with 5 panels, 4 of which move and are LED with natural light, they are awesome. Bob also bought some for his garage/man cave.

quilt studio in basement

The outside walls are covered in plastic-faced insulation. We had a piece of 1-inch foam board insulation that I put up for a design wall. I have had many design walls over the years, the sliding design wall that Bob built at the river house is my favorite.

For this design wall, I used one of the plastic tablecloths that I had used on the country quilt studio walls.

Design wall from foam board

Fabric Bookcases

I decided to put all of my bookcases on the same wall. The top 3 shelves of fabric are all batiks. I also have most of my AccuQuilt dies and quit books on the white shelves. My fabric pieces vary in size from fat quarters, scraps, or a couple of yards. I never worry about keeping it too straight as I have a tendency to pull a stack out when I am making something. This works for me.

Bookcases for fabric and accuqilt dies

I also have some fabric in my IKEA bins (no longer available) and some precuts displayed. I also have some large yardage batik pieces on the top shelf.

Precut fabrics in studio

AccuQuilt Dies and books

I also have my 2 white shelves that hold my AccuQuilt dies, quilt books, and other odd things. My long AccuQuilt dies sit on the floor next to the shelves.

Accuquilt dies and quilt books

This time I had enough room to place both bathroom vanities next to each other. I still plan on painting them white (I’ve been saying that since Bob got them for me at the river house). He cut tops for them and then we also place a large whiteboard on top. This makes a sturdy work surface for my electric AccuQuilt cutter and my Cricut machine.

Bathroom vanities for work space in quilt room

My cutting table holds all of my scrap pieces that are cut into sizes that I use a lot. When I’m working on a project I usually go ahead and cut up the leftover fabric into sizes and put them in the bins.

Cutting table with scrap storage

Sewing machines

I have 4 sewing machines set up in my studio. I also have a Singer featherweight under my cutting table. My favorite sewing machine is the vintage Singer 15-91 straight stitch machine. I have 2 of them and I usually fill my bobbins on the once against the wall.

If I am quilting, I have 2 lightweight tables that I can place behind and to the right of my sewing machine to give me plenty of surfaces to keep my quilt from hanging down. When you let your quilt hang down, the weight will cause you problems as you quilt.

sewing machines in my studio

I have a 7 hole wooden sugar candle mold that holds my scissors and other things I use all the time.

This sewing machine is an EverSewn Sparrow 25 sitting on my Arrow Sewing table. I don’t really have a brick wall down here, that is a fabric backdrop for photography.

fake brick wall and another sewing machine

Bob made me this ruler holder several years ago and it is supposed to hang on the wall but I normally just have it sitting on a table. I tend to move things around a lot. I have more but these are the rulers I use the most.

Ruler holder to hold my quilt rulers

A place to iron

It is important to me to have a large area for ironing. I use a large piece of plywood that is covered with batting and then fabric. Bob cut a size that fits above these 3d storage bins. I was always bending over before to iron and I had some totes I wasn’t using that now make the ironing surface a perfect size for me. I love my old vintage irons as they are heavy and usually have a flat surface. The best place to find them is at Goodwill or garage sales.

A couple of years ago I started using the 100% wool pressing mat from New Zealand for ironing and love them. Someday I’m going to buy one that covers my entire ironing surface.

ironing station in studio

Remember when I first showed you the quilt studio and there was a wall that was just framed? Well, I didn’t want to look through at the other section of the basement so I decided to temporarily cover the walls. I tried sheets but you could see through them so I bought fleece which is working great!

Luckily I went to Joann’s and was able to buy the fabric at 40% off. I needed 5 pieces that were 2 2/3 yards long. I am short one piece and used a dark sheet to finish the wall for now. Next time there is a sale, I’ll go buy my last piece. I just used push pins to hold the pieces up.

Quilt Storage

This is what is on the backside of my studio and why I wanted the “fake” walls. Here I am storing my finished quilts and other odds and ends that I have.

Quilt storage

I hope you have enjoyed a peek at my new quilt studio. I’m not sure of the size, but it is over 500 square feet.

Another view of my quilt studio

Mickey and a friend

Mr. Mickey is having fun getting to know his neighbor! She is Lucy, a 4-year-old doodle who looks a lot like him!

Mr. Mickey and neighbor dog Lucy

One last photo of my cutting table and quilt projects that I need to work on.

another view of cutting table

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Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns.

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79 Comments

  1. Just love your studio nice space and love all the mismatched furniture i prefer
    lots of differant pieces to makes it interesting, just wish i had more time to quilt and sew, Nice job hope you enjoy. mary zook

  2. Your quilt studio is awesome! I’m trying to pack my stuff into a small bedroom…. so it has built in limits to stash storage… After 2 years in this apartment, I am making/planning some modifications to my son’s dismay. You are inspiration.

  3. Connie! Oh my goodness! I’m from Muscatine and now live near Marshalltown. I love your studio (some day) and your patterns.

    Karen Diehl Gudith
    Laurel, IA

  4. Congratulations on the move! It looks like things are really coming along! So glad Mr. Mikey has found a friend; that means less barking! I was thrilled to see you have the EZ Rulers also; I bought all of them when I first started quilting and then couldn’t find books on how to work with them! I found an online seller of used books and was able to find some that people got rid of and now I can experiment. In the mean time; I bought expensive NEW rulers to go with the patterns I was making! Sheesh!

    Glad you like having your work room in the basement; you have nice big windows for sunlight! I hated having my workroom in the basement; too gloomy. When I moved I made sure MY work space is upstairs; guests can have the basement!

    Congratulations again!

  5. Congratulations on the move! It looks like things are really coming along! So glad Mr. Mikey has found a friend; that means less barking! I was thrilled to see you have the EZ Rulers also; I bought all of them when I first started quilting and then couldn’t find books on how to work with them! I found an online seller of used books and was able to find some that people got rid of and now I can experiment. In the mean time; I bought expensive NEW rulers to go with the patterns I was making! Sheesh!

    Glad you like having your work room in the basement; you have nice big windows for sunlight! I hated having my workroom in the basement; too gloomy. When I moved I made sure MY work space is upstairs; guests can have the basement!

    Congratulations again!

  6. Very nice! I love that it doesn’t look sterile and generic like a furniture store layout. It is usable.

    I get my wool mats from State Line Tack. The 30” x 30” Mustang Square Wool Pad Liner is under $30 plus shipping. I’ve been very pleased with its performance!

    Here’s to a wonderful experience in your new home!

  7. Connie,
    Your sewing space is a palace, and you are the queen of the kingdom! If I had a place like that, I’d never leave it! I can see how much time and work you put into creating it. Enjoy!

  8. Wow connie what a great room,And you seemed to put it all together so fast and quick looks great and so much room and you have the space for your beautiful work you do,Iam sure you and your cute dog and husband will enjoy your new home it’s a beautiful place.

  9. Thanks for sharing your new studio. It looks great-so much space and organization.
    Makes my sewing room look very disorganized! Hopefully this will spur me on to getting it better organized. How nice that Mr Micky has a new friend-cute dogs. Enjoy your studio!

  10. I LOVE the mix and match aspect of all the tools in your workspace! I have repurposed our breakfast nook table to be my cutting table! I am lucky to have an incredible Horn of America sewing table and use it like crazy! I hope that y’all are done moving – it is exhausting! Beautiful space to continue to be creative!!!

  11. Connie, I love your sewing studio. I think you are very creative and you sure know how to create a beautiful sewing space. Sew much room and you are making the most of what you have. My sewing space is a two car garage attached to our home. I have mix matched cabinets for storage. My husband built me a beautiful 5 foot x 5 foot sewing table with cubbies and built shelving on one wall which holds all of my plastic bins filled with fabrics. I adore how you created false walls with fleece! Awesome. Thanks for sharing your beautiful space with us.

  12. Your quilting studio setup looks wonderful! I love how much space you have. Thanks for the link to those lights. I’ve never seen that type of light before and I like them a lot. Happy quilting!

  13. Your studio looks great! Thanks for showing it to us. I love all the room you have–wish I had that much room for mine… Those lights are great, aren’t they? We put some in our basement and garage–sure makes a HUGE difference! Enjoy your new home!

  14. I am glad you are settling in and happy with your space. Your quilting space is fabulous. I am also happy Mr. Mickey has found a new friend. Have a nice day.

  15. Congrats on the speedy assembly of your sewing space! I love a space that is functional, no matter the size! Those lights are awesome! I’m glad Mr Mickey has a new friend! Happy sewing! 🧵🧵🧵😊💕

  16. Wow! So much done in so little time! I moved 15 years ago and am still finding stuff I forgot I had. Such a big, well-lit room! Sigh!! Beats my little corner to bits. Hope everyone will be happy in the new spot.

  17. Ditto to all the great things everyone said! Love it so much – including the crane in the window! And so quick – I’ve been here 31 years and still moving things around. I know you must miss all the wild life and all but this is really beautiful. Thanks.

  18. Heavenly!!!! This is a dream come true, I’m sure. Fit for a princess. Enough space for everything, even walking space. I really do love this!!!! Your castle. Enjoy!!
    Thanks such much for sharing. I gleaned many ideas from your set-up
    WOW!! Connie. WOW!!

  19. Connie I love your new quilting space. It is so spacious I love how you have it set up.
    You are a worker getting all that set up and ready to sew. Thank You so much for bringing us into your home and sharing with us. It is a wonderful place. Love You😊 ♥️
    Barb

  20. Good evening, all the way from Georgia it’s great to see your studio it’s so spacious and very organized I like everything so far looks like you can start a quilting class in your new studio I’m happy Mr Mickey likes his new friend. Enjoy your new home.

  21. I just started following you as you prepared to move. I like your new set up and the organization you’ve succeeded in capturing. I look forward to more quilting tips and patterns in the future.

  22. Connie Dear I love your new quilting/sewing space. It has all the creative space to be your perfect Happy Place. Oh Mr. Mickey may be falling in love with the very cute Lucy. Great post of your new home space.

  23. Connie – thanks for the wonderful tour! I know you feel so much better ‘nesting’ in your quilt room . . . We are much more productive when our sewing/quilting area is organized! Seeing the picture of Mickey and his new friend makes me smile . . . they will truly enjoy each others company while outdoors.
    Enjoy settling into your new home!

  24. Connie, love your studio and am jealous of the space. I work in a bedroom that I converted into my sewing room. I would love to have all that space. It looks wonderful and appreciate the mix match furniture. Very jealous of your cutting table

    Best wishes to you in your new digs, love your blog and patterns.

  25. I am happy for you both. Your new “digs” are great. Happy Mr. Micky has a nice new “neighbor.

  26. Connie, I love your new quilt studio. I would love to have a space this big to work in. I can’t believe how fast you got your room all settled. You are amazing! Love to read your posts. Have a Great rest of your day! Bye!

  27. Thanks, Connie, for sharing pictures of your new quilting studio. It is so well organised. There’s plenty of space for everything you need.
    As I try to get my smallest bedroom sorted for sewing, I’ve counted more than 30 stackable plastic storage boxes with lids for dressmaking and patchwork fabrics.
    My 3 sewing machines share the limited space with my Digital Piano.
    I guess it’s not where you sew, or how you sew, but that you sew!
    Mr Mickey has a lovely little friend. They look so cute together.
    Happy days at Ankeny to everyone in your family.

  28. Congrats on your new home and your new space! It is so spacious. I think yours looks pretty darn elegant the way it is. Lots of luck in your new home.

  29. Boy we got the million dollar tour and not the nickel one. Very impressive how you have it all organized and all to fit you, your needs, and your creativity. That’s what is important. Thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us, along with the joy of seeing Mr. Mickey’s new BFF. Try to get some rest in-between emptying boxes, etc..

  30. The tour was great, and a lot of work in those few weeks.But it looks like you have everything where you want it to be, and space to move it around if the first place doesn’t suit. the size, that is half of what our first home was, so I have an idea of how large it is.Mr Mickey looks well and happy, and a new friend, all a bonus for you both.

  31. That was very kind of you to spend all that time and effort showing us all the pictures of your sewing room and all the time it took to write a description of each area. What a blessing to have such a large room. Everything has it place and you can see everything and not have to rummage around to search for anything.

    I think Mr. Mickey has a new best friend to get to know. How wonderful.

    Blessing upon your day.

  32. Your studio looks great. I have one of those pressing mats from New Zealand and also bought one for a friend of mine that sew a lot. Wished I had one of those years ago.

  33. Your new studio is beautiful, and I’m so impressed that you already have everything set up and organized! Congratulations!

  34. Love it ….. I like that you have some natural light in this quilting room and maybe fresh air. I also hope you have heat in that area for the cold winters. Love your organization.

  35. Dear Connie: WOW!!! Love your new studio! I’m so glad Mr. Mickey is happy with his new friend. With the economy the way it is, I have not been looking for a new place, but hope to start looking again when it’s a buyer’s market. Take care, and enjoy your new home.
    Roxy in Hudson, WI

  36. I bet you’re glad to have the studio unpacked and settled, although I imagine some rearranging might happen as you work in the space. I would caution you about storing your precuts and other fabric on open shelves. It looks like that window allows a lot of light which is always appreciated, but it also causes your fabrics to fade. Ask me how I know. Enjoy your new space.

  37. It’s gorgeous, so well defined, organized and love all the natural lighting and open spaces, it will be a joy for you to quilt in there! All the colored fabric so neatly stored and a large table for cutting and laying out designs. I love your Singer Sparrow too, it looks quite at home in your Quilt Studio.
    So thrilled that Mr. Mickey has a new friend, the move works out well for him too!
    I’m sure she will give him company and the lift he needs to feel better.

  38. An absolutely wonderful sewing space. I have an 8×10 bedroom, so WOW.!!! I bet you smile everytime you think about sewing.
    Do you have a pattern for your 2 wall hangings—looks like 3 moons, and one with 1 moon or circle and strips??? Love the colors as well.
    Thank you for sharing the ongoing adventures of your life. And Mr. Mickey!!!

  39. It’s such a big space and I love it. Looks like you have everything set up just the way you want it. Looking forward to seeing the projects that will follow.

  40. Gorgeous quilt studio. Just love the entire set up and the lights really make the areas workable. I see Mr. Mickey seems happy for have a neighbor/friend. Wonderful to see you guys moving in so quickly.

  41. I think your new studio is awesome. Great lighting, inviting, well organized and I love all your furniture, especially your cutting table. Great idea to add a fake wall for creating more storage space for finished quilts on the other side too!

  42. Love the new quilting studio!!! Hope you enjoy it for many years. Glad Mickey has found a friend. Thank you for sharing!

  43. So happy to see your e-mail today. LOVE your new studio!!! Was worried that you wore yourself out moving and getting settled into your new home. ENJOY!!! Glad to see that Mr. Mickey has a new friend. Am sure he missed Sadie.

  44. Terrific space and you’ve arranged things so they work for you. That’s more important than everything matching. I’m going to check into those lights.

  45. Well Connie, that wasn’t a peek it was a Grand Tour of your studio and I love it. What a wonderful space you have organized in such a short time!
    That’s quite the stash of quilts you have! You could easily do a Zoom trunk show with that many.
    Mr. Mickey and Lucy look like they could be related, nice to seeing him making new friends.
    Stay safe, healthy, and happy and carry on quilting.🇨🇦

  46. That was fun taking a tour of your studio, it is large and bright, I’m sure you will enjoy it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  47. I love your space! I have always wanted a basement just for this purpose but it wasn’t in the cards for me. So, I have a small bedroom that is very packed but functional. I am happy for you!

  48. Wow, you are a dynamo to get so much done in such a short period of time. Your space is perfect, most important to me, as well, is a functional space. Having so much room to set up stations for your work process is the best way for any quilter to be productive and creative. Thank you for sharing your new space! I always get great ideas from your spaces and your designs!

  49. Connie your quilting space is amazing and so well organized. Glad you and Bob have settled into your new home and that Mr. Mickey has made a friend. Happy quilting!

  50. Thanks for sharing your new studio. I always get some good ideas from your organization! And, I look forward to your posts, especially when you are sharing fun, non-quilting stuff like the critters you feed and, of course, Mickey.

  51. I bet you’re glad to have everything in its place. It looks great. Is that a vintage iron you use? Do you have issues with the wool mat melting onto it?

    1. I always love using a vintage iron. Bob replaced the cord on this one for me and no I’ve never had issues with the wool mat melting.

  52. Nicely done! Do you plan on a floor covering eventually? The cement would bother my knees. Gotta love those vintage machines!

  53. I Love your quilt studio. It is so well thought out for placement and use. You are one lucky girl to have so much space. Also, I love your cutting table with all the storage underneath. You have given me some great ideas and my sewing room needs to be redone.
    Have to ask about the Blue Heron that is in the window. A couple of pictures show her and is she too enjoying the quilt room?
    Happy Quilting

    1. Thanks Sue! Love the cutting table that Bob gave me (it used to be his for woodworking). That is a metal bird that I love being able to see out of my window since there aren’t any birds around.

  54. Hi Connie, Wow, what a lot of work in just a short time. I love all the room you have and have utilized it all without spending a fortune on “matchy-matchy” furnishings. I have a craft room with unmatched furniture and shelving but it is neat (unless I am crafting) and gives me everything I want in the space. I love your idea about cutting up leftover scraps into sizes to use later. Great idea that I am going to copy!!!
    Have fun in your new studio and I look forward to more patterns with all your wonderful ideas. So happy too that Mr. Mickey has made friends!! Wish I could drop by and meet you but unfortunately I live in the heat of Arizona – today is already 105 degrees!!! Ugh – so hate the summers here. (I am a New England girl) Happy Quilting. Laura

    1. Thanks Laura, I love working in a neat space which drives some people crazy LOL. I’m not a fan of hot weather either and think New England would be a perfect place to live!

  55. Connie, it looks amazing! Mismatched furniture doesn’t faze me and it obviously doesn’t bother you, either. Having places to store everything is what’s important. I do have to admit that I’m green with envy over all that space. There have been times when I would have been tempted by the AccuQuilt cutter, but I simply don’t have the space to store one. Same for quilts. I have about six quilts of my own … there’s just no place to store them, so anything I make gets donated quickly. LOL Not complaining as I do still have a nice space to work in and I know plenty of people who would envy what I have, but a little more elbow room would be welcome.
    It’s nice to see Mr. Mickey making new friends. They do look a lot alike.

    1. Thanks Pat, having a space even small is what makes quilting so special to all of us. Mr. Mickey seems to be enjoying meeting new dogs in the neighborhood! Take care

  56. Such a nice roomy studio, Connie! I hope to one day have one where I can have all my machines and longarm and cutting table, etc. in one place! I love the lights. I must say I’ve never seen the plastic faced insulation, but then I haven’t been in the hardware store in a while! All of my furniture is mismatched, and like you – I’m very happy with it!! Enjoy your new space, Connie! Glad to see Mr. Mickey has a new friend too!

    1. Thanks Brenda, this is the first time we have seen that type of insulation. Bob has been out of building houses for over 12 years and he hadn’t seen it either. Loving the space and how light it is!

  57. Прекрасная получилась швейная мастерская! И очень просторная!

  58. It came together nicely Connie, I love that you too don’t mind mismatched furniture. Sure I dream of a gorgous room with white cabinets but that’s not ever going to happen, so I learn to be happy with what I have.

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