Lighting in my quilt room

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Sometimes it can be so difficult to get good lighting in your sewing room. I was recently talking about how frustrated I was with the lighting in my room and how I didn’t even want to go up there and work. 

Let me tell you, getting more lights really makes a difference! It even got me in the mood to rearrange things in my studio.

Here was my setup before:

I had the ceiling light behind me when I was at my ironing table. This is also where I would cut out my fabrics.

My body cast a shadow over my work, I tried putting a lamp to the left of my table but everything was still too dark.

Quilt room with no lamps to help with lighting

Light over my sewing machine

I ended up setting up a floor lamp that I normally use by my sewing machine and that helped some. I think this is an old Ott-Lite that I bought years ago. 

Sewing room lighting over sewing machine

It helped quite a bit so last weekend Builder Bob and I ran to town and I stopped at Joann’s with plans to buy at least one Ott-Lite with a coupon. I don’t remember them being as expensive as they are now!

There was no way I wanted to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a lamp that I wouldn’t need when my new studio gets built.

The next stop was Walmart! I knew they had inexpensive floor lamps as I had bought one a couple of years ago for my dad when he was still alive and reading in bed most of the time. 

Floor lamps that work perfectly

You can find a similar floor lamp online at Amazon. I bought two floor lamps that are 72″ tall with a side reading light. The top holds a 3-way 150-watt bulb and the side is a 60-watt.

What really made the difference was pulling out my wire storage shelves and placing the lamps behind them so I no longer have a shadow. I also put both of them on surge cords so I can just flip the switch and turn them on or off easily.

Now I look forward to working in here again!

Lighting over my cutting and ironing boards

Rearranging my room again

Since I had to move things around to place the lamps behind my cutting area, I once again rearranged things. I love doing this and quite a few of you wanted to see some new photos.

Next year we will build my new quilt studio so I don’t want to make too many changes to my temporary rooms as they will go back to being guest bedrooms.

Computer table:

I was using a folding table that wobbled every time I did something so we ran to Menards and bought a 24″wide shelf that was 6 foot long to use as my desk top. I have a larger one but it is in storage for now.

We put it on top of my file cabinets but it was too low. I just happened to have some storage boxes that worked perfectly for raising it. Yes, it looks a little funny but it works. I placed some non-skid matting under them so everything stays in place.

Most of the time I have my laptop downstairs. Did you notice the large TV on my storage shelves? That was originally in my old studio and then moved upstairs to our living room at the river house. I then bought a smaller one for my studio.

Well in our new house the wall in the living room was too small so we ended up buying a new TV. This one will go in my new studio. I think I’ve turned it on…..once.

Sewing room lighting and moving furniture

Have you seen the plastic pegboard that IKEA has? I ordered one 30″ x 22″ and some of the accessories and knew right away that this is what I will want instead of the pegboard I used to have that we painted.

Sewing room Ikea pegboard shelves

I was able to order it online as a kit with some of the accessories. Once I got it I figured I had better order 3 more just in case they weren’t available next year. 

Builder Bob just hung a couple of them on this wall, now I get to figure out what I want on them. I may have to buy a few more as I want a whole wall of these.

Sewing room Ikea pegboard shelves

Behind my desk, I have several bookcases that just have odds and ends on them for now. Can you see the large Sparkles quilt hanging on the railing in the hall? Still need to get that quilted.

Sewing room lighting with bookcases of fabric

Where I quilt

My other room is where my sewing machines are. I use my vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine for all of my piecing and quilting. I recently bought two of the narrow Alex cabinets from IKEA. These match the larger Alex cabinet that holds a lot of my threads right now.

We don’t have an IKEA store nearby so I usually go online and see if I can get something delivered. If the shipping price comes up as two hundred dollars……I know I’ll have to make a trip to the store if I really want to buy it.

You have to put them together but even Builder Bob was impressed by how easy it was to do.

Sewing room lighting for Singer Sewing machine

Quilts on shelves

I haven’t really changed much in this room, I have the heavy-duty adjustable wire shelves that are great for holding all of my quilt projects. I found them here and I think they are cheaper now than they were 3 years ago when I bought them!

Sewing room lighting for Singer Sewing machine

AccuQuilt Goodies

I cleaned up this side a little bit as it was too cluttered. I think I made about 15 trips to the basement moving things I know I won’t use in the next year. 

Two bookcases hold all of my AccuQuilt dies. I have all of the die cutters and also the Studio cutter. I love using the dies to cut out my quilts.

Sewing room lighting and AccuQuilt dies in bookcases

I also put one more of the pegboards in this room. Yep, there is still some clutter behind the door.

Sewing room lighting and more pegboard shelving

Quilt Studio

I hope you have enjoyed seeing where I quilt. As I said in the beginning, having enough light really makes a difference.

I really miss my old studio, Builder Bob made sure I had plenty of light and having a cutting table that I was able to move around was awesome (it is in storage right now). 

View of my old quilt studio

I always get asked about the wire storage system I have. I purchased them from IKEA and they are the ALGOT system but I can’t find them on their website. I did find something similar called the Jonaxel storage system. The SewStation 101 is the white sewing table in my room.

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

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. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. Carole Dull says:

    Hi Connie,
    I really enjoyed seeing how you improved lighting in your sewing area. That will be my next area of focus. I admit I am still wrestling with organization and must use a storage area too. I also enjoyed a peek of your room layout. I am curious about the cabinet with the narrow drawers. What do you put in those drawers? MOST importantly, where did you purchase this cabinet?
    Thank you for your wonderful ideas and patterns.

    1. The cabinets are all from Ikea, some I can order online but mostly you have to go to the store for them. Wish we had one closer! The narrow drawers have a lot of my threads and sewing machine supplies in them.

  2. Karen Poole says:

    You are really fortunate to have Builder Bob to help with so much of the set up! Thank you for sharing your rooms and pictures with us!
    When you talked about lighting my very first thought went to the Walmart floor lamps that you wound up buying! I have two of those lamps in my tiny sewing room and they are great for night time sewing! I love the 3 way, plus the reading arm off the side is movable which is also great. And if something happens to one of them it won’t break the bank to replace it!

    1. Awesome seeing your sewing rooms! Wish I had that much space, so I could find fabric as I needed to! I have 1 room 3 metres by 3 metres, so about 10 feet by 10 feet. Most stuff has to be stored in garage!

  3. Connie your temporary quilting studio is really useable now you have better lighting. What a difference you have made in your space to be able to use it and find things and still have it look awesome. Thank you very much for sharing photos and letting us see your very creative space.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your temporary sewing studio. All the details and links you shared are great! I hope to have a dedicated room or rooms for my sewing/quilting.

  5. You have an amazing space for quilting! Even split into two rooms you have so much organized storage. I can’t wait to see what you are planning for your new studio.

    1. I honestly think I have more fun organizing and rearranging my room than quilting. I have all kinds of neat ideas for my new studio including one wall that will be a closet that is 6 foot deep that will hold all of the odd stuff that I have in totes all over the place.

  6. Connie, Thanks for the tour. I agree lighting is key to good sewing. Can’t wait to see your new studio and I’m sure you will love getting your cuttingbtable back. Take care. Hugs, Candi

  7. What a great space. I would love to have all that room. Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s been fun.

  8. Sharon Luedeman says:

    Connie, what a wonderful tour you just gave me. I am loving your temporary set up, and I agree about the lighting be so important. I think the lighting you decided on will do a fine job for you until you are able to move in to your new dream studio. I absolutely love all of your storage solutions and can’t wait to hear about and see pics when Builder Bob can get you new studio set up. Oh my, I love that cutting table that is currently in storage. AWESOME. Thank you for the pics and description.

    1. Thanks Sharon, I can hardly wait until next year! I love, love that cutting table, it used to be Bob’s woodworking table. It is in sections in storage right now. 

  9. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Love your old quilt studio and your temporary studio is lovely as well. I can’t wait to see the new studio you are going to get. It is always nice to not have to buy things that you know you will only use for a short time. Your lamps will be great either in the guest rooms or in your new studio!

  10. Connie, this looks wonderful. I’m particularly interested in your lights because I’m going crazy for lack of it in my sewing room. I bought a torchiere from Amazon about a month ago and after I got it all assembled it didn’t work and I had to send it back. I know you are spread over two rooms for now and that’s what I did before I moved a few years ago. I really miss that second room!! I have everything stuffed into an 11×12 room and it’s tight!! My storage system is similar to what you have from Ikea but I got it at the Container Store and the brand is Elfa. It has allowed me to have different height surfaces with drawers underneath and I don’t think I could live without it. lol What size is your cutting table right now? I currently have a counter height 35×60 table and I think that’s about the only place I could eke out a little more floor space. Your pictures have really inspired me though.

  11. Your sewing space looks great with the extra lighting! You really can’t have too much light, IMO!! I hope you and Bob feel better soon. Take good care of yourselves!