Maquoketa Quilt Studio

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I always enjoy seeing where everyone quilts and my quilt studio has really changed over the last 5 years. I started out in a small spare bedroom, moved to a large studio, got chased out of that by a flood, and then there are the house moves in the last couple of years.

When we bought the Maquoketa house in the country, I believed I had found the perfect quilt studio and would stay here until I was no longer quilting. Things change and a new quilt studio will be coming soon but in the meantime, I want to share with you, the wonderful space I have had to quilt in.

Cutting table

This is the best part of my quilt studio! A large table that originally belonged to Bob and was used in his woodworking shop. When he quit woodworking he adjusted the height to be perfect for me, put wheels on it, and painted it white. I love, love this table!

Cutting table and fabric in my quilt studio

4 Cutting Mats

I have four 24-inch x 36-inch cutting mats on the top of my cutting table. Do I need four? No, but it is sure nice to be able to cut from any side. I’ll be sharing that cute little table runner in my next post.

cutting table with mats on it

You never know what you will find at Goodwill! I’m not sure what this was used for but it is great for holding charm packs!

Glass bowl to hold charm packs

Scrap Storage

There is plenty of storage space under the cutting table and on one side, I have plastic containers that hold the fabric scraps that I have cut to certain sizes. I also have a drawer that holds my rotary cutters, blades, and marking pens.

Storage on the cutting table

Quilt Fabric Stash

Do you have a fabric stash or do you just buy enough fabric for the quilt project you are working on? I can never have enough fabric and doubt I will ever be able to use it all but looking at these shelves makes me happy! The top 3 shelves are batiks and the lower shelves are regular quilting fabrics.

I was an ambassador for Island Batik for several years. I have more fabric but this is my “go-to” fabric shop. Yes, there is fabric in the wire bins also.

Batiks and quilt fabrics on shelves

Electric AccuQuilt Cutter

I always have my Electric AccuQuilt cutting machine setup and ready to go. That is a bathroom vanity base that I keep meaning to paint white. Bob cut the bottom out and it sits on top of our sump pump.

I have 2 Ikea Alex Drawer units that we put wheels on and we bought laminate shelving from Menards to lay on top. The little shelf holding my fabric baskets came from Goodwill.

Table for my AccuQuilt cutter

AccuQuilt Die Storage

Can you tell I love using my AccuQuilt cutting machine? I have most of the Mix & Match Qube sets and lots of other dies. When we moved from the river house, I got rid of most of my books and magazines and only kept my favorites. I also have some yardage that I use for backing stored here.

Storage of my AccuQuilt dies

Ironing Station

Bob cut me a large piece of plywood that I covered with batting and fabric and use as my ironing station. I like the weight of old vintage irons and shop for them at Goodwill. Bob put a new cord on this one. Several years ago I started using a wool ironing mat and did a review of it. I also bought a sugar mold that holds my scissors and other items. More fabric in the bins.

Ironing station

15-91 Singer Sewing Machines

I have been using the 15-91 Singer sewing machines for the last 30 years. This is an awesome sewing machine that can sew through almost anything. It is only a straight stitch sewing machine but I have used it to do a free-motion appliquilt and it is wonderful for free-motion quilting.

15-91 Singer sewing machines

When you quilt on a domestic sewing machine, you will want to have a table behind to support the weight of the quilt. I also move the table that is against the wall and place it where the Ikea Alex drawer is. Anytime your quilt hangs off the table you will have trouble with your stitching.

Another view of my 15-91 Singer sewing macine

Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine

We found this Singer featherweight sewing machine at an antique show in Prairie Du Chien, WI a couple of years ago. It had been restored and recently I brought it upstairs and used it in our sunroom. I recently bought some new accessories for it and will hopefully share a post on it soon.

Singer featherweight sewing machine

There was an entire wall of pegboard in this room so I have many of my rulers hanging on it. There is another sewing machine under the quilted cover that I made. It is a Viking Husqvarna that I only use for the awesome blanket stitch that it does which I used recently on my Applique Patchwork Cats project.

Another sewing machine and tables

I have one more sewing machine, this is the EverSewn Sparrow 25 and I’m a little embarrassed to say that I haven’t used it much. That will be changing soon. The peg board is from Ikea. I sure wish we had one closer to us.

EverSewn Sewing Machine and Ikea peg board

Design Walls

In my last studio, Builder Bob built me sliding design walls with hidden storage behind them. Those were so neat! In the Maquoketa quilt studio, I used flannel backed tablecloths for my design walls.

Design wall for quilt blocks

Storage of my quilts

There is a spare bedroom downstairs and that is where I store all of my quilt projects. Many times I will pull one out to retake photos for my blog and this is very handy.

Storage for my quilts

Standing Desk

Recently we bought this neat standing desk and a matching cabinet which is great for storing quilts, from Costco and put them in the living room. Now I can work on tutorials and patterns while watching the birds and wildlife. When I get tired I just push the top down and have a regular desk.

Standing desk

My New Quilt Studio

Well, you knew it was going to happen! We will soon be moving to Ankeny, Iowa and this will be my new quilt studio! We are starting from scratch again! Bob will become Bob the Builder once again! Wish us luck!

My new quilt studio in Ankeny

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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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77 Comments

  1. Beautiful, nicely arranged. I love your selection of bright colored fabrics.
    I’d also love to see you do a video of free motion sewing on your Singer Featherweight.
    I have my mom’s Singer 309a and it’s a great machine. I’ve not tried free motion on it though. No one seems to make videos on these Vintage machines.

  2. Congratulations! Looks fabulous! and the new space will be even better than ever! Missed a couple of blog posts and will be playing catch up. (New foster puppy 4 months old.) Not enough hours in the day! Thanks for sharing all these pictures and inspiration on how mine COULD look – eventually.

    1. Your quilting room is absolutely awesome! I am using our third bedroom for mine and there isn’t much room. I wish I could have a bigger one, but it is not possible.
      I have my computer desk, two embroidery machines, one serger, a few storage carts, and a closet full of material.

  3. Please do not be moving again after this.!! It seems every time you move, we move and I am getting too old for all this activity. We moved from CA to NY and now we are going back to CA. Our son and his wife are there and although, we thought this move to NY would be a good thing, it definitely was NOT so off we go in late April. I didn’t do much with my sewing room here in NY but am excited to get going again in CA. I never thought CA was home but looks like it is. I am definitely living proof that you do not get smarter as you get older! Wishing you all the best to you and your family and Mr. Mickey. Take care.

  4. Connie, I think it’s wonderful that you and Bob are moving closer to family! Reaching a certain age doesn’t mean you stop dreaming. In fact, you have more freedom to do what your heart directs you to do, so congratulations on starting a new dream!

  5. Connie, I have followed you for years, clear back to the days I lived across the River from you and regularly shopped at Neal’s and The Little Red Hen. We, too, are looking at another move (3rd in 6 years) and I am starting to plan my new studio, so I will be watching how you configure your new space. I have enjoyed watching you outfit each sewing space you have had. Moving is hard…be kind to your self.

    1. Hi Nancy, you sound like you move about as much as we do!! Where are you now and where are you moving next? I have been so fortunate to live with beautiful views and it is exciting to move again, yep, we are crazy. This time I won’t be able to move all my quilting stuff myself as the drive is 3 1/2 hours. Bob is downsizing…..me…….nope. LOL Neals and The Little Red Hen were great quilt shops!

  6. Connie,
    I have bern following you for awhile now. I love reading your stories. I recently commented about your 54-40 Fight quilt block pillow. I discovered I have the rulers to use for that project. I have many relatives that live in Iowa and some on Ankeny. Looking forward to hearing about your move.
    Karen

  7. Oh my goodness your quilting space is Wonderful, Beautiful,Inspiring. I Love it!!
    I’m sure your next one will be just as wonderful. It is so great that you have
    builder Bob he surely is a keeper. I wish you and Bob the best. Love You 😊♥️

  8. I am impressed…that studio is so awesome. I have two, but neither are perfect and my more permanent one is smaller than I need. BUT what I am impressed with is that you are moving again….my goodness gracious. Good luck with it, it is so tiring!

    1. Hi Kathleen, we moved here in December of 2020 so it has been about 16 months. Now we start all over again, lol. I am truly blessed to have Builder Bob and we seem to love challenges.

  9. Wow, I don’t remember how long it’s been, but it seems like you just moved to your current house! More power to you, accepting a challenge to move again. You are blessed to have Builder Bob too. I have a dish like your charm holder. You know by now it’s a trifle dish. I bought mine specifically to use a recipe called Death by Chocolate. You can google it. There are several versions. The one I use is by Mr. Food. I see that the Mr. Food recipe has changed a bit to use chocolate pudding, instead of chocolate mousse as suggested in the original recipe, probably because it can be hard to find sometimes. Try it! You’ll love it!

  10. I thought you would never surpass the quilting room you had at the River House, but I see I was badly mistaken. The current one looks amazing, but you have obviously figured out the best things to use for your quilting and as long as there is sufficient space, you will continue to have an amazing space. I can see the next one is just a blank slate, waiting for you to move things in and get settled. I guess this move is to be closer to your daughter?

    1. Connie, What great inspiration,
      I am gobsmacked by all you do AND how you do IT! Thank you for sharing it all.
      One thing I don’t see in your space that I have here is a queen sized bed. Oh, yes, your space is not in your bedroom.
      I wish you all the best all the time. You will always have a huge squad of supporters including me in OHIO!

      11

    2. Hi Pat, can you believe we are moving again this soon? I loved my studio at the river house also. Yes, it is to move closer to my daughter and Bobs. Now that Kimberly moved from Maquoketa it isn’t the same. I will be 3.4 miles away from her and there are bike/walking trails everywhere. I miss taking Mickey on our twice-a-day walks that we did in town. With his congestive heart failure, I am thinking about buying a doggie stroller for him.

  11. Connie, Your quilt studio is a wonderland. I am in awe and rather envious of your space and beautiful organisation. I am sure your new studio will be just as amazing. You and Bob are people who love to challenge yourselves, so go for it 🙂 Can’t wait to see snippets of the new challenges along the way. Thank you for sharing glimpses into your private space. With gratefulness and best wishes, Lynda

    1. Thanks Lynda! We giggle at each other and today after working outside and being exhausted, laughed and said it if ends up being too much work to do the basement at the new house………there is always the next!!!!

  12. Your current studio is just fabulous. Everything is so organized, but I know that your new studio will be just as fabulous with that blank canvas. Those pegboards make a great place for so many tools. Maybe I should serve charm packs in my trifle bowl at the next Christmas dinner!!!!

  13. What a beautiful quilting studio. I am so envious. I am sure your next one will be just as beautiful if not more so.

  14. What a great quilting studio! I love all the pictures and descriptions and got lots of ideas that might be useful in my sewing/craft room. Good luck to Builder Bob on the new house, and give Mr. Mickey a pat for me. 😉

  15. I’m sure your new studio will be amazing – like the one you have now.
    Thanks for sharing all the photos and descriptions. It is a lesson in organisation for those of us who are “fabricaholics” and avid patchworkers.
    I wish you and Builder Bob – and Mr Mickey too – all the best for your new adventure in a different location. It will be exciting to work in your new studio.
    Thanks for everything you do for all of us.

    1. Thanks Robyn! This post was also written so I can come back and look at this quilt studio in the future. Call me crazy, but I’m excited for the next chapter in our lives!

  16. Hello, Connie!
    Oh my gosh, I just love your studio and to think you are moving again after you just got everything all set up. Wow! You are so lucky to have Builder Bob! For now, I am in my old office that’s a small bedroom in my house which I converted after I retired from an office to my office/sewing room. My guest room is overflowing with fabric, kits, pre-cuts,thread, and other sewing supplies. I have my mother’s old Singer 66-16 and it still sews a straight stitch beautifully! I use my Janome DC2019 for my quilt piecing even though I am not really happy with this newer machine. I still have my old Kenmore 1341, which I used for years; however, the bobbin winder got bent and nobody could fix it. I did buy an automatic bobbin winder to use. I will be moving once I find a suitable place all on one level with room enough for a studio. With the pandemic and the sky-rocketed prices on homes it’s difficult right now. I’m hoping for this year though. I really enjoy getting your e-mails/blog and having access to your site. Hope Mr. Mickey is doing well. Take care, and wishing you all the best in your move. Please keep us all posted. Thank you, Connie!

    1. storage. I will have an office upstairs and probably one sewing machine. Isn’t it funny how we love having more than one sewing machine and using them for certain things. Good luck with your move, prices are expensive everywhere!

  17. Well, I certainly enjoyed the tour of your quilting space. Very impressive. I am grateful for the space I have but nothing like yours. I do not have a Bob the Builder. Very wonderful man, but the quilting thing goes over his head. Loved the fabric in the trifle bowl. I have use as much of my personal stuff to hold fabric & notions as I can find a place for. I call my room the Quilting Den. Love your site, all your ideas, and that you share your good life so willingly. Thank you again for all that you do for others. -Anne

  18. I so enjoy receiving your wonderful emails. The way you show how quilting projects are
    is wonderful the instructions are easy to follow. The quilting area you have been working in is any quilters dream but I’m sure your new one will also be wonderful. I have made a bedroom in my home for my quilting area and so far I love it. I must admit that buying fabric has become a passion even though I know I will never use all of it but that’s what guilds are for I can donate the ones that I feel I won’t need. New quilters always appreciate a free be. Good luck with your move and new home. Looking forward to seeing things once you are set up and quilting.
    Quilt On,
    Glenda

    1. Thanks Glenda! I have really loved this quilt studio but know that Bob will create me another that is just as beautiful! I think every quilter loves buying fabric!

  19. Oh my. Lovely studio. Off on a new adventure. I’ve been in the same place for 41 years. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of moving. How do you do it? I can’t imagine doing it over and over. Love being included on your adventures.

  20. After 3 moves in 7 years, I finally feel settled for the long haul. I had make do sewing spaces for years. I finally have a dedicated space and decided I was not going to make do anymore. I’m grateful IKEA is 20 minutes away. They will deliver locally for $50 to the room of your choice and I found a young woman that specializes in putting together IKEA furniture! She is fast and reasonable. I bought a large IKEA kitchen island to use as a cutting table and I am going to add another one. Very handy. I still haven’t decided on machine positioning. There are three that I rotate: a Featherweight, a Singer 301, and a newer small Janome. The 301 has its own table. I’m dragging my feet on the other two and table type. I will figure it out eventually. Good luck with your move— always a challenge.

    1. You sound like me Joey! I wish we had an Ikea that close! There are a few things I can order and Bob is great at putting them together. Your room sounds wonderful!

      Connie

  21. Hi Connie, Great space, I have sewing room envy! What can you tell us about the quilt in shades of brown that hangs on the wall over your desk, It’s beautiful.

    Patti

    1. Hi Patti, that quilt is my Country Birds pattern, one of the first I ever did and it has a bit of paper piecing in it. I am not selling it right now as I want to update the pattern.

  22. Loved seeing your studio. What a nice bright place to sew and you have everything so handy. I’m in a small bedroom but I have it pretty full and most of my quilt stuff is contained in that room. I know God will not let me live long enough to use all of my fabric, at least I hope not. :)) I know you’ll have fun organizing looks like you will have another nice big space to fill up.

  23. Great studio now and it looks like your new one will be amazing! Good luck n your move! Your energy is impressive!

  24. What a wonderful sewing space. I am so so jealous since my space is 10×10. And your room of quilts…… so many beautiful quilts. I can’t wait to see what you do in your new space. Stay safe…

  25. Connie,
    Loved seeing your awesome quilt studio!! So envious of you to have that wonderful space! Can’t wait to see your new space!! Hopefully you will be located somewhere where you will still be able to enjoy your wildlife and birds!!

  26. Gosh, I wish you well in your move and will look forward to your clips of studio building in process. I have a very small quilt room and use my freezer for my cutting table. We put a board on top that has hinges and lifts before the freezer door goes up. that eliminates me having to move everything
    to get into the freezer.

  27. Good morning, Connie! As always, I enjoy your posts and studio tours. I think that maintaining our spaces is one of the challenges faced by many quilters and stitchers in general. Your current space looks like a very inviting workspace. With each studio I “tour” I see organizational and process supporting spaces that clearly enhance the work and the joy of quilting. Your table, with 4 mats! is perfect. Thanks for all you do and share, may your next space be just as nice as the others!

  28. What a wonderful studio tour. The bowl you’re store fat quarters in is a trifle dessert bowl. I recently found a featherweight at an antique store in Rockford, IL. I’ll be doing some maintenance on it. Mine came with attachments. I was so excited to literally stumble upon it… it was sitting in the case on the floor! Good luck with your new studio construction.

  29. Love the quilting studio, have fun creating a new one!! Was sorry there was not a picture of the Costco desk.
    Enjoy the planning.

  30. Awesome studio. I’m jealous. Mine isn’t even half the size. I have my mother’s featherweight. I haven’t used it in years. I would borrow it from time to before I got a machine. It’s reliable. I have a miniature with a crake that was a Christmas present when I was growing up. High quality. Still have the box it came in. Incredible stash of finished quilts. I store mine on ladders that I had made. Lately I’ve been gifting some and donating a few to charity. I think the current one I’m working on will go to an Ukrainian woman whose family is involved in the conflict.

  31. Thank our Lord Jesus everyday that you have a Builder Bob!!!
    I have a Doubting Thomas and really have to convince him what is best for My quilting Space…but I love him!!! They truly are our unsung heros!

  32. Your charm pack dish is a trifle dish. I sew on one of my Singer 15’s all the time (I turned it into a hand crank). I just switched from paper piecing on it to making an awning cover with no difficulty. I wish I had more room, but our son is in the basement, so I’m stuck in a small bedroom. Hopefully one of these days I can move downstairs.

    1. I am amazed at how many people know what that dish is! The great thing about Singer 15’s is all the different fabrics including leather that can be sewn on them. Someday you’ll be able to move to the basement.

  33. Wow, what caused this move? I know you hinted about maybe moving a while back. At least it will keep you both busy and out of trouble, haha. Looks like a blank slate for your new studio, so fun to organize isn’t it. Lots of work too;) Good luck. When will the move take place.

    1. Hi Vicki, my daughter and grandkids moved to Ankeny last summer (they are the reason we moved to Maquoketa in the first place) and Bob also has a daughter in West Des Moines. We will close on the house at the end of April and we are both excited about moving again……yes, we are a little crazy!

  34. Wow, Connie! What a lovely LARGE studio!! Mine is in two parts, sewing studio and quilt cave in half our main level garage which we built a room for my mom before she passed. It looks like you will have a huge studio in your new home. I’m ready to have ONE studio that holds everything one day, with room to spare. A girl can dream, huh?! Wishing you the best in your move. It’s exciting to me to be able to design one from scratch and you are so blessed to have Bob the Builder!!

    1. Thanks Brenda! I’m excited and stressed at the same time and so is Bob! He will need to get his man cave set up and build a deck before working on my studio but that is okay. I don’t think we can ever have too much room in our studio, right!

  35. Small world; I grew up in Maquoketa, moved to Texas and now live in Dubuque in the summer and fall. Beautiful area to explore in the warmer months. Your studio is gorgeous but am sure you have plenty of ideas for your new space.

  36. Oh my goodness, what an amazing space. I’m sure your new space will be just as wonderful once Builder Bob finishes with it. My fabric stash is ridiculous, I’ve got to use more of it than I bring in. Love your antique machines, learned to sew on a Singer 15-91 which I still have, and just got myself a featherweight for my birthday. Now to get busy!

    1. Sounds like we would have fun together using our fabric stash Susan! I think the 15-91 Singer is one of the best sewing machines out there. Enjoy your featherweight birthday present also!

  37. Justin (Lori’s son) and family live in Ankeny as well as Karly (Randy’s daughter) and family. Meg (Karly’s) sister and Addie (Leanna’s daughter) and fiancé’ live within 10 minutes away in Des Moines. Since we visit them all often, I might have a better chance of seeing you. Congratulations!

  38. don’t say it….. do you want to move again ????
    I couldn’t think of that. If I see what I have to move and your things to move ! oh my God, noooooooooo. I can imagine !
    But I wish you a lot of courage , and take care
    Jac

  39. Oh my gosh! You are amazing! I can’t begin to imagine all the work that goes into redesigning and setting up your quilt studio. I guess one plus is you know what worked well and not so well ending up with a setup that works more efficiently for you each time. Best wishes with your move!
    Deb

    1. Thanks Deb, I have a habit of tearing apart any room at least once every couple of months and rearranging things. This drives Bob crazy but I love it.

  40. Just love your quilt studio, wish I had that much room to organize my “stuff”. I thought I had a lot of fabric but you have me beat. Looks like a pleasant place to work. Like you I know I will never live long enough to use all my fabric but I love looking at it anyway. Enjoy your room and designing your new one from your move.

    1. Thanks Linda, I try and buy very little fabric anymore and try to use what I have. I’ve worked off the kitchen table before and having a large studio is wonderful but for most isn’t necessary.

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