Category Archives: Studio Organization

Tips on Organizing Your Studio

My Happy Place Just Got Happier


New kitchen in my studio

I renovated my attic in 2011 and turned it into my quilt studio. But like many of us when we take on big projects, we never quite finish. That’s what happened to me. Although my plans called for a small kitchenette, I never finished it. Now I have and I love it!

The beginning of a kitchen

The all important sink

Working from the original plans, I was able to go to IKEA and order all the necessary parts with a few substitutions. Their kitchen installers installed it the day after Christmas. All that was left for me to do was to hire a plumber to connect the water.

Then like every crafter in the universe, with new storage space, I spent days organizing my studio. It was a labor of love.

Studio Organization
Canisters of thread

Over the years I have spent many joyful hours quilting in my happy place. Now my happy place just got happier.

Wine and coffee always present

Happy Birthday to me! Happy New Year to you! #ovsjoyousjanuary

The World Can Never Have Too Much Light

Tiny light that attaches to your sewing machine

In my studio I have overhead lights, sky lights, fan lights, Ott lights, and now I have a tiny light on my sewing machine. The purchase of this light is in the category of, why did I not buy this light sooner?!

As I said, there is no such thing as too much light.

Craft light on my sewing machine

Making Quilt Plans

Quilter’s Planner

I received many nice gifts as I celebrated Christmas and my birthday. I am grateful. But the one I am enjoying today is my Quilter’s Planner.  A new year is the time to get organized, and what better way than to have a planner designed just for quilters?! Joy!

I love the way it combines my quilting life with my personal and work life. It helps me see the “big picture” of my quilting. I have already planned a year of quilting and traveling!

I first saw the Quilter’s Planner in Houston at the International Quilt Festival but did not buy it. Who knew it would land under my Christmas tree! (Thanks, Brenda!) I must have been a very good girl.

I highly recommend this planner.

Sorting Scraps

Yesterday was a horrible weather day in Atlanta. There were tornado warnings and severe thunderstorms most of the day. Since I wasn’t going to leave home, I decided to sort scraps. I had been avoiding this task since I moved into my new studio, because instead of keeping my scraps dumped in a pile, I was determined to organize them in some way. My friend Marva gave me a beautiful basket for my scraps, and my friend Roz gave me her annual bag of scraps for my collection. Two more motivating reasons to tackle the task.

Although I did not finish, I made progress. Sorting scraps can be very therapeutic — like washing dishes. It frees the mind. So as I sorted and sorted and sorted, I hope I came up with some new quilt ideas.

How do you organize your scraps?

Starting the New Year in My New Studio

When I last posted about my quilt studio in November, the floor had been installed. Since that time, I made a mad dash to move in enough stuff before my annual Fabric is Better Than Food quilter’s brunch so my quilting friends could see my studio as I had imagined it.

Ikea has been my new best friend. After the floor was installed,  I purchased shelves for my fabric and for my extensive quilt book collection from Ikea. Once the shelves were in, I began to gradually move it. I took time sorting my fabric and painstakingly  organized it by color. (I had no idea how much fabric I had hidden away in bags).  It took me two days to organize my books because they were scattered all over the house, and I kept stopping to  read them. Now everything is organized so that I can see everything at a glance. I love it!

When my quilting friends showed up for brunch, unbeknownst to me, they had organized a quilt studio shower! They each brought a gift for my new studio. I had not had so much fun since my baby shower, and that was 20 years ago.

The gifts created new opportunities to get organized. I hung inspirational sayings on the walls, added to my thread collection, put tools on a peg board, and organized fat quarters in beautiful baskets.  It has truly been a labor of love to make sure each gift has a special place in my studio.

So, I have  moved in, but I am still organizing. I have left my scraps for last. Look forward to my future posts about organizing my mountain of scraps. I have been reading lots of books, but I would love to know your best organizing tips.

Studio Floor Installed

Hardwood floor installed in my quilt studio

There is a quilt book called Just How I Picture It in My Mind: Contemporary African American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. That is exactly how I felt after my quilt studio was installed this week.  It was just how I pictured it in my mind.

I chose a dark hardwood to contrast with the bright yellow and white walls. It is absolutely gorgeous!

Now that I have reached this milestone, I can begin to move in, although a sink, cabinets and shelves remain to be installed. I swear I smile every time I walk into that room!

Do you have something in your life that can be counted on to make you smile? If not, get busy finding something or someone and make it happen.

How Do You Organize Your Quilt Books?

Fulton County Attorney Law Library, 104 x 84 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2005.

Preparing for my move into my new quilt studio has forced me to organize my quit books. It seems I have so many, but I always want more. I guess I just love quilt books, so much so that I created my personal quilt book store on Amazon. Check it out.

After much thought, I finally decided to organize based on topics rather than author or title. I have a section of holiday books, appliqué books, quick quilts, Japanese books, African American books, documentary books, baby books and on and on.

In case you did not believe me when I said I love books, check out my quilt Fulton County Attorney Law Library. This quilt took me over a year to complete, but it was well worth it. It is featured in the book Georgia Quilts — Piecing Together a History.

How do you organize your books?

Quilt Studio Has Lights; Not Quite Ready For Action

I am inching closer to the completion of my dream quilt studio. Since I last posted on this subject, the painters finished turning my studio into a happy place. The color is Early Morning Sunshine.

The heating and air conditioner vents were installed, but this week I got lights! I have three ceiling fans in addition to flourescent lights and the natural light that floods the studio through the skylights and the window. It looks amazing!

All that is left in the construction phase is the hard wood floor and a small kitchen.  I’ll be moving in  soon!

Choosing a Color For My Studio

You Make Me Smile, 58 x 75 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2009

We all know color affects our mood. I knew that when I walked into my studio each morning, I wanted it to make me smile. So after much research and indecision, I finally chose a soft yellow called “Early Morning Sunshine.”

The painters are here today turning my studio into a magical place. Today s a good, good day.

Today is Going To Be a Good, Good Day! #3, 24 x 26 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2010. For sale at