Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sew This Happened

So, have mentioned before the risk of one thing leading to another. Yep - an innocent remark, a shopping trip, a FB post - anything can set my path on a detour that mushrooms out of control.

It all started when a new neighbor came to the door and (horrors) stepped inside. I was in the middle of a project. Hard to even open the door. Inside, it looked like the aftermath of a fabric grenade blast. Not a first impression I wanted to share.

Next, a dear family member sent me some photos of her sewing room. Viz.

So lovely. So organized. And all hers.

Also, I have a new sewing machine - Mr. Wonderful's Christmas gift to me. I love the way it hums along. Not so much the crunchy noises my back makes when I lift my new toy to table level. 

And, point of fact, we do have a "spare" room. Okay, it's a guest room, gift wrap station, office, library, quilting, sewing, spring clothes, mementos, prom gown, American Girl doll, etc. storage room, too.

So what's the harm in looking at quilting cabinets with lifts? Um, new ones run about the price of a used car.

And dimensions would be tricky. We should probably still be able to open the queen-sized Murphy bed for guests. Heh-heh.

Craigslist and Quilters' Classified yielded options from time to time. In far-off places. Drive great distances only to find a squeaky lift or a noxious odor.

Then I saw these:
 Which opened out to this:

And which had not one, but TWO hydraulic lifts. And my machines would fit. And they were in the Outer Banks. And I have never been to the Outer Banks. Road trip!!!

God bless Mr. Wonderful  - he fit both cabinets into a Honda CR-V. 

And the cabinets are as advertised - in pristine condition.

Now the challenge. I had measured and graphed out the room. The cabinets would fit together in the lone open corner. Turns out they need about 3 inches of clearance. Ruh-roh.

Yep, the Murphy bed would still open. But only emaciated super-models could get in. Friends and family? If they were emaciated super-models, they would not be my friends and family.
Oh, drat!
Soooo, I took this photo.

I shut the door.

I looked for chocolate. (One reason yours truly is not an emaciated super-model.)

Round two. Graph paper has its limits. You really need to move things to know for sure. So even though I had moved the secretary desk and the bookshelves already, I unloaded them again and enlisted Mr. Wonderful's help to move them back. All the while I heard, "I cannot understand how you ever moved them by yourself." Heh-heh.

Now I was haunted by a single thought: my daughters would have had this done by now. By day one. By noon!!!

GET A GRIP! Most of the decor my girls employ comes from Pinterest or Google. There is nothing new in the world. I just need to find it.

First, organize fabrics.

Sure enough, a site showed a folding technique, and after about 3 days of folding around the clock, I was proud owner of this:

Mr. Wonderful asked whether this was a sewing room or a retail store. Pretty sure he was impressed.

But this works only for pieces that are at least 1/2 yard. I have a zillion of the small guys. Pinterest: 1/2 gallon Mason jars! Ordered a dozen. Worked like a charm! Also fun to see Mr. Wonderful's face when he saw the size of the carton they shipped in. (Did I tell him they were coming?)

Used my Kohl's cash (expiring that day) to get a tall bin and a roomy crate-sized bin. Woot!  I can do this!!!

A super bright lamp that adjusts every-which-way. Some cutting mats that fit the surface the cabinets provide. Thrift shop shelves for the closet.
An early set-up.
Bit by bit it was coming together. Still a work in progress, but figure I will need to use it awhile and refine it.

Later - much better!

D2 knew I needed this!
We got the chance to test the conversion to guest room with a grandson's last-minute sleep-over.

Even Mr. Wonderful was impressed - here is 10-15 minute conversion:

Voila! A guest room!!

There are two HUGE benefits to having a (partially) dedicated space to cut and sew.

First, I can finish an astounding amount of sewing in the time it used to take to set up my machine. For someone who is ponderously slow, this is gold.

Also, this: Mr. Wonderful happened down the hall as I stood outside the sewing room closing the door. "What's up?" he asked.

"I heard that one of the best things about a sewing room is being able to shut the door on the mess. I am testing it."

So worth it to see the look on his face.

And, yep - it's great!