22 June 2015

Welcome to My Studio - Susan Lilley, Hebbville, Nova Scotia

A few months ago, I decided to (finally!) take the time to research and think through how best to improve my sewing space. The room is 12'x13', a nice room with a high ceiling and a large walk-in closet to keep my fabrics and materials out of harm's way. It has a northern exposure with a forest view.

Shortly after we moved in, a year or so earlier, I added a second window and good overhead lighting. I unpacked my gear and started creating. I loved the space, but the set-up wasn't working as well as I knew it could. So, early this spring, I began to plan my makeover. I used Lois Hallock's book Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space to help me with the layout and to calculate dimensions for the various work stations. 

Cabinetmaker Bob Mertens, of Pinehurst, NS built me a beautiful made-to-measure sewing table.

The table has a drop leaf on the back. Butted up against my old adjustable-height Ikea table, it provides good support for large quilts.
I had a big, heavy, office credenza I used for a cutting table. It has a nice large surface and great storage space, but was too low for comfort. Bob built a frame to set it on, bringing it to just the right height. My rulers hang from sheet metal screws on one end, reducing the clutter on the surface. So retro and oh so functional! 
I made an ironing station from an old kitchen cabinet topped with a canvas-covered board, following instructions in Sharon Schamber's Perfect Pressing Board. Unlike an ironing board, the canvas top grips the fabric nicely and the shelving provides storage for various notions and supplies. Nice! But what I most love is the handy on/off switch, inspired by Laurie Swim. The iron plugs into a power bar I've mounted at waist height beneath the window. The flick of a switch powers the iron on and off, and the red light on the power bar lets me know from a distance whether the iron has been left on. Laurie has a lamp plugged into the power bar as an additional indicator. When the lamp is on, she knows she's left the iron on.
So that's the story of my makeover. I love the results! The space works well and for now, at least, I have more than enough storage space. Next project: organize the space in the walk-in closet. Stay tuned!

Susan Lilley


  1. It's.gorgeous. I understand now why you were so excited about your new table.

  2. Love the idea of putting the rulers on screws at the end of the cutting table. I may have to "borrow" that!! :-)

  3. Wow, it is a beautiful and practical space!

  4. Thank you for showing your sewing space. It looks so nice and like the ruler hang ups and the tip on the bar for the iron.