Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sewing Butler

So, here I was pinning on a quilt and thinking how much I liked this little gem. It's just two 3-drawer units stacked together.  If you take the lid off of one of them, you can just click them together. Casters are on the bottom so it rolls around where I need it.
I call it my Butler.  Here's why:

I like to keep all my cleaning and sewing tools accessible and this keeps everything at a perfect height!

Since I wear bifocals, I even keep a pair of magnification glasses so I don't have to do acrobats when I need to get down under the machine to do cleaning and oiling. Those of you with bifocals, know what I'm talking about!
No, my seam ripper and tweezers are not missing, they are sitting on the quilter's handle attached to a gadget  my daughter found in a flea market-type store in Minnesota.   It's a magnetic surface on a webbing wrist band with a Velcro closure.  I never wore it on my wrist, because first time out of the box I found the perfect place for it here.

It also keeps my itty bitty screw driver that I use to adjust that pesky little screw #8 (needle up-down speed for APQS owners).  I have found this adjustment is related to ambient temperature. With cold nights-hot days in Idaho, it can never make up it's mind! 

My sister-in-law gave me this little weighted pin cushion/bag.  I use it for tread trash and cleaning rags. 
Hardly ever use it as a pincushion, as I like my little Auto Zone magnetic bowl for pins.

Drawer 2
This is full of little ~6x6 rags all made from t-shirt material. 

I fill this right when I cut t-shirts for a quilt. I stack a few trim strips and cut them into rags as I go. See, I just roll my "butler" over to my cutting table and toss my new rags into my drawer.  Everything else goes in the trash.
Drawer 3 & 4
These 2 drawers hold all the books, accessories, feet, bobbins, tools, etc for my 2 Berninas and my serger.  Again, I just roll my butler over to which ever machine I am using and I have everything at just the right height.
Drawer 5 & 6 
When I am cutting out fabrics, all the cotton scraps that are of a usable size but less than a fat quarter go into
drawer 5....flannels go into drawer 6.
When these little drawers are full of fabric scraps, I just dump them into one of my large storage containers:
Some under the ironing table.
Some under the quilting table. 
The beauty of this kind of storage, is that I can just pop out a drawer and bring it over to the cutting table for a project.  They also make great "book ends" for my packaged batting and misc. project storage on top. 
I use up a lot of scraps when I have more time to sew projects in the winter.
Looks like I still have some room here!


  1. It looks like you have the perfect storage solution(s) for your area. I am still struggling to find the right items for my tiny sewing room.

  2. Love the little sewing butler. Gotta get one of those. What a great sewing space.

  3. Thanks for sharing, what a great idea, I may need to get a butler too....

  4. Oh, your area is soooo nice! I'm sitting here looking around and if there's a flat service I've got stuff piled on it! My "work counter" is ... well, it's under there somewhere! And I have the smaller "butler" ... but there's stuff on top. LOL! The only decent/straightened up/uncluttered area I have is my Millennium area ... I do like a tidy quilting area. So maybe I'll just drape everything else! Thanks for sharing! Maybe a picture or two when you're in the midst of 3 or 4 projects???? Does it look any different then? Probably not...I bet you're a tidy tidy person. Wish I had that attribute!!

  5. From now on when I have a yard sale I am going to send pictures to you first and you can tell me how to repurpose what I am selling. First I sold the tall bookshelf that you showed me I could cut in half. Now you show me a roll around container. I sold 2 of these for pennies of what I paid for them in a garage sale before we moved into our new house because I didn't think I had any use for them. (had a large closet built in sewing room to put everything. (HA! full now) Wonder if my husband would notice if I bought some more of them? Naw, I'll just tell him I got them out of storage. Now I know they would have been great for my quilting thread, bobbins and everything quilting machine related. T-shirt scraps I cut up and gave to my husband and father, I'll have to steal some back. And the containers under you quilting table...duh! never thought of that. Which make great sense since it is kind of wasted space. Of course in my defense I did not have a quilting machine at the time and did not know I would be quilting as much as I am now. Back then I only quilted for myself and family (boy are they glad I found others to quilt for). Great suggestions . Love that ironing board, by the way, gives me and idea. I like to keep my area tidy, because I find I'm more productive but it is also my bonus room, although I'm the only one who goes in there, I like it to be neat. These ideas will help out a lot. How do you store batting remnants, before I go and do something stupid. I buy batting by the roll and seem to always have about 10-30 inches to cut off. I piece them together for small quilts but seem to always have more than I use. Two big containers and some on top of those, taking up value space in that closet I talked about.

  6. thanks for the tour of your studio/ are very's nice to see how other work....



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