All set up

I moved things around yesterday and got set up for ongoing string piecing here in Tampa. I’m going to use the Babylock Grace machine that I’ve been piercing backings, bindings, and battings on. Not everyone understood from my previous post that I’ve had two machines set up here since before I brought the longarm from Big Canoe in January 2018. I could really use 3 but don’t have the space so I’m giving this a try. I moved a little table beside the machine, the bins can slide under the folding table I leave up with the GO and I’ve got that bench to set string bins on too. I gave it a try today as I started another set of strips and strings log cabin blocks and I think it’s going to work.

My sewing space here in Tampa is the master bedroom and it’s a very large room with 4 closets. There are two of these nooks and I have a machine set up in each one. This is my “main” piecing nook and I have the Bernina there now. It’s got everything I need, my cutting table, the big board for pressing, and my design wall. It looks a bit neater without the string bins in the middle of the floor!

And in the middle of the room – the longarm.

My desk is also in the room and as you can see, it needs some attention too. All those papers on top of the file cabinet need sorting and filing or shredding.

I only managed a couple hours in there this afternoon so I came back up after Keith went to bed and pieced a backing, pieced a batting, and loaded and quilted the last top I have of Sue’s. I’ve just two of hers left to bind and then I can mark all of those off my list. Pantograph is Raindrops.


  1. It’s looking pretty good Mary, much neater than mine, and also much larger. My room is about 9ft x 10 feet, and crammed with my basics. Yesterday was a good day for accomplishing a few steps. Hope today is stellar for you.

  2. Your sewing area is nice and roomy. I guess your stash is in the closets? I took the smallest bedroom as my quilting room and right now it’s wall to wall shelves filled with fabrics. Way too much fabric, but I love all of it. When we move, I will have a room almost double what I have now. Having two machines set up makes sense to me. You are very efficient when it comes to your time.

  3. The thing that stood out reading that… “loaded and quilted the last top…” AFTER Keith went to bed?! I knew that you did a lot of sewing tasks late in the evening, but don’t recall you saying that will even longarm at night. Glad to hear the new string set-up is working for you, Mary!

  4. Having the 2 machines set up is probably going to be a time saver. I always hate to change thread colors or anything that interrupts my piecing.

  5. Wow! What a beautiful sewing space. I am green with envy for so much room. I am amazed how much you accomplish late in the evening. Thanks for sharing photos of your sewing paradise.

  6. I like your layout. That’s a Big room. My space is small — 8×10 and mine looks cluttered and packed with all the things that I have. I would like to sew later at night but I seem to make more mistakes when I do.

  7. Great sewing space and so tidy. When our kids left home I took over the downstairs .lounge but it at the moment t it is extremely untidy due fact I have started to sort but then discovered fabric that wanted to be made into something

  8. Most timely of you to post this today. As I’ve been sorting fabrics since the beginning of the year I’ve found myself thinking of your string quilt blocks and wondering how you set up your space and materials to work efficiently on this type of project. I still have quite a bit of sorting and clean up to do before I can take a dive into a big new project, but appreciate seeing what you’re working with.

  9. Your work area is nice. I have two machines and swap them every six months – one in the cabinet and the other in the travel tote.

  10. I think I could live in your work area! So nice that you have everything within an arm’s lengths reach!

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