Recently, I was watching a Leah Day podcast about choosing a long arm quilting machine. Her comments were specifically about long arms, but they can be applied to any sewing situation. The podcast stayed with me all week, and now I’m making decisions about my studio.

Do What You Love

Leah pointed out that before purchasing a machine, we should determine what kind of sewing we want to do. I quilt, make a few garments, and some crafts. After careful consideration, I know that I want to quilt more than anything. However, my studio is not optimal for quilting. I have too many things in here for that. My computer, two sewing machines, a stand alone embroidery machine, a serger … the list is long. 

While my plans are long term, and I don’t know when I might be able to implement all of them, I know that I want to be able to add a long arm machine eventually. With that in mind, I am making plans to change up the studio space yet again

How Many Machines?

I love sewing machines. They bring me a LOT of happiness. The problem is, I don’t have unlimited space to collect all that I want. So, I now realize that I don’t need a bunch of machines taking up a lot of space. In particular, I don’t need a bunch of embroidery machines. I currently have three:

  • Brother DreamCreator VM5100 (I call him George)
  • Pfaff Creative 4.5
  • Brother Persona 100

The thing is, I don’t need all of these machines. I don’t ever even use the embroidery function on the Pfaff. And the Persona just takes up space; it doesn’t get used nearly often enough these days. If I sell them, however, I would free up valuable real estate in the studio. I could use some of the proceeds to purchase a nice back up machine. It’s possible there could be enough money realized in those sales to pick up a decent long arm set up!

Other Stuff

I’m also giving thought to things like my heat press and associated bits and pieces. There are tons of t-shirts, vinyl and other things that I’m just not sure what to do. I have a few ideas, but the truth is, it’s currently in the way. 

I have fabric and various things for my sewing, quilting, yarn, and other hobbies, too. All I can think is, what would happen if I dialed back to just one main hobby and two or three smaller ones I could do when I wanted or needed something? Here are a few things currently in my studio that aren’t directly sewing related:

  • Soaping supplies
  • Candle making things
  • Yarn
  • Cross stitch supplies
  • T-shirts from my old business

Trust me, this list is also quite long. But what if I could cut back all of this to just a few things? How awesome would that be?!

Future Plans

The thing is, I really do want to add a long arm set up to my studio. That takes money, of course, but it also takes space. A LOT of space. Most set ups need about three to four feet of depth for the frame, and up to 14 feet for the length. Obviously, this means I need to find that kind of space, and I think I have a good plan. 🙂

Essentially, I would flip my current set up. I have two rooms for my studio right now – what was the formal living/dining area, and the home office area. I use the larger formal area as the main studio. That’s where the sewing machines, cutting area, and most of the magic happens. The home office area houses storage mostly. But in the new set up, the long arm and the bookcases from my storage area, would move the formal area, and my desk, sewing machines and possibly my cutting area would move to the home office. 

Of course, any future home (we’re thinking of moving in the next year or two) would require space to set up all of this. Poor Chris, he never thought the primary requirement for any place he lived with be, Does the studio fit? LOL

What Now?

Well, right now I’m still in the thinking and planning stage of things. And all of this could be for nothing if I’m ultimately unable to sell the machines I want to sell. But I do know that I need to refocus, and to do that, I need to get rid of extraneous stuff that’s draining my creative energy. I think that’s a big part of the reason why I haven’t been quilting much lately. I’m simply overwhelmed with crap. I need to let go of some of the things that aren’t working for me and refocus on the things I really want to do. 

Wow, I sound like a page out of a self-help book, don’t I? But there’s a lot of truth in that one paragraph. I have so much stuff, I spend most of my free time trying to organize it in a way that I can locate it if I ever need it again. Or, I spend all that time moving stuff around because I can’t move or work in what is actually a very large space. 

Something has to change. I’m just so over the constant state of disorganization around here!

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