Quilting in a Studio Apartment

I dream of the day that I will have my own home with single room dedicated just to quilting. I’d build a custom sanding sewing desk and a large table in the middle of the room where I can cut the width of fabric without having to fold the yardage in half… or in quarters. Until then, my whole home is one room. Yes, I live in a studio apartment, and everything is always in flux as I switch from working to relaxing to quilting. After a long day of work, the pain of having to clean up one mess for another used to keep me from quilting. But not anymore. Here’s my set up and some tips for keeping quilting in a studio apartment manageable.


The Set Up

My set up consists of three parts. First I have my desk. It’s a bar-height table that I use as a standing desk. No matter which task I’m doing, I always keep my monitor and laptop on my desk. It’s such a hassle to move around with all the cords. When I want to sew, I just push my monitor back, and slide my sewing machine in front of it. Then I use my laptop and monitor to pull up my patterns and watch shows while I work. When I start quilting, I shift the monitor off to the right side of the desk so there is more room to hold the bulk of the quilt behind the sewing machine. To the left of my sewing machine there is space for a pressing mat and mini iron or a cutting mat. And that white thing off to left of my monitor is a power converter. My sewing machine is from Korea and takes 220V.

Standing Desk with Cutting Mat
Quilting Table in Studio Apartment

When I’m done sewing, the sewing machine, the cutting mat, and ironing mat go back into the closet. Well, they’re supposed to. They often just ends up on the floor next to the wall, because I tell myself I’m going to be productive and sew again the next day– sweet dreams. The closet also holds my fabric stash that’s all stuffed into a cube storage bin.

Fabric Stash

All my other little notions and bits and bobs go in totes that I made. The totes hide out of site in cube storage that I use as my tv stand. Once everything is tucked away, you’d never even know I was even a sewer (unless you look at all my wall hangings and quilts thrown everywhere).

Quilting Tote
Quilting Tote
Quilting Storage

Overall, quilting in a studio apartment will have some run around as you make the space work for all your tasks. However, This set up keeps things organized in totes and bins with easy to carry handles that hide away without a trace. But there’s more to to quilting in a studio apartment than organization and storage.

My Tips

Quilting takes a lot of tools. The longer you quilt the more crap–I mean, very important sewing notions–you’ll acquire, but fabric will be your biggest acquisition. I highly recommend not buying fabric unless you have a specific project for it. You can read other reasons for this here, but the more fabric you buy is the more fabric you’ll have to store. You simply don’t have the luxury of space in a studio apartment.


My other tip is to have plans for your quilts before you start them. It may be obvious, but if you really get into quilting, you’ll end up with, well, a lot of quilts. Throw one on the bed. Keep one or two on the couch. Maybe hang one on the wall, and then you’ve got a pile in the closet. Before you start a quilt think about what you’ll do with it. Keep, gift it, donate it–there are no wrong choices, but be ready for the choice you make.

Sew on!

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