Friday, October 7, 2022

Sew Spaces with Toni Raynolds on Off the Wall Friday

Toni with her Mosaic Dog
 I love seeing where other people create.  Normally, I'm not the nosey type, but when it comes to seeing people's sewing spaces, the voyeur in me comes out! This tendency popped up recently when I asked
my new friend, Toni Raynolds, to show off her space.  I met Toni in a class we took with Timna Tarr at Marc Adams School of Woodworking.    Toni's space seemed to strike the right balance of practical and cozy so I thought I'd ask her to share it with everyone.

Thanks, Toni for accepting my invitation to share your space!! 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your quilting journey so far?

Sure!  I was born and raised in the bluegrass state of Kentucky where I still reside today. I am blessed to live in horse country in Lexington, KY near Keeneland racetrack and tons of gorgeous horse farms. I've been quilting for about five years now but until I started quilting, I didn't believe I had a crafty bone in my body.   Thankfully due to a sewing machine my mother bought me and a quilting ministry at our church, I am now completely obsessed! At this stage, I find myself still exploring every technique possible and learning as much as I can. My mother says I love those "artsy fartsy" style quilts while she leans more towards traditional style quilts. I don't think I found one particular style that defines me as a quilter....yet. One day maybe. I'm always up for something new!

Where is your sewing space and how did you pick it?

My Sewing space is on the first level of my home in a room that looks like it's supposed to be a spare bedroom. It's a rather large space and so it seems to be the perfect fit.  I don't really have a fancy name for my space. It's just my "sewing room" as it reads on the sign made by one of my quilting buds.

How did you come up with the layout?

Oh, the layout.... that's a constant challenge and it seems every 4 to 6 months I end up rearranging it.  The current layout seems to work the best for now because even though the room is fairly large, I have collected a lot of stuff. So trying to fit three tables all with their own sewing machine, a cutting table, a wall of fabrics and a longarm was a real challenge. I have found though that having a horseshoe layout for my sewing tables is the most effective.

My longarm is located towards the back of the room with a nice view of the trees and animals out the window.

For me, it was really important to have my fabrics and my threads out in the open. I love seeing all the pretty colors, plus it makes it easy to find and store fabrics or choose that perfect thread.  My thread holders were custom-made by a wood craftsman in Berea Country, which I think of as the crafting city of the U.S. The artisans found here are amazing.  The thread cabinets are a modified version of  a pattern by Vos found on Etsy.

My fabric wall is made of an IKEA Kallax 5X5 cube unit and it works perfectly. I also have other bookshelves and smaller IKEA units to keep my fabric out in the open for easy selection when sewing. It also has several doors at the bottom for storage of additional items I may need to access easily such as spare starch, comic boards (which I use as a mini "bolt" to wrap my fabric around), etc.

I also love repurposing old CD storage shelves to convert them into fat quarter, jelly roll storage, etc.  Ikea's CD tower is perfect for this purpose. I have also bought several of these at thrift stores. My favorite one is the rotating tower. 

Lastly on the opposite wall is where I have my cutting table where I store additional threads, project boxes, and various stabilizers/tools stored for quick and easy access,

What is your favorite part of your space? 

I love all of it. So it's difficult to point out just one single thing, but I do know that my vintage, hand-crafted sewing cabinet is one of my most treasured items. My husband bought this for my birthday a couple years back because he knew how much I loved it. It's perfect for holding extra threads, buttons, zippers, and all kinds of items I may need but are not critical to have close at hand. This was handmade for the previous owner by her son. I feel so blessed to be the current keeper of it until it's ready to pass on to someone else as a beloved treasure.

What is your least favorite part of the space?

There are really two things. First, since adding the long arm to the room, I can no longer access the bottom of my floor-to-ceiling design wall which I customized and attached to the wall following a very easy/cost-effective method similar to this one on Swim Bike Quilt's blog. The only other thing I'd like to be able to change is the placement of my sewing machines. I'd really like to have those in front of my window instead of the longarm but for now, this setup is the best because when I had the long arm in the front of the room, I was always bumping into it and had to walk around it.

You told me you're going to start selling fabric online.  Can you tell me more about that?

YES! I'm sew excited about this opportunity to turn my passion into a real business. I started out selling crafts on Etsy but have decided to do a reset and transition my business into an online quilt store where I will sell fabrics, books, patterns, and notions.  Plus I'll offer classes and tutorials. I'm working on restructuring my store right now and hope to re-launch by the end of the year.  Sharing my love for quilting and sewing as well as, having the opportunity to share my experiences to help others grow as quilters is something I have a strong desire to do. I hope launching my new fabric store, SewcialArts, will be a stepping stone towards getting there.  So, be on the lookout for! In fact, if you visit now, you can sign up to be notified as soon as my store launches!

Thanks, Toni for sharing your sewing space.  It's amazing!!

I hope in the future to be sharing other people's sewing places.  I find it fascinating how people set up their places to create!  

If you have a blog post on YOUR SEWING SPACE...please feel free to link it on the SEW MANY SPACES blog link-up that is perpetually open.  Also if you know of someone who would like to be interviewed for this series, please feel free to contact me!

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Michelle said...

Ooh! Now I have quilt room envy!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Ohhh, love that handcrafted sewing cabinet!!! Looks like a beautiful layout!!!

Toni L Raynolds said...

Nina, thank you for sharing my space! This was so much fun to do! I look forward to seeing how others set up and design their sewing spaces!

Nina Marie said...

You can always click on the blog link up to see other spaces that are already there.