A Little Change-Up In My Sewing Room!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I've finally done some fun re-doing in the end of our upstairs "Barn Room" where I have my sewing and creating area.  It is a really large area with a long wall on the end.  

You might remember it looking like this in the above picture.  I pretty much hated the way that wall looked and I've been trying to decide what piece of furniture I wanted there.  The rolling shelf in the picture above was built by my father in law about 55 years ago and it has served it's purpose and then some!  So I asked Eldon if he would please haul it out so that I could begin the hunt for something to replace it.  

My daughter and I went to town one day and  I got a text with the above picture.  Evidently there was so way to get it down the stairs and around the bend at the bottom that our stairs make, so they had to cut it in half horizontally to get it out of the house!  (We had forgotten that we moved it upstairs before the rails were in place!)  I felt kind of sad to see it cut up, but Eldon said he was going to cut it up for firewood anyway.

So, the hunt started for a piece of furniture for my sewing area.    Everyone kept telling me to look at IKEA and I did some online looking and wasn't happy with what they had.   I looked everywhere at everything - to no avail.   One day I went out to Eldon's garage and as my hand was resting on the top of that bottom piece of his Dad's old rolling shelf thingy, I said this:  "What I really want is an old piece of wooden furniture that is really strong and durable but needs serious help.  Something about table height, no doors with some nice tall shelves, somewhat narrow and long.  Because I could re-vamp it you know."  (You know where this is going right?)  

Yep, you guessed it.  The bottom half of that long, narrow rolling shelf was perfect!  Eldon removed the doors and did a few repairs and I went to work on making it mine.  

I used my mouse sander to lightly sand the old varnish and then I painted it Annie Sloan Paris Gray.  It turned out to be the perfect color.    I was going to remove the rollers because they are kind of ugly, but I decided that I really wanted to leave them because they would be super handy and they ARE vintage after all!  I finished off the shelf with a coat of Annie Sloan light wax and Eldon and my son-in-law moved it back over the stair rails and up the stairs to where it belonged all along!

I wanted to use vintage swimming pool locker baskets for the baskets on the shelves, but I just could not justify the cost of them.  So the next best thing were these Milk Baskets from Target.  The perfect size, the perfect price.  

I used a few small wooden crates (also purchased at Target) to hold my canning jars full of my sewing notions.  They also fit perfectly.  


I had my grand-daughter Jillian with me when I was looking for something to hold all my spools of thread and she was the one who pointed out this perfect idea.  It is a drawer caddy for silverware.  But it holds thread perfectly and I just love it!  I bought two of them and they stack on top of each other and wow... I love it.  

A few other touches... my daughter's sewing machine, my grand-daughter's sewing machine, my VERY old serger, and my vintage Bernina sewing machine that I will keep forever... all lined up so pretty! 

My one vintage swimming pool locker basket that I could afford ($47 - yikes!)...  but orange?  How could I possibly resist?  

And the final touch on the wall is the start to my "mini quilt wall".   I plan to take my time and build this collection with all my favorite little quilts made with favorite fabrics and patterns.  


My very favorites are the ones that have been gifted to me, like the mini quilt in the picture above and below.  My favorites.   

When I sit here and sew, I feel like I'm sewing with friends.  

And there it is.  Exactly what I wanted!

And the icing on the cake for me this summer.... my new Juki sewing machine.  The thing I treated myself with after a very busy summer (that isn't over yet) of flower farming!  

To wrap up this post I need to say that I really learned a lesson from the old, ugly rolling shelf that my father in law built all those years ago.  Make do with what we have... it really is the best feeling! 

 (Except when it comes to sewing machines - buy a new one! Smile!)

Thank you for visiting my creative sewing corner!  My very favorite spot in my house.  (Next to my kitchen!)

I hope you have had a very good summer.   My daughter and I have had a very busy full few months of flower farming.  What a great little business that has become for us and is still as much fun as the first summer we started!  I promise an update soon!  


  1. I'm very happy you up cycle the bottom piece of your FIL furniture, perfect cubbies with the help of Target. A+ for Jillian's idea for the spools. What a delightful room for creativity and I love the quilt wall. I have a few on my walls from my sister. Yes please, an update on your flower venture, love that cart!
    Oh boy, waiting for milder temps here in Phoenix, the heat this summer was relentless, but thank God I have a home when so many lost theirs from floods, fires and earthquakes.
    I love where you live, so beautiful!
    Always happy to get a post from you Dori:) Kathleen in Az

  2. Thank you for sharing this!!! It gives me a whole new insight to "how you roll"!😊😊. I absolutely love your repurpose of the shelf. Your wall of minis are gorgeous. Your room is beautiful!

  3. Wonderful resue of a family piece...one with meaning. Glad that your eyes were opened to the possibilites. It sure looks great! Love that seing room and had to pin it for inspiration.

  4. Beautiful story with a perfect ending! Enjoy your "new" space - it's lovely!

  5. I had to laugh, finding out that the old unit was just what you needed after all, with a few modifications. It looks great with the updates. Thanks for sharing the idea of using the silverware organizers for thread. Such a great idea!

  6. I love how your room is coming together!

  7. Great sewing/creative room! I love the scrappy quilts on the walls and your rolling storage shelving is awesome. Those old pieces of furniture were just built WAY better than some of the new stuff today. Great storage ideas too. Love that orange locker basket.

  8. I'm so thrilled that you saved the shelving. When I started reading, I was thinking, "couldn't she just repurpose that cart? It looks amazing!" And you did!
    The quilts on the wall are so beautiful. Your room turned out stunning. I'm sure you'll be duly inspired. Enjoy.

  9. Beautiful, you amazing me. You are so talented. And very inspiring.

  10. Love it! I will look here for ideas when I having a caft room to fix up again!