New Sewing Studio Part 1 (& We’ve Moved!)

One of the biggest goals I had for moving to Hawaii was to give my husband the time and head space to think about what comes next for him. When I transitioned away from being an engineer in 2014 and started trying to find my footing as a professional quilter, he gave me the grace, time, and space to evolve into what works for me, which currently looks like mornings spent technical editing and afternoons spent quilting or working on my own quilt patterns. After about a year in Hawaii, he had a very clear vision about what he wanted to do next, and living on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean was not going to be in alignment with his new vision. We spent the first 6 months of this year looking at real estate in several ideal locations and putting in bids on numerous different properties. If you didn’t realize it: the real estate market at the beginning of 2022 was bonkers!

After several disappointing months of trying to find an existing home near family, we resigned ourselves to the reality that we were going to need to build what we wanted. So we reached out to some friends who had lived in a unique living arrangement like we had been trying to find… and in the end we ended up purchasing their combined hangar/apartment from them. It definitely wasn’t what we thought was going to happen, but after nothing working out smoothly, this agreement between friends has been easy and it has felt like it was always meant to be.

So my husband and I left the Big Island of Hawaii in mid July, and after a lovely week spent visiting with family that we hadn’t seen in over 2.5 years, we have been working hard to clean up, clear out, and settle into our new space. My husband will have over 3,000 square feet of shop space to set up his new venture, and we have about a 1,600 square foot apartment which provides me with a lovely new sewing studio to outfit. I had hoped to give you a tour of my new studio today, but the sea container with our household items was delayed by a week, so instead you get to see Part 1 today. Hopefully we can work hard over the weekend unloading the sea container (that arrived just after noon on Thursday, a few hours ago as I am writing this post), so that I can share more progress next week.

New Sewing Studio - Before

New Sewing Studio – Before

The room that I am going to use as my sewing studio was previously used as a room for two boys. If there is anyone near Tehachapi, California, who could use bunk beds (mattresses, sheets, and lovely down duvets are included), let me know!!

The studio is on the second floor, and the room has a low ceiling. It slants from a little over 7 feet tall to a little over 6 feet tall. It has one high window on the south facing wall, and I think it will provide nice light.

New Sewing Studio

New Sewing Studio

To maximize the light in the space, the first thing we did was paint the walls and ceiling bright white. Well, after we disassembled the bunk beds and got them out of the room, of course. Then, after painting, we pulled up the carpet and installed a light gray laminate flooring. I want the room to be as light as possible! I do have an area rug on order that will tuck behind the cabinet you can see in this photo.

Speaking of the cabinet, that is a kitchen cart that I will use as the base for my ironing board. The rolling cart I had my ironing board on in Hawaii was not going to survive another move in a sea container. My husband and I worked on its caster wheels several times a month. This time, I opted for a sturdier base that also will provide me with a bit more storage. When I need to baste a quilt, I’ll simply rotate the cabinet / ironing board 90 degrees to tuck against the wall.

New Sewing Studio

New Sewing Studio

As you walk into my studio, this is the view of the sewing side. We will be installing a design wall on the wall to the right of the fabric shelves. And my husband and I will be building a table for my sewing machine and cutting station along the south wall under the window, tucked into the open corner you can see in the photo above.

New Sewing Studio

New Sewing Studio

The other side of my studio is my office. I spend a lot of time working as a technical editor, and I am really happy with this desk and office arrangement. All of the furniture (except for the office chair) were part of our purchase, and it has been great moving the furnishings around to make the space work the best for us. I am excited about the large printer (super helpful for testing out templates) and the expanded monitor. I did opt to purchase a fairly high end ergonomic office chair. I have a lot of lower back pain due to a wakeboarding injury I suffered as a teenager (oops), and the older I get the more attention I’m paying to my posture!

One of the other things that I am very excited about is having an in-office tea station! While it’s a bit warm for me to want tea in the mornings right now, it won’t be long before the weather cools and I’ll be happy to have my own station set up to make my morning tea in my office. For now, it’s a great way for me to remain hydrated.

New Sewing Studio

New Sewing Studio

The final photo is a view looking in from the doorway. This last photo should clearly show the wall under the window where we will be making the 8 foot long combined sewing table and cutting station. I have asked my husband for help recessing my sewing machine into the table for years, and I think we are finally going to give it a try. So wish us luck on that build over the next week or so. I’ve missed having access to my sewing machine, so now that it’s here, I’m going to be eager to get things loaded to brighten up the space and start sewing again!

37 thoughts on “New Sewing Studio Part 1 (& We’ve Moved!)

  1. Mary Howland says:

    Welcome back to CA!

  2. Donna Pachy says:

    So happy you can design new space. I’ve only been following you less than a year. Not knowing your story I couldn’t imagine how you turned out so many beautiful projects in space you described previously. Congratulations. As expected from you, it appears well planned and functional. Happy space. Love it.

  3. Martha O. says:

    Look forward to seeing photo of your recessed sewing table!

  4. Barbara says:

    Yvonne, thanks for sharing your happy place! I see lots of amazing things happening for you in your new place. You were amazing in the small space so this eill be magnificent.

  5. Patti Kaplan says:

    Congratulations! Sounds so exciting! Best of luck

  6. Welcome back to the mainland, I hope your new place brings happiness and success for both of you.

  7. JC says:

    Another new adventure. I love how you support each other and move ahead to each new chapter. Thanks for sharing a bit of the journey.

  8. Congrats on your new space, I can’t wait to see it when you get it finished and all your colorful stuff in there. I hope it’s everything you’ve wished for. Best wishes to you and your husband on the next chapter in your lives.

  9. wandacarole says:

    You certainly took me by surprise with this announcement. I didn’t even see it coming. Welcome back. And happy adventuring again. 🙂

  10. yoyopattycakeshotmailcom says:

    Welcome back to the mainland! Another new and exciting adventure for you and your husband. Thanks for sharing images of your new sewing space and it’s transformation. I’ll miss the photos of your quilts taken in your lush Hawaiian landscape though! Congratulations on your new place! — Susan

  11. What a lovely new space. I have a similar station in my studio for my cutting mat and it is perfect. I love the gray laminate floor, it is nice to have the lightness in the room. Good luck with your move and your husband’s new venture.

  12. Megan says:

    Congrats on the new place!

  13. Jean Marie says:

    Welcome back to the mainland. Congratulations on your new space. I am looking forward to seeing your new space develope.

  14. diana karen alexander says:

    This must feel like a ballroom for you, space-wise! The allure of the islands is real, but being landlocked in such a small space can be limiting. I loved Hana (Maui), entertained the fantasy for about 2 seconds and then realized that unless I had unlimited money to travel, it wouldn’t be for me. But what a lovely experience! Now you’re on to a new adventure! Enjoy!!

  15. Really nice to see this space, Yvonne, and how well you think through how best to use it. The change to the bright white walls and new flooring was a great idea, and will definitely help with the natural lighting. I’m looking forward to seeing the combination sewing table and cutting area. Enjoy your new space!

    1. Cindy Templeton says:

      Congratulations on embarking on a new adventure! I am looking forward to seeing all of your creativity shine in your new sewing studio. I am looking for an ironing station and your cart looks like it would fit in my space. What is the name of the kitchen cart?

  16. Cheryl M Strong says:

    This space must feel huge (if dry!) after the one in Hawaii! What a lovely space.

  17. sewincolor says:

    This looks like a great start on your new sewing space! My space has slanted ceilings starting at about 4 feet. It makes it hard to find storage that fit. This is very roomy and bright!

  18. Christine Sherman says:

    Congratulations, your space looks amazing!

  19. Cocoa Quilts says:

    Yvonne it is always a pleasure to see you and your husband’s next adventure. Looking forward to seeing your sewing table and what projects start to come out of this new space! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  20. Elisabeth DeMoo says:

    I am so happy you found the perfect location! It looks bright and will be cheerful soon.

  21. Cindy Pieters says:

    Congratulations! What a wonderful space!

  22. cindy-liveacolorfullife says:

    You’re back! I’m so excited to read about your new sewing studio.

  23. Helenmidgetgem says:

    Wow ! All this space will seem so luxurious compared to your last small space . I wish you both every health and happiness in your new home

  24. Jinger Snapp-Laplace says:

    It looks fantastic Yvonne, congratulations!

  25. Suzanne says:

    My Goodness! It sounds as though you’ve found an excellent new home; perfect for you and your husband. It also seems to be a lovely place to live. I was curious so I looked up Tehachapi and and among other things, learned that it has 4 seasons and looks to be a beautiful town nestled below mountains.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing more photos of your new home; 1600 sq. feet is a pretty good size for an apartment. We have a one story house and it’s 1850 sq. feet not including the basement. I was fascinated that you chose a kitchen cart for your ironing board setup. I did the same thing – almost anyway. I bought two wooden kitchen islands, each 48×24 with 2 shelves each and a shallow drawer in the top front. I put casters on all four legs. After sanding and painting some rectangular 3/4″ plywood panels white, I attached one to the top of each. One is now my cutting table and the other (with an ironing board cover I made) is, no surprise, my ironing board. Like you, my sewing room serves as an office as well, and it’s not a big room. Having moveable tables makes everything easier. I wish you much happiness in your new home.

  26. Danice G says:

    ‘Love your new spaces. Hoping that you will be very happy here in the new location.

  27. This is truly a wonderful space, and will only get more wonderful as you set up your space. The light walls and floor is good with a smaller window, yay for facing south though! I like seeing this as now I can imagine you editing my patterns 🙂 I bet you’ll have fun setting up the rest of your massive apartment (after your 750 sq ft home in Hawaii! Thank you for sharing the along-the-way shots, and welcome back to the mainland. Also curious to see just what Michael is venturing into and hearing about that over the next while!

  28. patty says:

    I’m so happy to hear your move went well and you are getting settled in! How nice to have a dedicated space for your office/sewing room – love the idea of a tea station! . Looking forward to seeing the sewing desk you build. Welcome back to the continent. 🙂

  29. Paula R Messier says:

    I’ve already sent you my best wishes on you and your husband’s new journey but having seen the space I feel compelled to add…

    The tea station, without doubt, makes the room!

  30. Kaja says:

    Wow! I love the way you guys work together as a team. I wish you lots of happiness both in your new home and new venture.

  31. Corinne says:

    Congrats for your new home and your sewing room!!

  32. How exciting!!!! and I love your new space!!!

  33. Tracie says:

    Your new place sounds like a great fit for you! I’m sure your creative juices are flowing as you look over all your new space. Enjoy!

  34. Elizabeth E. says:

    Now we get to see how the experts set up a sewing room. I’m happy you have found a place (complete with tea station) and are working to move forward in this next phase of life. I know someone who has a bed in her sewing room, but I think I’d also take the bunkbeds out (more room for fabric).

  35. Kathy S says:

    Congratulations on your new place! You have so many possibilities ahead with all of the extra room. I wish you both the best as you go forward!

  36. I hope you enjoy life back on the mainland.
    I am trying to imagine how hot it would have to get for me to not want tea in the mornings. Even through our 40C summers, I still drink tea!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)