Over the years, I've worked in spaces of all shapes in sizes. From the pile of fabric and thread on my nightstand that started MCreativeJ to taking over our tiny apartment's living room, to the space I now have dedicated to my craft. It's been an incredible journey of growth. And as my small business has grown, so have my needs as an artist and the amount of space required. Throughout this time, I've also found a few things that have become pretty essential to my work as an embroidery artist.
Beyond things like thread, needles, and hoops (because those are basically a given), here are my 6 embroidery studio staples.
Good Cutting Tools For Fabric
The essential word in that sentence is "for fabric." Fabric cutting tools should only be used for fabric. I actually have scissors and rotary cutters labelled for fabric or paper in my studio. Because you can tell as soon as you start cutting if it's the wrong pair of scissors or rotary cutter. Paper scissors on fabric just feel gummy and never give you a clean cut. For this reason, I have a large cutting mat, rulers, rotary cutters, and scissors specifically for fabric.
A Bright Light
I can't tell you the number of times I've picked out thread colors or fabric in bad light (ie at night) and regretted the choice in the morning when I can see the results in the day light. Because I'm such a night owl, I've found that a high quality bright light is a studio essential. I use the table top Stella light and I love that it has a few different light settings, that you can adjust the brightness, and that the neck is bendy and adjustable.
Speaking of lights, photo lights are another essential in the Pacific Northwest. Unless it's sunny (which isn't as often as I'd like), I pull out my photo lights. And I don't just use these for photos either. If I need good lighting while filming or while teaching an online class, I'll use one or both of these too. These lights were recommended to me by my friend Sara of Brown Paper Stitch, and I'm so glad she shared this find! If you'd like to see how Sara uses these photo lights and her photo backdrops, click here.
An Adjustable Table
I'm a bit fidgety when I work. Sometimes I like to stand, other times sit, and a lot of the time, work off the floor. And sometimes I need to adjust the height of my table for cutting fabric or sewing on my sewing machine. Because of all the different heights, I found I needed a desk that was adjustable. After much online searching and price comparing, I decided on this sit stand desk. It was pretty easy to put together and has held up well. I also like that I can program a few heights for easy adjusting.
A Hoop Stand
Not going to lie, I held out on this one for a long time. I told myself I didn't need a hoop stand. That I didn't stitch in one place enough to make it useful. That I'd never use it... And then my hands started cramping up from holding a hoop awkwardly for too long. I did some research and asked fellow makers for recommendations before deciding on this adjustable hoop stand that holds the hoop on both sides of the frame.
There are tons of options for hoop stands, so it really depends on what you're looking for. They're available as floor stands, seated sands, and table top stands.
A Storage System
I am a very visual person. Seeing all of my supplies helps me have a better understanding of what I have and what I might need to restock. Because of this, I use a variety of pegboard, clear thread containers, and shelves for fabric, kits, and more.
I love using the pegboards and hooks for storing full skeins of DMC thread, scissors, tape, embroidery hoops, and other things I can hang. Shelves are great for storing all of my shop and workshop kits, plus my pre-cut fabric for kits as well as my fabric stash. And I use clear containers to store assorted colors thread wrapped on bobbins.
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