How I get more done with Studio Stations

A few months ago, I decided it was time for a studio make-over. I had everything I needed, but I was forever setting things up and taking them down. Thankfully, Engineer Brain had a good idea –– it was time to set up Studio Stations.

The first big change was a permanent home for my ironing board. I purchased a Big Board many years ago, which measures about 22” deep by 60” long. For the base, I ordered two chests of drawers.  

The stairs up to my studio are curved and not particularly wide. I carefully measured the space between the railings to make sure the chests could be carried up the stairs. I should have taken a photo of the delivery guy –– but I thought he might not appreciate appearing on my blog. Nonetheless, he was a real trouper and a big help.

My large work table has been with me for years. It’s a modular set of studio components from Jack Richeson & Co. For the new studio setup, I moved it over to one side of the room, where I still have light from a couple of windows.

The ends of this work table have bunches of storage, but the stuff in the sections was not well organized. When I moved the table, I cleaned, dusted and rearranged the contents. 

One set of shelves is shallow, like a bookcase, but this end is much deeper. It’s the perfect place to hold cases of paint, rolls of paper, and boxes of embroidery thread. 

The most important new studio station is a permanent place for embroidery. It’s in front of a large, central window that looks out to the gardens of our condominium. It’s not great in the late afternoon due to the hot sun, but wonderful any other time of day.

Next to the embroidery station, I have a new storage cabinet for my machines. It’s so nice that they now have a real home! I’ve had these machines for over 20 years. I hope they last as long as I do so I don’t have to learn to use new ones!

I put my thread cabinet on top of the machine cabinet. It had been sitting on the floor, across the room in an awkward spot. It is really nice to have this up at eye level, and right where I actually use the thread. 

Adjacent to the machine cabinet, I have a space for setting up a portable sewing table. I don’t have a proper sewing machine cabinet, so this is the one thing I’m willing to set up and take down when needed.

The industrial sewing machine stays put. When you have one of these heavy monsters, it is where it is!

Finally, I have a couple of storage areas. One is a wardrobe that needs painting and new drawer slides. (I have no idea what the story behind the monkeys is, but they are going to get covered up.) The second storage space is in the shower of the little half-bath. (That was my husband’s idea. I thought he was crazy, but it works!)

Do I get more done now that I have studio stations? I’m not sure. But I can say it’s a whole lot easier to get things done with the stations in place. Each of my current projects has a dedicated drawer below the ironing board. The ironing board is always set up and ready to go. My supplies are stored next to the space where they are used. And I now have a dedicated place to sit down and stitch.

I took this photo after moving everything around. You can be certain that the studio rarely looks this tidy. It is, after all, a working studio. It will take time to get everything totally organized and settled, but it’s a big improvement. It feels really good to have stations and storage for the things I do almost every day.


Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading. Your attention is the greatest gift you can give to a writer. I appreciate the invitation to be a small part of your creative world and hope you enjoyed visiting my studio.

If you’d like to join the conversation, leave a comment below.


  1. Carol Keyte on November 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Enjoyed the article and organization hints. Haven’t done any sewing, except for masks, since early March. Miss my Contempo Wearables group in Galveston County, also missed Festival and Market.
    Not home now, reading on my cell. Looking forward to more from you.

    • ShellyStokes on November 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks, Carol. I think we are all missing the big shows and our smaller creative groups. I know I am!

  2. cyndy parry on November 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    ” I’ve had these machines for over 20 years. I hope they last as long as I do so I don’t have to learn to use new ones!” I had to laugh when I read this — my exact same machine and exact same thinking!!!

    • ShellyStokes on November 5, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Yup! It’s a great machine! I know there are lots of fun new features on newer models, but I’m more than happy with my trusty companions. I can live without yet another learning curve! 😉

  3. Barb Risucci on November 5, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    What a great space! Thanks for sharing! I can see that studio stations are ideal for your beautiful round room! I think my new space may work well with this idea too.

    • ShellyStokes on November 5, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      My round room (with a 9-foot hole in the middle) is beautiful, but challenging. I had to live with it for a full year before I was able to figure out how to turn it into a more functional space. Enjoy the idea. I hope it works for you too.