Behind the Scenes: Come on In and Take A Tour of My Studio (Digitally!)

Welcome to my Embroidery and Sewing Studio! My business started out in a very small 10 x 12 foot spare bedroom and soon overflowed into the dining room.  I worried about sticky fingers on my client’s precious fabric and errant feet on my sewing machine’s gas pedal.
After 6 months of jockeying for space, my husband politely told me I was more than welcome to move my business into the Bonus Room. No one ever used it because it was so far away from the life center our house – the kitchen.Belinda Lee 1

Moving in to this space changed my business in ways I hadn’t imagined. It gave me a real studio apart from the house. Located over the garage, it was isolated from the rest of the house, so I could run my {very loud} embroidery machine at all hours. It also gave me a space large enough to teach group sewing lessons with room for 6 sewists to work very comfortably.
The night time lighting is a bit of a challenge, but I won’t look this gift horse in the mouth! Notice the gobs of pillow forms “stored” under my table. The beautiful wooden drawers in the back were a gift from a neighbor and house much of my fabric collection. 
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Having a dedicated studio provided the room to build a great worktable.  This 4 x 8 foot table is a great place to spread on whatever I am working on and doubles as an ironing surface (you can iron anywhere on it!).  Want one? Okay. After the tour, I’ll give you a link to a tutorial.
Large north facing windows provide great daytime lighting.  My tripod is in the back right of this photo, where I plop my iPhone for video making and photography. A huge whiteboard on the right is great for brainstorming and occupying my children on long summer days. 
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This is my inspiration board.  It holds samples, monogram standards sheets, inspirational drawings and love notes from some of my happy customers. It’s messy but it makes me smile and contains a lot of useful information. 
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You can see the powerhouse of the operation in the back left of this photo {on a neighbor’s discarded table}. That pretty laptop in the forefront keeps the books, turns graphics into stitchable files and designs websites. Okay, I help it a little. My filing system of pink post-its keeps the me on task. Those cubbies to the left store old copies of Sew News, Creative Machine Embroidery and other industry magazines. 
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The Billy bookshelf from IKEA is the studio’s storage workhorse. Part bookshelf, part networking cabinet, it somehow manages to look organized even when fabric and zippers are bursting out of its cubbies. Did you know IKEA retired the Billy Bookshelf in 2014? What a shame! 
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My Babylock Enterprise 10 Needle Embroidery Machine. She likes to be called by her name, Merida. She makes the magic happen. Seriously, she has been known to hypnotize anyone who happens by.  My father in law, who can’t stand still for a second, once stood in awe for 45 minutes while she stitched out a Christmas sweatshirt for him. Yes, all of my machines have names. Come by, I’ll introduce you!

Thanks for touring my studio!!

Originally published on the Vend Raleigh Blog at: