The Free Motion Quilting Project: Light Up Your Sewing Space

Monday, March 22, 2010

Light Up Your Sewing Space

Josh and I have finally fully finished the move downstairs and now that everything is in place things are running much more smoothly and quickly.

I shot this video in the middle of the moving process, so don't hold it against me for looking tired and rather beaten up!

Just in case you're on dial up and can't view the video, here's some basic tips on improving the lighting in your sewing or quilting area:

Go to your hardware store and look for plug in florescent lights. You'll want to look in the under cabinet lighting section as this is where they're usually located.

You want to look specifically for "plug-in" lights, not direct wire. Direct wire is actual real wiring with wire nuts which can be intimidating, not to mention dangerous unless you know what you're doing.

You also want to look on the box and make sure the lights are "full spectrum" or "daylight" bulbs. These bulbs will not have the typical greenish glow of regular florescent bulbs, give you headaches, or make your fabric turn weird colors.

Plug in lights are very easy to install, but just in case the one you get is significantly different from mine, make sure you check the actual instructions in your box before installing it.

Usually all you have to do is take out the bulb and screw in 2 screws to secure the light to the wall or ceiling. You can then plug it in using extension cords to your nearest socket.

In my sewing/piecing room my plug in lights are very convenient because one of the sockets is controlled by the switch. So really it works just like walking into a regular room: flip a switch and the light comes on.

I really, REALLY recommend trying out these fluorescent plug in lights in your sewing or quilting space because it not only helps to see, it can also be much more inspiring.

There's something about walking into a well lit room that just gets those creative juices flowing!

I'm off to start reorganizing my downstairs kitchen studio. It's been a couple weeks since I've been in there and it's starting to look scary it's so horribly disorganized!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Great post on lighting....I'd never considered lining them up side by side. Love the idea!!!

  2. you have an upstairs AND a downstairs studio????? Boy am I jealous! It took me getting rid of a daughter to get a place to put my stuff! LOL.

  3. Hi Lea, just a video technical issue - your text extended beyond the frame on the right so I lost some letters. I use Firefox and haven't seen this problem before with your videos.

  4. Leah, your blog posts are so helpful. I really appreciate how you try to help us in all areas of our quilting - not just the designs.

  5. Hi Mcleanl - Uggh! I've just switched video editing programs and obviously still have a few bugs to work out. I can't believe I didn't catch this before!

    Quilt Swissy - Yeah, I'm now taking up about 1/4 of the house with quilting stuff!

    My husband is used to me asking for more space now and just rolls his eyes and asks if he should start sleeping outside in a tent with James so I can have the whole house to myself.

    You'd be surprised by how much space you can open up and re-purpose for quilting if you're just creative with it. Case in point: I use a downstairs kitchen for my big cutting, designing, and large quilt layout room.

    Let's go quilt!


  6. What a great lighting in my sewing room stinks. I am going to try this out.

    By the way, you are amazing. I have learned so much from your blog. I have set up an area now that is comfortable to machine quilt using your ideas. I am just finishing up my first big quilt on my home machine and it was fairly simple to quilt using all of your advice. I hope you never stop giving wonderful advice.

  7. Hi again, Lea. I just watched again and the text problem is fixed. Either you corrected the problem or my Firefox issue went away. Just thought you'd like to know! Lee


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