Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Re-organized Supply Room – Almost There!


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Normally on Fridays, I spend much of the day preparing articles for the following week.

Last Friday, though, I was in the throes of the Great Studio Overhaul of 2021 – which perhaps isn’t as great as it sounds. Still, it’s functional and organized, there’s a place for everything, and hence, it’s a big deal to me.

So this morning, I thought I’d show you what was achieved at the end of last week and share a few suggestions in case you’re planning an overhaul job of your own.

Studio Shelving - a bit industrial

These are the types of shelves I put together for my shipping and supply room.

They are industrial looking, and, at a pinch, I’d call them ugly.

There are other shelving options – and much more attractive ones! – but it’s hard to find 24″ deep shelves that are sturdy, affordable, and easily portable (should the studio move in the future). I didn’t want anything permanent, but I wanted heavy duty, and deep. These fit the bill for the most part. I’ll be adding some shelf liners to some of the shelves, in order to solve the open wire concept.

Now, I did have an option of red or grey. For some reason, I thought the red might be silly – after all, it’s just a storage room. In retrospect, I think the red would have added a touch of “something” that lifted the look slightly beyond “utility shelf.”

In short, if you have the opportunity to add a touch of whimsy with color, why not?

Studio Shelving - a bit industrial

I needed the square footage that four shelf units would afford, so I had to butt one shelf up to the other on a corner.

When doing something like this, you really have to be mindful of what you’re storing where. The corner becomes deep and more difficulty to get into, so I knew I would have to put our least-frequently accessed stuff in those corners.

Studio Shelving - a bit industrial

This end of the shelving is our shipping, packaging, and kit supplies. It all fit cozily onto the shelves. There’s a little space left, and there’s a little overflow into the next section, but that’s ok!

Much of this will deplete as the year progresses… I hope!

Studio Shelving - a bit industrial

And these are the other two shelves along the same wall, stretching down towards the only small window in the room (which is where the shelves had to stop).

I’ll be adding a better blackout curtain over that window. It’s got one over it now, but it doesn’t block as much light as I would like.

While I love natural lighting from the sun in the front room where we do our stitching and so forth, I don’t want a lot of sunshine coming into this room. I have good overhead lighting when I need it, but otherwise, I prefer to avoid too much sun in the area where I’m keeping my fabric and storage.

On those two shelves, the one on the left is dedicated to products that are sold in my shop, and the other holds my fabrics, threads, and the like that I use for my own projects and samples.

The cabinets at the end hold my threads. They are “collectors cabinets” from Bisley, which I wrote about here. The cabinets on top have their ground plinths still on them (I should remove those!). They’ve worked out well for me as a good storage solution for threads. They are not air tight, but they keep out the light and the dust.

There’s still quite a bit to arrange this week, especially with some exciting items coming in!


Locally, I’m selling off seconds of ready-to-stitch towels with the designs pre-transferred on them.

I will likely have several groups available to put here on the website, too, at a deep discount. They are groups of randomly selected towels from the different designs I’ve put out over the past couple years.

The towels have small flaws on them, maybe a spot that will wash out, or a slub, or crooked stitching on the hem, maybe a mistake in the transfer placement or quality – but they are still perfectly good for stitching. Most people might not even notice the flaws. I can’t use them, but I don’t want to throw them out, so I thought I would sell them as seconds for those who want to dabble with them.

Later this week, once I know exactly how I can make them easily available for those who are interested, I’ll announce it here on the website if there’s any interest.

Coming Up

Coming up, I’ll share some night-time stitching I’ve been working on with you. I’ve also working out a strange tutorial for a completely different approach to a dimensional stitch, so look for that!

I’ve got books coming in, and other products, too, so if you’ve been on the wait lists for different items, keep an eye on your inbox. You’ll get advanced notice emails as soon as stock is ready.

So the work continues! Hopefully, we’ll be back in full swing in our newly organized space by the end of tomorrow. Whew!

Hope your week is off to a great start!


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(14) Comments

  1. Mary, I did the same thing in my sewing room, with rolling racks. Instead of curtaining the window, I got a ceiling mount curtain rod and put the black out curtains directly in front of the racks. Now I have light in the room, but my fabric is protected from light.
    And I can draw the curtains open when selecting.

  2. Mary, I can imagine your excitement when you got to this point. Wow! To walk in and be able to see at a glance, walk up to what you want. You and your nieces did an amazing amount of work. And, I would be very interested in any of your ‘seconds’, as flaws are okay with me, it’s character. Love seeing your shop last week, and reading the articles of how the shop came to be. How nice to have it down the street from your home. I’m intrigued by the ‘strange approach… tutorial.’ Thanks for all you do to encourage and teach, and the followers who do so much of the same. I can imagine the smile every time you turn on the light in that room, and when you are in the now cleared space to work more efficiently.

    1. Hi, Shannon – I was surprised that all the towels in this batch were snatched up locally. But the next time I have seconds, I will let folks on the website know. Thanks!

  3. Wonderful use of your storage space, Mary. Congratulations on a good job that no one wants to do except as a necessity. I have a couple of thoughts for your industrial shelving units. You can paint the edges with some of your favorite colors or use colored tapes. Could you add locking rolling castors to the bottom of the shelving units for an easier access to the “hidden” corners? We all have afterthoughts when we think we have finished a job about “what if”. Your shelving units do look so sturdy and well made. Thanks for giving a a peek into your storage room.

  4. Dear Mary

    Your workroom is coming along nicely, it must be a relief to see things being put in order and on shelves, which will leave you with more room to manoeuvre and it must be clear your mind of the clutter around you. Once the room is tidy you can get down to some embroidery which I know you love. Thank you for sharing with us photos of your re-organised room with us and for the tips. I hope you will be able to sort everything out soon good luck, it is such a big job and I’m glad you have Anna to help you.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. the seconds on towels sound like they would work for me to use to teach my granddaughters basic stitching, let me know if you will be selling them on your site. Thanks

    1. Hi, Suzi – I was surprised that all the towels in this batch were snatched up locally. But the next time I have seconds, I will let folks on the website know. Thanks!

  6. I dont’ think red would have been silly. I’m not sure if it’s the color I’d go with though. If you decide you need some color on those shelves, there’s always duct tape. It comes in lots of colors now. The re-org is looking good!

  7. I am sincerely interested in purchasing some of your “seconds”. I may soon be teaching a community education class in embroidery and the less expensive but useable towels seem just the thing for enthusiastic stitchers to learn on.

  8. I am new to embroidery and would definitely be interested in the “seconds” I need the practice before I buy “firsts” LOL. Do you know when these will be available? I am on your email list so I wait with baited breath.

    Love your site and all the good advice you have. Thanks!

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