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Ruth Ciemnoczolowski’s Sewing Room

Ruth always makes room for her cat, Joey, in her sewing room.

Ruth Ciemnoczolowski showed us in Threads #176 (Dec. 2014/ Jan. 2015) that organization comes in all sizes and style. Ruth’s organizational methods are unique and ideal for the way she works. She especially loves to fill her Omaha, Nebraska, studio with inexpensive furniture and storage units so she can put her hard-earned money toward high-quality fabrics and supplies. Take a look at more pictures from Ruth’s studio below.

machinesTake a look at more sewing studios and spaces:

• An Inside Look at Mary Ray’s Sewing Studio
• Inside Louise Cutting’s Sewing Room
Another Look at Kenneth D. King’s Sewing Space
• Helen Haughey’s Favorite Tools and Storage Solutions

Ruth’s sewing room is full of personality.More importantly, there’s plenty of space for her patternwork and cutting.

Ruth's studio

This 3-foot-by-6-foot whiteboard display helps Ruth keep track of important dates, projects, and shopping lists. She used three whiteboards from a home discount store, narrow black tape, stick-on letters, and duct tape printed with tape measure markings to create this great organization tool.

White board

Ruth found this dollhouse at a garage sale and emptied the rooms. She now uses the compartments to organize nonsewing materials, such as office supplies, stain removers, lint rollers, and spray starch. Where might one find the copy paper, you ask? In the living room.

Doll house organizer

This breakfront cabinet cost $20 at a thrift store. It was structurally sound but somewhat scratched when Ruth bought it, so she glued beads, buttons, and scrapbook borders to it to hide the flaws. She then sealed it with decoupage glue for extra strength.

Breakfront cabinet

A close-up of Ruth’s decorated cabinet.

Breakfront close up

Since Ruth saves a fortune on organization, she doesn’t feel guilty about spending money on precious fabrics and notions. This lovely button, for instance, cost $100. It is made with sterling silver and rhinestones, and is supposedly from the 19th century. Until she finds a use for it, Ruth has it framed on the back of her door.


Ruth turned this abandoned metal sewing machine stand she found into a table by placing a slab of marble on top. Now, it holds rulers, cutting supplies, and a large jar with hole punches, screwdrivers, and other tools.

Measuring tools

This ironing board (left) is 90 years old and belonged to Ruth’s grandmother. Originally, it was a big piece of poplar wood without legs for which Ruth’s husband built a support. Ruth then padded it with wool blanket material and covered it with canvas.

Ironing board

This jean jacket is covered with rhinestone buttons and jewelry. It has always been Ruth’s favorite garment. In fact, she wore it over a dress to her wedding. Ruth found an old frame, painted it silver, and hung the jacket above her cutting table so it is always on display.

Framed jacket

Forty-eight-pocket plastic shoe organizers are the easiest way for Ruth to store thread. She simply tosses the spool or cone into the correct color pocket, and she’s done.

Thread organizer

What thrift-store finds or fabulous deals have you found to help organize your sewing room? Have you had to do any work to make them over? Which one of Ruth’s organization solutions is your favorite? Please share your comments below!


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  1. User avater
    Joyce_Simons_Murphy | | #1

    Fun to meet Joey the cat and see your space, Ruth from Omaha. Love your thrifty style!

  2. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #2

    I want to come back as Ruth in my next life.

  3. User avater
    Passionbysoniasantos | | #3

    Love the high ceiling !

  4. bethatply | | #4

    Thanks for sharing your studio tricks with us. I am taking a few of them seriously for my sewing room.

  5. LaVieEn | | #5

    You're a girl after my own heart! My sewing room is small and I've got a lot of sewing tools. Needed a compact place to store bulky things, long things, stack boxes of things. Brought some things to Goodwill and noticed a half price furniture sale. And there was a cute Early American china hutch in pretty good shape, had doors not drawers in the bottom with 1 half shelf), and 3 shelves on top. Batting and other bulky items go in the bottom, yard sticks and sleeve board, pressing items go on a shelf, colorful boxes shelve tools, buttons, stash of silk ribbon (for embroidery). I still need to make a little curtain to obscure the shelf with the yard sticks and pressing supplies, but people think it's pretty cool.

  6. EdwardJenkins | | #6

    Awesome keep it up .. great work

  7. Mamato8 | | #7

    I love your second hand furniture! The shoe bag for your thread is so smart! I want to see what color is where and it takes up vertical space instead of horizontal. You are one smart cookie! I have a couple china hutches I can use to organize my stuff. I look forward to organizing my sewing room. First I need to find all the NOT sewing or craft things and kick them out!

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. Deborah722 | | #8

    Hanging shoe rack is a great storage idea! What do you do with scissors? I need them right next to my machines, tables, etc. or hanging in front of me - not in drawers.

  9. libtowngirl | | #9

    If anyone is trying to follow the link Ruth Ciemnoczolowski’s Sewing Room, it's broken. Here's the real one that I found after searching within the site for her name:

    Loved all the sewing rooms!

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