My Smiley Mug Still Makes Me Smile!

If you have a piece of fabric, it's possible to get a lot of sewing done with just a needle, thread, and a small sharp scissors. That being said, it is remarkable how many notions, gadgets, book, fabric, and patterns that I own in addition to those three items.

Helpful and cheerful!

I don't apologize for any of it. These supplies are the tools of my trade, and while I occasionally divest myself of the fabrics and books that no longer hold my interest, in general I am more concerned with keeping my studio functioning, inspiring–and a happy place to work.

Having a system helps. Mine involves a heavy dependence on wire-grid drawers. The ironing drawer holds press cloths, iron cleaner, and a little mini-iron that's easy to pack for workshops. The cutting drawer holds scissors, rotary cutters, extra blades, and a handful of seam rippers. And on and on. (And on and on!)

While these drawers are efficient, my two favorite organizational tools are effective and delightful. I keep this Smiley Face Mug from my high school years on the window sill behind my sewing machine to collect the marking tools, bodkins, seam gauges, and everything else that seems to accumulate on my sewing table. And on my ironing table is Little Hen–a cheerful helper I picked up at a flea market years and years ago.

Stitching, smiling, and sentimental. Works for me.

Necessary and joyful!

What do you use to keep the joy in your sewing space? Let us know at







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4 thoughts on “My Smiley Mug Still Makes Me Smile!

  1. I smile at your cheery friends. I have a mug with the “green” M&M girl on it filled with markers; another is a little wooden box tea came in that sits next to the sewing machine with a catch-all of pencils, markers, small rulers; there’s the oversize mug on my cutting table that the rotaries get stashed in, a tall, slim tin with a lid that holds the used and unused rotary blades, wooden crates of patterns, metal bins of patterns in plastic sleeves…. and the place still feels like a disorganized mess. But when I clean up and straighten things out, I CAN’T FIND ANYTHING! I have a little native doll from Alaska that is making a tiny quilt, various and sundry note cards with all kinds of art work, postcards and other bits and pieces stuck to the bulletin boards with “hat” pins–a wonderful jumble of things to me that would probably drive someone else crazy!

  2. It’s a fine line between being completely organized and having everything in its place–and having (what I consider) a moderately chaotic creative space. I usually staighten a bit after I finish a project–but I seem to get ideas by seeing some of my favorite notions and fabrics lying about.

  3. Enjoyed seeing your Smiley Face Mug. I also have the same mug in my sewing room. I’ve had it for years and it holds my marking pens, small rulers, and other notions.