My Private Getaway

Image from

Our resident hound asked us to describe a favorite place to “escape” and explain why it draws us there. After thinking about it, I decided that my escape hatch is right here in my condo – it’s my basement sewing room. The downstairs level of my unit consists of a bedroom, bath, storage room, and one large living area which has a glass slider leading to a small patio. I decided to split the area in half using two sets of modular storage units, sometimes known as cubbies. On the side closest to the stairs, I set up most of the furniture that had previously been in my living room. On the other side of the cubbies is my sewing/craft area. Both my cabinet sewing machine and my serger are set up so that I can go from one to the other, depending on what I’m working on. The cubbies hold my scrapbooking and card-making supplies, as well as my patterns and some of my fabric (a lot of it is still in tubs). 

Before we moved here, my sewing/craft room had been located in my youngest daughter’s former bedroom. During the pandemic, I spent hours upon hours in there, partly because I had no place to go, and partly because I was happy to be able to help others by making masks for friends and acquaintances, sewing hospital gowns for the hospital where my granddaughter worked, and creating quilt tops for the church’s quilting group. But as restrictions began to lift, I spent less time in that room, especially when my husband’s health started to fail. Since the machines and supplies were in a separate room, I could close the bedroom door and not enter for days at a time.

I always have a project (or three) in the works. The cutting table is attached to my “wall of cubbies.”

In my current setup, I have to go through my sewing room to get to the bedroom and/or bathroom. It’s very difficult for me to go through without stopping and working on something, at least for a little while. So unless I’m getting ready to go somewhere and I’m on a timeline, each time I go downstairs to brush my teeth, change my clothes, or put something away, I’ll allow myself to sit at one of my machines and sew for a bit, or stand at the cutting table and prepare the pieces for a project. I figure this way, I’ll get these projects done more quickly, and the energy I’ve expended going up and down the stairs will be worth the effort. 

On the other side of my wall of cubbies is my “living room” where I can relax with a cup of tea and watch tv or read.

Now that I’m on a more relaxed summer schedule and my time is pretty much my own, I’ve begun to set aside large blocks of time for working in my sewing room. Working there gives me something creative to do without having to stare at a screen for hours at a time, which writers tend to do. Since much of the fabric I use is donated, the cost to me is virtually nothing other than purchasing thread (I have about a year’s worth) and maintenance on my machines. And when I need to take a break from sewing or crafting, I simply step around the wall of cubbies, sit down on one of my fancy chairs, and watch TV for a while or read. In good weather, I can step out through the sliding glass door and get some fresh air. Since I have a little kitchenette down there with a mini-fridge, sink and a Keurig, I could stay there all day long if I wanted to! Unfortunately, as an adult, what I WANT to do and what I SHOULD do are two different things. So I have to divide my time between the should dos and the want to dos.

The basement kitchenette is one of the many things that sold me on this particular condo.

I’m sure that some members of my family would disagree, but I honestly feel that between the purging I did before we moved, and the extra time I have to spend doing what I want, that my current craft/sewing room is more organized that my former one was. Maybe someday when I get it all spiffed up I’ll share more pictures. But in the meantime, if you don’t hear from me, I’m probably downstairs putting together my next fabric masterpiece… or at least something that will keep someone warm.

Do you have a favorite place to “get away” from daily life?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in author's life, creativity, Daily life, inspiration, lifestyles, Patricia Kiyono, Preparing for writing, The Author Life, time management and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Private Getaway

  1. What a wonderful life! I just adore your dolls in the beautiful shelves and your old case. You seem to have it all as you like it and need it, and I think it is all lovely. I know all isn’t perfect in your, (or anyone’s), life, but you have it going as smoothly as possible in a peaceful setting of your own creation. How grand!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Sounds like a lovely spot — with a good mix of space for “chilling” and a space for your craft efforts. And it even sounds like you could briefly entertain a visitor down there…. since you’ve got coffee and such.
    That said, your setup wouldn’t work well for me because of the stairs.
    When we designed our house in 2007 — our first time to build — I had few specs that I basically insisted on (other than elements of the structure itself, placement of the plumbing, number & size of HVAC units, etc.) I wanted a separate “study” (which I’d never had before) and it had to be on the same floor as the bedroom and the kitchen. [My so-called “war-room” — where most of my militaria collection is housed — is downstairs, as is the wife’s craft room.]


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Sometimes my knees protest, so eventually I’ll have to move my sleeping quarters up to the main floor. My office is already there, right next to the front door. As long as I’m able to manage the stairs, I’ll probably keep the current setup because as I mentioned, crafting (and sleeping) are my “getaways” from work… such as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane Burton says:

    I love the way you’ve made the new condo your own. Dividing a large space into 2 smaller spaces was a great idea. When we moved, Hubs finished the lower level (with daylight windows so it doesn’t “feel” like a basement) into 2 large bedrooms (our offices) with a smaller TV room in between, plus a storage area and his workshop. The tv room is more of a playroom for the grandkids. The problem is the stairs, which are getting more difficult for both of us. I love the dedicated space for our own offices. The big windows let in so much light. Sometimes I think of an electric chair (like in the movie UP) to make it easier to go up/down the stairs. LOL I can see the twins riding it and zipping down the stairs. I need to make my office my space again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Diane! When we started looking at condos, I knew I’d be purging lots of things, but I really didn’t want to get rid of my Japanese dolls and Asian inspiration, and I didn’t want to give up my sewing room. And hubby didn’t want this stuff in his TV watching room. So when we found this condo, my first question was, would I make this big room my living room or my craft room? And then when I realized it was big enough for both, I was sold!


  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    It sounds like a perfect place for you. I’m glad you have the space to enjoy.


  5. I love your sewing room! It sounds so relaxing and productive at the same time. I would love to see some of the quilt tops you’ve made.
    If I want to sew I have to get everything out and set it up. By the time I do set it all up and gather everything I usually have to move on to something else that needs to be done. I had someone suggest that I turn my enclosed porch into a sewing/craft room but as I spend more time sewing and crafting in the winter that just isn’t reasonable. There is NO insulation and NO heat there.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      A porch is no place to spend time in winter! Yes, I used to have to set things up and put everything away when I wanted to sew. It wasn’t until my kids left home that I was able to have a sewing/craft room.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s