Fabric Storage

lindaoh_gwMay 23, 2012

Last week I spent several days refolding and organizing my fabric stash. My fabric cabinet was so messy that I couldn't find anything! I took everything out and refolded it and now it fits in the cabinet again!

If the piece was under a half yard I put it in the scrap basket. My next project is to use the scraps for scrappy quilts. I plan to cut it with my Go!cutter tumbler die and into squares for D9P quilts.

How do you organize your fabric?

Linda OH

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of my stash

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Very nice, Linda! It should be a breeze to find your fabrics now.

My stash is all in big Rubbermaid tubs (see through) organized by color. I don't have many pieces that are a yard or more, but those larger pieces are in a tub by themselves. And I have a pile of Rubbermaid clear shoe boxes with my scraps organized by color.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Looks very neat, Linda.

If I considered 1/2 yd a scrap, I could sure cut down on the number of see through storage bins/boxes. Maybe they're my big scraps as I have smaller odds and ends sorted by color in I'm Still Stripping clear zippered bags with handles and hang them on the rods of the quilt rack. @:) One thing I'd like to do is, instead of throwing the 2 1/2 inch strips into a container, maybe wrap them around a small width ruler and somehow stack them in a container.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Wow, Linda! It looks like a fabric shop! Do you have one of those little folding guides so everything comes out the same size?

My method... hmmm, let me think... oh wait, that's right... I don't have a method. I have one rolling cart with big bins and those are all full of... ummm... fabric. And then I have a rolling cart with plastic bins and those are full of... older fabric. And then I have one of those cool rolling carts with the different colored pull out plastic bins and those were intended to hold smaller pieces of fabric in the colors of the bins for scrappy projects, but ended up with 'who knows what' in most of the bins. Then I have a big wicker basket that is stuffed full of just batiks. And several pizza boxes (clean ones!) that hold fabrics for specific projects. And then some stacks of more recently purchased fabric on a cutting table and other stacks of fabric gathered for a project (or two or three) also on a table...

Yeah, like I said... no method at all.

Maybe your picture will inspire me (or shame me) to finally get organized!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Good to know someone is organized! It's not me just yet.

After our guild meeting with Bonnie Hunter I'm inspired to cut my scraps in strips as she described but I need to get some storage for them first. She divided the strips into lights and darks but you could then divide them into color families if you wish. My scrap bins are too many and too full, so I want to tackle Bonnie's system at some point. I make more scrap quilts than other styles.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bonnie's Scrap User System

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Looks great Linda!!!

LOL Kate!!! I had to refold mine recently and I tried to sort them by color. They will not stay that way, as soon as I start another project they will be messy again!!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:48AM
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I copied Donna apparently. I do the same. Lots of see through bins and by color.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Unfortunately, my storage system goes something like this:

1. bring home new fabric

2. shove a space over on the cutting table

3. deposit new fabric on top of a pile of other "new" fabric

4. pick up the resulting avalanche of fabric that has fallen off the cutting table

5. begin again with step #2


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 12:49PM
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As you can see, the armoire is full. I still have fabric in plastic drawers and a pattern cabinet in my sewing room. Those fabrics will be refolded soon.
I can take unwanted fabric to my quild meetings for the free table. I have to stop myself from bring more home!
Linda OH

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:22PM
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I was thinking I didn't have a method but when I read Teresa's post I realized I DO have a method: buy, shove, stack, pick up and stack again, repeat. Honestly, it works so well for me I don't know why I would try anything new!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:29PM
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Since I'm pretty new to this quilting thing, I don't have a lot of fabric. So far, I have only bought fabric for a specific project. What I have left to store are only those pieces left over from that project, so those are usually pretty small pieces. Right now, I'm sorting them by color and storing them in stacked bins.

When I buy fabric for a project, I keep the fabric and the pattern together in a big bin. While I'm working on a quilt, the stacked bins are perfect for keeping all the blocks together (this is when they are not spread all over my sewing room).

So far, I've been hesitant to cut the pieces into strips or blocks because you never know what you might need them for. For instance, I've been able to use some of the fabric for the lotto. But I really like the idea of finding a scappy quilt pattern and then cutting specifically for that purpose. I'll have to search the net and see what I can find.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:44PM
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You are way too organized Lois lol!!!!!!!!!! With my 'where did I put it' method I am always finding things I forgot I had!!

I use 2&1/2 X 2&1/2 for starters and enders and they make a nice scrappy Irish Chain.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Lois, sounds like you are off to a good start! Being organized isn't the hard part - it's GETTING organized in the first place!

I understand your reluctance to cut up your scraps. I got a book years ago called The Fabric Lovers Scrapbook and they had a system similar to Bonnie's where you cut your scraps down into different sized squares. I ended up with sweater bags full of 2" squares but could never find a use for them since I didn't quilt much. I finally threw them away! But that's back when my stash was mostly scraps left from sewing clothes. Now my stash is all quilting cottons and has a lot more variety in color, so I may be ready to try the Bonnie method so they are ready to go when I want them.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 3:07PM
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I was feeling pretty proud of how my fabrics were stowed until I read this. Linda OH, my 'after' fabrics look like your 'before'.

My stash storage is complicated because my sewing room is also where I do my floor cloths, braided rugs and all purpose sewing, so my fabric stash has everything from velvet and laces to canvas in addition to quilting fabric. So my bins are more about what kind of fabric is in them, than sorting by shades.

I don't call a piece scrappy until it's pretty tiny. If it's fat quarter or larger it's in the bins. Smaller in the cabinet drawers, sorted. Scrappy to me is something smaller than maybe a square foot, or long narrow lengths.

Those I used to tear into strips about 2.5 inches for use in rug braiding, but since it's cotton it can also be use for strip quilting. Most are fairly long, and roll them into fabric balls and secure with a pin and keep in a large woven basket. Since they're round and bound tight, you can just shove stuff around in the basket until you find the piece you want. It also looks pretty like eggs in a basket.

The really small scraps are kept in two large plastic zip bags, or cut into blocks and stacked. I did quilt top last winter with leaders and enders, but I don't think I'm 'going there' again for awhile. The sewing was endless with all those tiny squares.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:11PM
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