Sunday, July 30, 2006

This may not seem like a very pressing issue! BUT! I am getting ready to reorganize my sewing room. Glutton for punishment. I currently have my fabric sorted by color and inside Rubbermaid-type see-through tubs. They are stacked on shelves (also some in the closet, some on the floor--you get the picture!) I get all dreamy-eyed and wistful when I see sewing rooms where the fabric is "out in the open" and readily available. That's what I want. I think it will help me to use those long-forgotten but wonderful pieces that somehow get lost in translation in the tubs. Right? Okay, here's my dilemma: my fabrics are all different sizes!!! How do you folks who use the "out in the open" method arrange the fabrics so that you can see what you have without the itty-bitty pieces being buried?
On a different note, yesterday I got my 5" squares cut for the Nickel Swap my mini-group is doing and thought it would be fun to reflect back on how we have done this swap. We started in September '05. Each month we all bring 8 stacks of 10 fabrics cut into the 5" pieces. Only requirement is that it be 100% good quality cotton--what you would want to receive. Our schedule: Sept: yellows, golds Oct: oranges, rusts, browns Nov: reds, burgundies Jan: blues, teals Feb: purples, lavendars Mar: pinks, mauves Apr: greens, olives, aquas May: taupes, beiges, off-whites, whites June: blacks, grays July: light backgrounds with prints Aug: multi-color prints and for Sept: batiks, color on color, marbles. What has amazed me is that, so far, I have gotten no duplicates!!! Those little squares are just such wonderful eye candy! I like having them in the sewing room just to look at and think about how nice it is to have friends who like to quilt, like me!

15 comments:

Mary said...

I have my larger pieces folded and stacked but fat quarters or partial fat quarters get put in a basket and the basket is put on the same shelve as larger fabric pieces.

The last time I organized I also sorted by shade too so olive greens were in one stack, bright greens in another and so on.

joyce said...

WHat are you going to do with all the squares? I have no organization policy. I need shelves or storgage before I can even think about organizing.

Susan said...

I don't use the tubs, but I use drawers - so I can pull them out and stroke them and maybe choose one to use - the see-through drawers from Sterlite at Target is what I chose. Mine are the 29 gallon size, and they stack.

I tend to store more by type - Christmas, 30s, batiks (3 drawers sorted by color groups, warm, cool and mixed color), patriotic, CW, etc. It probably wouldn't work for everyone, but it works for me.

Of course, I also have a couple of milk crates that are just stuff that defied sorting! Those are probably going to a friend with 8 children and no $, though. If it defies sorting, it really doesn't fit in my quilting style, I just had a weak moment. =)

I love swapping nickel squares and have 3 books with patterns for them, in case I can't think of any on my own. =)

Bonnie's shelves look very attractive, and except for scraps, I think she folds them to the same size, and stacks them.

paula, the_quilter said...

I actually have pics of my room/studio on my picturetrail site: http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=dennee&x=23&y=15
look under The Quilt Studio. The differences between when the pics were shot and now: the item on the design wall has changed and instead of folding the yardage on the shelves I have rolled it. I find that rolling it shows more of the fabric and I am able to use/see it better. /paula

paula, the_quilter said...

Whoops! try this tinyer version:
http://tinyurl.com/lgcsx
/paula

Karen said...

I put smaller pieces into a huge antique basket and just up-end it on to the sofa when I need some scrappy small pieces. What are you all going to do with your swap nickel fabrics?

Linda_J said...

can't help you much on the sorting/folding thing as most of mine is in closed plastic--might be a no no but that's the way it is. Sorted by color mostly and type otherwise---Christmas, 30's, repro, brights, landscape, crazy quilt, etc but not stacked on shelves.

The nickel squares are great way for you to get a good mix for a scrappy quilt.

anne bebbington said...

Actually I'd give my eye teeth for see-through storage boxes as all my stash is in Removal Company cardboard boxes up in the loft with just the general colour on the outside

Don't people who store it open find that it fades at the edges or do you use it up too quick?

Patti said...

Here's how I fold mine - Pieces 1/2 yard and bigger are folded lengthwise with the selvages together. Then I fold them the other direction so they are 9", or 1/4" yard from the front edge to the back. Makes a stack about 9" x 10" or 11", depending on the width of the fabric. These fit perfectly in my stacking baskets. Fat quarters are folded with each long edge to the center, then in half again. Then in half the other direction. The resulting piece is exactly as long as the bookcase I store them on. You can see pictures of my stacked fabrics in a recent post on my blog. If a small chunk is cut out of a fat quarter I fold it back the way it was originally folded and put it backin the stack. If more than a small amount is used then I cut up the rest in various sizes of bricks and squares ala Bonnie at Quiltville, and store them in labeled plastic bins of various sizes.

jpquilter said...

I am so impressed with the advice you have gotten here - I use the plastic bins method but then I don't have very many pieces over 1/2 a yard.
happy organizing!

Bonnie said...

The other day I saw a quilt room with cabinets and the fabric stacked inside the cabinets. I was jealous because, like you, I have my stash in plastic tubs. When I really thought about it, I realized that the stacks would easily get messed up, whereas my plastic tubs can contain the mess. We could all spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to organize.

Laura said...

Oh Vera, I have gotten that sorting bug myself. I am headed to Walmart to buy some long under the bed storage units to put in the closet. Hoping this frees some space up for me in my sewing room!

Judy said...

Wow lovely fabrics!!

Mine are all in drawers of cabinets. My FQ's are in one drawer and then the larger pieces are stacked in how I use them. Whole groups for a quilt are tied together in a bundle. I have a whole stack of just backing fabrics, then I have stacks of 1/2 yards peices for my stash and they are done in color waves.

EileenKNY said...

If you want to see some great stashes, go to Ami Simms' website. She has a page called "Show me your Stash".
I can't help much with storage ideas yet. My fabric is literally all over my house. DH has promised that I'm getting 1/2 of the 12 ft. coat closet in the front room we're making into my sewing area. You're getting some great ideas here. I like Patti's folding method.

Shannon said...

I pick up empty cardboard bolts from my favorite LQS and then cut them in half. I wind my 2+ yard pieces on them and have them out in the open on a shelving unit. Anything smaller goes into its own plastic bin (cheap from Target - no lids, white with 'breathing holes') and are labeled by amount (1 yard cuts, 2/3 yard cuts, 1/2 yard cuts, FQs, etc.). I use them like 'drawers' and use wire cubes as my 'shelving'. I used those plastic ties to make the shelving 'units' smaller to fit the drawers. I really love having it organized by size first and then color since almost all patterns call for a specific amount of fabric. I've found I don't have to be disappointed thinking I've found the perfect piece in my stash only to measure it and see that I don't have enough. I can send you some pics if you're interested and my explanation didn't come out very well!!

I am hoping to do a re-organization of my studio this winter, too. I'll leave my fabric organized the way it is now, but want to do something different with the shelving units. What fun!