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Thread: If you had it to do over again, how would you organize it all?

  1. #1
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    OK....so as most of you know, I am still pretty much a "Newbie" although this board has taught me more in the 7 months since I started than many will learn in a lifetime! I am just getting ready to put the final touches on my Quilting Room/Studio and would love your input.

    If you were starting from scratch again, what would you do different? I'm talking about ideas like, keeping a record of each quilt with pictures, fabric name(s), pattern, etc. How woud you have organized and/or labeled your fabrics as you brought them in when you were first building your stash? How woud you organize your patterns as you started collecting them? You know...way back before you had whole shelves full of them...LOL!! :D How would you have handled the "scraps" from fabric that you got for a paticular quilt after you were done making that quilt? Would you go ahead and cut it into squares or row?? Bottom line...what would you do different if you were just starting and knew what you know now?

    I figure since I am just starting and only have a handfull of patterns, etc., that now is the time to start a proper system. I have already found myself collecting rulers that I can't find the directions for, etc. I have a binder with a bunch of patterns that I have printed off of the free websites but it isn't organized at all! So I can tell that this could get out of hand very quickly. Any helpful tips would be most appreciated. Thanks so much!! :D

  2. #2
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    For my sewing room/studio, I would have finished the ENTIRE basement instead of just half lol

  3. #3
    Rainybug's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Christmas, MI
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    Those binders...get them under control now! They will grow quickly and you will never get them under control. Mine are in clear protectors (acid free) and various binders, ALL LABELED.

    Patterns, I have historical patterns, many created from looking at pictures; craft patterns, quilt patterns. Those are my main groupings then each is sub-grouped. I've learned to store them up right not laying flat and where they are out of direct light. Mine are in acid free boxes with lids and each box is labeled. Please realize I have over thirty years of patterns. Don't store them in plastic it can destroy the fibers or paper of your patterns. This would include the practice of storing them in zip lock bags.

    Now as to how you divide and sub divide them is personal choice.
    Scraps...ooh, ahh, sorry was distracted...Scraps I gave up trimming and measuring them years ago. It just didn't work for me. I keep those scraps that are blocks or pieces of blocks in a bin; pieces of selvage a bin; anything under about 4" a bin; larger depending on size get folded into there parent fabric. If there is no longer a parent fabric they are sorted by colour in a bin. I have one of those plastic drawer units (like you get at Wally world) next to my main sewing table and each drawer is a "bin". I use pieces of scrap as leaders and enders as I sew. Over time this can create a second project.

    What I can tell you is that YOU will find what works best for your taste, style, needs but most of all for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Holland, PA
    As a librarian, I think I was pretty good about staying organized. Binders for patterns - florals - baby/child - miscellaneous. When purchasing specifically for a pattern, I kept the receipts with my notes. Took pictures of almost all quilts made. As a sister of a fabriholic, I did not purchase more than I could see & know what I have. There will always be "new" fabrics each year & tastes will change over time.

  5. #5
    Super Member katyquilter's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    Try not to spend all your time organizing and have fun quilting. So what if you can't remember the pattern in 10 years, are you really going to make the same one again? There are always so many new patterns to consider.

  6. #6
    Super Member babyfireo4's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Peru, Indiana
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    I would pin on the yardage: store name, brand, ID code (if any). So if I ran out I know where to look! I agree with the above that labeled binders for the patterns are perfect. Online you should be able to find directions for the rulers. If you know someone that can do it, Get a block of wood and cut grooves (a little larger than the thickness of your rulers) to either stand on the floor, or better yet mount as a shelf on a wall! Take the time to get the double sided velcro and cut into strips so that you can simply wrap it around your thread and bobbins to keep the thread under control without spending tons to try. Finally, Pin a paper on your batting what size and loft it is so when you use it you don't try to sew 4 oz loft to 6 oz or anything like that! Whew that's all I got :) Have fun and remember to use what advice you like and nod politely at everything else then ignore it! it what everyone does in life anyway ;)

  7. #7
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    I would concentrate on buying only fabric I really, really like as opposed to buying something I might use because it was at a ridiculous sale price!


  8. #8
    cjr is offline
    Super Member cjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Las Vegas NV
    As you grow in your quilting you needs and space will also grow. Allow room for that growth. Patterns:purchased ones in a box, internet downloads in sheet protectors in notebooks with traditional section dividers. I buy 3" ring binders. Shelves for books & binders.
    LOt of storage. Every one has their own system. My fabric is in closet folded or rolled, sorted by catagories. I use strips of paper sticking our of a stack labeled birds, butterflies, cats, dogs, flowers (actually have separate shelf for florals)southwest etc. Blenders in separate area. Fleece in its own area, other fancy fabric in separate ares, backings have their own space.
    Then the small stuff, I use plastic drawers in different sizes, each drawer holds 5" strips, 4"strips, 3"strips, 2" stips etc all stacked on top of each other. I also use shoe boxes to hold squares of different sizes. I make it a habit to use these in my projects. When I finish a project Smaller scraps are cut down to fit into above categories. Larger pieces folded and put on shelf in correct category.
    I do have a couple of large plastic bins, One has blue jeans in for future projects, one has Christmas fabric.
    Do be aware that what ever system you set up it will end up changing many times as you grow.

  9. #9
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    North Texas
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    Wow. Some great ideas on here already. I'm going to keep watching the posts.
    I do binders for patterns in sleeves so I don't have to unfold them and have index labels for types, wallhangings, children's, etc.
    I also put my Quilt mags in binders in sleeves and in the plastic part, a list of pages of the projects I want to try.
    ALso by date and Magazine
    The for records, put picture of finished quilt, who has it, with an envelope of scraps for repairs later.
    As for the rest of my sewing room, I'll let you know when I get it organized again. :(

  10. #10
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    A Hop from Heaven, a Skip from Sanity and a Jump from the Good Life....
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    Boy oh boy where to begin!

    Bonnie scrap method works perfect for me -I have lots and lots of those multiple see thru rolly drawers- specifically labelled. Don't worry if it only has a scrap or two IT will get filled up in no time

    Placement of your toys is very important. Make sure it's not a pain to get from machine to ironing board to cutting board. Make sure it flows.

    Light- super important. Make sure you have plenty and not all overhead as you will cast your shadow when you stand.

    Peg boards- color if you wish to match your room. These hold lots of notion.

    Over the door organizers- more places tp hold your stuff

    Bookcases for books- make sure you have plenty of magazine 'boxes' to hold your subscriptions and keep them organized and tidy -label the side so you know what mag and the year.

    That's all I have right now. Im sure I'll be back !! Lol

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