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Thread: Organizing the "stash"

  1. #1
    Member guntherquilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Organizing the "stash"

    When my son moved out, I immediately took over his room as my "she cave". My stacks/piles of fabric--1-2 yds of
    each fabric--is stacked so deep on the shelves, I cannot see what is all there. I usually buy 3-6 coordinating fabrics to
    use on a future project. How is it best to organize? Do I separate the coordinating fabrics and organize by basic colors? Or do I leave the coordinating fabrics together? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I do a variety of stash organizing. Yes, I do keep some groupings together because they are enough for a project .... these I label so I won't forget, like I used to do.

    Then I bread down the fabrics into categories: batiks. cats, Christmas, florals, and other themes.

    I tend to fold my fabrics differently so I can tell at a glance how much is there. FQ's are folded differently than 1/2 yds, 1 yd, and 2 yds. If needed I can attach a label as to how much I have. Generally the folding is more than enough.

    I bought IKEA Antonius system with the non-rusting wire baskets to store my stash. I have 2 sets, one on top of the other. They easily roll out of my closet if needed. Usually all I do is pull out a drawer and I can see what I have without any problem.

    With my arthritis pulling out material off shelves would be most uncomfortable. The baskets help me preserve my hand function.

    I have a separate Antonius system that fits under my embroidery machine table to put upcoming projects.

    At least it looks organized.

    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Blog Entries
    I have a certain way of folding my fabric and than I put it
    in plastic storage bins.

    IF I ever get finished with the sorting and refolding of ALL
    my fabric I will post pics.

    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  4. #4
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Heart of Dixie, Sweet Home Alabama
    Blog Entries
    I fight with this question all the time!!! And in fact, just had a post on it not long ago. That being said, I do keep anything that is grouped for a project together in a clear plastic container. Everything else I sort by color the best way I can. (Everything is in clear containers on a shelf that goes around the top of my room - reachable.) Prints and florals, I agonize over where to put them. So, I just put them in the best place I can. Beats leaving them all over the dining room table while I'm trying to decide! LOL Sorry, I'm not much help!

  5. #5
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    How you organize your stash depends on how you think when you are developing your ideas. I sort everything by color or theme. Others keep the coordinating fabrics together because that is how they would assemble the piece. You want to fold your fabrics so they are only ONE deep. That may mean a narrow fold. That way, you see all the fabrics instead of having to pull and push fabric around.

    The hardest part of organizing stash is simply starting. Since you like to buy coordinating fabrics together, start by doing that. Fold them to fit the space you have. Keep them together. If it doesn't work, you can always change your organization. Everybody has different stash - mine is primarily novelties, so sorting by theme is more beneficial for me because that is how I select.
    Last edited by IAmCatOwned; 11-10-2011 at 03:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Clearwater, FL
    Suggest you keep your coordinating family collections together - in a separate area

  7. #7
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    El Paso Tx
    I have been trying to organize everything according to color. All is folded more or less the same way. FQ's are all in one place. This is a very difficult thing to do especially if you want to keep coordinating fabrics together.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    SW TN
    Congratulations on your "she cave'. I will be watching this thread for members' ideas. Thanks for posting the questions.


    Sew little time and sew many ideas

  9. #9
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Blue Springs, MO
    I would look at getting those core boards that a member on here was selling a bit ago. not sure if they are still for sale. you can wrap the fabric and then organize them that way. I like to go by type and color and "theme" like I mostly have batiks and they are almost all able to fit in a large photo box i got from wall mart and the same with my non batik fabrics. the fq's all fit into two disk holder things and are sorted by color and theme. batiks in one the rest in the other. i really would look into maybe getting more shelves so everything in only having to be one deep.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  10. #10
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Behind my sewing machine
    Blog Entries
    My problem is all the left overs...I tend to over buy for my projects and end up with lots...also when I see a sale on flannel or theme prints I tend to buy a lot...I have been trying to be good and use what I have. Ha..LOL.

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