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Thread: Forced organization of stash

  1. #1
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Forced organization of stash

    My DD moved to Texas last week and took her grandmother's furniture with her (with my permission). Unfortunately, a lot of my stash was in the chest of drawers. I emptied the drawers into large totes so she could take the chest. Now as I prepare to reload the material into a totally different piece of furniture I'm going to have to reorganize how I have it stored. One thing is crystal clear. I should stay out of quilting stores except for thread! I will be searching the scrappy quilt thread on this board for ideas!

    It is therapeutic to go back through the remnants of quilts past and remember the recipients and the unique challenges each quilt presented.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  2. #2
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    Instead of folding all of your fabric, maybe you can develop a plan to cut as you go and organize the pieces into new containers with labels.
    Elizabeth

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I found out that I like making scrappies just as much as a "planned" quilt. I hope you find that to be true for you!

  4. #4
    Senior Member donac's Avatar
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    I am in the process of cutting my stash into strips. Pick out sizes that you think you are going to use and cut strips of them. I am working on 2 1/2 4 1/2 5 1/2 and 6 1/2. I have one box for each set. I do like to make squares using 2 1/2 squares and I am thinking about doing some rail fence and some log cabin with them.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I can sympathize with you. I don't know if cutting fabric and putting "kits" together will help. Maybe match colors in drawers, or styles. I am trying so hard to stay out of fabric stores and thrift stores as money and space is tight. we are heading to New England later this month, I am stopping at Marden's in Maine, so all my "stash cash" is going with me to spend there.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Cutting the fabric into strips is a very good idea, different size squares may be also. Just don't forget to save some yardage for borders.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
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    I only strip cut fabrics that are under 1/2 yard. Unless I have less than a width I don't cut squares as one can always cut squares from strips.

  8. #8
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I have not enough room for all my fabric and I don't know what all I have. I can't get organized because I don't have enough room. I really need to empty my sewing room closet and buy shelving and load those up with my fabric. So, I feel for you. I have not enough room or too much fabric. I prefer the first.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  9. #9
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    I wish the organizing fairies would come to visit, I would even feed them. heck I would even pay them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimiof4 View Post
    I wish the organizing fairies would come to visit, I would even feed them. heck I would even pay them.
    As long as they are there, ask if they do tops also? If so, send them over here!! LOL

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimiof4 View Post
    I wish the organizing fairies would come to visit, I would even feed them. heck I would even pay them.
    Too bad that MI is so far ftom VA! I love organizing, you never know what you'll find! :-)
    Wendy in FL

    If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted I wish I had some ice cream.

  12. #12
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Ruler fold the fabric. it condenses the fabric alot more. Bonnie Hunter website has great scrappy quilt patterns and ways of organizing scraps.

  13. #13
    Senior Member emlee51's Avatar
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    I LOVE doing scrappies!!! Have soooo many strips cut and waiting, and when I do a scrappy it seems overnight my other scraps have multiplied...when will it end???

  14. #14
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I would like to do a scrappy "Shakespeare in the Park," so setting aside or even cutting the strips required for that quilt as I handle all this fabric is not a bad idea. It's all still in the totes because I had the carpets cleaned yesterday and haven't put the drawers back into the armoire yet, so I will have to handle all of it again. Good ideas!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  15. #15
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    Hi, I had resolved after late night internet fabric shopping to go on a fabric diet from February. Then the shelves in my fabric cupboard collapsed under the weight and I decided to buy a new cabinet. Found a lovely solid rosewood cabinet with half glass doors and chippendale-like lattice on the glass --really beautiful. But I was sure that all my fabric would not fit in the new cabinet! So I started to ruler fold it (which I learned from the ladies here) and it was marvellous -- made fabric much easier to stack. Of course I found tons of stuff I had forgotten -- really stiffened my resolve for NO MORE SHOPPING! I think I have enough fabric for 100 quilts -- and I only make 3-4 a year.

  16. #16
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    See if you have a quilting friend who would like to help organize. I helped my friend do hers. ( She has a back problem so can't do very much lifting.) Then about a year and a half later she had to move and she called me to help again. She lives in another state so I went for a week long visit and we had a great time visiting while organizing. Everything is on shelves so she doesn't have to move any totes, etc. We put it on shelves standing up like books so it is easy for her to get out without having to move anything to get to it. It's easy to see also. Her scraps are in drawers.

  17. #17
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I guess I really don't understand cutting up fabric into strips or squares before you know what quilt you want to make with it. Fabric being fabric, it seems to me it would take up the same amount of space no matter the figuration of the cut.

    That being said, I've been quilting a looonnng time and have MANY clear shoe boxes marked:
    1" strips,
    1+1/4" strips,
    1+1/2" strips,
    1+3/4" strips,
    2" strips,
    2+1/2" strips,
    3" strips,
    3+1/2" and wider strips,
    2" and 3" squares,
    4" squares (these by color as most of them came from my shop years ago and there are so many),
    4-patches,
    9-patches,
    HSTs,
    sewn strips (such as leftover binding pieces, or other sewn together strips for piecing)
    and SEVERAL bigger clear boxes for "random usable pieces" (usually less than 1/4 yd. or portions of a leftover fat quarter)
    THEN I have my 1/3yd./1/2yd./larger fabric stored on 14 sleeves, behind closed doors, in stacks by color. Each stack is at least 12' tall and the cuts are frequently less than 1 yard.
    Large cuts of 4+ yards are stored separately as I only have about 25-30 of those.

    I HAVE ENOUGH FABRIC! (Shouting for my own ears and shaking my finger in my face.......do you think it's working?!)

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  18. #18
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Fay, did you see alaskasunshine's wonderful organizational tutorial? I'm working on that now too, except i used acid free magazine boards. It really is a great way to be able to see all your fabrics at a glance and be inspired. No more digging through bins and laundry baskets or forgetting what I have. Enjoy getting organized!
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutorials-f10/alaskasunshines-fabric-folding-organizing-your-quilt-room-t43871.html

    Jan I wondered the same thing. I just know I would cut up a fabric that I would later wish I had in a larger piece!
    Last edited by BuzzinBumble; 05-11-2012 at 10:11 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by faykilgore View Post
    It is therapeutic to go back through the remnants of quilts past and remember the recipients and the unique challenges each quilt presented.
    I pull out my fabrics regularly and pet them (DH claims it puts me in a better mood when I'm cranky) and when I run across a piece from another project I may remember the other project. But I never review my stash in the sentiment you mentioned. I'm just glad that I got done what I got done. My list of UFOs and ideas is a mile long. THAT is where my focus needs to be - not in what's already done.

  20. #20
    Junior Member karenfae's Avatar
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    I started to organize my stash last month - I don't think I have near what you do but I am cutting all of mine into easy to use pieces - 5 inch charms, 4, 3 1/2, 3, 2, 2 1/2, and 1 1/2 inch squares - other sizes - strings and bars (2 1/2 x 5) I hope to have all scraps cut sometime this summer and have them all organized into boxes that I get from Hobby Lobby - basically shoe box size but pretty! All up on a shelf - out of the way but will be ready to use for some nice patchwork.
    Karen
    Karen
    http://karensquilting.com/blog/

    "When Life Gives you Scraps - Make Quilts"

  21. #21
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    I started organizing mine last week and WHAT have I accumulated???? I have way more than I ever thought. The first day of folding, I was so tired, slept straight thru the night!
    Quilting makes me happy!..

  22. #22
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I think they're putting something in that fabric that makes it grow!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  23. #23
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    I really like that idea. I should have done that when I was organizing my material. Now I have to do that to a huge mountain of material.

  24. #24
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I admire all of you who are dedicated enough to cut fabric into strips or squares, however, for me it feels like a waste of time. A couple of years ago, after reading a Bonnie Hunter article, I cut a lot of scraps into different width strips and squares and put them into clear, labeled, storage boxes, however...they are almost all still in those boxes!!! I look in them a lot when I am making scrap quilts but I never find the right color, or the right size, or just what will make the quilt POP. I have used them in strip quilts, but that is about all. I think it must just be me.

  25. #25
    Member crzypatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I have not enough room for all my fabric and I don't know what all I have. I can't get organized because I don't have enough room. I really need to empty my sewing room closet and buy shelving and load those up with my fabric. So, I feel for you. I have not enough room or too much fabric. I prefer the first.
    That's what I did with the closet in my quilting room. I was lucky to have 1 shelf between top and bottom in half of it since it was set up for double hanging. I went to WalMart and bought stackable wire shelves to put above the shelf, and 3 drawer plastic containers to put below. The other half of the closet has a short pole which works great for hanging tops needing to be quilted. Just to the right of that area (inside the closet) are shelves from floor to ceiling that I am trying to get cleaned of all the stuff you just need to stick someplace and that ended up being the "someplace". I'm still in the process of trying to get all the fabric that is stored under my cutting table and in a dresser, into that closet!! See the pictures below.

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