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Thread: How do you folks organize your fabrics?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    How do you folks organize your fabrics?

    Since I'm new to this, I don't have a lot of fabric. But what I do have is pretty messy and hard to sift through. My friend who is teaching me to quilt has a lovely wall length shelf she has her fabrics in. So I was curious to see people's sewing rooms and their fabric organization. please share!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  2. #2
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    I have lots of fun organizing mine mainly by color.......I also have separate places in cubbies or bins for 2" squares, and bigger squares, which are all in a few drawers, divided by color as well.

    For the bigger pieces of material, I use the core boards from another member here on the quilting board to simplify and organize effectively. Keeps me happy!
    Theressa
    Cowgirlquilter

  3. #3
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    What is this word you say, "organize"...

  4. #4
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    Cool

    There is a section on the board about organizing. If you go to the bottom of the main page, there is a line that has several options, click on Archives. It will take you to a page, right under Pictures is a line about Organization, click on that and it will give you a page with all links to threads others have started about Organizing. Have fun searching, I really enjoy reading these and seeing how others do organize and share photos about there sewing rooms and so many other topics.

    I myself, like you when I first began had quite a disaster area where my fabrics were concerned. I tried several different methods for storing. But, found out quickly that I really love to see all of my fabrics. So, my hubby gave me this shelf and they were stuffed there. After a short while, that did not work....I inhereted quite a bit of fabric from friends who no longer wanted it. So, I took quite a bit of time and ruler folded all fabrics that were at least a fat quarter. Then I took the time to cut all of my left over scraps into specific sized blocks and found plastic see through boxes for them. Marked the outside of each with the size of blocks and even seperated into two sections, lights and darks. It is very general, but works fabulous for me.

    You can also check out various blogs for information, just type in your search bar Organizing Fabric Ideas for Quilting. One way does not work for another, so you just have to explore and try various ideas and see what works for you. Have a great time searching and exploring for the one that will work for you.

    Here is a photo of part of my sewing room...pretty messy in this photo, but the only one I could find. LOL. Oh well, that is what happens when I get busy with a project. When finished, then it all gets tidied up and looks great. It works fabulously for me.
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    Brenda

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    For my stash , I first organize by type, batiks , metalics, regular etc . Then each type by color.

  6. #6
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    The only fabrics I sort by color are the ones in dresser drawers since they're all the same size of cut. The ones on the shelves get sorted more by what length they are since they're in the open and I can see what color they are.

    My fabric shelves.

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  7. #7
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    I live in Manhattan and have a small apt. so I have decide my "sewing room" can be a certain size and no more...it is in my living room/dinning area - so I have 5 plastic boxes (11.5HX 17.5WX21L), 2 smallplastic boxes all from MUJI store (Japanese store in Manhattan) and part of a cabinet to store all my stuff. I also have a lot of fabric - so I wrap my fabric around boards and all my scraps are sorted by color and in baggies - it is amazing how much fabric you can get in a draw if it is wrapped. Oh yeah-- you have to de-junk your fabric periodically, make a lot of quilts, give stuff away-- all so you can buy more fabric. lol

  8. #8
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I need to organize my fabric also. I haven't figured out a way that I like yet. I have lots of fabric lines, like yardage, fat quarters and jelly rolls and layer cakes of a certain line, so it's hard to organize that. I just put it on my bookcase together.

    All my fabrics are in drawers, not organized at all. I need to use a ruler and fold them and put them together by color. I've done that with my greens and reds only. I have a drawer of beige and tans that need to be folded nicer.

    I have lots of scraps that are in drawers and not folded very nicely. I have small scraps in doctor bags that I could probably go through and organize by color. I have a lot of organizing to do!!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
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  9. #9
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    I don't have a lot of fabric either and have never been real organized.....but I bought a Big cherry TV armoir at a garage sale for $35.00. It has a couple of shelves in and two drawers. I can see most of my fabric on the shelves, but the doors hide the mess.

  10. #10
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    I ruler fold all the fabric if it's more than a FQ. I have all my quilting fabrics in drawers, so there's no sun damage or dust, each drawer holds a particular background color, which is how I sort. These are laid in the drawers on their edge, so that I can see all the fabric that's in that particular drawer.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    ah neat ideas everyone! sorry i wrote the post quickly on my lunch brake and wasnt aware that there was a section devoted to organizing! i will totally take a peek! thanks so much!!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  12. #12
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    My fabric is folded on a book shelf, by color...or sort of by color. Here, I will take a picture. It is fairly organized looking. Dina
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  13. #13
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Nice Dina!! Very cool!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  14. #14
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    My DH insisted that I invest in good storage --- Polar Notions mini-bolts. My 1/4 yd and larger fabric is wrapped onto the boards and on shelves in a closet. 1/8-1/4 yard is ruler folded in baskets, for lack of a better arrangement. Pieces that are 2" to <5" are in two totes. Pieces that are >5" but uneven and > a 1/4 yd are in two other totes -- all see-thru. Orphan blocks & unfinished stray projects are in another tote. No pics, because the room is in the middle of four concurrent projects. Maybe some day I'll figure out how to post pictures.
    johans, Michigan's UP, Hiawatha National Forest West

  15. #15
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    I highly recommend something with doors. (What stash, oh the one behind the doors) Entertainment centers are very cheap now because everyone is getting flat screen TVs and a lot had doors to hide the TV and lots of storage as well. Doors also protect against fading and dust, (as well as fur babies) and you can sort your fabric however is best for you and if your are a mess like me, no one has to know. If you want something light you can find all kinds of plastic storage items.

  16. #16
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    Kittywolf,
    First you have to have a place to store your fabrics. My suggestion would be to check out craigslist in your area and type in 'Ikea shelving' or just 'storage shelving'. I found two 'Billy' bookcases for $30/pair. New would be $50 each. I also found an 'Expedit' cube system. It's a unit consisting of either 2, 4, 8, 16 (or more) cubes. Go to Ikea's website and type in Expedit just to see. I was lucky enough to find a used one on Craigslist for $40. It would have been $120 new.
    Ikea works for me, but you can make storage space from many things, like an old Dining Room breakfront, any shelving system for that matter. For me, it's all in the presentation of my fabrics - if you want to see them, as I do, "ruler fold" them or buy comic boards on Amazon.com to keep them organized.
    In no time, your sewing room will look amazing! I hate working in a messy space and am constantly looking for new ways to organize.
    Have fun with it!

  17. #17
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Have you ever followed Bonnie Hunter's blog, Quiltville? She is in the process of cleaning up her basement/sewing room-installing new carpet etc. On her blog for the past week, she's shown how she's reorganized and folded all of her fabrics to make it easy for her to find things. Although I don't organize like this, it's been interesting to see how she goes about it.
    I organize by theme; i.e. Christmas, 1930s, Autumn, Halloween, Civil War, Baby, Batiks, etc. If I have complete fabric sets plus pattern for a specific quilts, those parts all go in one plastic storage container to keep everything together until I get to it. All books are kept together and the smaller patterns in their little plastic bags go into a container, standing up.
    Karen in Kentucky

  18. #18
    Senior Member asimplelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    For my stash , I first organize by type, batiks , metalics, regular etc . Then each type by color.
    I do this too. My types are batik, Christmas, flannel, 30's, CW, florals, kids novelty and fall fabrics.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have to go cheap so bought wire cube shelving from Target then bought clear plastic bins to put in them.
    I have alot of fabric and a large closet so this works for me.
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  20. #20
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I fold my fabrics around comic book backing boards to make "mini bolts" of them, then I store them in a big bookcase I bought for that purpose. My stash looks a lot like ScissorQueen's photo (above)... If I am collecting a certain "line" of fabrics, such as Amy Butler Soul Blossoms, those will all be grouped together. I also have a section for children's prints, Christmas prints, batiks, and 30's fabrics. All the rest that are uncategorized are shelved by color. Works for me! I love to be able to see everything and 'pull' fabrics for quilt design, without having to dig through boxes.
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  21. #21
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Since I live in an apartment, and space is limited, I put my fabric is sweater containers, and they are piled almost up to my 10' ceiling. They are in color order. I like keeping them in the containers, as they aren't picking up dust, they are labelled, and out of the way.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    I sew in what used to be a small bedroom. My husband installed kitchen cabinets that we bought on sale at a home supply store. I use the bottom cabinets for storing large items and stuff for crafts. My upper cabinets are for all my ruler-folded fabrics,grouped by batiks vs non-batiks, then sorted by color. Christmas, Halloween and baby prints are separated out as well. On the counter I have a Big Board ironing board, a cutting mat and my computer. Installing cabinets can be done by a non-professional...if you or DH are handy and can follow directions you can save the cost of installation. I just love opening the doors and seeing all my stash neat and ready to go!
    Create with joy in your heart!

  23. #23
    Junior Member dlb0526's Avatar
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    Organizing fabric

    Hi and welcome to the world of quilting. I organize my fabric by color that way I can see what I have for a quilt. I also use a color wheel to match other colors together to get the best results. Happy quilting!!
    Happy sewing,
    Dee

  24. #24
    Member quilter65's Avatar
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    magazine Boards

    I am looking for some of the boards to organize my fabric. Could someone tell me if these are what you are using?
    http://www.trollandtoad.com/p293951.html
    Thanks very much,
    Sally

  25. #25
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter65 View Post
    I am looking for some of the boards to organize my fabric. Could someone tell me if these are what you are using?
    http://www.trollandtoad.com/p293951.html
    Thanks very much,
    Sally
    Yes, pretty much. I was going to buy them online and then I thought to check. There are 2 comic book/record stores within a 10 minute drive so I was able to get them immediately and avoid postage! You might try seeing if there is a store close to you too.

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