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Thread: How to organize sewing space - out of control fabric, UFO's

  1. #26
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    Wow, Pam. :thumbup: I get unorganized as fast as I get organized.

  2. #27
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    I am a pull it all out and start over person. Lots of large Rubbermaid tubs (2+ yard cuts) and clear plastic boxes - label the lid and what will be front side. I have 2 large plastic tool boxes for all the "tools", also well labeled.
    I purchased some of DeNiece's Fabric Organizers and they just arrived yesterday. Thinking about using them as a decorative display of fabric.

  3. #28
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    ohh yesssss - This sounds familiar. Being a pack-rat, but not having enough space to put my "treasures" I have decided to clean up my room. I really really TRY to separate, organize, rearrange at LEAST 45 minutes a session. Our daughter came over, and I tried to shame her----(oh I have done SO MUCH for YOU, I could really use some help in my sewing room) - SHE AGREED!! I cut "boards" for her to wrap with fabric, and thought there was just a little more left to do, but I found even MORE stash, so we had to cut 4o more boards, and now it looks like we still have to cut even more! We went to our local Sears, and brought home refrigerator boxes - and can get about 36 fabric boards from each one.

  4. #29

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    My favorite way to clean is for instance my main table is take everything off and put it away where I think it should be stored and then only put back on in organized way. Or a closet everything out and only back what belongs and always can manage to get rid of something. Good Luck you can do this!

  5. #30
    Junior Member fayefromfla's Avatar
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    almost every quilter faces this dilema..how to organize ??
    1st..be in the mood to conquer the task(if not in the mood I just shuffle & move things around, then get discouraged)
    2nd..have a plan how to organize your quilting area(lots of labeled containers for fabric & notions)
    3rd..when you have it organized,put into practice rules that will help you keep it somewhat organized.
    personally, I try to organize as I quilt..

  6. #31

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    LOL

  7. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kappy
    Do you vacation in Minnesota by any chance hmmm????
    I'd gladly supply the coffee, hot chocolate, tea, pop, and goodies..I had to sit down and rest after just reading how you get organized! LOL Good for you, I have such good intentions and then......
    LOL

  8. #33

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    Thanks for all of the wonderful advice! I'm in the process of organizing my area too. I have a huge sewing room and it looks like a bomb went off! We added an addition onto our house, which consists of a new living room and dining room. Our prior living room is my area! Hubby gets the garage and I get a huge room. How to get busy!

  9. #34
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    Hey - that would be a terrific job to start - "Stash Organizer" travel around and help everyone organize their treasures, a film crew would come in - it would be another tv program - would win awards, etc etc............sorry

  10. #35
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    First of all...you need a HUG! You and I must be clones of one another....I have wished all my life to be organized...you know, some people just ARE. Well, I am NOT. I have to WORK AT IT. Usually I have to organize something 2-3 times to get it to make sense. The big thing, don't give up...

    Now...I just came off a 4 week, yes...WEEK, stint of organizing my sewing area. I told myself that until it was complete I would not sew anything....I did not keep the promise though, I just HAD to sew something for my sanity, twice in those 4 weeks.

    I began by using Bonnie Hunters Scrap system, which can be found on her website, quiltville.com. It was a start. I came up with my own little tricks as I went along and I will share those with you. I purchased three of the three drawer plastic rolling drawers from Wally world and lined them up under my window and placed a left over laminate flooring (2) board together on top and duck taped it on to make a table top. I began going through scraps...this can be fun and a nightmare at the same time. I labeled my drawers...for example 2.5" stirps light color, then a dark color drawer, a brick drawer (brick being a 3.5 x 6.5 piece. I have a left over drawer wtih all those extra blocks or pieces of blocks not used. Then the fat quarters are organized according to color. It sound laborious and it is...believe me...but so worth it...just persevere and you will love your sewing room so much when you can lay your fingers on the exact fabric you need in a second!
    The the larger pieces, 2 yards and up. This is my own invention. I took a 12" x 6" ruler and I folded the fabric selvages together and then in thirds. I used the ruler to fold it over and over. This goes on its side in a drawer and by counting each 12" fold, I know how much fabric is there without taking it out and making a mess only to find out it is not enough or what I need.
    I found more fabric I did not even know I had when I did this, seriously...I have probably saved myself 4 trips to the fabric store!
    Now I am into using what I have...finding quilts and projects in which I can use only what I have and buy only minimal fabric.
    This purging is good for the soul. The other thing about not being naturally organized is I also do not "naturally" put things away after I use them and I am trying so hard to be better about this as well.
    I hope this helps someone as much as it has helped me. I find my creativity soars when I have a clean, organized environment to create in.
    Blessings to all my messing, unorganized friends out there!
    Michelle G. in El Paso

  11. #36
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    I have never been happy with the way I stored my stash - in plastic totes. I could never find anything and when I looked for something, the stacks always got all messed up. So this weekend I bought 75 fabric organizers from www.the fabricorganizer.com. It's enough to get me started. They come in 2 sizes and have tabs to hold the fabric on the bolt. Can't wait for them to get here. It'll be a chore wrapping all the fabric on the bolts but once it's done I'll have my own little fabric store to shop from.

  12. #37

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    This topic about organizing has really hit home to me. I am really fustrated with myself and my sewing room(actuall 3 rooms, I have a long arm in one. I love the plastic containers but I thought it wasn't good to leave fabric in them to long, that it will rot over time or is this not true. I have thought about the bags you put small items in to wash them. I think they come in large sizes. Thank you ladies,I have found the best new friends.

  13. #38
    Super Member hairquilt's Avatar
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    I keep my stash in plastic tubs also. Each tub has stripes,solid colors, checks,plaid. flowers,batiks etc. The tubs do make my back act up when I am looking for something & have to move them around. But it is worth it!!

  14. #39
    Senior Member Char's Avatar
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    Thank you! thank you!
    Your post was extremely helpful. I am challenged when it comes to organization so I have made a copy of your post and will arrange your methods into steps.
    Can't wait to get started now that I have a plan! Yippee!!! :lol: :lol:

  15. #40
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    Everyone here inspires me so much! My problem is that I have no funds to purchase any of the nice organizational tubs, drawers, bookcases, etc. I've wracked my brain trying to figure out ways to do this without putting out any money.

    My mom gave me a few clear recyclable containers that cookies from Sams club came in. They work nice. But I don't buy these kinds of things. I've tried looking at the cardboard boxes of packaged food but we don't eat much of that stuff either?

    Any hints to help me out?

  16. #41
    Super Member CoriAmD's Avatar
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    When I reorganized my sewing room, I took stacks of fabric out to the kitchen, laid them out on the table and sorted by color and size. After folding them nicely, I set them aside and went back to sewing room for another stack of fabric. Continued doing this until all fabric was out of the sewing room. Then when I took it back to the sewing room - I placed the smaller pieces of fabric on my 2 book cases and the larger (backing fabric) I stacked - again by color, in the closet which my husband made shelves for. Now when I pull fabric, I put what I don't need back in it's place in the right color, so it stays pretty well organized.

  17. #42
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    I also like the "3" rule for my sewing room, but probably should increase that to "6" and work on the entire house!

  18. #43
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    I love the rule of 3-actually if you just start and tell yourself you are only going to do a certain length of time or so many fabrics you will find yourself doing more. The best tool I have found (& I have purchased lots of organizational items)--is to use one of those large rulers that are 8.5" by 24"; fold your fabric in half lengthwise and wrap snugly around the ruler, when finished, remove ruler & fold in half. It's amazing how much less room the fabric takes up and as you fold your fabrics, you can start organizing them by color, theme, project, etc.. A narrower ruler works well for 1 yard and less. I made myself get rid of a lot of fabrics that I had sitting around for 10 years or more--out of style and I'd lost interest in them. I put my folded fabrics on a shelving system that is 11" deep and I placed the shelves only 10" apart so I don't have giant stacks. I love to look at my fabrics and discovered I am less likely to purchase un-needed fabric now-I can shop my stash! Hope this helps-I'm almost finished with setting up my new quilting space since moving and I will post pics then.

  19. #44
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    I love the rule of 3-actually if you just start and tell yourself you are only going to do a certain length of time or so many fabrics you will find yourself doing more. The best tool I have found (& I have purchased lots of organizational items)--is to use one of those large rulers that are 8.5" by 24"; fold your fabric in half lengthwise and wrap snugly around the ruler, when finished, remove ruler & fold in half. It's amazing how much less room the fabric takes up and as you fold your fabrics, you can start organizing them by color, theme, project, etc.. A narrower ruler works well for 1 yard and less. I made myself get rid of a lot of fabrics that I had sitting around for 10 years or more--out of style and I'd lost interest in them. I put my folded fabrics on a shelving system that is 11" deep and I placed the shelves only 10" apart so I don't have giant stacks. I love to look at my fabrics and discovered I am less likely to purchase un-needed fabric now-I can shop my stash! Hope this helps-I'm almost finished with setting up my new quilting space since moving and I will post pics then.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyjean
    When over whelmed, I have a rule of "3".. Just take care of 3 items each day. Often times when I do this more than 3 things get taken care of amd if not, then at least 3 things are put away..
    I love the 3 item rule , but I also pile things in laundry baskets in same catergories, like quilt batts , backings, specialty fabric, rulers.and I always have a small trash can around so I go thru the space at least once a week, good luck. :?: :?: :?:

  21. #46
    Nana Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela Artman
    I have become very organized over the years and having my sewing room organized has brought me so much pleasure! I'm working on a friend's sewing room now and I've been told I should hire myself out to organize sewing rooms. Boy, I would LOVE that as a career! Set aside time every day to work on organizing and do a little at a time. But stick to it! Here's how I keep organized. I started buying plastic project cases (ArtBin flat boxes with handles) one at a time, every week with a JoAnn's coupon or a few when they'd have 50% off plastic storage. These stack nicely and I use them for all my UFOs. I have 18 of these and believe me, they are all full! I can grab one and take it with me when I travel or sew with friends. Next, I bought clear plastic drawers that stack for all my fabric scraps that are cut into different size strips and squares. I have three sets of three drawers, so nine drawers of scraps. Cutting my scraps took a long time, but I kept a basket on my cutting table and cut a few every day. Next, I stole a wire shelf from my bathroom that holds baskets and all those odds and ends go in the baskets. I have a basket of zippers, men's ties for a future quilt, orphan blocks leftover from other projects, etc. Also, I bought a canvas hanging shelf that hangs in the closet from the rod that also holds misc. items. I use lots of zip lock bags for small or loose things. I have a small plastic drawer set on my sewing machine cabinet that holds pens and pencils, tape measures, my bobbin box, post-it notes, pins, snips, etc. - small things that I use all the time. I use a lot of plastic baskets on every surface for things that I use there, like one on my cutting table for my rotary cutters, one for small scraps as I cut, one on my sewing machine cabinet for small squares or triangles that I use as leaders and enders (which makes another quilt as I sew on other projects.) I have three tall bookcases, one for quilt books, two for fabric. I have all my patterns that I've pulled from magazines over the years, inspiration pictures, etc. in page protectors and put in large 3-ring binders, filed by type (baby quilts, stars, curved, log cabin, 9-patch, 4-patch, etc.) My fabric is sorted by style first, (homespuns, 30's, civil war, florals, borders, baby, flannel, batiks, xmas, etc.) and the rest by color. All are folded to the same size, stacked on shelves. I have a separate small shelf that hangs on the wall for my fat quarters. I keep batting, ironing board, my travel case for my sewing machine, hoops, etc. in a closet. And I keep a tv tray next to my sewing machine cabinet to hold my radio and stuff for my current project. The most important thing for me is having a place for everything, using plastic baskets, boxes and drawers so I can see everything and I know exactly where to find things. Good luck!
    Pamela,
    Being vey organized, Do you know the instructions for folding fabric so that it all measures the same. For stacking purposes.

  22. #47

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    We must be sisters.. My sewing/computer room is only 18 x 25, and I have a little Siamese/Mix (1 yr old) I have boxes piled upon boxes, that she loves to climb upon..(yes, they fall down) I have too many other interests, so I can't get to my sewing machine whenever I want.. I need to clean my living room also, (& "Florida room") When I see material, or knitting yarn that I like, I purchase it... but at my age, it's hard to keep track..(I'm a widow since 1992) so there is no one to complain..I have very little company (wonder why??) and I need more than 24 hrs in a day.. We must be related... I only hope I can live long enough to make more little gowns, and blouses for myself, quilts for family & friends... etc.. I'm not a hoarder.. I'm a collector.. why? I give away 98% of what I knit or crochet, ditto with my sewing... Pray for me, I need it. Diana..

  23. #48
    Super Member tutty's Avatar
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    If I would only get the fabric sorted sized and cut and folded, I would be one happy woman.

  24. #49
    Vera Seemann's Avatar
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    I just take prozac then dive in head first.

  25. #50
    Super Member dltaylor's Avatar
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    I store my stash in a college footlocker. At least until I get my sewing room completed. But I take everything out at least twice a month, just to refold and sort.

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