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Thread: labeling fabric stash

  1. #1
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    just want to say how much i have learned from everyone, from to wash or not wash, iron or not, storing fabric, startch or not, block swaps etc.

    great tip was to serge edges before washing. i never would of thought of it. i knew that machine was good for something. haha. many times i have had a tangled mess.

    my question is how do you label your fabic before or after washing to store it. as you know, once you wash and dry a meter of fabric it no longer is this size. usually ends up about .92 of meter.

    any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I still consider a yard a yard even if it shrunk.
    I store my one yards by color on metal shelves and my 1/2 yards in a bin by themselves.
    fats and charmes etc go into dollar store baskets on a shelf. Fats by color.
    Special seasonal fabrics are in drawers or on shelves. I had so much Christmas that it had to go on a shelf.
    Some to do projects I hang on pants hangers.
    I have my notions etc in small plastic drawers stacked in 3's. My most used rulers are hung on a peg board the rest in inclined sorters for office use. Instructions for rulers are in one of the small drawers.
    A set of larger drawers hold my stencils, on going projects, fusibles and applique mat.
    With a limited budget I buy cheap, cant afford fancy wood cabinets.

  3. #3
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    thanks Rose Marie.
    you are really organized. i can only hope.

  4. #4
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    label?

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Wow! If I ever really get a stash going, I'm going to have to get more organized!!

  6. #6
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    Is the question: "How do I tell my washed fabrics from my unwashed fabrics?"

    If so, I fold my washed fabrics differently than the unwashed ones.

    At one time, I kept the unwashed ones away from the washed ones but I got behind on my washing

    I usually serge or overcast the raw edges of the fabrics before washing them (even fat quarters).

    I pretty much avoid buying anything smaller than a fat quarter or 1/2 yard because I am so compulsive about prewashing.

    I have - very gently - washed cut pieces, but it's a real PIDA to do so. And it gives me an even bigger pain to NOT wash them. So - a girl has got to do what she's got to do.


  7. #7
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    I wash everything so I don't have to worry about that.
    I have all my scraps sorted by color in plastic drawers that you buy at walmart. All my fat quartes are in drawers too. I have all Christmas in a plastic tote. I have unsorted scraps in big totes. I have yardage on shelves and I have flannel on other shelves. I do have my flannel seperated washed and unwashed because I stopped washing flannel Im going to use for a rag quilt.
    Judy in Ohio

  8. #8
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I serge mine too, but only just before I wash it that way I know it has been washed.

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    as butterflywing said: "label?"

  10. #10
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    thanks everyone for your responses.
    i guess i didn't make it very clear. i want to know how you know how much fabric you bought. 3 meters, 5 meters, 7 meters etc. after you wash it or are just adding it to your stash.
    do you put a post it note with the amount and then if you use some subtract if off.
    my memories not that good after a few months to remember how much i bought of it and if i used 2 meters from a 6 meter piece, that i would only have 4 meter left.
    hope this makes sense.

    label: post it note, piece of paper, list on storage container, anything that tell you how much is in each piece instead of having to measure it each time you want to use it.

  11. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I don't know how much fabric I have. That is part of the fun for me when I find a pattern I like: Do I have enough fabric - or rather, what fabric will it be? So I start pulling out my bins and audition. Often, the final choice is way different than my original idea because of the stash.

  12. #12
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    label? measure?

    girl, what language are you speaking?

    spontaneity is the spice of my life. and apparently, also, madquilter's.

  13. #13
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    sorry. apparently not quilters language.

    i am a sewer not a quilter as i guess you have figured out. when sewing it is very important to know how much fabric you have before you start.

    maybe i am way over my head and should just stick to sewing.

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siss
    sorry. apparently not quilters language.

    i am a sewer not a quilter as i guess you have figured out. when sewing it is very important to know how much fabric you have before you start.

    maybe i am way over my head and should just stick to sewing.
    When your stash gets big enough, "scrap" quilting takes on a whole new dimension.

    All kidding aside, I think that many of us have a basic idea of what (and roughly how much) fabric we have in reserve and go from there. I also like multi-colored patterns so the need for large pieces is not as crucial because fat quarters often do the trick.

    When you make a 2-color quilt for example, or any specific non-scrappy pattern, it is important to have the right amount of fabric just as in "regular sewing."

    I have seen two different approaches in labeling the fabric. Some quilters write the information on a piece of paper and pin it to the selvage of the piece. The amount of info depends on you.

    Another method is the binder method. It is a little more involved. Some quilters cut a piece from the fabric and glue it on a binder page along with date purchased, where purchased, name and maker of fabric, and of course, how much. As the piece gets cut, the binder gets updated.

    Having the binder is actually a good method when you go fabric shhopping. You'll always have the stash with you and can supplement what you have.

    Hope that helps. ...and no, I don't think you're in over your head. Just plunge in and soon you'll have the quilting language down.

  15. #15
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I don't label my fabrics according to size. I do however store them slightly differently by size. My fat quarters and quarter yards are folded into almost squares and stored in plastic drawers from Target. My 1/2 - 2 1/2 are folded until they are approx 11 x 4 and 3 yards and over are folded 11 x 6 (or so, I wrap them around my 6" ruler to get them all the same size) The pieces over 5 yards, or big enough for backing are folded like the 3 yard pieces but are stored in a different cabinet or in the garage in some large rubbermaid tubs. I do usually cut off a yard of my really big pieces and put them with the regular fabrics in case I want to use them in a quilt. I like having my backing size separate so I can quickly and easily look at what I have and pick what I need.

  16. #16
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    thanks MadQuilter that is the info. i am looking for.
    so glad you understood.

  17. #17
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    thanks Jim's Gem. i like the idea of folding them by size, that way you don't have to worry about loosing the papers if they they came off.

  18. #18
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    siss -

    sorry - I misunderstood your question -

    It is a good idea to know what your inventory is - after a while one does have a pretty good idea of how much is there just by looking at it.

    I think some of us have a lot of different pieces and have gotten used to improvising -

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I vowed to be organized but my stash isn't. No labeling for me.

  20. #20

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    The post it size note works for me, but I also pin it with a small length dressmaker pin. I simply put width inches first then length inches (45 X36) - this keeps the numbers less confusing to read - then change the length as I use it. Of course, if I have made a length of grain cut and changed the width, I change that too.

    Since I buy a fair amount of fabric from Marden's in Maine, this became a real necessity because they are generous in their measure and add several inches to every yard they cut. For those fabrics, I measure when I get it home and put the info on the label they have stapled on for the register clerk.
    Since I don't do a lot of true scrap quilting, large scraps I tend to keep with the original fabric they are cut from and often am able to use them instead of cutting from the original piece.

    Always interesting to see different ways we try to stay organized.

  21. #21
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    I just measure the fabric after I get home from the store because sometimes it is either too short or too long from what I wanted {orderes}
    and then I write the exact amount on a piece of paper and then staple it to the fabric. I do not have mine in any type of order, just piled all over the place. When I want to mke something, I go through the fabric, find the amount on the paper and go from there. I staple right in the selvage of the fabric and it don't leave any marks of any kind.
    That's my way of marking my fabric........................
    Bev

  22. #22
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    I recently went through a number of boxes, washed, ironed measured folded and stored fabric from those. I cut squares from index cards and pinned to yardages, even large scraps were measured and tagged. I have 1 yard lengths on one shelf, 1/2 yd on another and over 1 yard on big bottom shelf. I had a couple of pieces that were 6 and 8 yards. 1/4 yards are in small plastic boxes and smaller bits in a little bin. It works well until my "quilt inspectors" decide to romp through and knock stuff about.
    Now I've found some more "stashed stash" in the garage.. here I go again!!!

  23. #23
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i actually wash and dry everything as it arrives home. then i fold selvedge to selvedge and selvedges to fold, all the way down the length. then i accordian fold at between 8 - 9" (eyeballed). i can usually tell at a glance approximately what i have. if anything, i tend to underestimate, which is fine with me. the scrappy stash grows. i do this with all my quilt fabrics, but not my garment fabrics. the garment fabrics often are too slidey to stay well-folded. they often end up in plastic zip bags or in a lump. i just have to measure them when needed. often i work the other way around. how much do i have and what can i use it for? i buy on spec.

    also, i separate my quilt fabric by color, but i don't separate garment fabric at all. i know exactly where every piece is, as hard as that is to believe.

  24. #24
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    I wish I had my stash labeled but it is very fun to pull pieces from the drawers. I know most of mine is 1 yard because I buy a lot of clearance or fabric shop closing fabric. If I have longer pieces I usually bought for backing and I put that in a seperate area. those pieces are usually 3-6 yards long. I seperate by color.

  25. #25
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    thanks everyone. i am getting lots of advice. will shortly start organizing using these ideas.

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