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Thread: a mini self rant

  1. #1
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    I really really wish I had a better storage system for all my fabric. I have 4 huge tubs of fabric and the fabric is not in any particular arrangement...so when I go looking for something somewhat specific, I can't find it unless I empty all the bins :(

    I really suck at keeping the fabric in any time of organized fashion. I have no many large/small/medium sized scraps and only about a quarter of what I have total is yardage. I really do envy any of you that have shelf space dedicated to fabric, or any type of organized way of doing things....

    Chaos is the only way to describe my stash. Story of my life.

  2. #2
    f rogers's Avatar
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    i would get the boards that you can wrap the fabric around and store it in end or on the side . like filing in your tubs i used poster board for some of my smaller pieces cut the board to a 4 x 5 or 5 x 7 or so depending on how big the piece of fabric. and it help a lot I can see what I have now.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Sounds just like me. I've got a small mobile home w/3 adults and no storage. I can barely find room to sew, and the totes fill my side of the closet. I go thru the same as you to pick thru my stuff.

  4. #4
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I have a bin with scraps (pieces so little or random that they can be used in a pinch but not necessarily for any kind of project). Then I have bags (the kind you get comforters in, that zip and are clear plastic) with all my bigger scraps by color. I have bags for blue, purple, red, and green. These pieces are from a fat quarter to less than a yard.

    Then I have a drawer for fat quarters that's kind of random, and my yardage is all folded to the same size and filed in other drawers.

    And then everything else is piled in another drawer or two...and some stuff is in boxes under the bed :oops:

    Laurie

  5. #5
    Super Member Izaquilter's Avatar
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    I fold mine around a 6" X 24" ruler so they are all the same widths....here's my pic I've shown probably a million times & I apoligize but I'm proud of my accomplishment on getting mine organized!
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  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    it can make it difficult and stressful to find the right fabric for the next project, i know. it is soooo worth it to take the time to organize it. i started by piling the fabric by color on the floor. then i folded it around my 6x24 ruler. then i put the fabrics by color into the plastic tubs. like you, i didn't like to dig through that. so, after i moved to a new home, i put plastic utility shelving in the closet. if you have room for the tubs in a closet, you have room for the shelves. my life is so much better for doing this.

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Instead of piling your fabrics on top of each other, try some flatter bins, and then set your fabrics in on their sides.

    I have large plastic bins about 8" deep, and fold the fabric to fit. When I open the bin, I can see the panorama of colours as a quick view. My stash has grown now, so that my soon-to-be next step is to sort by colours with a separate sections/bins for florals, Christmas & seasnals, novelty prints etc.

    I have now started to leave the measurements with any pieces that are a metre or larger in size.

  8. #8
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    can you at least sort them by color in the tubs.

    red, blue, yellow, neutral for example

  9. #9
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Here is my chaotic stash
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  10. #10
    Super Member lovingmama's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-43871-1.htm

    May be after folding the fabric on the bords you could stash them in the bin. At least they would be upright and you see what you got.

    Just a thought, I need to try this for myself.

  11. #11
    Senior Member QuilterGary's Avatar
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    I work in the industerial construction field. DW and I ware traveling in aand living in a 36' 5th wheel trailer. We moved every 6 months to a year. DW tried to sew some but just no room. We had tubs of fabric in the trailer. Jan 2010 I took a long tearm job I will be done in Jun of 2012 and moving on. We took a 2 bedroom apartment for this job and I started quilting. We still have the bins and it is still a tight space. I do envy y'all that have sewing rooms and storage. On the bright side I think I will take one more job find a house with a sewing room and look forward to retiring. But I do love this life style after retiring from the USAF it has been hard to stay in one place I have tried.

  12. #12
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan
    it can make it difficult and stressful to find the right fabric for the next project, i know. it is soooo worth it to take the time to organize it. i started by piling the fabric by color on the floor. then i folded it around my 6x24 ruler. then i put the fabrics by color into the plastic tubs. like you, i didn't like to dig through that. so, after i moved to a new home, i put plastic utility shelving in the closet. if you have room for the tubs in a closet, you have room for the shelves. my life is so much better for doing this.
    My tubs are not in a closet...they are under my craft table, at least the ones I can fit under there. I have two other tubs that have other random craft stuff in them.

  13. #13
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Do you have any quilting friends in the area? Maybe you could have an organizing day. Have some nice treats, fun music, and gab session while three or four of you iron, fold & stack in the bins. I ordered some sturdy comic board backs on ebay, cut some in half, and store my fabric on shelves. But there is no reason you couldn't stack them in the bins. We all have one friend who just loves to organize things... call her!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Highmtn's Avatar
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    BlzzrdQueen...
    You share the frustration of many quilters. I'm fairly organized and I'm still forever digging for fabrics which undoes hours of fabric organizing.

    Izaquilter IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK. Try to sort it by color hues etc. I do keep my Christmas and novelty fabric in a separate stack, but if I get to digging.. it STILL gets messed up.

    It is my GOAL to reduce my stash in 2012. I finally have enough fabric that I can't find 1/2 of what I need when I need it.

    Go easy on yourself.. you're just a NORMAL QUILTER...LOL
    .

  15. #15
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    IMHO, those big size bins are the worst to try and store fabric. I had my stash in a dresser but have outgrown the dresser so when I bought bins I bought ones that are the depth of a dresser drawer, only about 8" deep. These store wonderfully under a bed. In my dresser I have one drawer of batiks only, one for planned projects where all the fabs for that project are together, and one drawer for pieces that are 1 yard or more in size. A drawer for orphan blocks, patterns, preprinted labels and a few oddball things, and finally a drawer for just just reds, greens and Christmas prints.

    My bins, I have one bin of just Asian prints and one bin of just wide quilt backing fabric and a third for just light neutrals. I also have a couple of those Giant size ziploc bags that you squeeze the air out of for some pieces of fabric that are 5 yards or more and flannels. I have that stored in an antique steamer trunk.

    Scraps I try to cut down to useable sizes as they accumulate, like 1 1/2 wide strips, rectangles and strips 2" wide, 3" wide, etc. These I store in ziploc baggies according to size and value only. I completely ignore color and just sort light, medium or dark. A seperate ziploc for each size/value marked with a permanent marker so once cut, it is easy to find the right bag and put the scrap in. I try to keep them tidy in the bag so they don't become a wrinkled mess. It isn't too difficult once you have about a dozen units the same size they just nest together. Right now the ziplocs are in bigger shopping bags stored in my sewing room (the infamous PIGS! Projects In Grocery Sacks) destined to become scrap quilts.

    I think you would benefit from some sort of variation of the presorted cut units system. You should go to Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville sight and study how she precuts and sorts her stash for her wonderful scrap quilts. I think you would benefit from her system or the scrap therepy system which also cuts down to specific sizes and tosses any scraps that do not conform to her predetermined sizes for scraps which are 2" squares, 3 1/2" squares and 5" squares. There are some scrap therepy books you can look through to get the idea for the system.

  16. #16
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My tubs are 14 inchs wide and about 20 inchs long and clear.
    I fold any fabric 1 yard or larger to fit the bin then stand them upright to fill the bin.
    Works for me and no added bulk from some boards that you wrap fabric on.
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  17. #17
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    Your not alone! I always say to myself that I should organize my stash but I never do. I applaud all the members here that do! I look through my stash and think of it as an adventurous treasure hunt when I start a new project. Maybe someday I'll get her sorted out and organized?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Highmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan
    Your not alone! I always say to myself that I should organize my stash but I never do. I applaud all the members here that do! I look through my stash and think of it as an adventurous treasure hunt when I start a new project. Maybe someday I'll get her sorted out and organized?
    ***************
    Tartan..
    You have the CORRECT ATTITUDE! ...LOL I'm gonna try to adapt my thinking from MESS to ADVENTURE OPPORTUNITY...LOL

  19. #19
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    My own head was upside down looking for what I know I have.. stored in my blue plastic tub ! So get this post !

    my friend's mom used CD ( like orange crate) holders for her fat quarters.. nailed them on a wood strips on her sewing room wall.. so wonderful as decoration..

    BUT , my stash has to be stored when not in use. I too have the same delema. will watch for suggestions.

    Thanks for the post !

    Ell

  20. #20
    Power Poster
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    Funny to read this. Not 5 mins. ago I said to my husband " I have to get organized but dont know how". Good to read here with all the ideas.

  21. #21
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    Don't be mad at yourself. Whenever you need anything, just consider it a shopping trip or scavenger hunt. I have wasted many hours organizing, just to tear up the system completely in a matter of weeks. I told my mom I would take up cleaning and organizing as a retirement hobby some day. She gave me the guffaw I deserved. Just enjoy the fact you are creative and not alone!
    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen
    I really really wish I had a better storage system for all my fabric. I have 4 huge tubs of fabric and the fabric is not in any particular arrangement...so when I go looking for something somewhat specific, I can't find it unless I empty all the bins :(

    I really suck at keeping the fabric in any time of organized fashion. I have no many large/small/medium sized scraps and only about a quarter of what I have total is yardage. I really do envy any of you that have shelf space dedicated to fabric, or any type of organized way of doing things....

    Chaos is the only way to describe my stash. Story of my life.

  22. #22
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I much prefer shelves to totes, but if you already have totes and are not wanting to spend more $ to get shelves, you can still fold your fabrics in such a way that you can stack them in with the fold to the open side of the tote and thus see what you have at a glance. It may take some time to get everything sorted and folded, but it will save hours of frustration later!

  23. #23
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen
    Here is my chaotic stash
    Awww...my kind of girl. haha

    This is how mine looks and I love to pull out a bin and "play" in it. I do have some neatly folded fabric too.

    I say, "whatever works for you".

  24. #24
    Super Member NancyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izaquilter
    I fold mine around a 6" X 24" ruler so they are all the same widths....here's my pic I've shown probably a million times & I apoligize but I'm proud of my accomplishment on getting mine organized!
    This is how I fold and store mine. Works real well and you can easily find what you need. I keep smaller scraps in a clear plastic tub.

  25. #25
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I have my fabrics in bins. But I use the clear ones.I sort by holiday, kids,then color. Works for me.

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