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Thread: preference for storing fabric? design wall

  1. #1
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I'm getting ready to redo/reorganize my sewing area. My husband will build shelves for me if I tell him what I want. Do you prefer to store fabric in see through plastic containers, folded on open shelves, or wrapped on cardboard (similar to bolts in a fabric shop)? And doesn't the design wall need to be attached to a wall or board, or will fabric stick to it if it's just hanging from the ceiling? Thanks for your input

  2. #2
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Being that I have a dog, two cats, and three kids, I like to keep my fabric in clear storage according to color! This keeps the kids and the animals out of it!
    Since I don't have a sewing room I store fabric containers in my closet like most people store shoes! lol Maybe thats why I only have three pair of shoes, tenis shoes, flip flops, and dress shoes! Doing it this way also keeps the sunlight off of it!

    I don't know about the design wall!

  3. #3
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I know what you mean about kids getting into things. My two are now 26 and 22, so I don't have to worry. But when they were younger I had to hide my sewing scissors so they wouldn't use them to cut paper or whatever. They were also forever getting into my stash too.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    4 X 8 sheets of insulating foam board is light weight, attatches to a wall easily, is inexpensive and gives you a nice surface to stick pins into. 2 pieces is a nice size for laying out bigger bed sized quilts. You just cover it with batting or flannel.

    Clear totes are wonderful to be able to see through, but the sunlight probably will fade those in the front if left there for long time frames, some fabrics seem to fade sooner thatn others. A curtain across the shelves can help with that, or maybe DH can make doors for the shelves.

  5. #5
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    I have my fabric in glass fronted china cabinets... keeps the dust and animal hair out, but lets me see at a glance what I have. And the colours are sooooooo pretty! :D

    I have polystyrene for my design wall.... a big sheet that takes up pretty much the whole wall. It's great, I stick everything up with normal sewing pins, from blocks, to quilt tops, to pictures and instructions for round robins. :-)

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokieappmom
    Do you prefer to store fabric in see through plastic containers, folded on open shelves, or wrapped on cardboard (similar to bolts in a fabric shop)?
    You dont want to store fabric wrapped on cardboard if you can help it. Cardboard and other wood products contain an acid that will gradually eat into your fabric. "Archival quality" paper products have been treated to eliminate the acid. There are commercially available plastic "boards", some with clips, for wrapping fabric. Makes for very neat-looking storage, but gets expensive if you have a lot of different fabrics. Someone here probably knows the brand names of these boards; they have websites that show how they are used.

    For the same reason, you do not want to store fabric in direct contact with wood unless the wood has been painted, lacquered, finished with a poly coating, or otherwise finished so that no aci can leach into the fabric.

  7. #7
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    I would put on shelves if I could. Easy access is best :D :D

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt
    Being that I have a dog, two cats, and three kids, I like to keep my fabric in clear storage according to color! This keeps the kids and the animals out of it!
    Since I don't have a sewing room I store fabric containers in my closet like most people store shoes! lol Maybe thats why I only have three pair of shoes, tenis shoes, flip flops, and dress shoes! Doing it this way also keeps the sunlight off of it!

    I don't know about the design wall!
    You just made me giggle. I can relate. I have a huge stack of those plastic shoe boxed in my closet, but they are full of fat quarters, not shoes. I have you beat though, I have tennis shoes, flip flops, dress shoes and work shoes. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  9. #9
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    i keep my fabric in the closet on shelves that way the sun can't fade it. some of it is kept on the cardboard bolts and others are just folded and stacked.

    my girlfriend even had it fade in clear plastic bins that she kept out in her sewing room.

    my design board is the foam insulation mentioned above.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    For years I have been storing my stash in plastic underbed boxes. I recently outgrew the two I had been using, and they were in sad shape: cracked and broken along the edges where the handles were from pulling out. Soooooo heavy! So I've upgraded to underbed boxes on wheels. These are higher than what I had, so the bed had to go up on risers. We're using 8" risers, so there may be enough room for stacking! (tee-hee-hee)

    I have metal closet doors, so I can just use magnets to put things up on there when I want to try them out. I have also used wool or felt held up with the magnets and then I can gently press the individual pieces in place and voila.

    However, as for the fading problem, let me just say this: there are some fabrics that may fade by being in the plastic boxes, too. I have three fabrics bought for me many years ago by DH for a specific project (as yet unstarted, of course!). When I was transferring the fabrics into their new home, I noticed that they each have a little bit of facing along the top folded areas. Not the bottom folds, just the tops ....

    Just for your info, but it may help.

    Odessa

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdessaQuilts
    However, as for the fading problem, let me just say this: there are some fabrics that may fade by being in the plastic boxes, too. I have three fabrics bought for me many years ago by DH for a specific project (as yet unstarted, of course!). When I was transferring the fabrics into their new home, I noticed that they each have a little bit of facing along the top folded areas. Not the bottom folds, just the tops ....
    Many years ago I remember reading not to use plastic boxes for fabric storage because the plastics outgas. I wonder if the outgassing is what causes fading? Of course, I have all of my fabric stash stored in plastic boxes, some of which haven't been unpacked in years......

  12. #12
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by OdessaQuilts
    However, as for the fading problem, let me just say this: there are some fabrics that may fade by being in the plastic boxes, too. I have three fabrics bought for me many years ago by DH for a specific project (as yet unstarted, of course!). When I was transferring the fabrics into their new home, I noticed that they each have a little bit of facing along the top folded areas. Not the bottom folds, just the tops ....
    Many years ago I remember reading not to use plastic boxes for fabric storage because the plastics outgas. I wonder if the outgassing is what causes fading? Of course, I have all of my fabric stash stored in plastic boxes, some of which haven't been unpacked in years......
    Yes, I thought about that, too, but it's only 3 or 4 fabrics. The rest are fine. It could be the quality of the fabric or the inks/dies that were used, too, but who knows? Whatever it was, it's happened and I'll just have to live with it.

    Odessa

  13. #13
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    There are some great ideas for fabric storage on YouTube. I am on my iPod, so can't post the link, but Search for storing or organizing fabric. The one I like best shows how to wrap your fabric around your long ruler, slide the ruler out, then fold in half and place on a shelf, in a bin, etc. I am tired of bins because they are so heavy and bulky. Another video shows how to make an easy roman shade to cover the front of your shelves to protect thefabric, but you can raise the shade easily if you want to see what you have.

  14. #14
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    My fabric is stored, folded, by color, on an open chrome plated pantry rack. It's industrial like restaurant looking. My FQ's are in clear plastic shallow bins under my cutting table.

    I'd like to get rid of the two plastic drawer storage units on wheels, one day.

    I think I wanna change my design wall so will be reading this thread for options.

  15. #15
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    I bought the large clear plastic drawer units. I spent a full weekend organizing. I love it. The only problem is not enough room for one more unit. (DH says the problem is too much fabric. But, we all know that is not the problem. :lol: )
    I organized by color mainly. The large drawers have the larger pieces.
    I have a couple of fat quarter drawers, a fall/halloween, and a Christmas drawer. I still have a few tubs with fabric for specialty type quilts like crazy quilts, old linens, tub of fleece for craft projects, and a tub of things like wonderunder.
    My room is also our study and extra bedroom. I have everything, (almost in the closet). This has made my quilting life so much easier.

  16. #16
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    4 X 8 sheets of insulating foam board is light weight, attatches to a wall easily, is inexpensive and gives you a nice surface to stick pins into. 2 pieces is a nice size for laying out bigger bed sized quilts. You just cover it with batting or flannel.

    Clear totes are wonderful to be able to see through, but the sunlight probably will fade those in the front if left there for long time frames, some fabrics seem to fade sooner thatn others. A curtain across the shelves can help with that, or maybe DH can make doors for the shelves.
    Where do you get the insulating foam boards?

  17. #17
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    I do what gaigai referred to in her post. It makes it soooo easy to see what you have color-wise, and keeps your fabrics from getting all messed up. Here's a link to a video that shows you how to do it.

    http://tipnut.com/fabric-folding/

    You can get the insulating board at Home Depot or Lowe's or whatever home improvement/lumber yard you have in your area. It's just rigid foam insulation for building.

    Happy organizing!

  18. #18
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Thanks. Maybe I'll post pictures when it's all complete. I'm thinking of having the design board attached to sliding doors on the front of the shelves my DH makes. My sewing room is in our basement, so I don't have to worry about sun fading the material,

  19. #19
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I prefer the see through plastic boxes. Folded on a shelf looks nice but I would worry about them getting dusty.

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