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Thread: Help! How do you organize smaller pieces of fabric?

  1. #1
    Senior Member PghPat's Avatar
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    Help! How do you organize smaller pieces of fabric?

    I do like using the ruler fold method but my problem is that I have LOTS and LOTS of fabric that measures less than a yard. Other than sorting by solids, flowers, etc I don't know how to fold them and store them.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Pat

  2. #2
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    Anything over a yard I have on my mini bolts. Fat quarters are folded and have their own drawer. I have 1 platic tote with weirdly shaped under a yard pieces and 1 bin of what I consider scraps.

  3. #3
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    I use a 3 drawer roll around plastic container. I just fold the fabric, sort by color and place in the drawers standing the folded fabric on end so I can see the colors without needing to take them out of the drawers. I do like to place the larger pieces in the bottom drawer, the fat quarter sizes in the middle drawer, and the smaller pieces in the top drawer.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    For me, I like my FQs accessible with my longer lengths of fabrics.

    Anything over a metre is folded 1/4 WOF then to about a 6" width, and is labelled with painters tape as to the length.
    Under a metre is folded like you would a FQ.
    Shape tells me the basic sizing.

    All are stored in plastic bins about 6" deep ... on end, so that when I open it up, I can see the different fabric and colour possibilities.

    Bins are labelled (again painters tape to the rescue) as to contents and are sorted by colour(s), with extra bins for seasonal/Christmas, florals and birds, batiks and novelties.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    Less than a yard, I store with my fat quarters in drawers by color. Scraps that can be folded, I store in a drawer by color. Smaller scraps are thrown in those plastic drawer bins by color. (I rarely seem to use them so when the bins get full, I donate them to a church group that loves to use scraps.)

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Fat quarters I store in a drawer. I have a lot of small pieces in plastic containers however they are not very well organized.

  7. #7
    Super Member coastienest's Avatar
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    Well, I do a couple things. First I have fat qtrs. folded and standing on end in a shallow plastic container, all arranged by color. Secondly my Asian fat qtrs. are stored on my open shelving, stacked on top of one another. I attached a picture so you can have a visual. Then all my fabric yardage is also stored in these open crates stacked on top of each other on top of a filing cabinet/drawer unit. If I have a 1/2 or more yard of what I have in that same yardage I will put it with that fabric. If not it is put into another plastic container marked 1/4 yard. If I cut the leftover into strips or squares I also have corresponding containers for that piece.
    One thing I have learned to do also is to have a separate container for pieces left from a project. If I finished a project and there is fabric left I will put it there and heaven for bid if I need to make a repair way down the line, I have the fabric I need. I'm not talking yardage or amounts like that, but will keep 1/4 yards and under. I keep it separate then I know I won't use it for future projects. And then again if I make something and decide later I'd like a pillow or a little wall hanging to coordinate with that piece, I have the matching fabric.
    Hope I haven't confused you too much.
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    Mine is sorted pretty much the way yours is just doesn't look it.HMMM?
    Quote Originally Posted by coastienest View Post
    Well, I do a couple things. First I have fat qtrs. folded and standing on end in a shallow plastic container, all arranged by color. Secondly my Asian fat qtrs. are stored on my open shelving, stacked on top of one another. I attached a picture so you can have a visual. Then all my fabric yardage is also stored in these open crates stacked on top of each other on top of a filing cabinet/drawer unit. If I have a 1/2 or more yard of what I have in that same yardage I will put it with that fabric. If not it is put into another plastic container marked 1/4 yard. If I cut the leftover into strips or squares I also have corresponding containers for that piece.
    One thing I have learned to do also is to have a separate container for pieces left from a project. If I finished a project and there is fabric left I will put it there and heaven for bid if I need to make a repair way down the line, I have the fabric I need. I'm not talking yardage or amounts like that, but will keep 1/4 yards and under. I keep it separate then I know I won't use it for future projects. And then again if I make something and decide later I'd like a pillow or a little wall hanging to coordinate with that piece, I have the matching fabric.
    Hope I haven't confused you too much.

  9. #9
    Super Member coastienest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    Mine is sorted pretty much the way yours is just doesn't look it.HMMM?
    Trust me. There are days I wonder what happened myself
    Everything in life happens for a reason.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PghPat's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your suggestions.....lots of good ideas. I did order 2 of those DVD cases and thought it they don't work for the fabric they would be very good to carry lots of my rulers back and forth when I go from North to South and back. Can't wait to get them.

  11. #11
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I need Coastinest to come to my house and organize my stash, luckily I haven't built much of a stash yet but I like the way hers looked!

  12. #12
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    I have fat quarters in the cupboards arranged to color. Small scraps are in totes. Fabric half to one yard is in totes and the rest is on shelves.

  13. #13
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    I have become a fan of Bonnie Hunter's scrap users system. Once I get down to under a yard I cut a FQ if I can. Then, in order of preference I cut 5 x WOF, 2.5 x WOF, Charm squares, 3.0 squares and 2.5 squares. Then each size goes into a plastic bag of same sizes, similar color and bags are stored in plastic bins. When I need to make a scrap quilt I already have cut pieces. I recently made a queen size Jacob's Ladder quilt and only had to cut a few 5 inch squares and the border fabric.
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  14. #14
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    The majority of my fabric is organized by color. I just enclose all pieces together inside the folded largest piece and then the whole thing goes in it's big plastic covered box. I pp a lot so many times use strips only 1" wide, so I keep just about all scraps. It works for me.

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    The very small pieces I sort by color and place in gal ziplock bags, the others are still on bolds or in plastic bins.

  16. #16
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    I've just been working on ruler folding my fabric -- I don't have many fat quarters so I have ruler folded all my fabric and have it stored by color and era ( 30's, reproduction, brights) It is certainly hard to decide which way to go with it all!!

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    Thanks. This was really helpful. I am new to quilting, just over a year and am acquiring a significant amount of fabric. I was having trouble figuring out how to store it. The crates are a great idea.

  18. #18
    Super Member coastienest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I need Coastinest to come to my house and organize my stash, luckily I haven't built much of a stash yet but I like the way hers looked!
    Haha jmoore....I'll be right up. Hey you just saw part of that stash. Those crates are the ones holding mostly my Asian fabrics. The whole wall is lined with crates like that and are packed full. Maybe after dinner tonight I'll take a picture and give you a peek.
    Everything in life happens for a reason.

  19. #19
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    I am not exceedingly creative. My bits and pieces do not get organized. That being out in front of you now ....

    I do better if I force myself to look through things. There is something in the looking and the feeling and the juxtaposing that helps me choose the combinations and placements that turn out pleasing me. And I enjoy figuring out answers for any problems or questions that turn up. I cannot "see" those if I try to work from organized bits and pieces.

    The smallest bits are stuffed into a large, clear jug. The larger ones tucked into bins that reflect texture or the mental "feel" they impart to me.

    Usually all of this is a long process from fabric to finished product. Wish I was more usually organized.

    Pat

  20. #20
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    I use plastic boxes and drop the little scraps in by color. Then I pop the lid on and put them on a shelf with a marker pen label of the color on the side for later.

  21. #21
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    I store my scraps in plastic storage containers. About once a month I go through the scraps and cut what I can out of the scraps: 6" squares, 5" squares, etc, all the way down to 2" squares. Then these get sorted and stored in smaller plastic storage containers. I learned this trick off the board! When I am ready to start a scrappy quilt, I have a great headstart on it!

  22. #22
    Member sandy999's Avatar
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    I just started using Bonnie's method and it has really helped. I still have my mini bolts and FQ's but it's great to have scraps in usable sizes and sorted. Wish I had read her method years ago. If you like scrappy quilts it's a real time saver.

  23. #23
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Anything less than a fq goes into containers .. I save the cascade tabs buckets and the all pods buckets I get from SAMs club ...I have an accuquilt go cutter so each bucket is labeled for what die I can use .. 2x2..2.5x2.5..3x3...3.5x3.5.. You get the idea .. And when the bucket gets full I cut and put the finished cut pieces in their perspective sterilite 3drawer fat roller drawer.. Then I start all over again ..

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