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Thread: How do you store your fabric stash?

  1. #1
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    How do you store your fabric stash?

    There is a new thread about the size of foam board to use for your fabric stash. Probably because all of us have our own style of brain we have many different approaches to this.

    I have a large cupboard 4'x 8' x 20" deep, with 6 shelves. I put my folded fabric in sections according to the dominate color (all blues and blue-ish togeather, etc.), with the exception of a "kiddie print" stack. Smaller than a fat quarter goes into plastic drawer, also by color. Tiny squares (left over from 1" and 2" projects) have their own plastic case.

    When I am looking for a color for a quilt I tend to "reorganize" a stack as I plow through it. I might take out several pieces and put them down on the table and move them around until the "right" mix surfaces and then restack the ones I won't use. I tend to "need" to feel the fabrics as I make decisions. But I'm seeing more and more that people are using "boards" on which to wrap their fabrics. This takes time, as does my putting things back where they beong. Is it a time saver? Does it work for you? I'm thinking that if EVERYONE says yes, maybe I'll do it. But, if there are some of you for whom this does not -- did not work -- I'd like to hear from you also.
    Last edited by Sierra; 07-21-2012 at 09:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    I don't use the foam This is how my room is organized..

    These are in 30 gal tubs no matter what size pieces they are:
    Holiday- each holiday (xmas, 4th, halloweenie, easter, etc) have its own tub
    Flannel
    Vintage fabric (35in xWOF)- all goes in one tub
    Authentic 30's feedsacks

    All my Bolts (3+yards) are on the bookcase and in walk in closet.
    All my 1-2 yards cuts are ruler folded, then separated by theme (floral, kids prints, asian, etc) and solids, blenders, and the rest are seperated by color on bookcases

    Batiks are in a see thru sterilite three drawer separated by light med dark..
    Fqs are separated by color, floral, novelty in it's own sections on wall cd racks, closet maid 24/36 bin shoe organizers.. Each area has its own 'theme' so i can find what I'm looking for.

    My scraps are in specific see- thru bins, tubs and drawers depending on size..

    Each Accuquilt Die cut shapes have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own- I do have most if not all the dies already.. lol..
    strips less than10 inches but longer than 5 inches of has a a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Strips longer than 10 inches but less than WOF has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2 inch strips are hanging on the back of the door
    1.5 x wof has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2.5 x WOF strips has a a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3x WOF strips have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    5x WOF strips have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    all other strips x WOF are separated by colors and has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Crumbs have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Scraps less than a fq but larger than 6x6 has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own- these are waiting to be cut with my Accuquilt
    2 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own

    4 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    4.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    And my selvages are kept in recycled plastic Ice cream tubs by length..


    And that's how my room is organized..

    I followed Bonnies method.. www.quiltville.com.

    My 1930's fqs section- (just one of my fq sections)



    Fabric corner- bookcases and shoe cubbies



    A few of my Sterilite drawers-

    Last edited by luvTooQuilt; 07-21-2012 at 09:30 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I have a similar system to yours although mine is open 12" shelves on the wall and I keep all sizes of a similar color together (except scraps). I separate the fabrics by type as well, corduroy, home decor, fleece, flannel, tapestry, velvet/suedecloth, brocade/satin, batik, regular cotton.

    And like you I reorganize the stacks every time I'm looking for fabric to use for a particular project. Isn't it fun!!!

    In general I do not use boards. I do have the rolls for the velvet. If it is 3 yd or less I prefer to fold it in half lengthwise, then do that again, and finally fold so that it fits the shelf (however many folds that takes). It seems to me like the boards would take up space that I could put more fabric in. LOL!
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    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  4. #4
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Oh yea- ignore the mess .... I was in a middle of cleaning when those pis were taken..

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I had stacks of folded fabric for several years. I really hated it. I have anything longer than a yard wound on fabric boards. Anything a yard and shorter is in two dressers. It seems to take about the same amount of space for the mini bolts as it did for the stacks. I have wound as much as 16 yards on one of the mini bolts.

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  6. #6
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Scissor queen-you win!!!! Lol mine will never be that neat and clean ever !!!

    how much did it cost for all the boards you used ??

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvTooQuilt View Post
    Scissor queen-you win!!!! Lol mine will never be that neat and clean ever !!!

    how much did it cost for all the boards you used ??
    I have no idea how much all the boards cost. I started off with the Clotilde boards and they're expensive. So then I found the person here on the board that sells the coroplast boards and ordered from her twice. The rest of it is on foam core boards from Dollar General.

  8. #8
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    The advantage of the mini bolts is you can just pull them off the shelf without messing up the other bolts. I did have my yardage neatly folded in stacks but I would get the rest of the folded fabric messed up if I wanted to pull one out. They are also easier to see what you have storing upright on the mini bolts.

  9. #9
    Super Member wuv2quilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvTooQuilt View Post
    I don't use the foam This is how my room is organized..

    These are in 30 gal tubs no matter what size pieces they are:
    Holiday- each holiday (xmas, 4th, halloweenie, easter, etc) have its own tub
    Flannel
    Vintage fabric (35in xWOF)- all goes in one tub
    Authentic 30's feedsacks

    All my Bolts (3+yards) are on the bookcase and in walk in closet.
    All my 1-2 yards cuts are ruler folded, then separated by theme (floral, kids prints, asian, etc) and solids, blenders, and the rest are seperated by color on bookcases

    Batiks are in a see thru sterilite three drawer separated by light med dark..
    Fqs are separated by color, floral, novelty in it's own sections on wall cd racks, closet maid 24/36 bin shoe organizers.. Each area has its own 'theme' so i can find what I'm looking for.

    My scraps are in specific see- thru bins, tubs and drawers depending on size..

    Each Accuquilt Die cut shapes have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own- I do have most if not all the dies already.. lol..
    strips less than10 inches but longer than 5 inches of has a a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Strips longer than 10 inches but less than WOF has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2 inch strips are hanging on the back of the door
    1.5 x wof has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2.5 x WOF strips has a a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3x WOF strips have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    5x WOF strips have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    all other strips x WOF are separated by colors and has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Crumbs have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    Scraps less than a fq but larger than 6x6 has a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own- these are waiting to be cut with my Accuquilt
    2 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    2.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    3.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own

    4 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    4.5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    5 in sq have a see thru sterilite drawer all of its own
    And my selvages are kept in recycled plastic Ice cream tubs by length..


    And that's how my room is organized..

    I followed Bonnies method.. www.quiltville.com.

    My 1930's fqs section- (just one of my fq sections)



    Fabric corner- bookcases and shoe cubbies



    A few of my Sterilite drawers-



    WOW!!!!! Can you come to my house? I'm still trying to sort out my shop, and could REALLY use your organizational skills....your space is FAB-U-LOUS!!!!
    Happiness is a form of travel...not a destination.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kensington's Avatar
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    LOL... I don't have enough fabric to worry about, not compared to all of you. I have a bag, that holds all of my Christmas Fabrics, all 1-2 yard cuts.

    Then I have a stackable tray system that holds all of my scraps and my FQ's. Then I have a collection of Patriotic yardage cuts, that are stacked in a bin, and a bin filled with made blocks .... That's it.

    No more, no less. I am amazed each time I see how much fabric most quilters have. Amazed.
    "Wimpy Christian's won't survive spiritual warfare"- Carman

  11. #11
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I have 3 sets of plastic shelving. DH put wooden inserts he made in the center of each shelf, bc they do NOT hold the amount of weight they said when I bought them.
    I have them lined up, pushed together in one corner and have sliders under the center one, so that is the only one that I have to pull out to see ALL the shelves and it saves room.
    I have some other, ahem, fabrics too
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  12. #12
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Love all the fabric! I have old jars on top too. I have old buttons, ribbon, zippers, wooden spools, etc,....
    Country 1

  13. #13
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I just ruler fold. If you fold tightly enough, it works beautifully. I am still working on a system for the scraps. I would recommend saving your $$ for more fabric instead.

  14. #14
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    i would love all that fabric myself. i have a little here and there i just buy for the project i'm working on. and have a few projects unfinished. need to get them done.

  15. #15
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have 3 white bookcases that I purchased at Target. They each have 5 shelves that are adjustable. I used to ruler fold my fabrics and it just got to be a jumbled mess! I put almost all of my fabrics 1 yd - 3 yds on foam core boards I cut either 5" X 12" or 6" X 12". Anything that is over 3 yards is still ruler folded until I come up with a better solution. These I placed on the lowest shelves of 2 of the bookcases. Anything 1/2" yard or smaller, including fat quarters is folded and put into a plastic 6 drawer unit on wheels. I put all my precuts on one shelf. My solid whites, creams and blacks on the same shelf. The next shelf holds all my solids and striped fabrics. All my batiks are on one shelf together and the same with all my holiday fabrics. Then I just placed the remaining fabrics on the remaining shelves using Roy G. Biv! I still have about 3 tubs of fabric that I am still deciding what I will do with it.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I have a tall 7 drawer dresser in which my entire stash is stuffed. And, I mean stuffed! Someday (maybe when I retire) I will organize it.

    I've been quilting for almost 30 years, not much of a stash really.

  17. #17
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    Wow!! those are some neat stashes.

  18. #18
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I have most of mine ruler folded on shelves in my closet, One large tote with all holiday fabrics, another tote with scraps of all sizes, and another container with fat qtrs. Ain't postin pics today anyway.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  19. #19
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    My 1-? yardage is on mini bolts (foam boards from the $ store I cut myself) under 1 yard is ruler folded. If it is to small for ruler fold it is considered a large scrap, neatly folded amd stored with my FQ if it is not WOF It is sub cut and stored in baskets by size 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, ect. strips, I will then cut the asorted length strips into squares as I need them, All my fabric is stored in an old china hutch, and 2 cabnets with doors that my DH made for me. Sorted by color, thyem or holiday My hutch has pretty gift wrap on the inside of the glass to keep out the sunlight. I hate bags and tots for my fabric! LOL Tryed it but could never find anything, and always having to move them just killed my back.

  20. #20
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    Mine are stored in 6 1/2 foot cabinets and i have 8 cabinets, my cutting table is made with 6 smaller kitchen cabinets under it and i still have fabric in totes, in bags and closets, and only God knows where else. It would take me the rest of my life to put on foam boards. I have way too much fabric. I started out washing and ironing many years ago, but never finished, so thats how i stored my fabric, then by holiday and then by color.
    Mary

  21. #21
    Senior Member dorrell ann's Avatar
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    I like the look of folding with a ruler -about 2/3's of my fabic are like that the rest I use comic book sleeves .

  22. #22
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    I don't use foam boards. I have a tall bookcase and have found a way to fold the fabric that fits the shelves really nice. I don't stack them too high so that first of all when I want something at the bottom I don't have t go down too far and mess things up plus the way I do it allows me to sort it better; like blue solids separetly from blue prints, etc. I took one of the removable shelves from the case and went to the hardware store and had them to cut me some more shelves and then bought the little spokes that fit into the holes to hold the shelves so that I have more shelves which allows for better organization. I have a very large clear plastci zip up bag that came with my comforter in it that I keep all of my Christmas fabric in since it doesn't have to be seen all yr long. I have another smaller one that has the other holiday fabric in. Then I have a skinny tall bookcase that I put FQ and smaller pieces of fabric on. I have found out that when I had the fabric in totes that I forgot what I had so would buy more when I didn't need to. Plus, some of the fabric I got for a particular project but when it was stored out of site it really was out of mind. I have to be able to see my fabric. Now I do have all of my civil war fabric in totes on another shelf but I only use it for Civil war quilts at this time. I also have the large cube bookcases from Walmarts that you can get the canvas totes to put in; I have these stacked 2 high (I have 4 of them) and with 9 shelves each that is a large unit. Some of them I have thread in; some have projects in (those I take a picture of and put on the outside of tote so that I don't forget) others have other things. I'm still organizing but I think it'll be like my embroidery designs on my pc; I'll be forever reorganizing as a new idea hits. I think the boards would take up more space and I'm not like some on here that buys bolts of fabric or even lots of yards of it at a time.
    Judy

  23. #23
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    I do not use the boards, I do not have the space for open shelving. I use wire bins from Lowes my husband installed in the closet of my sewing room. They are open so the fabric can breathe. They pull out for easy access.
    My fabric is sorted according to color. Theres enough room between the bins to stack fabric I'm sorting for
    my next 'todo' quilt(s)

  24. #24
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    Trying to keep a large stash like that organized would drive me insane. Think I will keep to buying fabric for the project at hand.
    When a dying man asked his pastor "How long does it take to die?" his pastor's heartfelt reply was "A lifetime." Live life to the fullest, but stop now and then to enjoy the sunset.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    My question is this- I went through my stash and folded all of it using the ruler method and then stacking it. Can anyone tell me if using the ruler fold method and stacking allows you to store more fabric than the foam board, with fabric standing like a book? It seems the stacking method allows for more material storage. Anybody know?

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