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Thread: How to organize my stash?

  1. #1
    Junior Member KimmerB's Avatar
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    How to organize my stash?

    I have been following the mission organization threads and have searched for information and trying to get my sewing space organized but I can not find out how to get started organizing my stash of fabrics. Right now they are in lots of assorted totes. I tried to organize my FQ's by color in an under the bed tote so I can see what I have and have them on hand, it works okay but not great, too many different sizes of FQs as I usually do not wash and iron them until I am ready to use them. I do not have much room, I have 1 dresser that I can use. Does any one have ideas for the larger sizes and batting?

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    I am having the same difficulty ... tooo much fabric and tooo little space. But I keep acquiring more fabric. I'm trying to organize but the stash expands the more I work with it, as if having a life of its own. I look forward to see what others have to say.
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  3. #3
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    I'm sure that you'll get lots of suggestions on this topic. Try ones that you think might work for you and see how it works. I have my fabrics in big drawers by background colors. All fabrics are ruler folded with a 4x12 inch ruler, then is put in the drawer on the edge so that I can see what I have in the drawer without going through piles of fabrics. I don't have a lot of FQ's since I tend to buy yardage. I have 2 drawers full of fabrics and the fabrics to go with the focus fabric and the pattern I'm going to make with it, this way I don't mistakenly cut up fabrics that I had intentions of using for a different quilt. Batting storage can be a problem, but what I'm going to do(when I have the money to buy a full roll) is to put 2 U shaped hangers and a HD rod of some kind on the wall directly above my cutting table, then when I need batting I just "roll" off what I need.

  4. #4
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Trial and error. That's not much help I know but it seems to be the best way for me. I've tried several different ways, and sure I'll change it again someday.
    Good Luck,
    Penny
    Country 1

  5. #5
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I ruler fold and put in cabinet keeps getting fuller and fuller. Not sure what I will do next!

  6. #6
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    I bought a full roll (two actually, one is under my quilting frame on a pole that is meant for it but I don't have a place for the other and thought of hanging it from the ceiling as well. But explain the U shaped hangers and a HD rod please.
    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
    I'm sure that you'll get lots of suggestions on this topic. Try ones that you think might work for you and see how it works. I have my fabrics in big drawers by background colors. All fabrics are ruler folded with a 4x12 inch ruler, then is put in the drawer on the edge so that I can see what I have in the drawer without going through piles of fabrics. I don't have a lot of FQ's since I tend to buy yardage. I have 2 drawers full of fabrics and the fabrics to go with the focus fabric and the pattern I'm going to make with it, this way I don't mistakenly cut up fabrics that I had intentions of using for a different quilt. Batting storage can be a problem, but what I'm going to do(when I have the money to buy a full roll) is to put 2 U shaped hangers and a HD rod of some kind on the wall directly above my cutting table, then when I need batting I just "roll" off what I need.

  7. #7
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Old cd racks work well for fat quarters. If you have closet space you can hang yardage on hangers.

  8. #8
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    GREAT idea!!!

  9. #9
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    I have my yardage folded as if it was on a bolt in colors. Then for material less than an eighth of a yard I place in see through bins with the color labeled on the outside. Right now I have my fat quarters in see through bins but I love the CD rack idea.

  10. #10
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    I put all my stash on mini bolts in 2012. It really helps to see what I have an a glance on my shelves of my fabric cupboard. You can cut your mini bolts yourself out of foam core or buy acid free comic book cardboards for your fabics. Alaskasunshine did a nice tutorial on QB on mini fabric bolts.

  11. #11
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I use plastic three drawer shelves, stacked two high. Each drawer has a color, except white, off-white and green have two drawers. I have a drawer for Christmas, one for floral, one for panels and two for novelty prints. I have all sizes in the drawer. Eventually, I will have some boxes for 2.5" squares, 5" squares and 2.5" strips.
    Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member KimmerB's Avatar
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    Thank you every one for the suggestions, can't get out of the house this morning the driveway is a solid sheet of ice so I may have time to try some of them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
    I'm sure that you'll get lots of suggestions on this topic. Try ones that you think might work for you and see how it works. I have my fabrics in big drawers by background colors. All fabrics are ruler folded with a 4x12 inch ruler, then is put in the drawer on the edge so that I can see what I have in the drawer without going through piles of fabrics. I don't have a lot of FQ's since I tend to buy yardage. I have 2 drawers full of fabrics and the fabrics to go with the focus fabric and the pattern I'm going to make with it, this way I don't mistakenly cut up fabrics that I had intentions of using for a different quilt. Batting storage can be a problem, but what I'm going to do(when I have the money to buy a full roll) is to put 2 U shaped hangers and a HD rod of some kind on the wall directly above my cutting table, then when I need batting I just "roll" off what I need.
    This is pretty much what I did for several years, and it worked great. I used a 6 x 12 ruler to roll my fabric, as that worked well in my drawers. For batting, I put 2 eye bolts in beams in the ceiling and used nylon cord to hang a "mini" bolt. I bought batting by the yard and had them roll it onto an empty bolt so I had a roller to run the cord through. I left enough cord on one end that I could lower the bolt to refill it, or to set it on the cutting table.

    We moved into a new-to-us house and I don't have room for the dresser in my sewing room, so all the fabric (folded the same way) is on shelves in the closet. I now have a full bolt of batting hanging on my wall. I bought 2 closet shelf/rod brackets at the hardware store, along with a wooden closet rod. They are mounted just above my cutting table so I can unroll as much of little batting as I need.
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    Last edited by ShirlinAZ; 01-11-2013 at 07:47 AM.
    Shirley in Arizona

  14. #14
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    love to sew-I don't remember where I bought the U shaped hangers but check out your local hardware stores, for the rod, I have an old wood curtain rod that I'll cut down to the length I need.

    Oh, by the way I have 27 drawers full of fabric, not 2 like my original post sounded like. LOL
    Last edited by pocoellie; 01-11-2013 at 07:53 AM.

  15. #15
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    I think you have to start at the beginning, as I did. I thought about how I would look for fabric when I wanted to make a quilt. For me, a student of color, that was by color. I distinguish between orange, yellow-orange, and red-orange, for instance, so I had banker's boxes for each. I also have several boxes by theme, for instance, country or kid's or outdoor themes. I have a small collection of reds, whites, blues and those are set aside as a patriotic collection. So it's either by color or by theme, but mostly by color. I know that I will be consulting a color wheel when planning a quilt.

    I stand the fabric up in the box so I can see everything at a glance. That's easy to do if the box is on it's end when loaded.

    I have shelves on which the boxes live, and those have labels by color.

    Fat quarters and everything but scraps go into the boxes. It's easy to find what I need.

    I make clothing also, and that fabric has it's own storage area. For that, I store fabrics that will work together, color wise and by fabric content.

    The above is for my own fabrics. I make a lot of quilts for homeless families, and have donated fabric. That is also in boxes on another set of shelves, but not as finely sorted. For instance, a box of reds might have red-orange, reds, pinks, red-violets, etc.

    I keep in the sewing room only those things I am currently working on (multiple projects at any time) or plan to work on within 3 months.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 01-11-2013 at 09:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    Love the batting suggestion. That is cool. I usually have four rolls of a batting at a time since I do longarm quilting for others and my quest to do 120 ufos last year. I only have two left and love this idea of how to store them. Would get them off the floor and out of the way, now to have wall space to do that with. I will find it I am sure.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

  17. #17
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    I'm short on wall space too. So I started putting fqs on their sides, in a clear tote, under the bed. DO NOT DO THAT! They breed under there!! I ended up with totes under 3 beds.I had to start all over with a new plan.So now, I have bookcases full of fqs, and yardage that I have rolled up on those comic book boards. Much easier to see what they are up to that way. I did learn that I must cover the bookcases tho....to keep the fabric dust & light free. If you are hanging yardage on hangers in the closet, don't forget to cover them (maybe with those dry-cleaning bags or something) otherwise, they can turn yellow at the fold. & If you don't refold them once in a while, or use them up, they can develop permanent hanger creases.



    Last edited by mindless; 01-11-2013 at 02:49 PM.

  18. #18
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    My biggest issue is smaller pieces of batting...I don't want to waste them because they can be used for smaller projects. But they take up so much space!
    Beth

  19. #19
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    I use those bags that you vacuum the air out of for batting scraps. When I need some, I'll open the bag, get enough to piece together to do my project, then vacuum it shot again. The batting pieces puff right up and the sealed bags don't take much space at all.

  20. #20
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    I use those bags that you vacuum the air out of for batting scraps. When I need some, I'll open the bag, get enough to piece together to do my project, then vacuum it shot again. The batting pieces puff right up and the sealed bags don't take much space at all.
    what a good idea!
    Beth

  21. #21
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I cut and use these (Mini-Bolts) to store my fabrics. http://www.quiltingboard.com/items-s...g-t200145.html
    I have them in my pantry in the laundry room and in the two bookcases along side of the TV in the living room. I don't have any stored in my sewing room. I keep the scraps on a bakers rack in clear plastic shoe boxes by color. The ones wrapped on Easy Cores, I organize by style first, (novelty, blenders, etc) then by color. I have some plastic drawers in my office/sewing room that stores cutters, threads, ribbons, projects in the works, I have a lateral file that's just used for office stuff except one drawer that has my stabilizers and fusibles. My quilting books and magazines are stored on top of the lateral file and templates, rulers etc are either in a hoop hanging on the side of the bakers rack or a letter holder behind my printer. So far, so good! Good luck with your project. If you need some Easy Cores cut for you - just send me a PM.
    Hugs,
    Gayle

  22. #22
    Junior Member KimmerB's Avatar
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    So many great ideas that I never thought to do. I went back to my FQ's, resorted by color and some by type children's etc and they seem be better than my first attempt. At the beginning, I said I would never have more than 1 tote of stash now I am way past that ,of course when my mom died I received her 3 totes, some I look at and have no idea what I will use them for. I think I'd like to make them for nursing homes and other charities as others have done on this site and will look into that soon. I found something like M.I.Late easy cores that we were trashing at work along with a box that held paperback books for a endcap display at the book store, will see what I can do with them. THANK YOU every one is so helpful and I am learning so much! Love the site.

  23. #23
    Senior Member quilting in my60s's Avatar
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    I have been cleaning and organizing my fabric. I bought 10 plastic shoe boxes (not using lids) and I fold my fabric to fit the shoe boxes and put most of them in by colors. I also have one with 30's print and I have my Thimbleberries separate but also by color.
    quilting with my dogs

  24. #24
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great ideas! I have my stuff all over. Most of my fabric is in large totes under my quilt frame, but I have it under one of my beds and on shelves in my sewing room. It would be wonderful to have a large room to put everything in, but then I would probably just have more stuff LOL
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  25. #25
    Super Member NIICHMOM's Avatar
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    Just what are comic book cardboards???? I Have been reading about putting your fabric on these, thanx ahead of time.

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