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Thread: I actually have a stash now...but I don't know what to do with it!!

  1. #1
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I actually have a stash now...but I don't know what to do with it!!

    We just moved from a two bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house. There is quite a large living space downstairs that I've split in half. One half is my sewing room and the other the boys' rec room so they are downstairs with me when I'm sewing.

    In our apartment, I kept everything inside a LARGE microwave box. The only exception was my little shoe box size plastic totes for FQ size pieces or smaller. Now I get into the house and I fit a heck of a lot of stuff in that microwave box!

    I have 2 cabinets on the walls downstairs and one children's bookcase. The bookcase holds my quilt books on one shelf, then my shoe boxes of scraps are on the other shelves arranged by color. I pulled out all my FQs and put them in one smaller box separated as colors.

    I'm not sure what to do with the cabinet space. I learned about ruler folding my fabric and that's certainly helped for half yard, yard and just over a yard pieces. I think I can get all those size pieces ruler folded and arranged on shelves by color. I've never had a sewing room in my life. I'm trying to figure out the best use of the space I have. I don't know what to do with pieces over a couple yards. My quilt sandwiches are in a laundry basket cause they don't fit anywhere else.

    I've always just put my fabric in walmart sacks according to project. I'm not sure what else I should be doing. Do you think it's a good idea to put some nails on the walls to hold my two mats and rulers? The cabinets I have are like newer kitchen cabinets. They aren't really deep enough to accomodate more storage totes.

    I just have no idea what to do. I've thought about those cube storage things that you can get that hold 9 fabric cubes for storing more stuff. I have one bag of small strips and I use those shoe box things for smaller scraps. I'm not sure what to do with my yardage with the space that I have.

    Melissa
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  2. #2
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    There are lots of threads on here about scrap organization and also Bonnie Hunter - quiltville.com has lots of suggestions. I would use clear containers and I use a labeler so I don't have to open to know what is inside. Good that you are starting now! Good luck and can't wait to see your new organized space.
    Linda

  3. #3
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I've been stalking the organization part of quilting board since a month before our big move. I think I really need more shelving units, but I'm not sure yet how to get them or where to put them once I have them. I think I need a craft table on the far wall because I have a desk to sew at, but no table to cut at or press at. If I keep it the way I have it, I'll have to move my machine every time I need to cut or press. I know that won't work. I'm kicking around the idea of getting a table and then putting some of those storage bins under it. I love Bonnie's site and I've been saving all my strips, spare 1/2 sq triangles and all sorts of smaller pieces for one of her quilts someday. I'm just not quite ready to cut up my stash into pieces yet. Baby steps!
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  4. #4
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    Without seeing your cupboard I can't comment on that. I have my stash in one of the rolling plastic cupboard from Walmart. It is about 2 feet wide and the drawers are about 8 inches deep. I have the 3 drawers full of my larger pieces on mini bolts. As for putting nails in the cupboards or walls, I would use the 3M command hooks instead. That way you don't damage anything and you can move them if necessary.

  5. #5
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    3M hooks are a good idea. I'd have to make sure the hook itself is narrow enough to fit the small hole on my rulers and mats. I'll try and take some pictures of the cupboards today and post them so you can see them. I've thought of those plastic drawers and cupboards, but they seemed expensive compared to the fabric cubes. I like the idea of the plastic so you can see what you have.

    Since I have to get all my fabric out anyway, I'm considering measuring it as I go and just pinning the measurement on the fabric so I know how much of each piece I have. Do you all think that florals should have their own pile or do you guys incorporate florals into the rest of the stash by colors? I'm thinking about separating out my solids. I have some nice Kona pieces that are all solids. Still throwing that idea around.

    I read about doing things 15 minutes at a time. Got my timer already down stairs and I'll take my laptop so I'll have some tunes to keep me going.
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  6. #6
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    If you have wall space a large piece of pegboard will take care of a lot of small stuff.

  7. #7
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    I purchased a 4 drawer dresser at a garage sale a few years ago for $4.00. After a paint job, and new handles, it's perfect for storing my fabric. I folded everything using the ruler fold method, and then stood each piece on it's end so I can see everything when I open the drawer. I store fat quarters in one, anything larger that a 1/4 to a yard in another, over a yard in a 3rd, and flannels in the 4th drawer. In some instances, I purchased fabric all from one line, so I keep that all together so I'm reminded to use it together, otherwise, it's all sorted by color... just like the fabric store. I'm amazed at how much fabric can fit in this one sturdy dresser.

  8. #8
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    Is there not a closet you can put shelves in in this room? That way, you can put some of your totes in there but most importantly you can set your fabrics out and touch them (yea touch). I have a closet and bookshelves in my room that I use to put fabric and "stuff" on but I had DH put shelves in the closet. Peg boards are great for those pesky things like extra rotary cutters, those rulers that find their way home with you from the LQS and those patterns that will inevitably pile up in a corner never to be found until after you repurchase the pattern.

  9. #9
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    I love the cubes for storing. I have 4 of them stacked two high; some with the canvas totes and some without. I also took a tall bookcase like from Office max, etc not too expensive, I took out one of the removeable shelves and took it to Home Depot and had them cut me more and bought some more pegs the same size that came with the case and added shelves so that I can fold my fabric neatly and when being stacked it isn't too high plus the extra shelves helps me organizer by color better. It's great and I finally have been able to stop buying more fabric because since it all came out from hiding, I realize that I have most of what I need already. When I use the canvas totes on the cubes I put a project in it and then clip a picture of project on the outside so that I won't forget what's in it and don't have to pull it down to find out. Its no longer and out of site out of mind project; just like my fabric.
    Judy

  10. #10
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    These are all great ideas. No closet. I have to purchase one of those craft tables so I have something to cut on and press on. I'll measure and see if I can get those cubes underneath. I have a little hallway going off to the garage. I think I can put another bookcase there, one of the taller ones. I pressed a huge amount yesterday and then got in the bottom of the box and found another whole amount. I'll be pressing more today. I did take some paper and some pins and pinned the amount of fabric on each piece so I know how much I have.
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  11. #11
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    I ruler fold all of my pieces over two yards and hang them with skirt hangers. Works wonderfully for up to 8 yards. And less wrinkles to iron out when I want to use it. I have double hanging rods in the closet of my room, and all of my large stuff lives there along with out of the ordinary fabrics.
    Jane
    Physically in Maryland but heart is in Indianapolis.

    Rescued Boxers are adoptable love. Please consider a homeless/rescued pet when adding to your family.

  12. #12
    Member kbonafede's Avatar
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    Hi there!! Organizing your quilting supplies, stash of fabrics, scraps and books impacts your "creative juices" because you have everything at your fingertips when the urge arrives to quilt, with little amounts of time (because you are so busy as a mom). This is very very important!! I have a "u" shaped space. One side is the cutting table/ironing on BIG board/rotary cutting mat space. This table has drawers just below the table top and it holds my rotary cutting stuff and a few supplies. The next table is my sewing table, set at a right angle to the previous table. I use a smaller desk, about the size of an old fashioned school desk for a student. The next table/sewing space is my storage/supplies/cut-out strips/pieces of the project so that they are at a right angle to my sewing table. It totally works. I have extra fabrics stored in furniture from the Goodwill Store... a dresser or two, a tall china hutch with drawers on the bottom, a couple of plastic drawers stacked in the frame from Walmart. It all works together. I sew every single day, and just finished three quilts which were UFO's from last winter. I think it is because of my organization that I can be enormously creative and sew during lots of interruptions. Just go for it!!! You are totally correct in paying attention to the organization of your space and also organization of your time.....because you are a busy mom!
    Kathy Bonafede in Colorado

  13. #13
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    Enjoy your new space! You'll find what works for you; it doesn't have to be done all at once. Stack your totes, put a board over the top of them and you will have a nice work area.

  14. #14
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    I have some shelving units that are deep (36 ") in my basement sewing area and have fabric in clear tubs, as well as ribbons and other trims. Also I have a large two door wooden closet that holds most of my ruler & foam board folded fabric standing. One of the shelves has solids only. I purchased one of the 3 drawer storage units to keep under my cutting table that holds all this "stuff" we accumulate. My cutting table has PVC pipe extensions to raise the height. Good luck with your project.

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I've found that keeping stuff in clear containers works better than bags, because they are easier to stack. You need a bag on the bottom and they all come falling down. I do have a open top bin that I keep zip lock bags with projects that are in progress, so I can see them, and maybe get motivated to get back to them.

  16. #16
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    You are right, I am a busy mom! I agree in the U-shaped work space. I am going to have to buy at least one table so I can set up a cutting station and I think a regular sized ironing board because I can't find a jumbo one I can afford. I've made them before out of wood and teflon fabric and have no big desire to do that again. I stood on my feet for 2 days straight pressing and organizing. I went through 3 boxes and have 2 more to go through next weekend. I agree that I'm getting itchy to start working again. I've been in a creative slump for a while now and it really seems like organizing all this stuff has helped!
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  17. #17
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    All I seem to do with my stash is make it bigger.

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    I purchased one six foot long plastic banquet type table which folds in half and has a carry handle. The height has been raised by repurposing a set of bed risers. Depending upon the style, you might also be able to raise the height with PVC extensions.

    This format is great for me to use as a cutting table, design wall and pressing area with appropriate pad. Underneath the table, I am able to store plastic boxes for scraps, flannels, and UFOs. Since I have moved so many times, I look for items which provide flexability in usage, storage and placement. Good luck and enjoy your new creative area!

  19. #19
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    That plastic banquet type table is exactly what I'm looking for. I didn't even think about bed risers! That's a good idea.
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  20. #20
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
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    I wouldn't hang cutting mats. They like to be stored flat. Under the couch would work -but you really do need a cutting table to put them on! That would certainly be my first investment. Once you have the big pieces in line ( including the ironing board) your room will "speak" to you as to how to fill it out. It may take a while, but all good things take time. Have fun with your new space!

  21. #21
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    There happens to be a couch in the rec room directly next door to my sewing area. Sounds a like a good temporary home. I think one of those big craft tables would be perfect. I believe it's going on my christmas/anniversary list! Spent a lot of time on quiltville trying to figure out her method for storing stuff. I have one bin of excess half square triangles already made into squares and some HST not pieced into anything yet just left over from other projects. I have one bin of leftover squares but they are of various sizes. I think some of my smaller pieces I don't anticipate using again until I have enough for some scrappy quilts might just get cut down into some popular sizes she uses and then I can bin them according to size or light/darks. Still thinking that through.
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  22. #22
    Senior Member craftyheart2's Avatar
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    May be you can choose one or two patterns from Bonnie's website and aim your cutting at kitting them up.

    I am itching to reorganise my sewing room (more my storage and cutting room) but I am sewing flat out on a couple of Christmas presents so it will be my 1st job after that. I think I will start with giving the contents of my main scrap bin that I have gone through many times to a beginning scrap quilter I know.

  23. #23
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I don't dare store my mats under the couch for the simple reason that a dog would take it and chew it to pieces. I duct taped one to my Joann's cutting table on one of the drop down sides and I have a bigger one that I can put on the top of the table so I have extra space to cut if I want. Still trying to get my trailer set up, been to cold to go out to try to clean it. I am hoping the weather warms a little next week.

  24. #24
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Well, we don't have any dogs, just kids. I think that my boys may have thought my head was going to pop off and spin around the last time I caught them playing with my cutting mat. They were using it as a drag strip for their race cars. Thankfully, they've never touched it again. Now if I could just get the wonderful adult children and hubby to stay out of my sewing room, my poor tools might feel a bit safer.

    I did get the last box unpacked. I have some orphan strips that I didn't use in quilts, I had them left over. They don't really match eachother. Do you think I should rip the stitches out and just store the strippy pieces by color? What do you all think?
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  25. #25
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I dont have alot of money so went with clear plastic bins and wire shelves from Target. 10 bins sorted by color and larger than a fat quarter. Some bins are for Christmas, backings, backgrounds etc. Fats I store in baskets from the Dollartree store. The wire shelves were $16 and not easy to put togather but work well.
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