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Thread: Major fabric reorg

  1. #1
    Senior Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Major fabric reorg

    It is time to do a major overhaul. I have fabric put together for projects that are not going to be done any time soon.

    I currently have fabric in several different places in my home after moving to a new state. It is time to redo this.

    So, I know about the comic boards and will try this. However, any guidance on how to determine how to sort by size, color, type etc will help immensely.

    Do you put notes on larger pieces so you know yardage? Anything that will help whip my fabric into shape will be appreciated. I plan to tackle it while also sewing so I don’t get overwhelmed. I will include pictures as I go.

    Thanks, DS

  2. #2
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I don't have much considered yardage, so sorting piles by colors works for me.
    I didn't use board, just ruler folded. Been tidy for about 10 years now, the key being
    Put It Away took me about 2 weeks but I was only working out of one room.
    take some before and after photos, they always encourage the rest of us to tidy up

  3. #3
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    Yes, note the yardage when you fold it. That way you won't have to take it off the board and measure it, then find out it is too small to use.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  4. #4
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    Mine has several things going -

    There are fabrics grouped by color - fabrics grouped by size - fabrics grouped by washed and not washed - cat prints, black and whites, and Halloween are grouped together.

    How you arrrange your fabrics depends partly on how much you have and how much space you have to store it in.

    There are several threads with awesome set-ups.

  5. #5
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    I do it by color and then maybe pattern. But I do have a tub labeled Big enough for a back. So I've got all the color groups: red, blue, yellow/gold, browns/beige, pink.....then also floral where there were too many colors. Also a group of "I really like this one", Halloween, Christmas, Food themed.

    I do not sort by size at all. But what ever works for you.

    Marcia

  6. #6
    Junior Member SSStitches's Avatar
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    I recently went through this process. Any piece 2 yards or larger were rolled on boards. Smaller pieces were rolled on itself and secured with rubber bands. These stand in a drawer. Small pieces I cut in 4.5 squares or 2" strips.
    "You're never completely dressed, until you put on a smile."
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    ​Buckskin Bill Black

  7. #7
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    My fabric is stored in two twin dressers, one for fat quarters and smaller, and the other for yardage. The yardage pieces I purchased string tags from Walmart and marked the yardage for each piece then secured them to the yardage with small safety pins. If I use some of the yardage I can X out the old yardage amount and put the new amount on the reverse side of the tag. Works for me.

  8. #8
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    Major fabric reorg

    I do use the comic book boards. Up to 2yds I put on the smaller size boards, up to 4yds I use the larger board. Anything larger than that I use the bolt boards from the fabric shops. I arrange them by color mainly but have my batiks separate and children's fabrics separate (thought I have very little of these). Then I have my scraps by width size from 1.0 to 5.0. Have a couple totes for over sized pieces and then there are the fat qtrs by color. Have a smaller sized tote for cut offs......those little triangles that are still large enough to make use of, orphan blocks too. I have 2 shelves for projects for the future where I keep the fabrics and pattern together and will add or delete a fabric from time to time till I get to that project. Have a rod along the hallway down in my basement that keeps my quilt tops, their backing and batting (if cut to size) together with a note of them telling me whose quilt it is, size of quilt and if I have the quilting layout figured out, a printout of it. I also have my leftover battings on this rod hanging for a hanger with a note telling me the size it is at that moment. Will keep adding strips as they're cut off from finished quilts using batting tape.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Last edited by Snooze2978; 07-17-2018 at 04:26 AM. Reason: Adding photo
    Suz in Iowa
    Designer EPIC, Brother XR3140
    Babylock Evolve, Innova 26" LS, MQR
    ProQ Designer, EQ7, Embird

  9. #9
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I have mine sorted and it’s easy to find. I sort in bins:

    Solids by color and they are in one area.
    Prints by color.
    Black and white together.
    Christmas together
    Floral with mainly white background
    Children fabrics
    Animal fabrics
    Batiks
    Vintage fabric
    Special fabric- I particularly like Mary Englebreit
    All jelly rolls, charm packs and layer cakes together, but separate.
    All kits separate.

  10. #10
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    Holy Cow Snooze, what a fantastic store you have!

  11. #11
    Super Member lass's Avatar
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    I agree with Kalama. I just used a 12 x 6 ruler to fold larger pieces. Used an empty Kleenex box for scraps of one color; smaller pieces and fat quarters went in the third row. All in one drawer by color.
    Education makes a people easy to lead;difficult to govern; and impossible to enslave

  12. #12
    Junior Member Quilter 53's Avatar
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    Snooze 2978, Wow!!! I've been in fabric stores that didn't have as much.LOL

    Recently organized my fabric and found the best way for me was to put the largest yardage on bolts from the fabric store and when I ran out of those, I ruler folded. I label the amount on a small piece of paper and pin it to the end. My DD complained about always stabbing herself on the pins, so I recently bought some of those plastic clips used on new shirts. Read about that idea here on QB and as I pull from the stash, I'll replace those pins with the plastic clips.

    I like to organize them according to yardage so if I need 4 yards of something, I know right away which group has at least that much. I can then pick coordinating materials from the lesser yardage. I don't have a lot of FQ any more, I prefer to buy yardage, but those I do have get grouped together on the top shelf. Anything less than a FQ goes in shoe box sized see through plastic box by color to be used for applique or strip projects.

    My batting has to live under the eaves (my sewing room is the attic). They fit in there length wise so I can see how much I have at a glance. But I do have a tote full of packaged batting and pillow forms.

    And if the way I arrange it the first time doesn't work, I try something else.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-19-2018 at 07:44 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  13. #13
    Super Member frustratedquilter40's Avatar
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    I have yardage folded using a ruler and sorted by color except my batiks they are all together in one stack. I have my fat quarters in a large basket and the are on there sides so I can see what I have. As far as scraps mine are cut using Bonnie Hunters scrap user system and are just sorted by size. And current projects the fabric and pattern are stored in project bins with closeable lids.
    ​Christine

  14. #14
    Junior Member Notwendy's Avatar
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    I have a mix at the moment: fat quarters stacked in cd towers, 1-3 yards ruler folded, 4 + on bolts. Scraps are willy-nilly. I do have them mainly by strips or squares though.

    My problem is separating by color. I'm a magpie for loud prints and can't always tell the main color.

    What do you do if you have a stack from a particular collection? Or from different collections of the same designer? Or the same print in different colorways?

    It makes me dizzy just thinking about it. : ) I get partially done and then just stack it all together in a semi-random pile again. Only my holiday fabrics really stay together whatever I do with the rest.
    'Tacky' does not necessarily refer to the quality of adhesiveness.

  15. #15
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    I've started measuring and writing the yardage on the selvage edge with permanent marker(with a scrap paper behind it to prevent any bleed). Then I fold yardage with that selvage facing up.

    Edited to add if there isn't any selvage to use I do pin a small paper with the measurement on it in pencil.
    Last edited by selm; 07-17-2018 at 01:56 PM.
    Sally

  16. #16
    Senior Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Wow! Thank you everyone for your ideas and replies. My obvious need came while I have been getting fabric cut and ready to go sew with my friends out of state. I will do before pictures if you can stand the mess (kind of embarrassed) and then as it gets tidy when I get back in August.

    I used to have a rule that I had to straighten for 15 min before sewing or working and that seemed to help me keep up.

  17. #17
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    I use the ruler fold method and mark the yardage with a sticky note. For special collections or fabrics specific to a certain project, I tie them together. Mark with a reminder note of the intended project.

    We would love to see the B&A pics of your fabric re-do.

  18. #18
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    Wow Suz this looks great!

  19. #19
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    I do mine by color also. I do have separate areas for 1930s reproduction fabric, Civil War fabric, scenic beach type fabric, Christmas fabric, plaids all by color. It seems to be a constant reorganizing/regrouping of everything!

  20. #20
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I've been thinking for a few days about ruler folding vs on boards. I've come to the conclusion (like prewash or not ) it depends on your storage. I have a double door closet with deep shelving, standing up fabric would be an exercise in futility, I'd have to keep taking fabric out to get to the behinder.

    with color stacks it takes less than a second to slide the blue and pull out the red, etc.

  21. #21
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I found that the pins started to rust so took them all off. Bought the shirt clips plus the heavy boards n before I can work on that I have to get out of rehab. Ended up with 3 different infection plus double pneumonia and was in icu better part of 16 days in hospital then to rehab n last night back w ambulance to er where finally the culprit of all my pain was discovered. I had ct scan taken but not read b4 I left hospital big mistake. Anyway er dr spotted it right away herniated disc spreading pain in the nerves to my legs so I couldn’t walk. Now on new meds n can walk some but was unable to walk for three weeks. In the meantime my garage remodel is almost complete just to paint house wall n get flooring n I’m ready to roll. Will post pics of b4 n after once I get home

  22. #22
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    In addition to considering storing by color, size, purpose, collection, or whatever, it's also good to know how you function best. Are you inspired by seeing a rainbow riot of color all around you? Or, do you prefer to have things behind closed doors or in drawers? Or a little bit of each? I like things in drawers, in uniform sized shoeboxes with lids, behind closed closet doors. So I keep yardage in one dresser, smaller pieces by color --folded and lined up front to back in another dresser, and UFO's hanging by skirt hangers in the closet.

    And I like to use same color/style scrap paper and ribbon to label everything in a way that makes sense to me and what's most efficient.

    I started with the method of wrapping yardage around my own "comic boards" but I cut dollar store foam board to a size that fit my shelves. But, I soon got frustrated with the whole cycle of pull it out/audition it/wrap it back around and clip it w/ barrette/put it back on shelf. I was so ready to sew that it was just a pain to keep that system tidy for me.

    I also tried ruler folding. Very neat, but oh so time-consuming and unrealistic for me to keep up.

    I'm best with dresser drawers, folding my fabric into neat squares and storing them fold-up with styrofoam boards cut to size as dividers (to keep piles upright). It's not a perfect system but it's the best I've found for myself.

  23. #23
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    Hope you will soon be better and back in your "happy place"--aka, your sewing room.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter 53 View Post
    Snooze 2978, Wow!!! I've been in fabric stores that didn't have as much.LOL

    Recently organized my fabric and found the best way for me was to put the largest yardage on bolts from the fabric store and when I ran out of those, I ruler folded. I label the amount on a small piece of paper and pin it to the end. My DD complained about always stabbing herself on the pins, so I recently bought some of those plastic clips used on new shirts. Read about that idea here on QB and as I pull from the stash, I'll replace those pins with the plastic clips.

    I like to organize them according to yardage so if I need 4 yards of something, I know right away which group has at least that much. I can then pick coordinating materials from the lesser yardage. I don't have a lot of FQ any more, I prefer to buy yardage, but those I do have get grouped together on the top shelf. Anything less than a FQ goes in shoe box sized see through plastic box by color to be used for applique or strip projects.

    My batting has to live under the eaves (my sewing room is the attic). They fit in there length wise so I can see how much I have at a glance. But I do have a tote full of packaged batting and pillow forms.

    And if the way I arrange it the first time doesn't work, I try something else.
    pin point in--point out and in again, seldom get poked. My sewing room is also in attic, would like to know what arrangements help. I am using cubbyholes for fabric in boxes and hang shelves from ceiling . Have a table and some book shelves.

  25. #25
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Right now I'm at the point where my sewing room is such a mess that I can't find anything. I really need to take a break and clean up. Would you believe I can't find a seam ripper? And I have many.
    I know why I'm always in this situation: when I finish a project I move right on to the next. Bad idea. There is stuff all over my table, the floor, etc.
    I really need to clean up my act!

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