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Organizing the stash?

Organizing the stash?

Old 03-19-2020, 05:14 AM
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Default Organizing the stash?

So in this homebound time I'm finally getting my stash organized. How should I organize it?

Keep in mind- most of my stash is from the lady I bought my first sewing machine from. 3 garbage bags of "end of bolt"...9" to 15" WOF strips. If nothing else - I have a on the scrappy quilt market...if I only knew anything about putting together disparate fabrics and making the result look cohesive.

I keep it all in one of those under bed rolling boxes. I promise when I got it I carefully folded and organized by color. However after 18 months of rooting thru and picking out, its not really organized anymore. So I'm cutting up thin cardboard and wrapping.

Should I keep in color order? Should I put similar patterns/diff colorways together? Give up and set the whole mess on fire?

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-19-2020 at 05:34 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:15 AM
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Because a picture is worth 1000 words...
Attached Thumbnails 20200319_073218.jpg  
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:18 AM
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First of all no fires

I bought comic boards on Amazon. Got a bunch for a few bucks.
I like to coordinate by color because I can see at a glance what I need. It works well for me.

I see some pretties there!!!
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:27 AM
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Try to put like colors together. I don't buy precuts.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:41 AM
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I organize by color, but I have to redo it every 3 or 4 months because I root through it, pull things out and don't put them back properly. I have always been good at organizing, and not at all good in staying that way. Anything bigger than a fat quarter goes in a stack on my shelves, fat quarter or less goes in plastic boxes.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:46 AM
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Do not burn!
I canít understand waste. I use everything but crumb size. You can always make something, if not a quilt. I started organizing mine by color or type fabric. I fold them to fit in those clear bins that have 3 drawers in each from Walmart. I lay the drawer on its side & fold fabric to fit, stacking pieces from side to side. When I turn the drawer upright to fit in the frame, I can see the end of each piece and at a glance I know exactly what I have.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:50 AM
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Fun project!

I ruler fold small pieces with a 5 inch ruler. Then fold again in 5 inch folds depending on fabric width. The get stacked on edge so I can see each color. I don't worry about exact color sorting as it's easy to see what is there. No need for extra work to cut cardboard or purchase extra supplies. Easy and quick to do.

These are the bins I use to hold the folded fabric pieces. The medium deep is a perfect size as it measures 6x16x 5 inches high.

https://www.containerstore.com/s/ide...=fridge%20bins
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:27 AM
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I’ve been wrapping my stash around card stock paper. Looks as good as comic boards but cheaper. After folding my fabric in quarters as you would for comic boards, I fold my paper in half, the long way, stick the end inside fold and start wrapping.
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:29 AM
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I have my stash organized in a few different ways. The majority of my yardage is in a single cabinet organized by color groups Anything under 1 yd. is in another cupboard organized only by size. I have speciality fabrics separated my batiks and reproduction fabrics are seperate. I have fabrics on the bolt and backing fabrics separate. Some are under beds. Space is an issue. However most of it has a place. Things are frequently pulled from the major stash and will remain out until the next "stash bash" when I air each piece of fabric and re-fold each piece. I do this every year or so. This insures that the fabric has fewer fold lines that will be hard to press out.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:54 AM
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I don't have problems with bugs and I keep my large stash sorted by colors or themes in cardboard "banker" boxes I get at the office supply store. I can't always afford archival boxes but it is worth paying for heavy duty boxes which I then line with acid free tissue paper. Some of my fabrics I've had for many years and I like the light protection cardboard gives. Cardboard however should never be put directly on concrete floors, it will wick up trace amounts of moisture leading to musty smell and attracting critters from mold to mice. I have rolling wire racks I got from Costco that by boxes are on -- my goal for this year is to clear out the large closet in the sewing room and put in a shelving system and I believe what is (left from my formerly huge stash) will fit in that closet. So although it is 1/4 or less of what I used to have, it's still a sizeable amount. I write on the outside of the box what the color/theme is --or why a lot of people like clear storage.

There is no one answer, each of us find things that work. I've tried many things. One thing I've given up on is small pieces, for me that is anything smaller than 6.5" x something bigger than a square. Pieces fat quarter and up are prewashed, sorted by color or theme (cats, farm, blue, red, etc.) and are folded in fourths ready for cutting, they fit well in the boxes that way.

When they get smaller than a fat quarter, I cut off a 6.5" strip which I keep in a 6.5" strip box. I used to keep smaller strips, but although I can cut down I can't make them any larger and it just wasn't working for me. I used to keep the rough cut strings. I used to do a lot of things I don't do any more... Now I keep a flat rate postage box by my cutting area and anything too small for me goes to a crumb quilter I met on the board, when it gets full she gets a surprise box. A lot of it is bigger than a crumb -- but again, she can cut down and I can't cut up!

Final thought -- I work mostly in scrap quilts or at least quilts made from collections of fabric. But after a lot of years I have my own style and still find a lot of scrap quilts to be too chaotic for me, or some fabrics just don't speak to me in ways they can be used. So I've started examining why I save or use/don't use particular fabrics. If you think about it and realize that no, you just aren't ever going to do something with the fabric you don't have to keep it, you don't have to use it. I think it's better to give it away/donate it but what the heck. A lot of people are just happier buying a lot of fabric and making a project and they don't need the leftovers. I'm happier having a lot of fabric and figuring out what to do with it.
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