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Thread: Reeling in Your Stash

  1. #1
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    Reeling in Your Stash

    I've been able to put a "nice" amount of fabric together for my stash. After promising myself (lmao) that I wouldn't be buying any more fabric, I'm now in the process of bundling it all up. Anything in a yard's length will go on a board, but how do YOU organize your stash? Do you put them in order by color (reds, greens, etc) or do you put them together by theme (Christmas, fall, birds, etc)? Pictures would be awesome! Thank you!
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  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I buy kits for specific quilt I intend to make so I just bundle the fabric together and place in tubs. Haven't got a better organizations system yet
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  3. #3
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    I do both. I put my fabric together by themes: i.e.: NFL, MLB, Christmas, Halloween/Thanksgiving, Kids. Anything that does not fit within those themes get separated by color. If there are multiple colors in a piece of fabric I try to decide on the dominant color.

  4. #4
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    I put it by colors, unless its things for babies or kids. It doesn't always stay that way. LOL I really think a fabric messer upper comes into the room, and moves it around!!!!
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

  5. #5
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    I do both as well. Here, I use latched clear totes with an index card stuck in the side with the 'title' like Nature, Christmas etc. I had the fabricstacked inside each but I'm going to go through and rearrange them vertically so I can open the lid and see what I have. Someone suggested that here in another post. My fabrics in Maine are not as organized but I hope to get to that project in the summer.

  6. #6
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I use an old CD organizer to hold smaller amounts of fabric (1 yd or less) up in my sewing room. Larger amounts of fabric are folded similar to how they look in the store on the bolts, but don't have the cardboard inside (more space for fabric that way), and are kept on the bottom shelf of my fabric cupboard! Medium amounts of fabric are folded to look like books and stand up in cupboard in relative ROYGBIV order. All fabric is easily accessible.

    All flannel is folded similar to larger pieces of 100% cotton fabric and in shelving unit in closet in sewing room, or precut into 10" pieces ready for the next rag quilt I make!
    Go forth and sew!

  7. #7
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I have an IKEA tall wood CD player that holds fat quarters. The comic book boards do not work in my shelves (my Dad made it and I won't part with it). I ruler fold my 1yd and up fabrics. I also use a 4" ruler to fold my fat quarters up to 1/2 yard pieces. I put the half yard pieces in some built in drawers in the closet.
    QuiltnLady1

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  8. #8
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I love fabrics so tend to buy if they catch my eye with no idea what I'll do with them later. Plus if someone is having a sale I'll check to see what they have and buy them. I will look at my stash and see what color family I'm low on too before I hit the fabric store. Right now I'm so over loaded with fabric as our local store is closing at the end of the year and every 2 weeks she put out more discounts on everything in her store. Its up to 60% right now but I have no place to put the fabrics I purchased the last 2 times so have to stop buying plus I'm told there isn't much left now. I was hoping there would be some backing fabrics but the last time I was there I didn't see anything that caught my eye.

    My fabrics are lined up by colors, batiks are separate though as well as collections from certain sites such as Connecting Threads' "mirage", "strips", "stars", "polk-a-dot", "swirls", etc. I have my flannels in one are too. Some collections have over 30 different colors in them so like to keep them together. I'm in the process of changing out my bookcase shelves to regular laminated shelving on the walls as I'll gain 6 extra feet this way plus need the bookcases upstairs for my hardback books I've been collecting for years. Also want to get my bolts off the floor for a change.
    Suz in Iowa
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  9. #9
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    My stash is only somewhat organized. I keep the Christmas, kids etc separate. The rest is organized by color. I also have a category for the fabrics that I can't decide what color to call them.

  10. #10
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    So, I'm on the right track with what you see in the pics?

  11. #11
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    I do small print colors, solid colors, plaids, homespuns, holidays, fat quarters, jelly rolls, designers such as thimbleberries plus by specific projects. Then I have all those baskets of strips, squares, and am still not organized.
    Carol

  12. #12
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    I worked some in my sewing room yesterday. Took couple shelves down from one wall. It will become my design wall. If company comes the design wall will become the "head' board". I have most of my stash in the cabinet the hubs made for me. Most of my stash is according to color but I want to separate flannel from linen etc. Didn't realize how much "metallic like' fabric I had. That will have it's own area also. Ihave more project boxes than I realized.

  13. #13
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Mine are sorted by colors except for batiks. I also have solids & blenders sorted by colors but separate from the others. Then my fat quarters & other pre-cuts are in their own containers. Not real organized by some standards but works for me! lol

  14. #14
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Mine are sorted by material- so, cotton quilting fabrics have their space. Velvets, linens, silks, etc. that get used in my art quilting have their own spaces. I keep all my fabrics in those cheap plastic drawer units that you can get from Target--it helps keep the dust off and keeps them from fading in the sunlight. I use comic book boards that I cut down to fit in the drawers and wrap my fabric around those. They stand nicely on one edge with the fold side up so I can open any drawer and see immediately what I've got.

    Within those general categories I store fabric first by quantity (ex. fat quarters have their own drawer, 1 yard cuts, 2 yard cuts, backing fabrics, all have their own drawers) and then by value-- For me its important to be able to quickly pull fabrics that are of the correct value for the effect I want. So, for example, I can open my 1 yard cut drawer and see at a glance if I'm running low on lights, mediums or darks. Because I store based on amount first and value second I always know immediately if I've got enough fabric in my stash for whatever project I'm planning--unlesss I've got the right values in the wrong colors LOL!

    Rob
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  15. #15
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    I have some of those clear plastic boxes on rollers that you can get at Walmart & I sort my according to colors. I don't have yardage so all of mine is able to be stored in the boxes.

    Gosh Neuras, your stash looks like a quilt shop! Great job in storing/sorting.

  16. #16
    Senior Member laughingquilter's Avatar
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    I WISH there was a right way and a wrong way to handle stash. I think we all find what works best for us. I have kits and precuts kept separately in one cabinet or tote and my "stash" yardage is anything one yard or more on boards and stored somewhat by color - - fat quarters are in a tote by color and anything smaller than a fat quarter I try to cut into either 2 1/2" strips, 5" squares or 10" squares and I then store all of those shapes with the others that are similar.
    Laughing is, and will always be, the best form of therapy!

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    If you're too busy to laugh.....you're too busy!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanmom View Post
    My stash is only somewhat organized. I keep the Christmas, kids etc separate. The rest is organized by color. I also have a category for the fabrics that I can't decide what color to call them.
    Flowers have their own category,multi colored, wild prints, use background to be common theme.

  18. #18
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    As soon as I organize it seems I can't find anything. I'm hopeless!
    I put small cuts in plastic boxes by color. Larger on boards , holiday separate.
    I only have cottons mostly. But I never seem to get a good system down. When I start a new
    project everything gets messy again.

  19. #19
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    All my yardage is 4" ruler folded, laid on edge and put in the appropriate drawers by background color, I don't know how to post pics. I'm in the process of cutting FQ's, cakes, etc., and they will go into drawers also.

  20. #20
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    I don't have anything to add regarding how to store your stash, but I do have an observation. Your photo shows some of your fabric very close to a window. If you leave it there very long before using it, I would be concerned about fade marks developing. Something to consider if you are not the type to rapidly use your fabric. This is something I had to consider when choosing my method of storage, as I will keep some fabric for years before I find the perfect use for it.

  21. #21
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I think I kept buying fabric because I hadn't a clue what to do with what I had. So I quit buying fabric in 2001 and became a scrappy quilter.

    Around 2006 I figured out sorting by color, photo is the result from then,in two closets. Believe it or not it has stayed fairly neat. I ruler folded mine. A fat quarter only folds once but can still be seen when stacked.

    I had a shelf fail a few weeks ago which resulted with me taking it all out and straightening for the stash. It only took me about two hours and it was perfect again. And there was still too much I'm thankful I found my brain and quit buying.

    This spring some of the wonderful quilters here sent me some great scraps, just for the cost of shipping. It allowed me to add in fresh fabrics without particularly adding to my stash.

    The right hand side now has four clear bins with my own precut squares in 4 sizes. Happy happy happy! And all that remains of folded stash fits in the left closet, which is still to big

    upper left neutral was feedsack muslin which I traded to a member here for used shirts another win win
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    Last edited by KalamaQuilts; 09-18-2017 at 06:18 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Faintly Artistic's Avatar
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    A few months ago I folded all my fabric and stacked them by color on shelves. Found that every time I had to pull one out (of course, the one I needed would be on the bottom!), the rest would slide around and get untidy. I finally broke down and bought the comic boards. I cut most of them in half, since my stash is mainly 1/2 yards or smaller and organized by color. The first pic is before, the 2nd is midway to show the shelf things my hubby made, the 3rd pic is after. I like it much better! I can see every fabric and it's easier to get one out when needed. The bottom shelves are vintage sheets.
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  23. #23
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    Faintly, you did a great job on folding and organizing your stash. What an improvement. Did you put a clip on each one to hold the fabric in place? I found that metal barrettes about 1.5 " long helps keep the ends tidy. Of course, your stash is pretty big. That'd be a lot of barrettes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Faintly Artistic's Avatar
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    I use plastic coated paper clips, but the barretts are a good idea. My stash seems big, but it's mostly FQ's and 1/2 yards. I've been building it this past year, trying to get more colors than my old muted blues and greens.

  25. #25
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    I'm a clear tote gal since my sewing room doubles as a guest room. I keep mine in categories, Christmas, 30s, prints, batiks. Once they number too many for one tote, I divide them by colors. My batiks I have blues/greens and orange/red/yellow then off white's/browns. I'm a batiks girl. When guests come they are stacked up usually under the sewing table and in my bedroom.

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