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Thread: Share your best organizing tip!

  1. #101
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    You are right, zozee...trimming as I go works best for me as well. Any more if it's smaller than a FQ it gets cut. I do like to keep chunks of widths of fabric that are suitable for binding on table runners or mini quilts intact...think fabrics that read solid...browns, reds, blacks etc.

    MsMorgan as you are a new quilter...figure out what kind of quilts you like. Do you like scrappy, controlled scrappy, or not at all? Will you make table runners or small wall hangings? Answering these questions will help you decide what kind of system you want to use. zozee has a good suggestion on mixing colors until they get a bin of their own...kind of like roommates!
    Don't worry spider.
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    casually.
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    Nothing's too small...I love miniatures.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    I like clear shoeboxes with white lids. Easy to stack, easy to label, easy to see through. I started out combining certain colors (brown and black, pink and red, green and blue) until I had enough to give most colors their own box. I've been able to pretty well limit my scraps to this size. At one point I tried keeping a deep fabric cube by my desk and would drop all scraps into it and process all my scraps every couple months. Ack! Not something I'd advise. Found out I didn't enjoy pressing, cutting, and sorting for six hours at a pop. Now I process them as I go.

    Thanks for your help. Where do you find clear shoeboxes or you just mean a tote about that size? I like the idea of keeping them separate!

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Morgan View Post
    Thanks for your help. Where do you find clear shoeboxes or you just mean a tote about that size? I like the idea of keeping them separate!
    Walmart and Target both have a variety of plastic storage bins such as shoeboxes. I keep most of my scraps sorted by color in a six-drawer plastic rolling cabinet (colors with larger amounts have gone into larger drawers at this point). JoAnn's also has some good plastic storage that's often on sale.

  4. #104
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Take a few minutes before you sew to straighten and put away. You are fresh and it makes you feel like you have accomplished something and it seems easier than to do it afterwards.

  5. #105
    RJ
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    Junior Member RJ's Avatar
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    I quilt in a semi-organized room---lots of plastic shoeboxes...and rolling plastic drawer units from Walmart ...the only idea I use that is not mentioned here....a plastic ice cube tray---put all my little needle boxes in it---they stand up nicely and are easy to find--one *cube* for Jeans needles--one for Embroidery needles--one for sharps..one for all purpose ones---etc...

  6. #106
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Be willing to purge your fabric if it isn’t something you think you will work with in the future. I have seen people get bogged down by having too much and not enjoying it anymore.

  7. #107
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    The Tree Did Not Win

    Morning. Now that Thanksgiving 2018 is leftovers in the refridge, breathing space for Christmas 2018 exists. As I put away dishes and admired the leftovers in the refridge, it came to my attention that I was about to have a few quiet moments to sew.

    First a confession. For me function is the day to day do-all. If it functions, pretty is nice: but, is it comfortable and does it do what I want it to when I want it to and DOES IT WORK in the long run is my real crown with stars.

    So much for the lead-in.

    Now is when organization is paramount! And to brighten my outlook, I meandered into my 'used to be the old, railroad car style kitchen' in this house and looked at how the vertical organization worked.

    Old kitchen shelves. Tile splash backs. Soffits. Otherwise unused walls. Tiled counter tops; 20 some odd running feet of tiled countertops. A still functional divided sink. Now doorless cupboards - top and bottom; the 'under and over' that goes with the tiled countertops. Metal, almost floor to ceiling heavy duty shelving with wheels that usually appears in a garage and does go on sale at various places from time to time.

    So, the first part of my suggestions is to 'soul search' your sewing area. And next is Command Hooks. But one of my more successful ideas turned out to be s-hooks allowing the metal shelving to be trimmed like a Christmas tree: design board, fabric strips and larger bits, a substantial and collapsable 3 step stool, - you get it. And s-hooks can come/be made in all sorts of weights (for heavy stuff AND lighter stuff) and can be moved at will.

    Again, it isn 't pretty but man oh man, does it work! Adding lights and it is my sewing heaven.

    The huge live oak tree that took out the house's roof as well as my sewing room's ceiling and one of it's interior walla about 14 months ago did not win the argument. I DID.

    I wish you the joy and excitement I feel when I walk into my sewing room.

  8. #108
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbeadit View Post
    This is so true. I have so much stuff and now worry about how I am going to get rid of it before I die! I couldn't use it all in two life times. I have a 24 x 26 sewing studio and another bedroom full. duh.
    just imagine, if like me, you had to move the contents of 12x20 to
    3/4ths of an 8x11 room. I still have stuff in places in this house
    so "there's gonna be a heartache tonight". oy!
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
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  9. #109
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I may be repeating, but

    *Always store your fabric so you can see it.*
    *Put stuff away as you finish with it.*

    Love the term 'craftermath', DJ! Perfectly descriptive.
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  10. #110
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl View Post
    I may be repeating, but

    *Always store your fabric so you can see it.*
    *Put stuff away as you finish with it.*

    Love the term 'craftermath', DJ! Perfectly descriptive.

    I love "craftermath" too!
    As for putting fabric where youcan see it,...that depends on your personality.
    I get overwhelmed . I can't believe it didn't procreate!
    It is a blessing, to be a blessing !
    ~Quilters are warm people!!!~
    cheese brings parties together

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  11. #111
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    For me, it's all about being able to see what I have. That means everything needs to be visible, but neat and orderly. Otherwise I have too many things hiding in plain sight. I have created several sewing spaces over the years and moves, and as my collection of garage sale, thrift store, and dumpster salvage storage pieces evolved, it began to look very cluttered and overwhelming. Nothing was the same size, the same color, the same style... But I didn't want to spend hard-earned money for fabric buying new organizing stuff. I eventually wound up painting every stick of furniture in my sewing room white. (Fortunately there were no valuable antiques or family heirlooms in the conglomerated jumble. That way at least the visual "background noise" is limited. What I see when I look around my PACKED sewing room is fabric neatly folded on shelves or in clear plastic bins, tools hanging on hooks, etc, not a jumble of different storage pieces.

    The other thing I'm learning as I get older is to label EVERYTHING. Even if it's in a clear bin, unless I can see it from all sides, I forget what's in it. I list contents on a 3x5 card, then the card goes inside the front of the bin. Same goes for most of my plastic storage drawers. I've rearranged enough times that I sometimes forget where things are. And like some others have mentioned, I also have to store a few things under this desk, behind that bin, or on top of that armoire. I will put little sticky notes in likely places that tell me where the item I'm probably looking for can be found. Saves me time looking for stuff. The older I get, the less I feel like digging around all day looking for things, so the more little sticky notes I have.

    It is probably high time I let go of some stuff, but I've had pieces of some fabric so long they seem like old friends, ya know? And then when my mother passed away a couple of years ago, I "inherited" some things from her that I know I will never use. One of them is a pair of scissors that is so old it is beyond repair. But in my mind's eye I can see those scissors in her hands. There is still part of an old green Dymo label with her name on it. You remember the kind that made the raised letters? That's how old I am. Those scissors hang on a hook by the door of my room. Every time I go in or out I see them and think of her and remember the fun (and aggravation) we had making things together.

    And that little story brings me to my last "organizing" tip. Whether you sew in a tiny nook behind that fits behind the closet doors, or you have a dedicated, free-standing two-story studio, dedicate at least a little space to something that inspires you or just plain makes you happy.
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  12. #112
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    ScrapLady, you made me smile with your post. I too keep things that in my sewing room that remind me of others that have passed. I use my Dad's measuring tape thing (the kind that men use to measure stuff) to measure the quilts for borders and bindings. My brother-in-law's magnetic bowl to hold my pins. My Mom's wool pin cushion and the little hen pin cushion she made me. I love using them and ......remembering, just like you. I also have a huge bulletin board (office size that covers a wall).....it's just got little things that make me happy......a napkin from a place we ate dinner, a wedding announcement, cards from grandchildren, drawings from little nieces and nephews, scraps of fabric from a quilt I made, etc. So...my sewing room is definitely "my happy place".

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    personally, I like to see all my few tools. Don't like hiding things in drawers, they just get lost. My solution for a small space was this over the door storage hanger. I posted this a few weeks ago but will share it here too. It really is easy to keep stuff in its place when you are not the neatest or most organized quilter, like me.

    Attachment 595380

    peace
    Practical and beautiful too! I love it!

    ~ C

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Don't get too much stuff in the first place! says the person that did!
    Where were you and your super advice 30 years when I first started accumulating all this stuff?

  15. #115
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    spend more time on using the stuff and the fabric you want to organize have fun with it.

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