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Thread: Suggestion to organize this?

  1. #26
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I had a pile that looked very much like that. I sorts first into sizes. Anything under a half yard was considered a " scrap " and went into one pile. Then I sorted the rest by color. I know that lots of people use the boards to wrap fabric, but to me that's a waste of time to refold and wrap, and money for the board. Just fold it. Then put the sorted colors in the storage of your choice - I use clear bins, but you could use shelves, bags or whatever, depending on how much you have. I have a container for WIP's ( works in progress ) and sets of fabric that is already coordinated, so I don't accidentally use a key piece of fabric in another project that in one project that I was already part of a set. Just pick away at it and it will eventually get organized!

  2. #27
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    I applaud you for being brave enough to show us what your space looked like at that moment.

  3. #28
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    Like most tasks...one step at a time. Biggest part of the job is starting. Good luck!
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  4. #29
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    Think about how you are going to use it. Will you be using a group of fabric together? I see some autumn fabrics. Then store it as a group. What are your categories? I see a "to be quilted" and a "batting" and a lot of "to be sorted." For that last category, unless you have something else in mind, I'd sort and store by color. Wind the bigger pieces around your ruler or use mini bolts of cardboard. Did you ever think of using the smaller pieces for a string quilt? It's quick and easy and all the colors go together. If so, you could put all the smaller pieces one container despite color and just pull from that for string or scrap quilts.

    I feel for you. I have a 10x12 storage space and did have everything sorted in boxes and on shelves, easily accessible, according to color. Then DH dumped a whole lot of stuff in the middle of the room and now I have a mess. To be fair, I am disabled and couldn't do it myself, but now I have a much bigger mess to clean up than you do. The breezeway is also a mess. A friend and I have given it a lot of thought (I make a lot of quilts for homeless families) to a course of action. What we have decided, since I know I'll be getting a big donation soon, is a threefold approach: 1) sort out and give away locally what we can't use, which I do every autumn; 2) Ruler fold the bigger backing pieces and see if that will make more room in the boxes; and 3) buy a Accuquilt GO with these strip cutters: 2.5, 4.5, and 5". Cut up all the scraps and small yardage. These three sizes will allow any jell roll quilts, and Nickel quilts, and quite a few others. If there is money, also get a 6.5 strip for strip quilts. We figure that if we have the pieces all cut and waiting, a lot more sewing will get done. I am a good rotary cutter and she is a very frustrated rotary cutter, so even though I don't want the expense, as she points out, it will make a bigger impact than any other sewing-related purchase could. But the last time I cut pieces for a quilt, it took 40 hours for just one quilt, and I think that time could be put to better use sewing and quilting.

    What do you think of my plan?
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 09-14-2013 at 08:48 AM.

  5. #30
    Super Member lawsonmugs's Avatar
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    First start with a very big glass of wine........
    Mary

  6. #31
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I would start by getting a shelf for folded/finished fabric (if you don't already have one). Then take a garbage bag of fabric to the laundrymat!! Plenty of machines to run multiple loads, and usually good size tables for folding. Take a friend to help!!

    Bringing it OUT of the house accomplishes two things: you have a good clear working area in the laundry mat where you are not stepping over things, and you are not "looking at it" thinking about it the whole time and becoming discouraged by the size of the task. Concentrate on that one bag that you brought with you to the laundrymat.

    Once it comes out of the dryer, fold it in whatever manner you decide as long as they are uniform sizes.

    Then bring that stack of clean finished/folded fabric home and shelve it right away. Put like colors together but don't get too busy with sorting because you'll be re-sorting when you've completed the other bags.

    One bag at a time from start to finish.

    When you are not cleaning/folding fabric you can work on the other non-fabric stuff in 15-30 minute intervals.

    Good luck!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  7. #32
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    One piece at a time....LOL...

  8. #33
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    I think Zozee is spot on!

    One thing that has helped me in recent years is giving myself permission to get rid of things I'm not likely to use. It might have been a really good deal at the time - or not - but if it's just in the way, it isn't worth whatever the cost was. Anything in good condition is donated appropriately (VoA, local charity, guild, etc.) and anything not, tossed or recycled.

    This includes quilt projects that aren't done... If I find I didn't like the technique, fabric or whatever and have tossed it aside, I'm not going to like it more as time goes on. My time is a precious commodity - I work full time, so don't have time to do things I don't enjoy. There are groups, including here on the board, I think, that will take partially finished projects and finish or repurpose them.

  9. #34
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    Great ideas, all of them! Guess what? Once you get your fabrics organized the way you want them, they will remain this way. They will inspire you, and you will find it fun to "shop" through your stash first before buying more fabrics. Sometimes you will find a forgotten treasure that you bought years ago, smile.

  10. #35
    Senior Member star619's Avatar
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    ZoZee,
    All great advice, but you forgot Step 1.a - Remove all husbands/children/cats/dogs/ cell phones form premises & then, post QUARANTINED on front door. But, in truth, as I'm in the beginning stages of The End, it truly is worth it! Trust us!

  11. #36
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    When I have something like this (my walk-in closet for instance) I take a deep breath and dive in. Even though it looks overwhelming at first when you are smack dab in the middle of it you will think it's not so bad after all!

  12. #37
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    DHMom has a great plan!!! ... you can fire a lot of fabric into a lot of machines, and have it done in no time, if you take it to the laundry mat! Plus if you take a friend, you can have a really good fun time together, getting the task done.

    Another tactic that has helped many, here on the QB ... now that you have posted the before pic, you have given yourself some accountability, to make progress. So show progress pics to us, and it will help nudge you to continue on to the finish line!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  13. #38
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    Oh dear, Let someone else do the work, me, and pay me with material. lol Barb
    be happy

  14. #39
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjrusty View Post
    Oh dear, Let someone else do the work, me, and pay me with material. lol Barb
    O M G !! LOL .... This answer is great.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  15. #40
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    The suggestions to move things of he area, and then to sort and fold are excellent.

    Some of us don' t have other temporary areas.

    The first thing I would do would be to fold things into uniform sizes and stack things neatly.
    In my case, I would have two stacks of fabrics - washed and not washed.
    Then you would have some bare spots .

    Just having things piled neatly makes the space look less cluttered/ trashed.

  16. #41
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    One suggestion I have read about organizing is don't buy containers until you know how much of what you will be containing. And that the containers will fit in your space.
    Alyce

  17. #42
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    20 minutes at a time, set your timer, take a break, then go back and set timer for another 20 minutes. It didn't get that way overnight and it will take small increments of time so you don't feel overwhelmed.

  18. #43
    Super Member Grandma Cindy's Avatar
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    Barb - are you serious? We live very close to each other and I would gladly pay you in whichever denominations you would take, Cindy
    Quote Originally Posted by bjrusty View Post
    Oh dear, Let someone else do the work, me, and pay me with material. lol Barb

  19. #44
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    Great ideas from all of you. At first I thought she had come to my house and taken the picture. Now I will
    use some of your great ideas to get my mess in order; I can't do it all in one day!!! Good Luck!

  20. #45
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    When I move into my larger room I'm going to get the totes (that I normally don't like to use) that stack on top of each other but, they open on the side so that you don't have to unstack them to get to what you want. The side lids are see thru and like I said you can stack them but still have easy access. Right now I love my system, I have the cube bookcases from Walmarts stacked 2 high and I have 4 so that gives me 36 cubes, some I have the canvas cube totes in and some not. If I put projects into the canvas totes then I take a picture and pin it to the outside so that I can see easily whats inside and not forget about it. I have a tall bookcase like from Office Max and then took one of the removeable shelves out and went to Lowes and had more shelves made the same size (very cheap) then added them to the bookcase. This allowed me to have shorter stacks of folded fabric and color sort better. I do not do the ruler fold I just figured out what was the best size for the shelves and then it was easy to figure out a way to fold them all so they were neat. It was so great getting my fabric out of totes because I never realized how much I had so now I buy very little fabric. Now I don't have bolts of fabric but what I have makes me happy
    Judy

  21. #46
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    Great Ideas Ladies!!!! I promise to show a progress photo as I go here. The pile is still there. I do have my quilts to be quilted hanging up so that I know what needs to be done. I have picking thru the stack of batting there and using it up. I just can't let that stuff go to waste. I really do need to get my yardage pieces out of there so I can then see just the scraps. I have taken what I know to be projects and put them into seperate containers and bags. The WIPs and UFOs are all together now into containers so they can be finished up. I am up close to 10 UFOs again and 30 or so WIPs. I have to quit pulling fabric for projects to do.
    Now to get these on their way. I told DH that I should just sit down and start sewing them together without worrying about color and perfection, just get them into a crazy scrap quilt and call it good. I know I have muslin squares that I keep in a pile when I use muslin for foundations for jackets. Then I could get some headway on what is actual yardage, fat quarter size scraps, and larger pieces for appliques. I may also make a couple bins and cut up to 5" squares and 2.5" squares. Those are some adequate sizes. I do have bins of 1" squares started, I should put those pieces in them as well. I know insane on the 1" squares, but they are fun to see sewn up.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

  22. #47
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    I do have the brown bags out and ready to sort as i go by.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

  23. #48
    Senior Member amelia0607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg View Post
    When I move into my larger room I'm going to get the totes (that I normally don't like to use) that stack on top of each other but, they open on the side so that you don't have to unstack them to get to what you want. The side lids are see thru and like I said you can stack them but still have easy access. Right now I love my system, I have the cube bookcases from Walmarts stacked 2 high and I have 4 so that gives me 36 cubes, some I have the canvas cube totes in and some not. If I put projects into the canvas totes then I take a picture and pin it to the outside so that I can see easily whats inside and not forget about it. I have a tall bookcase like from Office Max and then took one of the removeable shelves out and went to Lowes and had more shelves made the same size (very cheap) then added them to the bookcase. This allowed me to have shorter stacks of folded fabric and color sort better. I do not do the ruler fold I just figured out what was the best size for the shelves and then it was easy to figure out a way to fold them all so they were neat. It was so great getting my fabric out of totes because I never realized how much I had so now I buy very little fabric. Now I don't have bolts of fabric but what I have makes me happy
    They have totes that open on the side? Wow!! I did not know that. My office is horrible. I run my antique business from there plus teach my online courses in there. Just a tiny path to get to my desk. My mess is spilling over into guest bedroom. I have to get it under control!! Will have to get some of those totes!!

  24. #49
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    purchase same size clear tubs, line them up on floor, pick up fabrics and sort by method of your choice. Maybe color, pattern or groups for a certain project. Whatever works for you...then use index cards for labels and put them inside tub and stack them so labels show. I do not recommend taping labels..that way you can reuse/recycle tubs when you need to do so. Have fun, take your time...don't expect to do it all in one day...I have mine sorted several ways: civil war, polka dots, backings, solids, batiks, aunt gracie, patriotic, western, floral..and by Edyita Sitar, Jason Yenter etc. Remember to have fun!!! Good Luck..
    TJ

  25. #50
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    I do have a cupboard just for Buggy Barn/Civil War fabrics set aside already. Those are not mixed up in this pile, just in a pile by itself and I have several projects on want list there.
    I have all my WIPs in a cupboard so they are not mixed in here either.
    Fun seems to be what I am missing out on lately. I need more of that so I can get thru this pile! I do have clear tubs, think I am going to have to just put what I know as specific colors/tone on tones etc., in those, then with the rest decide what color family they best fit. Maybe keep the smaller pieces in one big tub so I can just make mini crazy patch squares. Then with those squares I can do my fancy stitches on machine when I dont' want to focus on anything and make it a WIP that way I can clean up those smaller pieces.
    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

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