Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Fabric Organizing

My fabric stash was getting out of control.  I had piles gathering in various places around my sewing room, and between projects I hadn't been putting it away correctly, so even my storage was a mess.  This picture is after I've started tidying up:

My fabric storage on GORM shelves from IKEA.  I keep my quilting fabric in the short bins on the middle shelves.  There is one short big for apparel and bag making fabrics.  The big bins contain fleece, flannel, random fabrics people have given me, random fabrics I inherited from my mom, exercise equipment and batting.  My scraps are kept in the wire basics on the left--sorted by color and kept in gallon ziploc bags.

I realized if I was going to fit it all in the bins it needed to neatly folded and I needed to get rid of fabrics I knew I wouldn't ever use.  A few years ago I came across this post on how to fold your fabric to fit in this style of bin, so that's what I am following.

Fabric folding area.  My old methods are on the far right and left, the new method in the center.

The first (of four) bins was kinda fun!  I got to revisited/discover fabrics, and I was trying to be critical about what was really my style, and what I thought I would actually use.  I created a pile of fabrics to try and destash on IG (@quiltsnfeathers though I may set up a second account to destash stuff) and another pile of stuff to donate.

Destash pile as of this morning!  There is a second pile in another area.  My bin of solids is next to sort and fold.

The second bin was where things started to be an eye-opener.  I was folding and folding, my motto being "just because it was given to me doesn't mean I have to like it, use it or store it for all eternity" but I started to feel anxiety about all the fabric I had!  And guilt over how much I had purchased, and how much I wanted to get rid of.  To be honest most of the fabric I want to get rid of was given to me, or was part of a scrap pack, or was from a giveaway and I didn't end up liking all of it, or was for a project for someone else and isn't really my style, or I've already made what I wanted to from the fabric and am ready to get rid of the rest of it.

My bin of neatly folded fabrics!  Greens-blues, browns, tans, low volumes and purples.  Don't worry, teal is kept in a different bin!

Today I don't have quite as much guilt or anxiety about the fabric I've decided to keep, but it is a bit worrisome how quickly and easily ti accumulates, and how much I'd forgotten I even had!  And a few pieces I have absolutely no memory of at all.

This really helped to support and encourage my resolution to buy fabric with more intention!  How do you store your fabric and keep track of what you have?  How do you monitor your stash and make good buying choices?


  1. Oh Girl! We live in a tiny(!) house and I sew in the dining room. Which is where I keep all of my sewing stuff. I keep acquiring more fabric, and it has just exploded all over. I keep telling myself I have GOT to get it sorted an organized, but at the same time, I have so many projects with deadlines, I feel like I can't afford to spend the time it'll take to get it organized. It's gotten so bad that I ordered 2 different battings to try. I truly can not fit them in the dining room and they are stacked IN THE LIVING ROOM. ugh! God bless my sweet, patient husband!!
    (incidentally - I store my batting just like you. when it's not hanging out in the living room, that is ;-)
    Happy organizing ~ Tracy

  2. Good for you! I desperately need to clean up my sewing space. I did clean out some of my bins of fabric last year. A lot of it my MIL gave me because she just can't throw anything away. We have a thrift store nearby that just sells craft items including fabric! I've bought way too much there, it's all just $2/yd, so I figured someone would see the stuff I didn't like & find it perfect. Your stuff looks so nice & neat it makes me want to do mine. Good luck on the rest!

  3. Ooof, this makes me feel guilty! My fabric is in random piles all over my craft room when it's not in crumply heaps in a plastic box under my cutting table. I am a bad fabric mother! D: I did empty and wash a couple of plastic drawer units the other day, though, so I really have no excuse not to go through my stash, iron it all, fold it neatly and put it all away tidily.

  4. I used to store my fabric in those plastic 3 drawer units. First is was 2 sets, then 4, then 6 sets total. PLUS another with larger cuts I bought for backings and such. Each drawer was neatly sorted by color and folded......but over time and digging and being lazy about returning cuts to the right it got a bit out of control. I just moved a few months ago and after an exhaustive search I settled on tall cabinets with glass doors to protect from dust and fur. I bought 3 Hemnes cabinets from IKEA and I am ashamed to admit they are FULL TO BUSTING - when did all this fabric come into my life???? I have NO EXCUSE - it was NOT given to me, or won in some random contest....I actually bought it - every last FQ I have to my name. So, being a new-ish quilter - I better get my butt in gear - starting my blog will help me be organized and accountable for what I am doing. I have already completed 6 quilt tops, but they languish in my closet because I am not ready to try FMQ'ing them - my skill is not up to par with the quality of the piecing - and I can't afford to send them out - BECAUSE - I spent all my money on fabric - LOL - I am so in trouble - LOL......

  5. Omg. I've been going through my fabric constantly and putting some into a pile to sell! I know it can be overwhelming but you'll feel so much better when it's done!

  6. Good for you Renee - I hope you feel so much lighter after going through this process. I kind of just have things in color bins, mostly folded neatly right now... but do I really *know* what is in them? Nope! Ah well...

  7. I don't have a lot of fabric, but it's still a mess, and I still feel like I have too much. I am lucky in that we will soon be moving from renting to owing our own newly built home, so all of my accidental and guilt-induced hoarding is becoming easier to get rid of when I think about it cluttering up my brand new home. It's like an oppounity to start afresh, and I want to take that opportunity. If it makes you feel any better, I give you permission to giveaway/sell any and all of the fabric (and any other objects) that are negatively impacting on your life, whether it makes you feel guilty, anxious, overwhelmed, clostraphobic, or other - free yourself :)

    1. *claustrophobic* - me and my great spelling skills.

  8. Looking so neat and organized, unlike mine which lives in an old steamer trunk where nothing is folded or arranged in any order whatsoever. Finding what I need is always an adventure!

  9. Looks fantastic! I find when my stash is organized--I feel so.. much better. I equate it to fresh clean sheets! I know I am a bit strange--Ha Ha

  10. What folding method are you using? I can fit all of my fabric in 2 drawers but they are really messy, I need a better way to fold

  11. Goon on you for organising your stash! I dont have as much fabric as you have so one ikea billy book case and its three shelves are enough for me. I fold my fabric to fit nicely on the shelf. I also need to go through my stash; I bought some of them long time ago just because i liked them and I didnt have any project ideas. Now I dont like them at all!

  12. I have three main fabric bins: warm colours, cool colours and neutrals/multis. There is a separate 'old-fashioned' box for a traditional hand-pieced project I want to make. I don't fold them in any particular way, but within each box the same colour is kept together, often tied together with bits of selvedge cut-offs.
    What is exercise equipment doing in the fabric boxes??

  13. I need to sort my stash. I tried to get my daughter to do it, but she lost interest quickly!