Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 4: Dealing with Fabric & Scraps

REVISED Week Four

So if you’ve been following along for the past 4 weeks you probably have learned some things about me: My sewing area is tiny, my organizational skills are (slightly) lacking and I LOVE fabric!  So that being said I only have a few tips to share with you but for me they’re key to my happiness.  Well happiness in my sewing area anyway 🙂

I already mentioned a couple posts back that I like to leave my thread on display.  Same goes for my fabric.  I love to have my fabric out on display.  I like to look at it, pet it and be inspired by it as much as possible.  Plus it reminds me of what I already own lol.  Sometimes fabric speaks to me and tells me what it needs to be made into.  Not in a creepy Norman Bates way but more of a “psst, hey, I’d make a great bag!”.  so I like to look at it often.

Now maybe this next part comes from being a pattern designer and being trained to work within a fabric  line.  Maybe it’s just my brain’s way of organizing. I don’t know.  I  like to keep things in order by collection or designer.  This isn’t always true (I mix batiks and random pieces that don’t have mates) but most of the time I like to keep collections/designers together.  It’s easier for me when I start a project to know that all of the Tula Pink or all of the Kate Spain is together.  Here’s a few examples of those collections & baskets.  Oh and I LOVE baskets.  All kinds, any kind, I must have them all.  I love, love, love baskets!  You’ll see more baskets as we go on!

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A basket of Tula Pink….This is just the beginning.  And this is mostly the old stuff.  I started buying larger quantities as my love for her fabric grew!

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One of the misc. shelves – batiks on the bottom grouped by color.  Top shelf is the odds and ends and leftover from projects and ends of bolts.

 

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More Tula – De La Luna – Pulled for a project

 

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My first fabric line with Windham due out this fall – Gypsy – I definitely photograph and pet this fabric a lot.  Like a lot a lot.

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Foundation by my sweet friend Shayla Wolfe

The next tip that works well for me is to keep my fabric the same size when folded.  I try to fold everything exactly the same from fat quarters to yards and everything in between.   By maintaining a consistent size I can fit more in a basket or on a shelf. And it looks neater.  Obviously FQ’s are smaller than yards but anything 1 yard+ I fold to get the same width when done.  Does that make sense?  The second pic above has various sized fabrics ranging from 1-5 yards but I folded them all to be the same width.  The pics below are mostly from shows but this consistent folding technique works great for that too.  I have to pack everything in certain size boxes and display on shelves so if I keep the folds the same it all looks much better 🙂  Plus it’s easier to tell the difference between a FQ and a yard by the way they’re folded.

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Consistent folds!

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All the yards and all the FQ’s are folded the same.  Makes packing a breeze!

I mentioned my love of baskets right?  Here are a few that I made which also works great for storage of scraps.

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Notice the various (messy) baskets in the background?  Those are filled with 1 yard cuts and organized by designer.  I found them at Michael’s (I believe) and they are the perfect width for my 1 yard fabric folds.  The baskets in the front are from my Store It pattern and hold lots of fabrics!

So when it comes to scraps I have to admit something – I don’t like saving them.  I know, some of you are mad.  Some of you don’t like me anymore and I get it.  But I’m just not a scrappy kind of quilter.  I don’t do scrap quilts or make tiny things that need scraps.  There are some exceptions, mainly Tula.  I can’t even think about throwing out even the smallest piece of her fabric.  But everything else is pretty much a goner.  I find that my hoarder tendencies come out more when I have small scraps and I start justifying why I should save small 2″ squares of fabric and next thing I know I’m overwhelmed by the tiny pieces.  So I have to toss them for my own metal health.  Usually I donate them to someone locally who makes dog beds for shelters so I don’t feel horrible about not saving them.  BUT (there’s always a but with me) I do have a few other exceptions.  First of all when I’m making a quilt or prepping for market I don’t throw anything out until I’m 100% sure that I’m done.  If I need a small piece to finish a project or decide at the last minute to make one last project for quilt market (which always happens) I’m prepared.  I like to save everything in a zip lock bag labeled with the fabric name and/or project. Also a great way to organize projects when you’re on multiple ones at once.

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Last fall before market I was making something using Foundation from Windham fabrics.  I saved this bag until I was done.  I had also overcut the amount of pieces needed so I could pick and choose as I went along.

Exception number 2 – Cork.  I never throw any cork out unless it’s completely unusable.  First we cut from the rolls, then I cut any leftovers into sellable pieces.  Then comes 1″ – 3″ wide strips for handles and 4″ x 5″ rectangles for demos and cork tassels.  Lastly is anything 1″ or larger that I can use for the girls in the office to identify colors.

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A bag of 1″ strips ready to be cut into handles.

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Rectangles for show demos and cork tassels.  Again, cutting things into the same size makes organizing so much easier and neater!

So how do you like to organize?  By designer?  By color?  In baskets or on shelves?  Share your tips in the comments so I can learn from you too!

Happy Sewing!

Jess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Creative Spaces Blog Hop Week 4: Dealing with Fabric & Scraps

  1. Lj Meyers says:

    On occasion, I will leave a fabric line together. Generally, I don’t buy fabric by fabric line so I wrap each half yard or bigger on comic book cardboard and place on shelves by color. Fat quarters are folded the same and placed in a cubby hole according to color. I do save my scraps though I’m not too good about using them 😦 Yep, I’m a fabric petter just like you. lol

  2. Rosalind Gutierrez says:

    I don’t have much ingenious help here…I save fabric in shelves/containers by color and sometimes by fabric designer. Love that new Tula Pink line.

  3. Quilting Tangent says:

    Fabric in drawers by color. Scrapes in ice cream square buckets by color. Keeps it dust free and still easy to play with.

  4. You are Amazing!! My fabrics are mostly in clear bins..or few boxes.. I do use zippy bags for keeping ready to sew projects after cut etc. 🙂

  5. lindanelsonfilek says:

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! … for releasing me from my guilt over not keeping every little square inch of fabric scraps. I also do not really do scrappy quilts. When I started I thought I had to keep all the scraps and I ended up with multiple bins of stuff I’ll never use.
    I keep my fabrics by collection or colour in antique glass fronted shelves where I can admire and daydream about how I’m going to use it. Love all your baskets!

    • straightstitches says:

      I totally get it! I was young when I started quilting and didn’t even have a stash (why would one buy fabric without a project in mind?!) and so I saved it ALL! I finally said enough and I feel better now!

  6. Deborah B. says:

    Your new fabric line looks beautiful. My fabrics are folded, sorted, and stored in see through containers. I use comic book boards to help fold the yardage consistently. My projects are stored in see through containers or Ziploc bags and labeled so they are easy to find. Now, I just need to make the time for sewing.

  7. Lisa J. says:

    At the moment my fabric is in a old glass fronted book shelf but that will all change soon. I need the space for a cutting station so I’ll be moving the fabric into a cupboard. This is good as it will force me to sort through it again and see what I can purge. For the last year or so I have been culling fat quarters and putting them into charity quilts.

  8. I store my scraps in plastic shoe boxes. I have a hard time throwing any fabric away! Scrappy quilts are my favorite thing to make; so I save my scraps for the scrappy quilts!
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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