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