Organize Your Fabric Stash & Enter a Contest at the Same Time!

4 Apr 2014

A few weeks ago on Facebook I noticed a conversation among fiber artists on the best way to organize their fabric stash. Several people swore by plastic bins, others shunned plastic for wire. Some preferred static shelving while others sang the praises of pull-out racks. Brands were bandied about-each drew praise from some and poor ratings by others.

quilters fabric stash
How does your stash organization stack up?

The only consensus I could see was this: Everyone has "too much" fabric and the best way to corral it depends how they work and the fabric they use.

Now that spring is here, you may be looking to organize your own fabric stash. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Consider downsizing. We all keep fabric around because we love textile, we know we're going to use it "someday," or we know we're never going to use it, but don't know what to do with it. Do yourself a favor and donate, sell, or give away fabric that's been sitting around. Let someone else appreciate it.

2. Sort according to how you work. Some quilters sort by color, and some by value. Some separate prints or hand dyes from solids. Fiber artists who use a lot of fabric scraps for collage or small piecing often jumble everything together to get ideas for unusual pairings. The point is, sort by how you like to use the fabric, not how you're "supposed" to do it.

3. Contain. Does seeing all your fabric on display inspire you or confuse you? For the former, go for clear storage containers or open shelving. If the latter, use closed or opaque containers, or keep your stash behind closed doors. Be sure to label opaque containers so you can easily put your hands on the fabric you need.

We want to start you out in a good spring cleaning mood, so we're offering a contest to get you thinking creatively about organizing your stash. To enter, simply leave us a comment below with your best tip on storing or organizing your fabric stash, and you're entered.

UPDATE: The winner for most helpful tip has been selected, check out the winning tips plus some of our other favorites over on this blog.

Ready to get started? Leave a comment below and tell us your best tip!

Contest Rules: To enter the contest, leave a comment below and share your fabric stash tip. The Contest begins 12:00 am Eastern Time ("ET") on April 4, 2014 and ends April 7, 2014, 10:59 a.m. ET. Due to the variety of rules regulating contests worldwide, we can only select winners from entrants that are U.S. residents (excluding Puerto Rico), 18 years old or older at the time of entry; and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). The afternoon of April 7, 2014, our panel of judges will pick one winner for best tip from the entered comments. Check back on April 7 to see if you’ve won, approximate prize value is $64. View the full rules here.


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Ferne4 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 11:08 AM

I have always sorted my stash by color, but now that I am using it I have some smallish pieces so I have been cutting them into 3 1/2", 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" squares or strips and storing them separately by size in labeled Art bins.  I am not done yet, but in the process of cutting them down I got inspired to make a quilt and got a whole queen size quilt from them!  So getting organized is inspirational, too.

on 4 Apr 2014 1:07 PM

I do store mine by color and also by how it is used. I also keep a couple of baskets around to collect the pieces I have "edited" out of a project . . . then do a "re-filing" every once in a while. It is fun to go back into the bins every now and again and rediscover what I have. Amazingly, I often find a use for things I have had around for years.

Bmascari wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 3:48 PM

I am a relatively new (18+ months) quilter and at first I didn't "get" all of the talk about fabric stash. I simply assumed that you purchased what you needed for a project and that was that. How wrong could I be? Currently I have everything in neat stacks, but if I can't see things I don't use them. So, I have ordered some comic book boards and I will be wrapping my yardage on those and gaining control. I will sort them by color family. My pre-cuts I have stored in crates with cut side visible. Scraps I have arranged in bins also by color. Soon it will be time for a scrap busting project!

Debbie1111 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 4:57 PM

My older fabrics are sorted by color, folded neatly and stored in plastic bins within easy reach on open shelving from Ikea.  The newer fabrics are sorted in a way that inspires me. For example, I love the way my gray and lilac modern fabrics compliment each other so they are stacked in a pile so I can envision how they might best be used while ironing or exercising on the treadmill.  Small scraps are organized by color and stored in ziplock bags as I use lots of small pieces in my improvisational projects.

Debbie1111 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 4:57 PM

My older fabrics are sorted by color, folded neatly and stored in plastic bins within easy reach on open shelving from Ikea.  The newer fabrics are sorted in a way that inspires me. For example, I love the way my gray and lilac modern fabrics compliment each other so they are stacked in a pile so I can envision how they might best be used while ironing or exercising on the treadmill.  Small scraps are organized by color and stored in ziplock bags as I use lots of small pieces in my improvisational projects.

Debbie1111 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 5:03 PM

My older fabrics are sorted by color, folded neatly and stored in plastic bins on Ikea cube style shelves. I like to sort the newer fabrics in stacks on the shelves - usually in combinations that I find inspiring. For example, I like the way my lilac and gray fabrics compliment each other and enjoy dreaming up ways to best use the fabrics while looking at them as I iron or exercise on the treadmill. Small scraps are stored by color in ziplock bags as I use a lot of small pieces in my improvisational projects.

Linda1313 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 5:09 PM

My best tip is to keep your fabric collection fresh.  When you add new fabric don't forget to sort out some of your older fabrics and donate them to an organization such as Quilts of Valor.  Your new fabric will encourage you to start new projects and your older fabrics will be used to help others.  You can also use some of your older fabrics mixed with your newer fabrics to make some donation quilts yourself.

PattiV7 wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 6:56 PM

I have my fabric sorted by color.  Or at least I'm trying.  I started to refold all eleven shelves of fabric around my 8 1/2 x 12" ruler.  The few shelves I have completed look wonderful.  I just have to finish the rest of them.  I do keep totes for smaller pieces as well.  I can dig through those to get small pieces quickly.

litlone wrote
on 4 Apr 2014 10:58 PM

I store my fabrics on Comic Book backers and store them by type whether it is cotton or knit or whatever the type of fabric is. I also have tubs to hold my scraps in that at the moment I am hoping to find the energy to pull out and iron and cut into useable pieces for quilts to lay on my over my couches. I cut my scraps into various sizes of squares usually the largest square possible and then if I have enough I like to do from 3 inch strips to 2 inch strips. These I also sort by fabric type.

kathy adair wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:36 AM

The older you get the harder it is to control your stash.  So I have been organizing my stash in my sewing/quilting room this week.  The best way I have decided to make this work for me is to decide which fabric will make the best go together quilt and I place this into a large bag with pattern I will make soon.  So far I have over 12 bags full.  And more to go.  Do you think I will get these done in my lifetime? These maybe, and a few more,  OK.  The rest I am donating to some of my quilting friends who will finish them and pass on to someone they love.  That way we all win!  I get a cleaner room and stash and feel good about where the fabric went! Maybe someone else will decide to do the same?  Thanks for the contest.

Fuzzbutt26 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:37 AM

I store my fabrics by color ..., [red/pink, greens, blues, purples, orange/yellows, browns and white/greys/black so marked in opaque box's  ...... I store all my solids in a separate bin, then my florals in another, then my geometrics [squares, stripes, stars, circles, etc. ]  I do keep patterns with their fabrics , notions etc in totes I find this really handy to pick up a tote and go but I keep it to only 6 totes on the go it may be a quilt toy or something else

I don't keep scraps [oh horror] I just don't have a use for them so in the bin but if its worth keeping for applique or binding I do keep that oh binding... I place around cardboard sleeves and they are in another smaller box

DRohwer wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:56 AM

I  sort my stash by project or by type. Holidays together, baby flannel... I put like items together in clear totes & mark it so I can remember what its for.

DRohwer wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:57 AM

I  sort my stash by project or by type. Holidays together, baby flannel... I put like items together in clear totes & mark it so I can remember what its for.

sanderson73 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:11 AM

organizing my stash is fun, it is like shopping with out buying anything sometime I forget what is in there, I have a closet with metal racks and basket I have the fabric sorted by color and then value.  I have been putting projects in to clear tubs so the pattern and everything need to either finish or start the project in in them. that way when I have time to sew I can just pull out a container.  I have been try to match up fabric in my stash to patterns  I have and if I need something I write it down and note it in the container and on a list for when I go to the quilt store so I can buy things with purpose, and not just adding to the stash.  

sanderson73 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:11 AM

organizing my stash is fun, it is like shopping with out buying anything sometime I forget what is in there, I have a closet with metal racks and basket I have the fabric sorted by color and then value.  I have been putting projects in to clear tubs so the pattern and everything need to either finish or start the project in in them. that way when I have time to sew I can just pull out a container.  I have been try to match up fabric in my stash to patterns  I have and if I need something I write it down and note it in the container and on a list for when I go to the quilt store so I can buy things with purpose, and not just adding to the stash.  

sandykarl wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:13 AM

I recently moved my quilting room and reduced less loved fabrics by giving my quilter who is an art quilter first dibs on any fabric.  The rest was donated to several who do charity quilting for various charities.  I separate by dominate color using a new five shelf storage unit so all are visible.  Fat quarters are stored so I can enjoy the color and variety on the old stack shelves I originally used.  It also houses patterns, books and other quilting supplies right where I can see them.

nattrka wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:23 AM

I only use Batiks in my creations so I sort by color.  This seems to be the easiest way for me to find the exact piece I need.  If I cannot find that color/print then I know I have to find it locally or buy it online.

carly gibson wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:38 AM

I sort my fabric by fiber content.  I do many types of sewing and crafting.  I find that  fabric content  and weight are most important to me.  I reorganized several years ago and it saved me a great deal of time!

Jerilyn2 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:41 AM

Sorting is way less fun than buying! I sort by type. Printed cottons, batiks and flannels are then sorted by colors and most of them are in an Ikea shelf with metal baskets. Smaller scraps are given to a friend who LOVES little pieces. Then there is the fabric in piles on the laundry room floor and the studio floor :)

wrighax wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:42 AM

Separate your scraps that  under approximately a "fat quarter " in size from the rest of your fabric in a bin. When you look through your main fabrics you know you will have at least a fat quarter to work with. When you want to play with lots of colors and textures they also are ready, all together in your scrap bin.

spleeefox wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:44 AM

My stash isn't as big as I'd like, but one thing that helps me is to sort my scraps into "warm", "cool" and neutral bins so when I am making something scrappy, I can pull out the bin that applies.  I also bought some of those cube shelves from a discount store and use them to divide my sewing area from the rest of my bedroom and then color code the fabric on the shelves.  It works for now!

on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 AM

I recently did a reorganization of my stash, my daughter threw everything old and 'grannyish' into a pile after my first saying yea or nay.  This worked great!  If I hesitated on one, she would say really Mum?  That generally caused me to agree to let go.  We ended up with a donate bag, a 'keep for a while and if not touched then fling' pile, and a pile of think I want to keep but need room pile.

Remaining good stuff is folded on comic boards and housed in 2 utility cupboards with doors.  Plus I have a couple of bolts for backing on open shelves.  Love it.  Grab a friend or Younger person to help.  Stella in Ottawa ON

Lois Kuntz wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:46 AM

My fat quarters are in a tall narrow tower meant for CD storage, some of the cubes contain  rolled fat eighths,  also  collectible  pincushions, thimbles, spools etc.,  I  never store new fabric in plastic bins, it needs to breathe;  I want to see it and enjoy the colors!  There is more fabric in baskets that are  propped on their side on open shelves,  also in  wood crates, small leather suit cases (open of course), I use stackable trays for current projects.  UFO 's are in a basket, top shelf,  out of sight...less guilt that way.  I put spools of thread, buttons, ribbons, roving,  beads in a variety of tall clear jars that I have collected at antique shops. Small scraps are in zip bags tossed  in a cupboard for projects with the grand kids along with a box of skinny strips for rug making, precut squares and rolled 2 1/2" strips.  In  another cupboard you will find my washed and recyclable silks, wools, and linen collection.   gmaLolo

suesinger wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:49 AM

I am constantly re organizing my dash, but it never seems to improve.

phh wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:52 AM

Since I am relatively new to Quilting I tried sorting by color but didn't know enough about color to do that effectively so I sort several ways, first I primarily use clear bins to sort and currently I'm sorting by size of fabric, charm squares together, fat  quarters together, then yardage by length.  Solids are stored separately.  Project specific fabrics are stored together in separate bins, eg downton, ethnic, black&white, denim, etc.  It makes it much easier to find fabric, then the inspiration begins!

MneMe4 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:56 AM

Large pieces of fabric are stored behind closed doors on hanging plastic shelves (usually used for sweaters, purses), organized by batiks, solids, prints, etc.  Fat quarters and scraps are sorted by color in small stackable plastic bins.  I place a moisture packet (found in newly purchased shoes, etc.) in each bin and protect the contents from light with a tagboard sign designating the color.  I do need to downsize (or find a larger studio--bwahahaha).

ehpaq wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:59 AM

I usually sort my larger pieces by color.  The smaller ones are cut and sorted by size, 3", 2 1/2, 4", etc.  I try to sort fabric a couple of times each year or when I am overwhelmed by stacks of leftovers.  As I work on the piles, I put together pieces that I can use in new projects especially those projects for charity.   No matter how much you cut and sew there are always leftovers.  It always amazes me that old and new fabrics can be combined and made into something someone will love.

Large fabrics are stored in clear plastic bins;  projects in clear zippered bags(sheet purchases) with an idea sheet.

ssinden wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:06 AM

I recently bought some comic book boards. Now to find the tutorial again! I have my next five (oops six!)  quilts in the bags they came in. Will have a major sort to store all the pieces when they are done.

on 5 Apr 2014 8:10 AM

I am lucky to have a good-size laundry room next to my studio. I have shelving on adjustable hanging strips on most of the available wall space. I bought a case of white cardboard warehouse-type boxes that are 12" deep, 8" tall and wide. the front is cut lower so you can see what's in them. I have them labeled by color. Most of my fabric pieces are small so they are folded to fit the boxes. When I need a color, I pull the box out and set it on my washer or cutting/pressing area to look through it. I love them! I have hanging space for the larger pieces, also a stacked shallow wire rack for small folded fabrics stacked vertically so I can arrange them in value order in each color-labeled drawer. Translucent plastic boxes go on shelves in my studio for ribbons, interfacing, and stuff, also labeled with my wonderful label maker. It's not terribly neat-looking but very functional.

on 5 Apr 2014 8:25 AM

I make a lot of scrappy quilts, so everything goes into a large bucket.  I love sorting through the bucket and laying out the fabrics and remembering where I used the fabric before. It's not very efficient, but it part of my process....

smdaigle wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:28 AM

I like my stash organized by color and type. I make receiving blankets and quilts so the flannel gets stacked together. The quilting stuff is stacked together by color. I have been cutting the scraps into strips...1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2 etc and putting in bins. At this time we are in process of selling our home so much of my stash is in storage. Yikes! New home will have room dedicated to quilting...looking for organization ideas!

on 5 Apr 2014 8:40 AM

I probably micro-organize, but it keeps my sanity in check. First, I organize by color. Then I have my fabric organized by size; small cubbies for small pieces. Narrow shelves for anything less then a yard, and then fat shelves for anything over a yard. It seems like this would take up a lot of space, but even though I've been quilting for almost 20 years, the space only occupies a six foot, floor to ceiling set of shelving, and it looks pretty too.

on 5 Apr 2014 8:40 AM

I love Ikea closet cabinets with wire baskets for fabric storage.  I sort by colour only, mixing cottons, sheers, wools, etc. When I open the closet door I can pick the wire bin that has the colour(s) I want.  The bins are on little wheels, so I can easily pull out a bin and see the full range of fabrics I have stored in that bin. I have a 40 year stash stored in 2 floor to ceiling closets. :)  

ningram40 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:44 AM

I've experimented with quitting alot, haven't made any bed sized quilts yet but I do have a fabric stash that is in great need of organization. My sewing area is in my formal dining so I have baskets and rubbermaid boxes with fabric stashes..not to mention my closet! I'm enjoying reading all of the posts and ideas and I'm always up for winning something!:)

on 5 Apr 2014 8:50 AM

It appears that our gardening days are still weeks away here in Muskoka so tackling the Spring reorganization of the sewing room is "gardening " for the soul.  May aim in resorting and storing is to fuel my creative engine.   Clear plastic tubs are home to my small pieces...sorted by color and ready to select for many projects.  Larger pieces are gently wrapped around cardboard (the cardboard is like the plant stake in the garden) and then standing tall in color sorted rows.  Tucked under all these pieces that are large enough for a pressing, I have a flat bin on very small coloured bits.  These bits are like the fertilizer of the stash because from these tiny pieces I am able to bring so many special projects to life.

So.  Ignore the April snowbanks and start gardening in the sewing room.  Happy sorting everyone!!!!

on 5 Apr 2014 8:52 AM

It appears that our gardening days are still weeks away here in Muskoka so tackling the Spring reorganization of the sewing room is "gardening " for the soul.  May aim in resorting and storing is to fuel my creative engine.   Clear plastic tubs are home to my small pieces...sorted by color and ready to select for many projects.  Larger pieces are gently wrapped around cardboard (the cardboard is like the plant stake in the garden) and then standing tall in color sorted rows.  Tucked under all these pieces that are large enough for a pressing, I have a flat bin on very small coloured bits.  These bits are like the fertilizer of the stash because from these tiny pieces I am able to bring so many special projects to life.

So.  Ignore the April snowbanks and start gardening in the sewing room.  Happy sorting everyone!!!!

Elaine Gates wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:03 AM

I try to sort by color and amount if I have more than 2 yards.  It is an ongoing process as I accumulate more.  I also keep it in clear  bins so I can see what I have.  Elaine

Dlaney wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:03 AM

I'm a fairly new quilter, so my stash isn't taking over my house yet. :) Most of my fabrics are folded to fit shoebox size plastic totes (about 6"x18"?), in groupings to use in a future quilt. The extras are folded the same and have a tote of their own--no grouping or matching--just folded and tucked into a tote, fold side up. All I have to do is open the lid to see all the fabrics I have.  Scraps are in ziplock bags, willy nilly. No organization there. :)  

We'll see what happens when my stash grows!

PamTrenholm wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:05 AM

When we moved to a smaller house I had much less room for all my craft supplies, including fabric. I had two china cabinets at the time, both of which I loved and couldn't bear to part with. So, rather than downsize my fabric stash, I downsized my china and collectibles, and now one of the china cabinets holds a lot of my fabric! :)

catheriah620 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:07 AM

I wrap my larger pieces around a piece of poster board. Pin in place, then stand them up on a closet shelf like books.  They are in color order. My smaller pieces are in an over the door pocket shoe keeper. Like colors together.

Catherine

on 5 Apr 2014 9:15 AM

My finished tops waiting to be quilted are hung on a heavy duty hanger with the backing and batting.  My UFO's are stored in project boxes.  The fabrics are folded around my 8.5" ruler and stacked in a group by amount yardage.  Love doing this so if I am looking for a specific amount of yardage I can quickly locate it.  The fat quarters are stored in plastic boxes by batik and cottons are separated by color. Pre-cuts are grouped and placed on the front of the shelves. The non cotton fabrics are stored on the selves also.  Scraps are in bins.  Patterns are stored in plastic boxes.

on 5 Apr 2014 9:15 AM

Quilting fabric yardage is stored in an 8' x 8' closet with covered wire shelves.  I'm of a rainbow frame of mind -- pinks and reds, through purples, with blacks, whites and greys.  I don't sort further by value because if I'm on the hunt, I want to see everything available.

Fat quarters live in three clear plastic drawer units that snug under the opened sewing machine table drop.  Those are sorted by subject matter -- batiks, stripes, kid stuff, landscape, etc.

Garment fabric is stored in bins, which is not optimum.  I don't have to see it all the time -- in fact I'd rather not.  But I have to be able to see it and get to it in order to use it.  I'm looking for a better way / place to store garment fabric.  It will pop up one of these days, I'm sure.

candyce3 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:15 AM

The small strips and bits go into a large basket near my sewing machine. As I sew other projects I sew these together into log cabin type blocks. Once large enough they are squared up to use in other projects. All small triangles go to a friend who pieces them together. Larger pieces are in storage basket units on my walls. If I don't want something it goes to a local charity group who collect fabric and process it out to other groups. I still have a big stash though. Candy

NancyS@120 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:23 AM

Mine starts with color, but when I use some, it is hard to put back into correct place. I store projects in their own project box which I mark with name on blue tape.  I do give away by taking to our ASG meeting. Pillow cases for Riley Hospital helps to get rid of stash.

Enrick wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:25 AM

I have sorted my fabric by type first then by yardage then by colour. I then went to my nearest fabric center and asked for the cardboard which they wrap there material around that was empty. They'd were happy to give me as much as I needed.  Then I took colours and yardage that coordinated  and rolled them on to the cardboard. I then put these on a shelf. Very easy to get at. I also put the pattern that went with that fabric and the project that I was likely to do first. I then  used some wide hangers to hang any fabric with more then 2 meters. This way I can see at a glimpse what I have and I do not have to rummage through bins. I also have a scrap bucket that I put very small pieces in for a scrap quilt. If a piece hangs to long or lingers in my closet over a couple of years I will give it away to someone less fortunate or donate it to a nursing home. I love reading through all the suggestions and I love being organized.Happy quilting everyone!

EstherS@14 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:27 AM

I love to see my fabrics and in order to organize my stash I collect zippered plastic bags that were used to package bedding and comforters.  I  save these bags as I buy sheets and go to the thrift store to buy them.  They are great and depending  on the size of the plastic bag I sort my fabrics by how I used them.  Sometimes, I use the pillowcase bag to contain a project that is not complete with the pattern inside as a reminder in case I get distracted by another project.

Esther Silvers

Enrick wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:37 AM

I have sorted my fabric by type first then by yardage then by colour. I then went to my nearest fabric center and asked for the cardboard which they wrap there material around that was empty. They'd were happy to give me as much as I needed.  Then I took colours and yardage that coordinated  and rolled them on to the cardboard. I then put these on a shelf. Very easy to get at. I also put the pattern that went with that fabric and the project that I was likely to do first. I then  used some wide hangers to hang any fabric with more then 2 meters. This way I can see at a glimpse what I have and I do not have to rummage through bins. I also have a scrap bucket that I put very small pieces in for a scrap quilt. If a piece hangs to long or lingers in my closet over a couple of years I will give it away to someone less fortunate or donate it to a nursing home. I love reading through all the suggestions and I love being organized.Happy quilting everyone!

on 5 Apr 2014 9:37 AM

When I reorganized my stash I put my best treasures -- the shibori pieces and other hand-dyed  pieces-- in the most prominent location.  Now when I open my closet door I see the best fabric first and am now using it first.

on 5 Apr 2014 9:37 AM

When I reorganized my stash I put my best treasures -- the shibori pieces and other hand-dyed  pieces-- in the most prominent location.  Now when I open my closet door I see the best fabric first and am now using it first.

valtst wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:58 AM

I keep my fabric stash sorted by color in clear sweater boxes so I can see the color.  Periodically I go through a box and neaten up the stacks and take out fabric I no longer want.  That goes in a bag to be donated.  

Blondini wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:02 AM

So many things are stashed in my studio...I have stacking plastic drawers to color code most fabrics. I repurposed some wooden crates from Michaels to hold those groups of fabrics I purchased for special projects or for bundled fat quarters. A vintage wicker picnic basket holds my thread. Two wooden laundry baskets hold finished tops and current projects. The boxes and baskets are great because I can quickly stack them in the closet when company comes!

My stash of baubles for embellishment is "artfully" arranged in vintage glass and more modern bottles on bookcase shelves. Lace spilling over an old gravy boat looks great and I find that if I see it, I use it. Then I can get more!

sallyg@13 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:03 AM

I have been working on organizing my studio since I retired so,  my husband built 2 rows of cubbies that we mounted on one wall. Fabric is folded and stored in these. I put bins on top of the top cubby for scraps (sorted by color) and room in between the two for  threads. I just finished organizing it and it works awesome!

Meg51104 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:14 AM

I sort my fabric in 3-drawer rolling carts I push under my 2 quilting tables (one table for cutting, one for laying out & pressing - I have them up on the risers you buy to put your bed on to get under-bed storage space).  I label the drawers - Christmas, kid prints, solids, left-over strips, left-over squares, batiks, polka dots, big prints, & each project I'm gathering fabric & embellishments for - like a patriotic quilt I want to do for my ex-marine son.

Meg

rochellew3 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:15 AM

I go to the dollar store and get the plastic bins that are all the same size.  When I add a new color or category, I label the end of the bin and start a new group.  I also use these when I am working on more than one project at a time. I can store the fabric and patterns together so they don't get mixed up. It's a cheap method and allows me the freedom to add collections as I go along without having to totally reorganize my stash.

parktl wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:20 AM

When I'm in the fabric store I always ask if they have any empty bolts I can have. They just put them in the recycle bin so they are happy to give them to me. Any fabric over 3 yards I put on bolts and line my sewing room with them. I stack them 3 tall by using an empty bolt in between the stacks. The bolts keep the fabric smoother and this makes it much easier for me to see my large pieces that are available for backing my quilts. I loved reading everyone's tips! I hope my tip helps someone as much as all of your tips have helped me.

ck2sew wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:23 AM

My stash is sorted by color. On two large shelving units. Scraps are kept in fabric bins sorted by color for appliqué projects. A few times a year (or when they start to overflow) I give my scraps to a friend who makes beautiful scrap quilts.

Doreen18 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:25 AM

I have sorted my stash by color.  I pulled out ones I did not want anymore and gave to the art group and another pile to the group in my guild that makes quilts for people in need.

sewtastic1 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:29 AM

Being a garment maker, as well as, a quilter, I first separate fashion fabric from quilting fabric (although I often use garment fabric for quilts and vice versa). Next, I separate mainly by color.  I do have some theme fabrics (ex. landscape) that I keep together regardless of color.  I use rolling carts from Ikea that have wire baskets that allow me to see all the beautiful colors everytime I walk into my sewing room.  Being on wheels, I often bring the carts near my machine as I work to pull out last minute inspirations.

craftalife wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:30 AM

I store my fabric on comic book boards. The mini-bolts look so pretty on the shelf. I have batiks, prints, and solids separated, as I tend to use only one type in a project. Then they are sorted by color. I find this enormously helpful. And who knew I seem to like green so much!

craftalife wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:30 AM

I store my fabric on comic book boards. The mini-bolts look so pretty on the shelf. I have batiks, prints, and solids separated, as I tend to use only one type in a project. Then they are sorted by color. I find this enormously helpful. And who knew I seem to like green so much!

craftalife wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:31 AM

I store my fabric on comic book boards. The mini-bolts look so pretty on the shelf. I have batiks, prints, and solids separated, as I tend to use only one type in a project. Then they are sorted by color. I find this enormously helpful. And who knew I seem to like green so much!

vondaj859 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:44 AM

I reorganize my stash every time I start a new project!  However it fits the project, then I have choices as to what to use.  The good thing about it is that I rediscover' forgotten fabrics' regularly.

cwiltex wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:46 AM

I organize my fabric by size and then color.  The yardage is folded neatly and stored in dresser drawers organized by color.  It's always such a thrill to open a drawer and "shop" for quilt inspiration.  My smaller scraps are stored in glass jars that are separated by color and form a mini rainbow on my shelf.  Pure joy to see ROYGBIV lined up on the shelf just begging to be fondled.  

pammie90 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:04 AM

I store my fabric on open shelves according to color and/or theme: solids, florals, geometrics, novelty. I also have a shelf devoted to projects in the "gestational" stage: I've chosen fabrics/notions/pattern, but have not yet cut them out or started yet. I like the idea of cutting and storing smaller leftovers into storage boxes or bins. Currently all my scraps are helter-skelter in large plastic Rubbermaid totes, and unfortunately for me out of sight literally means out of mind. I think I will cut them into usable pieces and put them in smaller clear containers. Thanks for all the ideas!

mjmm773 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:06 AM

I sort scraps by color into different baskets, as for my stash I also separate by color however I sort by type first, batiks, homespuns, gen. prints, etc. then by color. If I have a lot I will then stack by gradating color, I try to keep everything visible so that I can see it, either in tubs or shelves.  If something has been purchased for a specific purpose all of those fabrics go into a tub with a copy of the project on top so it doesn't accidentally get used or if a bit of time goes by I can remember what it was for.  My thread goes into large old jars and separated out by color as well, they are pretty and functional.

barjean65 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:07 AM

I store my larger pieces of fabric in a large wine rack my late husband built. It is easy to see and sorted by color and there are still two or three bottles of wine! Wen working on a project I hang pieces on a clothes drying rack that can be moved beside where I am cutting and designing.

gftatter wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:11 AM

After I have cut a pattern piece from a smallish piece of fabric, there is an awkwardly shaped piece of fabric left. I have a box for these. I take the fabric piece, roll it to fit into a toilet paper tube and the tube goes in the box on end so I can see the fabric!

Dianewest22 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:19 AM

I SORT MY FABRIC BY COLOR, BUT ALSO BY LIKE COLORS THAT WOULD WORK WELL TOGETHER.  AFTER THE SORT I WILL DONATE TO A QUILT CLUB,  OR CHURCH.  I ALSO INVITE FRIENDS OVER SO THEY CAN MAKE NEW THINGS WITH THERE KIDS OR GRANDKIDS.  WE ALSO MAKE PILLOW CASES AND SMALL QUILTS TO DONATE TO SHELTERS .

NannaB wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:25 AM

My solution to to stash storage and organization is varied. First I gave my quilting daughter and daughter in law and granddaughters an open invitation to shop in my stash! Then I bought plastic bins from Home Depot and organizined by color. I also started a quilting journal to jump start my creative muse . Having my quilting daughter living with me also helps to keep things fresh and updated as she is not shy about critiquing my fabric and  ideas for its use. Of course updating my stash with  the back to basics fabric would be great,

on 5 Apr 2014 11:26 AM

I fold my fabric as it comes off the bolt (selvage-to-selvage) and fold it once more. Then using my 6" x 12' ruler, I wrap the fabric around the 6" wide side of the ruler long, wrapping it several times around the ruler if there is  lot of yardage. Then I slide out the ruler. I stack my fabric in my drawers so that I see the side of the wrapped fabric, like looking at mini fabric bolts of fabric. I have a drawer for each color family of fabrics (reds, blues, yellows, greens, etc). When I am looking for a certain blue fabric I pull open the drawer and can see all the blues at once looking down on them. The fabric is neat;y organized by color and size and it's so much easier to retrieve a piece of fabric stacked on it's side, rather than stacked flat on top of one another.

on 5 Apr 2014 11:27 AM

I fold my fabric as it comes off the bolt (selvage-to-selvage) and fold it once more. Then using my 6" x 12' ruler, I wrap the fabric around the 6" wide side of the ruler long, wrapping it several times around the ruler if there is  lot of yardage. Then I slide out the ruler. I stack my fabric in my drawers so that I see the side of the wrapped fabric, like looking at mini fabric bolts of fabric. I have a drawer for each color family of fabrics (reds, blues, yellows, greens, etc). When I am looking for a certain blue fabric I pull open the drawer and can see all the blues at once looking down on them. The fabric is neat;y organized by color and size and it's so much easier to retrieve a piece of fabric stacked on it's side, rather than stacked flat on top of one another.

jlchevy wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:44 AM

I am in the process of refolding  (around an 8 1/2 x 11ruler ) and sorting by color.  I do however have a separate filing for batiks, handdyes and a few  special fabric lines such as laurel burch.  I store my yardage on shelves.  Fat quarters are in cubby holes meant for CD storage and scraps are put in two separate bins...Batiks and other.  I really like using the batik scraps for applique since they do not fray.  

robin675 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:46 AM

So, really??? The prize for the problem you stated, "Everyone has "too much" fabric and the best way to corral it depends how they work and the fabric they use" is to give us more fabric???… Bring it on! After all, it will satisfy my addiction!

Seriously, though, I have tried so many different types of organization. First, the plastic bins sorted by fabric type. This would be fine, but I would find myself digging through all of the bins to find the right color of fabric I needed for a project that did not need a specific type of fabric. My next method was to fold everything neatly, sort by color and stash it all in wall cabinets rescued from a kitchen renovation. This didn't work because with all out it of sight, it was also out of mind. This also added the problem that when I pulled out a piece of fabric from the stash, it messed up the folding and was nearly impossible to put back in if I changed my mind.

Recently I repurposed a room in my now empty-nester house to be my "Creative Room" where I can do any of my creative work - sewing, quilting, stamping, scrapbooking, graphic design. I'm a visual person, so I need to see what I have, not just to be able to use it, but also, as other readers have mentioned, to get my creative juices flowing. I've given it a lot of thought and I have decided to organize my fabric thus:

- for larger pieces, I will hang them, folded neatly in lengthwise panels, from curtain ring clips on my window's curtain rod. (This will become a curtain that changes according to my current mood as I use up old fabric and buy new.)

- for my fat quarters (already neatly folded and sorted by color) and medium-sized pieces, I will use letter sorter/magazine racks hung on the wall.

- for the smallest pieces that I use for appliqué, I will roll them, stand them upright and put them in open baskets on a bookshelf.

These methods will allow me to be inspired by my stash, making me more likely to use them (so I can buy more to take their place:-)!

Nanlyn wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:55 AM

I sort my fabrics by color in stacks on a bookshelves.  Just looking at the color filled shelves is inspiring!  When I have a project going, I put all the fabrics, threads and anything else needed into a clear plastic bin that I can move to wherever I am sewing.  

jquilter3 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:05 PM

I have most of my fabric sorted by color in wire basket drawers.  These are at least fat-quarter sized.  Cuts that are over two yards are sorted into a larger bin and stacked for easy assess.  Materials for current projects are stored in boxes labeled with the project name.  Small scraps are stored in totes or cut into squares and strips for use in charity quilts.  Everyone is our small town knows I cannot bear to toss fabric so I inherit many scraps and try to process them as quickly as possible so the stash remains organized.  (One day a month, several ladies meet to sew those charity quilts.)  

When choosing fabrics for a project, I gather possible from the stash, stack them together and place them on my cutting table.  After several days of looking at them each time I pass through, I can decide if they "work" or change to another choice from the stash.

on 5 Apr 2014 12:09 PM

I organize my stash mostly by color, but I also have hand dyed fabrics and batiks that I organize separately by color. I sometimes use fabrics that are not traditionally thought of as 'quilting fabrics'. They are stored in bins, but not by color. They are stored by drape and weight. I also have two large plastic bags (the kind that bedspreads and bedding come in) that I stuff with scraps. It is NOT organized per say, but what fun to decide to do a project solely using the small scraps from this collection.

refalk wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:15 PM

I recently (within the last year) organized my sewing room and sorted through all of my fabric stash - and I have a lot!  I sort it by type - cottons, flannels, fleece.  Much of it is on shelves, some in clear tubs.  But my best advice is to USE that fabric.  We started a sewing ministry at our church and I love to use from my stash to share with others.  We make a lot of baby items to donate, caps for cancer patients, walker bags for the nursing home, and just started a project to make canvas market bags to send to a family running an orphanage in Africa.  Use it, use it, use it!

fmmquilts wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:18 PM

I love having all my fabrics displayed and contained on open shelves, BEHIND my sewing machine.  They are easily accessible and easily visible when I need inspiration, but they don't distract me from my current project.

fmmquilts wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:18 PM

I love having all my fabrics displayed and contained on open shelves, BEHIND my sewing machine.  They are easily accessible and easily visible when I need inspiration, but they don't distract me from my current project.

on 5 Apr 2014 12:43 PM

All 1-2 yard lengths of cotton fabric are folded lengthwise twice, the same as a bolt of fabric. The length is folded in half and rolled tightly starting at the fold. Tie the roll with yarn or ribbon. I sort them by value and slide the rolls lengthwise (selvedges toward the wall) onto the open shelving that fills one wall in my studio. It’s easy to see all your fabric and it’s easy to remove and replace a roll as you’re working. My favorite part is the way the fabric rolls blend and the values change from floor to ceiling. It is very beautiful and inspirational.

Pamartman wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:51 PM

First, I sort by style. Batiks, florals, flannels, baby prints, plaids/checks and holidays,  the remainder gets sorted by color.  Each style or color gets a folded pile on a shelf. The top two shelves are "bundles", a collection of fabrics that I chose to go together in a quilt or maybe fabrics from one line that are coordinating fabrics. These are folded with the inspiration piece folded over the other fabrics and if I have a pattern chosen, it gets folded inside the bundle as well.   Fat quarters are in a special rack tahrs just the right width for them. And scraps are cut into various size strips, each size in its own plastic drawer.  The top two drawers are for squares and leftover triangles and the bottom drawer for pieces smaller than a fat quarter.  And each UFO goes into an Art Bin project case and the cases are stacked in a cutting table my husband made for me that holds 16 cases.  I also have some pre-cut quilts in cases ready to grab and take to retreats or sewing days with friends.  Lastly, I have a basket of "orphan blocks" that I use to make pot holders, table runners, or to decorate tote bags or sweatshirts.

Cheeecho wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 12:54 PM

I take strips left over from projects - any width from 1/2" to 1 1/2" and tie three together in a knot and start braiding them together. I don't worry about the knots. I keep adding to this and hopefully will have enough to make a hot pad, or rug or whatever size I think I want.  I will sew it together in the rag rug method and try to keep the loose ends contained.  And, April 7th is my birthday!!!

creeklady wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:04 PM

My fabric stash is on a low shelf  in a room that is half sewing and half grandchildren's play area.  It is sorted in stacks by color.  This way they can grab a hunk of green to use as grass in front of their play castle or a colorful floral to use as a blanket for their pretend naps.  Then I get to enjoy unusual fabric combinations and get great ideas for quilts or little girl dresses.  Works great since they  know to stay away from where I keep the pokey pins and needles!.  They have their own scissors to learn how to cut a little piece that we sew into a pillow for their stuffed animals.  And so the love of fabric is passed on down to the next generation.

ckw52 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:05 PM

I sort my smaller pieces by size in plastic shoeboxes.I also will iron all fabric for a project and hang on a hanger with clips. I also put all pattern parts in a plastic bag and attach to hanger. When I look in the closet, I can choose my next project with everythng together to get started!

bridgidhp wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:10 PM

I have scraps by color groups in labeled bins and then other fabric by color but I have a special area for 'almost quilts'.  These are two or more fabrics bought to go together usually around a print (Laurel Burch Mermaids or Alice in Wonderland).  I fold the small pieces inside the largest piece and then I can easily see the quilt theme when I am inspired to design that quilt and I will not have accidentally used a hard to find piece that matched the print.

NancyGT wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:19 PM

I sort my extra fabric by color.  First, I roll each piece up. Then I roll a piece of copier paper around it, and finally secure gently with an elastic.  I then have two tall metal cabinets with doors that once belonged to my mom.  I store the rolls, by color, on the shelves.  When I want to create a new quilt, it's easy to find exactly what I am looking for.  Plus by the diameter of the roll I can easily tell how much fabric I have to work with.  Works for me!!!

NancyGT wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:19 PM

I sort my extra fabric by color.  First, I roll each piece up. Then I roll a piece of copier paper around it, and finally secure gently with an elastic.  I then have two tall metal cabinets with doors that once belonged to my mom.  I store the rolls, by color, on the shelves.  When I want to create a new quilt, it's easy to find exactly what I am looking for.  Plus by the diameter of the roll I can easily tell how much fabric I have to work with.  Works for me!!!

nstephen wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:26 PM

Like most quilters, I am very visual and like to see all the colors, prints and values in front of me before I start a project. My storage system isn't fancy, but works well for me. I use recycled plastic bins from Costco, the kind that hold one pound of raw spinach, something we eat frequently at our house. I typically sort cloth by color (or background color). I often have more than one bin of a color, in which case I can also sort by value and/or size or type of print (batik, Asian, etc.) Anything up to a yard or so gets folded and placed folded edge up in these bins so that I can see, at a glance, what my choices are in a certain color range. Smaller scraps get their own bins, sorted by color, or sometimes size or shape of scraps. Bins can also hold in-process projects, extra "orphan" quilt blocks, and such. These can be easily labeled with address-type labels on the end of the bin. The bins are kept on shelves in my sewing room. This system allows me to easily pull out the bins I want to work with. Larger pieces of cloth are folded and placed in flat clear purchased bins, organized by color, again with the folded edge facing up so I can see at a glance what I have after taking the container from the shelf. It's a simple process but it works for me as it is modular, inexpensive, and flexible.

karenjsp wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:26 PM

I do like fabric and do tend to have and hold a variety of weights, lengths and differing fiber content. I wasn't keeping track of it all then had an idea. When I buy fabric now I try to make a note of the fiber content  and care recommendations. Then if possible when it "comes home"  I cut a 4" square and put it in the wash ; see how it reacts, shrinks, bleeds (put it in with similar colors, and if really dark, with a shout type color pick up sheet in a wash bag). If you might dry it when sewing with it  dry it and if appropriate iron. Then place the washed piece, with a note on what you did to it- wash, dry, and or iron, original size of the swatch (gives you an idea of the shrinkage), fabric content (cotton, linen, bends?) and the length of fabric you bought, also if it is unusual  in some other way- 108" wide backing fabric, hand made fabrics can vary in width. Slip the note with the fabric swatch in a page protector and place in a note book. You can then put it in another note book with a description or a picture of the finished item, when you use it (or copy the information for care instructions if you give it away). I use note cards for any information I want to keep, so they would also work in a recipe box- try using what you have.          

JBeamer wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:34 PM

More than 80% of my stash is fat quarters. I store them color coordinated folded side up in those 3 drawer clear roll-a-round little carts, so I can see at a glance what is there. But I have several projects planned and I am collecting fabrics for these projects. I store them in used large Manila envelopes until I have gathered enough colors or different patterns to start that project. If the project doesn't fit in a large envelope well - might use an empty drawer in one of the carts or if need be a paper or plastic bag. I know not the best place but it does keep the clutter down. I don't have too much extra space because granddaughter and her 2 children have moved in with us. Don't have too many scraps so don't worry about that for now.

on 5 Apr 2014 1:47 PM

I'm new so I started out with plastic bins.  I arrange according to colors and separate out prints and solids each to their own bin.  Then I have a bin for yardage (more than 1) and one bin for scraps or orphan blocks. Then a bin for favorite fabric I want to work with almost immediately. Then I have a bin for works in progress.  My last bin is reserved for embroidery and blocks of month in progress.  This probably isn't the greatest system but it helps me stay organized and I can see at a glance what I have and don't have.  On the plus side the bins are always closed but see through protecting from dust and other things.  Thanks for a chance!

quilterjg wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 1:48 PM

I have been quilting a long time, but I have gradually been getting away with skipping things!!!  I made my blocks work, and most of the time it's been no big problem but......  One of the things I realized I need to pay attention to is to match the grain when cutting out fabrics, especially when there is going to be a bias cut.

MsRegie wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 2:04 PM

Since lots of my fabrics are geared towards landscape quilting, some are labeled for skies, water, trees, or buidlings etc.  Other fabrics destined for fantasy art dolls are mostly anything sheer and sparkly to small scaled prints and labeled accordingly. Clothing or decorating purpose fabrics are labeled just that.  My next big project is to REorganize all those fabrics into rolls inside their plastic boxes to resemble an open crayon box visual. To me, fabric IS pure eye candy just waiting to be joined together to create something beautiful :D

mazzuppy wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 2:24 PM

I sort bankers  by project in bankers boxes.

mazzuppy wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 2:24 PM

I sort bankers  by project in bankers boxes.

on 5 Apr 2014 2:29 PM

I use comic book boards (they are acid free) in 3 size to create mini bolts.  I wrap fabric cuts of fat quarters and larger on the boards and secure the end with a pin.  They fit the book shelves in my studio perfectly.  I organize by type: solids, text prints, other prints and then organize by color or planned project.

For scraps I keep 2 wire bins.  One is the unsorted bin, the other scraps neatly organized by by color in ziploc bags.  When I hit an artist block, I will sort scraps from the unsorted bin and ideas for what to make next flow again.

QueenBCrafts wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 2:47 PM

I live on a main road, so my space tends to get rather dusty rather quickly.  Closed drawers work for me, so I have 3 dressers to hold most of my fabric yardage, and plastic bins on shelves for the fat quarters  and smaller scraps.  The key to the drawers for me is folding the fabric all the same width and standing them on end "file folder" style, so I can see the edges.  I have my novelties in one drawer, matching fabrics from a fabric line together in another - and the rest are sorted by color, more or less.  In my long low dresser I can keep fabrics that I buy on the bolt - as those will fit in the drawers sideways still on the bolt.

Osuzyq828 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 2:55 PM

In separate boxes or bins:

Solids together, check.

Prints in another bin, check.

Large pieces of yardage for borders and backing, check.

Excess pieces from bindings, check.

Whites, check.

Scraps of quilts done for scrap quilt from quilt scraps, check.

Thread box, check.

Stencils, pattern templates, and marking tools, check.

Small 3-drawer unit for cutting tools, marking pencils, small cutting mats and smaller quilt square grids, check.

Most of the time, it works for me.

mdrgault wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:14 PM

I like to store my fabrics according to type - knits, bottoms, tops, fancy etc.  I keep them on shelving so that I can see what I have, and it helps to make good color combinations.  I also like to have my quilting fabrics (at least the fat quarters) in a crocheted box stacked side by side, so that I can see them all, and get inspiration for the next project.  Lately, any fabric that I can't see using goes to the Fabric Guild for their sale, and thus  it becomes loved by someone else, and the money goes to a good cause.

Spoche wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:25 PM

By color - in plastic bin.  

kbiggs98 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:46 PM

i store my big pieces fabric by  materiel type  and quilt block in another waiting to be finish place..

mcclellandk9 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:46 PM

I am in the middle of organizing and restructuring my small sewing room. I have always been a sewer, but I'm fairly new to quilting. I have been using plastic storage bins, and in the past I would use the solid color bins and put content labels on the ends and stack them. Then I switched to the clear bins. I have all types of fabrics so I try to keep like fabrics together, then break it down to like colors, and if there are holiday or seasonal or children... themes I mention that on my labels. I am putting up shelving with baskets and boxes that will have tags listing contents. The baskets will have my "to do" now projects and the boxes will have threads and other notions. I also have lots of books and magazines and will have a bookcase for them. I keep my rolled fabric 54"+ on cardboard tubes stored in a tall "wrapping paper" plastic bin. This makes it easy to control and see what I have. The fabrics that I don't see me using, I will first try to sell; what doesn't sell I want to find a charitable organization that makes things for people in need and donate it to them.

peone wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:55 PM

I organize by fabric content type (silks, wools, cottons, etc.) in clear plastic bins. Then I log everything into a spreadsheet broken down by color, yardage, width, etc. so I know what I have.

l_lindan wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:56 PM

I use fabric shoe holders that you hang on a rail in a cupbord or wardrobe and which have several compartments. I like to sort fat quarters and anything larger by colour folded into the sections. Scraps I put in bags according to colour and then hang them  from skirt hangers. Large pieces of fabric I store according to colour in large plastic boxes below. This means I can see at a glance the fabrics and can make selections and try them out together and I can equally replace them ready for future use without much effort.  

djwhite wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:57 PM

I like to organize by colour - tone and hue and always store my larger pieces in a drawer, folded so I can see a snippet of colour from each one, to make selection easy.  Smaller pieces are organized separately (folded and stacked in bins) as they are typically selected afterwards for embellishment.

Jean White

l_lindan wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:57 PM

I use fabric shoe holders that you hang on a rail in a cupbord or wardrobe and which have several compartments. I like to sort fat quarters and anything larger by colour folded into the sections. Scraps I put in bags according to colour and then hang them  from skirt hangers. Large pieces of fabric I store according to colour in large plastic boxes below. This means I can see at a glance the fabrics and can make selections and try them out together and I can equally replace them ready for future use without much effort.  

l_lindan wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 3:58 PM

I use fabric shoe holders that you hang on a rail in a cupbord or wardrobe and which have several compartments. I like to sort fat quarters and anything larger by colour folded into the sections. Scraps I put in bags according to colour and then hang them  from skirt hangers. Large pieces of fabric I store according to colour in large plastic boxes below. This means I can see at a glance the fabrics and can make selections and try them out together and I can equally replace them ready for future use without much effort.  

bonniequilts wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:06 PM

I have all my yardage folded and stacked on cheap white bookshelf units 3 stacks wide.  They are arranged by length only.  That way I know at a glance whether I have enough for a backing or not.  Anything smaller than .25 meters is stored in bins or baskets mostly sorted by size of strip of square.  Fat quarters are stored in bins. A few years ago I tried sorting by colour but I couldn't find anything I wanted that way so I went back to my old standby method.

Victoria86 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:06 PM

Much of my stash is reserved for garment projects (think miles not yards!).  Those fabrics

are stored by alleged project in bins and on shelves within a closet.  Then I have the biggest tote I can drag filled with yardage and FQs that I bought on speculation.  Smaller projects are in the stackable plastic shoe boxes.  You never know when you may need a new purse or wall hanging.  Then, there are the bins of "leftovers" that are perfect for scrappy projects under the beds.  Basically...you can find fabric tucked away in three out of four bedrooms!

on 5 Apr 2014 4:09 PM

I store my fabric in zippered hanging sweater bags. You can hang them in a clothes closet or, if you have a craft room or space, attach a rod or dowel to the wall and hang them from there. Keeps the fabric clean and organized.

silklover wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:11 PM

I sort by project and keep them in plastic containers.  I only buy fabric for a project I want to work on, or for my hand applique and needlework.  Usually I but fat quarters or half yards for the hand applique.  These are sorted by color and also kept in plastic containers.  Scraps are kept in small paper bags by theme (Asian, 1800's, batik, etc) I do find having containers stacked up is somewhat chaotic for me.  An looking for cabinets I can put them in.   I do have 2 bins of fabric which I bought when I first started quilting that I need to go through and organize and downsize.  Thanks for the chance to win this fabulous prize.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:30 PM

I sort by colour, but keep my batiks and silks separate. I have a cube storage unit with 25 cubbies.  Every so often when things look a little out of control, I go through and remove the fabrics that speak the least to me.  I bundle them up, and send them to a friend who just started to quilt and who lives in a place with little access to fabric.  Bits and pieces go into a gauze bag and I apply the same principle.  When the bag is too full, I empty it, choose the bits that I like the best to keep and donate the rest to the quilting guild for sale.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:30 PM

I sort by colour, but keep my batiks and silks separate. I have a cube storage unit with 25 cubbies.  Every so often when things look a little out of control, I go through and remove the fabrics that speak the least to me.  I bundle them up, and send them to a friend who just started to quilt and who lives in a place with little access to fabric.  Bits and pieces go into a gauze bag and I apply the same principle.  When the bag is too full, I empty it, choose the bits that I like the best to keep and donate the rest to the quilting guild for sale.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:30 PM

I sort by colour, but keep my batiks and silks separate. I have a cube storage unit with 25 cubbies.  Every so often when things look a little out of control, I go through and remove the fabrics that speak the least to me.  I bundle them up, and send them to a friend who just started to quilt and who lives in a place with little access to fabric.  Bits and pieces go into a gauze bag and I apply the same principle.  When the bag is too full, I empty it, choose the bits that I like the best to keep and donate the rest to the quilting guild for sale.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:30 PM

I sort by colour, but keep my batiks and silks separate. I have a cube storage unit with 25 cubbies.  Every so often when things look a little out of control, I go through and remove the fabrics that speak the least to me.  I bundle them up, and send them to a friend who just started to quilt and who lives in a place with little access to fabric.  Bits and pieces go into a gauze bag and I apply the same principle.  When the bag is too full, I empty it, choose the bits that I like the best to keep and donate the rest to the quilting guild for sale.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:31 PM

When I buy 2 or more yards of material I usually put it on the cardbord boltz that I get free from various quilt shops or walmart, and store them upright on the top shelf of the closet in the room I use.  If it is under I fold it and put it in my dresser drawer that I use just for material and sort them by color.  If it is fat quarters I put them in a see through box so that I can tell which one I want to use next mark all of my stuff and bingo the  material is organized.  I only have a 10x9 room with which to work so it has to be organized to the top.  All of my materials that I use to cut with are in my sewing table, and on the wall I hang my rulers, beside the design board I made out of cardboard and felt material.

kw1lts wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:35 PM

Use comic book boards to store your fabric neatly.  They are acid free and inexpensive (~$13/100).

koffeequeen2 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:37 PM

I wrap my larger pieces of fabric on 11" x 5" mat board and my fat quarters and smaller pieces of 5" x 5" mat board.  I stand the larger pieces on the shelf like books. These are then easy to pull out, addition and put back. Another thing that works for me is after selecting and then ironing the fabric for a project I hang them from a skirt hanger. The pieces are nicer to work with and easier to pull out.

ckmoore wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:39 PM

Most of my stash is cotton FQ's so I sort by color (batiks separate) and store in my closet in hanging shoe organizers.  Each organizer has 10 sections.  DO buy the canvas organizers that have metal hanger reinforcements or the weight of the fabric will cause the organizer to tear.  I have 5 full organizers hanging from the pole in my closet without all that weight causing any problems.  I can close the closet door when I want to pretend my studio is clean and neat and open it to see all my fabrics at once.  It is also easier to put my fabric away and keep it fairly organized.

gussek wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:40 PM

I don't have too much fabric yet, most of it fits in a plastic bin.  Thanks

briddy wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:41 PM

I think I need to start with downsizing.  My stash is so huge I don't know where to start.  Also, I inherited all of it, so there no rhyme or reason for me when I see it all.  Thanks for the tips!

tiredoftoys wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:45 PM

Being able to quilt, travel frequently and having downsized my stash after retirement I keep my fabrics in vintage suitcases.  I have them sorted by color, use ribbon tried on the handles to indicate the color of the fabric inside and also have one for batting and backings. When I travel, I gather an inspirational assortment, add my tools to yet another suitcase and am ready to go! I stack the filled suitcases in towers of three and use them as end tables. Or I store them under the futon and bed in my vintage trailer.  All fabrics are fairly compact and easy to see as I store the folded fabric like little files , in rows in the suitcases.

statonjn wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:47 PM

I am a collector of boxes. Not just any box, but, those that are big enough to hold the fabrics plus the book or pattern that it takes to make an upcoming quilt, be it scrappy or planned. I write the name of the quilt and who it is for on two sides of the outside of the box.When I want to work on that quilt, all I have to do is to pull out the appropiate box, work on a few of the blocks, put everything back into the box and store until I'm ready to work on the project again. I can have two or three quilts going at one time and not mix my peices.

on 5 Apr 2014 4:48 PM

I sort my fabric by color and style.  Batiks, blenders, 30's, prints and civil war  on open shelves in the "fabric aging room".  It is covered so the sun does not get to it.  The smaller pieces, fat quarters and such are in the rolling drawer carts in my sewing room by color, blenders and collections, also scraps are sorted by size with a drawer for each size (from 3/4" to 6 1/2")- no separation of color there just size. The jelly rolls, charm packs, etc, have a couple drawers all their own.  I do a lot of charity quilts, kennel quilts, etc so I do go through a lot of fabric. I track the fabric I use and to date this year I have used 113 yards and only purchased 42, going to the stash first really helps

Connie      cbquilts345@yahoo.com

sunshine416 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 4:55 PM

I look for innovative ways to use what I have on hand to store my stash. In my basement I had book shelves that were high and low. I arranged the units so I could decorate the area and store my books. When I decided to go back into quilting , I cleared everything out and stored my stash in the tall shelves by color, and use the tops of the low book shelves for larger yardage by wrapping them around the bolt cardboard that stores discard. I also went to a flea market and bought a cabinet that opened up and had several drawers . I put my jelly rolls and fat quarters in there.   Then for the fabrics that I buy with projects  in mind [ matching fabrics], I put those in an opaque bins knowing I won't have to search through my stash for where I put them. Happy Quilting!

linlal wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:00 PM

I'm a newish quilter and was very fortunate that a woman at my fabric store took me aside when I was starting out and told me that once I had more than two yards of fabric, I needed to set up a storage system. Seeing how other people have become overwhelmed when their stash starts to take on a life of its own, I'm very grateful to her. If there's a quilting saint award, I'm nominating her!

I have a closet with doors that keep out the dust so I've gone with wire mesh bins and I sort by type of fabric and then by colour. I have an old dresser and I put dividers in the drawers to have somewhere to store my tools and quickly realised they would also hold scraps. I sort the scraps solely by colour.

pennydoty wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:02 PM

I sort mine by color, on a book shelf, I love all the beautiful rooms I have seen, but they coast a lot of money to get that, so a white book case works great and you can see the color and as soon as my room is back in order maybe I will show a picture, I store little peaces is clear plastic tubs, so I can applique flowers,. I can only agree to store how you work and add that you  don't have to have a lot of money to make your room beautiful, just use your imagination and style...

Annbtaylor wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:04 PM

I store my fabric by project, scraps in a bin, and then the bigger scraps or fabric pieces are color organized and/or theme/holiday.

on 5 Apr 2014 5:04 PM

I organize my fabrics in clear storage boxes and dressers.  My kits are in drawers in the dresser.  I try to keep my baby and children fabrics in their own boxes.  I like to keep fabric collections together as I find that I can easily make small projects from the scraps as they all coordinate.  I keep a box for fabrics to donate to the church and a box for fabrics to use on everyday quilts and picnic quilts.  Then there are the boxes of yet to be organized fabric because I do not know what to do with it!!!!!  Reading other people's comments are giving me good ideas of what I can do.

artlover31 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:13 PM

I use display board (the Styrofoam/cardboard combination board) that is used for signage and display boards to organize my fabric.  I cut the display boards about the size of the cardboard inserts that are used to display fabric in fabric stores and roll.  Then, I fold my fabric to a size that will cover the board within an inch at top and bottom.  I color sort fabric and store according to color as I do a lot of quilting.  The rolls can then be stacked on the floor, on a table, or in a custom made bookcase/shelving area.  You can also cut shorter pieces for wrapping fabric around if you have bookcase for storage and have limited height or if you have a smaller amount of fabric.  The board can be purchased at home supply stores.

Nan142 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:14 PM

I sort by type first, then color, but there are always sub-groups of possible fabrics together with a pattern or drawing. Then there are several plastic bins with scraps of certain measurements or others with bits that are color organized.

Twice a year I go through and clear out pieces to donate to our group for charity or Quilts of Valor sharing. This helps but there's still a lot left!

oldmamacita wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:21 PM

Well, I'm new to quilting and don't have a lot of stash at my house.  But at my church we have a lot of fabric for our weekly craft day.  We were lucky enough to by over 800 yards of quilting fabric at a garage sale in Detroit last year from a quilter who was going out of business.  Since we were using it for church craft projects she gave us a really good deal!  We then bought a Rubbermaid 4 shelf cabinet and folded and sorted the yardage by color.  Anything less than a yard went into stacking drawer also sorted by color.  So far we have made 6 quilts for our local Veterans shelter that we will be giving them in the next couple of weeks.

Deede2 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:28 PM

I put all of my small scraps up to the size of a fat quarter into clear bins and place it on the shelf next to the larger pieces the same color.  That way you know if you have to buy more fabric, either small or large pieces.

243xnhrd82 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:33 PM

I sort first of all by color, then fiber content, then pattern and I LABEL everything.  I use a drawer system from the Container Store with mesh drawers that have label holders.  This way I can see what's inside as well as see the label.  If I'm working with a friend or family member it makes it easy to tell them where to go, i.e. red cotton batik, blue rayon velvet, etc.  I also store threads this way...first by fiber, then by use, then by color family, i.e. polyester, general sewing, red; cotton/poly, serger, white, etc.  I use the same general system to label everything.  I got really tired of having things all over the place so I cleaned everything out, got rid of things that I really wasn't interested in anymore and ruthlessly organized what was left...best thing I ever did.

maxine17 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:37 PM

I have a "smallish" stash of fabric.  I try to organize by color and by length of fabric.  I recently just finished a couple of scrappy quilts.  So, I have less fabric. (boo!)  I loved making my scrappy quilts, so I have begun to put same size strips into ziploc baggies so when I have saved several bags, I won't have to spend time separating.  

carylyn wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:40 PM

I am a mom and teacher so I just invite my kids and students to choose fabric from my stash to complete their project. (I have a few works in progress with needed fabric set aside so that does not get chosen). The result is that I get to help children create AND I have an excuse to buy more fabric, thus keeping my stash new and exciting. The fabric I do have is wrapped around comic book cardstock and scraps are sorted by color in fabric boxes I made from those  scraps. Both are displayed on shelves. If I can't see it I forget it's there.

joni spurlin wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:41 PM

I sort by kind of fabric first..cotton or silk or wool, etc.  Each in own containers and labeled.  I like the plastic containers with open holes from the container store, that stack and have lids.  After kind, I then go by color, and size.  That is, I have a lot of fat quarters or 1 yard of fabrics.  So, I have what the fabric is, size and colors in sorted bins.  I have them stacked on shelf's of two bins per shelf.  Not too heavy, either.  Such fun to organize.  I keep all trimmings and threads from all projects too and tthrow all in a box by mybsewing machine, till it gets full...then store it and add another empty one to my work space... I don't throw out much and use every scap for something!

cubanquilter wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:49 PM

When I first started quilting a dear friend gave me her stash (she decided she no longer had the time or interest), and it was sorted by color, in plastic tubs. Five years later, I still sort most of my fabric by color, but I also have tubs for seasonal, themed, children, and batiks. I also have tubs for matched sets and precuts. Now that I have a feel for my own style and taste in fabric, I've slowly weeded out the fabric my friend gave me that doesn't "play nice" with my newer  fabrics. I did purchase three rolling metal carts with pull-out baskets; that is where I keep ongoing projects and my sorted & cut scraps. A fabric-covered wooden board on top of these carts makes a perfect ironing surface, at just the right height. I love things that do double duty!

fibreart2 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:54 PM

I previously had my fabrics in plastic bins and rolling carts all over my studio. I have now purchased some bookcases with glass doors and the fabric is all folded and sorted by colour and type - e.g.. batiks or floral. I folded the fabric around my 6" ruler and then slid it off neatly folded. I discovered that I could put all my fabric in one bookcase, organized and ready to go and gained a lot of floor space!

Lgronborg wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:55 PM

I sort my stash by color, except the batiks. They are separate d by color in another space. To see all my fabric in the drawers or containers instead of putting the in on top of each other, I place them next to each other and I have a long horizontal row so it is easy to see all of your fabrics at once, and I don't have to pull stacks out to see what's on the bottom as I can see everything and, I just pull the ones I want.

msj wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:56 PM

Just START.........that's my hint.  You can always change the organization style, but I am  trying not to be overwelmed by the hugh job.  (I have lots to organize).  My sister and I organized our books a magazines on a shelf and in magazine holders.  Wow...now we can actuall see what wehave and know where to start to browse.  Now onwared to the fabric............

lin collette wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 5:56 PM

i keep fabric on shelves because i have to have them visible. i keep solids sorted by color groups. patterns i keep together like flowers in one group stripes in another etc.  scraps are tumbled together in a giant bin because i love crazy quilts.  

vjbillington wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:05 PM

I have just done this!  Use thin recycled cardboard such as cereal boxes to make mini bolts that are easy to move, organize and stand on end!   I make small 5 x 7 inch ones for small pieces and 5 x 10 ones for larger ones.   Then sort by color, project, rearrange... It's easy!  Mine stand on shelves like a work of art.  :)

amcd wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:09 PM

I sort most of my fabric by colour. The exception is fabric I have bought from a specific project - those I keep together with a note of what the plan for them was.! Both are then stored in large plastic bins that are about 24" by 18" and 6 " high which stack nicely. This lets me see what I have easily.

hjohnston44 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:15 PM

I separate solids, prints, and hand-dyes/prints,  These are then sorted by color and stacked on open shelves in my basement out of sunlight.  I made fabric boxes out of  scraps  in each of eight colors for small strips and snippets.  So far this system has worked well for me.

JulieX wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:15 PM

Crocheting, quilting, knitting and beading on fabric are all calling me. I have a small bedroom to house all the equipment for everything, so organization is absolutely necessary. I keep the quilting fabric on a floor to ceiling bookshelf. Each shelf is designated for a certain color. It includes fat quarters, strips and yardage of prints, solids, hues, etc of that color. It's easy for me to use because I can see everything going from shelf to shelf. I also wash and iron all the fabric when it comes home - for some reason the thought of doing it project by project is depressing. I have enjoyed reading about other ways to get organized. I admit to being a pack rat. Things have a way of spilling out to other areas of the house so the advice is helpful.

j.marra wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:17 PM

My fabric is predominantly sorted by color while some are sorted by fabric print. So, for example, floral prints are grouped together light to dark, plaids light to dark, and holiday/special occasion fabrics grouped by theme.   I do keep the Batiks, my favorites, on separate shelves and still sort them by color.  Designers I like are group by themselves -  love looking at those stacks and it allows me to make a quilt using one designer's line making a quilt with special impact.  When I buy fabric for a special quilt and have matched up all the fabrics at the quilt store, I keep it in a special section to help make the quilt at a later date.  Organizing my fabric is an excellent way for me to remember I have the perfect color in my stash.  And, if I don't, well there's always another reason to add to it.  

on 5 Apr 2014 6:19 PM

Since I don't have very much room to store my stash, my stash isn't very big.  I have all my fat quarters in a box with a flip top lid, yardage is folded around a piece of cardboard and filed in a rolling file drawer unit, scraps of a decent size are in gallon sized clear plastic tubs that are strung together vertically hanging from hooks on a shelf unit and the really small pieces are resting in a two gallon clear tub (I use these small pieces with fusible interfacing to make "crazy quilt" looking fabric sheets).  I keep several hexagon and diamond shaped pieces cut out do I can work on EPP while I watch tv with my husband.  All of the above are also color coordinated.  May not be great but it works for me for now.  I only started quilting about a year ago and I know that in the future I'll need to upgrade and reorganize.

on 5 Apr 2014 6:20 PM

I sort by color....but also by type. Solids together. Hand-dyeds together. Prints together. Seeing that rainbow on my shelf is inspiring eye-candy!

slewerenz wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:21 PM

I have a large wide cabinet in the hallway upstairs and it is shallow.  I had my husband take down the rods and we made many shelves for my stash.  I have my fabrics sorted by color in each category:  cottons, flannels, and specialty fabrics.  I also have a couple of large projects which have their own fabric sorted by color:  my rooster quilts and my plaid flannels.

krossini wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:21 PM

When all else fails, panic!

on 5 Apr 2014 6:23 PM

I use a variety of fabrics for all kinds of projects.  To organize my evergrowing stash I seperate my fabric by type first.  All polyester together, cottons, ect.  Then each type of fabric is giver a file drawer (I have a couple large filing cabnits I found at goodwill that I use).  I fold my fabrics over hanging files and organize them in a rainbow of color.  The end result is neat small "bolts" of one fabric type in each file drawer. I absolutly love it! It makes me so happy to see all my little fabric bolts lined up in a little rainbow of color. :)

Moonwishes wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:25 PM

I have to agree that you need to use the system that works for you. Mine is storing fabric in boxes that paper came in. They fit on my shelves just great. I do not sort my fabrics by color, but I try to keep some by fabric theme such as juvenile prints so it is easier to grab what I need when making a baby or Project Linus quilt. I also keep all Christmas fabrics together in one box so that I don't have to root through boxes to find what I'm looking for. Otherwise I love going through my stash looking for just the right color and falling in love with my fabrics all over again. That is part of the joy of quilt making for me.

My best organizational tip, is whenever you are finished with a project, cut the scraps down into workable size squares and rectangles and now that I'm into making hexagons, those as well. I cut up as much as I can into 2.5 " x 2.5" squares, 4.5" x 4.5" squares, and a 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles. I call these my 2 by 4's as to me they are the same as the 2 by 4's that constructions workers use to frame out a house. I can make hundreds of styles of quilts with these three shapes. Anything smaller goes in the trash and pieces that are bigger get folded back up neatly with the rest of the fabric unless all that is left is a strip and I cut that into a 2.5", 2" or 1.5" strip. So I have been ahead of the jelly rolls, etc. for years!

Whenever I get a new quilting magazine, as I look through it, if I see a project that can be made out of my pre-cuts, I will flag it with a Post-it note and the same with easy baby quilts I will flag as well. That way when I need a new idea I don't have to look at the whole magazine, just the pages that are flagged.

I have a disabling chronic health problem so anything that I can do to make things easier truly benefits me, such as I have a Janome 7700 with an automatic thread cutter (much easier than picking up and manipulating scissors to trim off threads), an acrylic table that allows me to rest my forearms and hands on while piecing and I always do chain piecing, push 'buttons' to set my settings so no manipulating dials (I never use the jog dial on the machine).

No matter what the world is doing in their sewing spaces, do what makes you comfortable. I love the look of all those fabrics that are setting open on the shelves, but I also know what dust and sunshine can do to fabric, especially on the folds. So mine is packed away. Oh yes, fashion fabric is in boxes separate from quilting fabric.

cabcab1 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:38 PM

When getting my sewing room created I had two bookshelves I could use to sort my fabric stash. I sorted according to color and texture, and fat quarters had their own place as well as flannels and fleece. In trying to get all the sewing notions, rulers etc. in a  more user accessible way I have found more fabric.

Two things were told me several years back that were inconceivable to me then but make sense now. One was: "Stash?, I don't have a stash. When I finish a project I pass on the leftovers." The other was: My fabric...I share it with others."

Now I am ready to pass on fabrics I probably won't use and have made my first offer to a friend who also is a quilter to come "shop" at my stash if she is needing something for her projects. Get it used up in projects that will bless others! I have decided I don't want to try to die with the most fabric!

lazyladydi wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:39 PM

I started last year putting all my leftovers (small pieces) in a box.  Then, I trimmed them to 2.5 inches in width, sewed them end to end, and quickly made a jelly roll quilt.  For a children's quilt, I simply grabbed what I thought was child appropriate - kids fabric, bright colors, etc.

It's a quick way to cut down the pile of scraps - no matching, fussycutting, etc.!

gretchengh wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:41 PM

For quilting fabrics:

I save small scraps in a plastic bin.

I store FQs and large pieces less than 1/2 yard in shallow plastic totes.  Fabrics are folded uniformly and stored so that the edges show.

I store yardage, folded onto magazine boards, and sorted by color,. The folded fabrics are uniform in size  and  stored with edges showing in plastic bins.

For garment fabrics, home dec fabrics and others:

I clip off a swatch and adhere it to a card which I keep on a keychain.  (There is a swatch card template somewhere on the Interweave site you can download and print.)

These fabrics are folded and stored in plastic bins, too.

All my plastic bins have lids and the bins have to be stacked.  i don’t have space for any open shelving system.  

I have an iPhone or my iPad with me pretty much all the time.  So I take a photo of the contents of each bin. (All the fabrics are visible because of how they are folded, with edges up.)  I include a label with the date and bin # in the photo.  I take a new photo (with new date) each time I change the contents of the bin.

I don’t have a large sewing room, so most bins are stored in closets. Before I kept photos, it seemed like i was constantly stacking and unstacking bins looking for something.

Another advantage is that I have my stash photos with me everywhere I go.  

brbrmttsn wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:47 PM

A few years ago my daughter-in-law organized my fabric by color, and we put it in bins. Circumstances dictated that I didn't sew for awhile, and now I find I cannot lift the bins. So think ahead when you organize. I am in the process of putting everything on shelves. We'll see how that works.  What I need to learn is how to just use the fabric rather than save it for something wonderful.

DeniseP@21 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 6:56 PM

Our guild is having their big quilt show this year and I made it my mission to get organized.  So I took a hard look at what I had.  Sorted everything according to color and amounts.  If I didn't have at least a fat quarter it went into color sorted clear shoe boxes the rest went into color sorted clear boxes and if I haven't used it in over two years or have changed ideas about it, it was donated to our hearts and hands group.

on 5 Apr 2014 7:02 PM

Clear plastic boxes work well according to colours. pre washed so everything is at hand ready to go when the creative urge sprouts.

Angie@70 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:05 PM

I don't have a big stash yet, but right now I separate garment fabric fron scraps in plastic boxes.

bbrown53 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:08 PM

when I shop for fabric I always ask for empty cardboard bolts. as most of my fabric is 1-2 yd pieces I cut the cardboard in 2 pieces fold my fabrics in half again and wrap & stack. Because there are animals in my house I keep my mini bolts in clears plastic bags & /or bins

jeansophie wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:15 PM

I re-use the <a href="www.flickr.com/.../">clear plastic bins</a> in which spinach and lettuces are sold as scrap bins–one for each color group.  

PatT@29 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:17 PM

I use clear plastic containers, sort by categories of for quilting by colors and sets,  batiks, garments, fleece, knits, heirloom, kitchen, children, kits.  Have been reducing stash by making pillowcases, quilts for kids, Christmas stockings for soldiers, tissue holders (great for scraps) to donate.  Gave a machine and fabric to a daughter, who now sells what she makes on Etsy.  Still have more than I'll every use!

mrle316 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:23 PM

This past year I moved my sewing room to a spare bedroom with less space - too old to be running the steps! I had the closet doors removed and shelves put in to hold most of the fabric I wanted to keep. Two walls are lined with kitchen cabinets for projects in progress plus other items. The rest of the fabric is waiting to be sold. I have solid color, Christmas , prequilted and fleece fabrics all separated on the shelves. Larger pieces of prints are stacked and smaller pieces are folded to fit in boxes that are about 16" high X 9" wide at the bottom and 7-9" deep. The sides taper in to the top. Some I had and some I made. I can pull out a box and check for what I need. I'd like to get them all color coordinated but that hasn't happened-yet! I also keep larger print cotton fabric scraps for heart-shaped pillows I make and donate to breast cancer patients. I made two curtains to cover the closet to keep the fabric from fading.

on 5 Apr 2014 7:23 PM

I do many different types of sewing and crafts, so my stash is HUGE!

My quilting fabrics are sorted by holiday or occasion and then by color. My scraps are used in many ways, so the first thing I do is die cut the larger pieces with my Accuquilt machine. Smaller pieces are die cut with my slice fabrique, and the die cuts are stored in baskets on the wall to wall shelf system above my sewing area. The smallest pieces are saved in glass jars in my scrapbooking area. Charm packs, fat quarters are displayed on a bookcase shelf at eye level across from my sewing machine. I store my fat eighths in paper towel tubes on the shelf above that. I write the contents on the tube and the idea I have for using the fabric.

I also have larger cuts of fabric (2 yds or more) rolled and tied and stored in file folder boxes from office max. I put the boxes on ther sides, and fill them up by color. The top shelf is stacked in a brick pattern for stability. I rotate my fabrics once a year, donating unwanted fabric to friends, family or churches to help with their projects. I enjoy making the different die cuts as I always get inspiration for new projects.

DonnaFreak wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:27 PM

I bought three of the nine-cubby shelves. I bolted two of them to the back of one, then put a 3' X 4' piece of melamine board on top to form a table. At the back I put a 25 cubby shoe rack on top of the table. I store my yardages standing in the cubbies wrapped on comic book boards, scraps are put in baskets of the same color in the cubbies, the shoe rack is the perfect size for storing folded fat quarters, and I now have a designated cutting area!  :)

Donna

JudyO wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:30 PM

Unless your fabric never sees the light of day, do not store with the fold out. Oh, it is prettier, but who wants a faded line when you go to use it.

Judy O

JudyO wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:30 PM

Unless your fabric never sees the light of day, do not store with the fold out. Oh, it is prettier, but who wants a faded line when you go to use it.

Judy O

Gari2 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:31 PM

For quilting cotton I organize by color and have it on view on shelving.  However my batiks are in a separate shelving unit as I tend to use them only with each other.  I also have fat quarters, and small cuts of fabric, by color packed in two dresser drawers under my cutting table.  Smaller scraps are stored not by color, just jumbled into two bins, cotton and batik.  I don't throw or give away fabric but use it up in backings and charity quilts.

on 5 Apr 2014 7:33 PM

Very new to quilting so my small stash is now stored by project.  I do have a few fat quarters and they are stored together in a dresser drawer. Would love to add to my stash but funds are limited so I can only dream of a stash that I would be able to organize according to color etc. Thanks for the chance to win.

on 5 Apr 2014 7:33 PM

Very new to quilting so my small stash is now stored by project.  I do have a few fat quarters and they are stored together in a dresser drawer. Would love to add to my stash but funds are limited so I can only dream of a stash that I would be able to organize according to color etc. Thanks for the chance to win.

lovenonna wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:37 PM

I'm a big plastic bin fan (when I get an unexpected financial boon would love to buy slide out wire baskets, but this works for now.)

I stack them on old bookshelves lined up in the closet. Bins get labeled by color, but I also have  bins with 2" strips, and 2" squares, fused scraps, etc. Each ongoing WIP and new class has it's own bin, some shoebox  sizes depending on project. I use bright neon easily replaceable labels.

I love being able  to see everything on shelves when I open the closet and keeps me honest about how much I have going on...which does NOT stop more ideas and too hard to resist fabric purchases!!

on 5 Apr 2014 7:44 PM

I have sorted my fabrics by color for quite a long time.  However, I do keep some specifics seperate ie. batiks, 30's, hand dyes.... After I finish a project, I do cut the scrappy smaller pieces into 6",and 5" squares, then 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips.  Anything smaller goes out!

My quilt group makes alot of community quilts for donating to nursing home, childsafe organizations and quilts of valor, so I am constantly combing through looking for appropriate fabrics to use.

annadonato wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 PM

I sort my fabric by colours and fold neatly in piles.  I have tons but it is now all sorted and by colour.  Looks great.  

annadonato wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 PM

I sort my fabric by colours and fold neatly in piles.  I have tons but it is now all sorted and by colour.  Looks great.  

annadonato wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 PM

I sort my fabric by colours and fold neatly in piles.  I have tons but it is now all sorted and by colour.  Looks great.  

annadonato wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 PM

I sort my fabric by colours and fold neatly in piles.  I have tons but it is now all sorted and by colour.  Looks great.  

on 5 Apr 2014 7:45 PM

I keep my scraps in flat boxes like for scrapbooking by like colors, e.g. pinks, purples, browns, etc. They are pressed and ready to use. Then when I am making something that needs smaller pieces, I can pull the box or boxes with scraps of the color or colors I need.

m.keller wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:46 PM

My stash is spread between several rooms. Needless to say it would be better if I could see it all. I sometimes forget what I have. Just saying that makes me sad.

GinnySycuro wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:46 PM

My best advice for quilters is to keep it under control. Those that are out of control in acquiring material and notions will eventually acquire so much stuff that they will become immobilized! It is easy to buy too much "stuff," especially when the fabrics and notions are so wonderful.

I try to remember that next year the choices will be even better and my taste and needs may change and not to get too far ahead.  I try (emphasis on try) not to plan any more than 3 years in advance. Of course that advice will go out the window pretty fast during a great sale, or if I find something hand made (like buttons, beads, ribbons...) or anything I love that may not be available ever again, I buy it. If I am on vacation and there is a regional fabric or notion I may never see again, or if it is a souvenir for me, I buy a little of it. I used to always buy 3 yards of any fabric because then I had enough to do almost anything, from a quilt to a skirt. Now I buy a quarter yard of fabric, or I buy what I need for a specific planned  project, attach the business card of the store or artist I bought it from, and I am satisfied that I have a little sample and that I can try to get more if I need it later on. One other way to keep it under control is to take a photo of the fabric (or notion) then a photo of  a business card of where you saw it. That way all you need to organize is your photo album.

This is, of course, advice from someone who at one time had a craft drawer, went on to a craft closet, then a craft room, and then 3 craft rooms, and now trying to go back to a controllable amount. I find that by donating to schools and organizations that need art and craft supplies I am happy, and so are they. As I clean out 40 years of accumulation I can see why there is always fabric at thrift stores, and why I love the container isle at the store so much.  I will eventually meet my goals of having less, and having it in the proper container,  but if I had followed the advice above I would be crafting instead of organizing, and have saved a bundle of money in the process. And I could find everything the first time I looked for it.

PamG@11 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:53 PM

Well I'm lucky enough to have a sewing space that has a closet with some large drawers built in the bottom of one wall. I have bins filled with holiday fabrics. Kits, UFO's & specialty fabrics are also stored there. Then in my sewing area I have a huge glass windowed cabinet that I store my most used fabrics and my hand dyed fabric. It's so nice to see all the lovely patterns and colors. Then I have another 1800's cabinet that I store my craft stuff in. I love fabric and like to be surrounded by it.

Micheledore wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 7:55 PM

I sort by colour within genre - civil war, dots, florals. Drawers are smaller cuts, shelving is cuts larger than 1.5 yds

Ele4 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:06 PM

I open my fabric with the fold on one side and the selvedge on the other, then I wrap it around my 24" x 6" ruler. Slide the ruler out and fold it in half so it is 12" x 6" -- I do this with large amounts of fabric yardage and as little as 1/4 yard. Then I store it in wire cubbies by solids (white, cream, brown, blue, black, greens,etc.) Then I have some folded flannel that way which are in their own cubbie. Also there is a cubbie for wool, prints, and plaids. There is a total of 24 wire cubbies that hook together. For the fat quarters and the 5" squares those are in plastic tubs that fit at the end of the cubbies in the closet. I love the way it looks and I can sit at the sewing machine and look to see what I might use for the project I am currently working on. It might not work for everyone but it works for me, especially since I already have the ruler and don't have to put out money for the comic book folders.

nelliedlc wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:07 PM

I don't have an extensive fabric stash but I re-use plastic bags that package linens: everything from pillow cases and sheet sets to comforters or blankets. Since these containers often seal back up tightly, I know my fabric will stay clean and be ready when I need it. Since these are see-through, it's easy to find what I'm looking for in a bin or on a shelf.

Selra wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:15 PM

Scan fabric samples and organize the images in folders and subfolders labeled  Predominate Color (red, pink, etc.).  For each image include Designer (if known), Approximate Size (if 1 yard or more), Location (closet, attic, etc.), Fabric (cotton, silk, etc.), Rating (10 = I love this fabric to 1= unlikely to use), Age/Condition.  This is particularly useful for fabric that will be packed away.  Then I can search for what I want on my computer by predominant color.  For small pieces I'm likely to use, I store by color in drawers in small, plastic stackable storage units.

daisy_doodle wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:16 PM

I recently invested in fabric organizers, fiber boards to wrap my fabric around. The come in three sizes, so I can sort by yardage/color. We have an old two door cabinet with shelves so the wraps are lined up on the shelves by color/yardage. The fat quarters are in flat totes by color so I can open and see them like looking at CD's in a file. The 5 - 10 yd. Pieces used for backing are on the bottom shelf folded like sheets since there aren't many of them. I do a lot of charity quilts so find k it easier to put something together when I can see what my stash contains.

daisy_doodle wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:17 PM

I recently invested in fabric organizers, fiber boards to wrap my fabric around. The come in three sizes, so I can sort by yardage/color. We have an old two door cabinet with shelves so the wraps are lined up on the shelves by color/yardage. The fat quarters are in flat totes by color so I can open and see them like looking at CD's in a file. The 5 - 10 yd. Pieces used for backing are on the bottom shelf folded like sheets since there aren't many of them. I do a lot of charity quilts so find k it easier to put something together when I can see what my stash contains.

daisy_doodle wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:18 PM

I recently invested in fabric organizers, fiber boards to wrap my fabric around. The come in three sizes, so I can sort by yardage/color. We have an old two door cabinet with shelves so the wraps are lined up on the shelves by color/yardage. The fat quarters are in flat totes by color so I can open and see them like looking at CD's in a file. The 5 - 10 yd. Pieces used for backing are on the bottom shelf folded like sheets since there aren't many of them. I do a lot of charity quilts so find k it easier to put something together when I can see what my stash contains.

annehunt wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:20 PM

I use clear shoe-box type boxes for colour coding fat quarters & large scraps,  most left over scraps I cut into 2 1/2 jelly roll strips in a large clear tote, 10",9", 6", 5" squares in clear flat boxes, large bolt amounts are folded on narrow shelves with a curtain arranged to block the light when I'm not there admiring them or waiting for inspiration.

I'm afraid I have lots of clear "what's in this" boxes also.  I'm always interested in others tips for storage.  Thanks!

BJRI wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:23 PM

When my stash outgrew the plastic labeled bins I was using, I was looking for a better system that fit my 'new' studio. I was fortunate enough to find and buy some used sewing  pattern cabinets - not too tall (I have short knee walls that stop at 48") but heavy and solid with compartmented  spaces inside. I sorted the fabric by color, then by value and folded the fabrics to fit into the compartments in each drawer. I labeled the outside of the drawers with the colors. Now I can just pull open a drawer and pick and choose the colors/values and audition them easily. The three cabinets are one of my best finds, they store a lot of fabric, and it remains dust free until I need it. Plus the tops of the cabinets offer more horizontal space for other supplies.

canuckeh wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:34 PM

I have a drawer of fat quarters that I can use for small projects.

Then I have shelves where fabric is sorted by color first, then in piles of light medium or dark. If there are multiple colors, I put it with whatever color is predominant.

My batiks are in a different cupboard since I love to make all batik quilts.

If I have a specific project that I want to do, I use a giant ziploc bag and put in all fabrics and pattern. I can cut pieced out and just keep it together in the bag until project is complete.

By sorting fabrics this way, I saw that I often buy the same fabric twice since I like it. I also realize that I buy too many mediums and not enough lights or darks. So lately I  only buy the neutrals that are needed to highlight the beautidul mediums and focus fabrics from my stash.

cherfashion wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 8:49 PM

A few years back a hardware store was redoing their sales floor and got rid of their wooden storage racks divided into small areas for drawer handles. These were acquired and have been a great solution to fabric storage.  The individual cube are great for sorting fabric by colors, types such as batiks, Civil War, 30's and on and on.  Fat quarters fit in them just right.

Large yardage is folded and stored in a cabinet by types. Projects are kept together in tubs and my small scraps are sorted by color.

I have started cutting the scraps into squares from 1" to 5".  Following the "Cut the Scraps!" book.  I have done some smaller than the book suggested for doll quilts and a postage stamp quilt.

mkforward wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:04 PM

I like to sort my fabric into cool and warm and neutral sections.  I cut pieces from cardboard boxes about the size of a sheet of paper and I wrap my fabrics around the cardboard and stand them up on shelves so I can see and access all of it.....kind of like how fabric is on a bolt at the fabric store.  I save  money by cutting and using cardboard boxes so I can spend my money on fabrics and my sewing room stays pretty organized.  :)

on 5 Apr 2014 9:27 PM

I organized my stash by going to my local Lowes store and having them cut one 8 ft sheet of thin wafer board into pieces the size of a cardboard material bolt - then I had my husband wrap them in plastic(much like Saran Wrap for food only it comes on a spool) then I wrapped my material on them , sorted by color and stood them on floor(hardwood) under my cubby shelves also home made with used milk crates and 8ft long by 1ft wide pine boards as needed I've built up the wall and my stash and all my sewing extras are becoming sorted and easy to see and use without "digging" through a stack! I also recycle coffee ground plastic containers stacked up a wall to hold my yarn in- 4 medium skeins fit nicely in each ! I use lots of different textures to sew with and quilt with and I love to recycle as much as possible - hate the idea of any useable materials going to a land fill! Would live to win - thanks Gayla Napier dba Clothes By GiGi

on 5 Apr 2014 9:53 PM

My stash is stored in clear totes that stack and sorted in different manners.  I have one tote just for Tula Pink, several for Kona Solids, and one for Bella Solids. I have several that are divided up that have all precuts - jelly rolls, charm packs, mini charms.  I have one that holds all fat quarter bundles.  The rest is in order of dots, patterns, geometric shapes, children's designs and I even have a tote for holidays and patriotic fabrics.  I try to go through it often and donate what I won't use or leftovers from quilts completed to our local Senior Citizens Center.  They ladies love to see me!  I also donate quilting and craft magazines to them.  So nothing is wasted.  The clear totes make it very easy to see what is inside.

jshel wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:56 PM

Well, honestly how much is to much. Need to get to work on creating some fabulous products. Instead of hoarding an storing you need to get busy. The longer it sits waiting the greater chance of your fabric becoming yellowed, moldy or unusable. If nothing else donating it to you daughter or favorite charity is better than having it go to waste.

fiber gypsy wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 9:59 PM

I am a right-brained organizer and use a bureau of drawers and a very large wooden box with a lid for fabrics. The bottom drawer of the bureau is for star fabric, the others are whatever I put in them. Somehow I manage to find what I need when I need it.

salliesue wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:22 PM

So many great ideas!  Many are similar to the way I store my stash, so I won't repeat.  But here's a tip I use - I keep the smaller scraps from a quilt in a zip loc bag all together, then when I need a quick gift, such as a mug rug, pillow top, table runner, journal cover, etc., I can pull a small stack of coordinated fabrics all ready to be made into something wonderful!

on 5 Apr 2014 10:27 PM

I store my stash on open shelves in my studio - you can't pick them to use if you can't see them.  I sort by type first: batiks, flannels, cotton, etc. Then by color. I'm always having to do it again once I've picked out for a new project as I mess them all up each time -LOL.  The other thing I do is tack a paper copy of the color wheel where I can readily see it as I pick.

Maggie Kubo wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:39 PM

I have a huge addiction problem with fabric. I not only buy new, but also look for "new" at yard sales and thrift stores. It does not end there, as former sewing friends, or friends who know former sewing friends often stop by and reinforce the problem by handing  me a bag or box of fabric that is never going to be used. Of course, I take it with a huge covetous smile, not having any idea what I will do with it.

I do not stop at quilting; I make doll clothes, throws, handbags, aprons and even coffee cozies. I often rearrange my stash by color, or by type, mostly for one of two reasons...my sewing room has become an impossible mess, or I am simply in need of a different look. Some stash is in drawers, while more is in any kind of bin or basket that I can put my hands on. I have even separated fabrics into categories; ie adult quilt, baby quilt, apron, handbag, etc, which of course, for me, in no way determines the final outcome.

on 5 Apr 2014 10:43 PM

I store the majority of fabrics in clear plastic bins stacked on metal shelving so I can clearly see what's inside. I sew garments so I separate by fabric type. Fine expensive silks are separated from fine wool, and knits...also store darks with darks and light colored with the same. My cotton. "Quilting fabric" is organized by color and also by its compliment , and it is layed out over dowels.

Iva@5 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:43 PM

Great timing, as I have just recently organized my new sewing room. I am very fortunate to have a closet of open shelves. On the top shelf sit batting, fabric scraps in bins, and non-quilting fabrics. The next shelf contains older fabrics uniformly folded and organized by color, plus kits and jelly rolls. The remainder of this shelf and the next contain all of my newer quilting fabrics, also organized by color with fat quarters sitting in front of folded yardages. WIPs are lined all along the next shelf; and on the bottom shelf sit books, rulers, colored pencils, magazines in an organizer, and other miscellaneous items. I just love being met by all those colors and patterns every time I open the doors!

Doris3333 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 10:52 PM

I have just reclaimed a bedroom &  set up my sewing room again.  In the process I sorted through all my old fabrics, and kept only fabric I could use for quilting.  I need to see the fabrics to get my inspiration, so my husband built wide open shelves into a closet.  On one shelf, I have solids/mini prints sorted by color.  On another shelf I have larger prints and panels sorted by color.  A third shelf holds all my books & patterns in magazine holders, my rulers, thread, etc.  The top shelf is projects in extra large zip lock storage bags so I can see all my chosen future projects. Scraps are in clear bins by color.

Katherine@40 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:18 PM

I have these great drawers, 24 of them, but have never used them to their full potential.  I saw where someone had folded her fabric around a ruler and then pulled it out.  The resulting folded fabric stacked neatly and fit perfectly on her shelves.  This inspired me to measure the drawers.  They are 5.5" deep and 21" wide.  I cut a piece of cardboard 4" wide and 10" long.  I wrap my fabric around the template, pull it out and then place it on edge in the drawer.  I can see all my fabric.  I've done 12 drawers that were stuffed to overflowing so far and I have 3 empty drawers.  Twelve more to go.

smithkims wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:19 PM

I sort mine by how I use it, I use alot of small pieces for applique.. But I like to be able to see it when I walk into my sewing room

RLMason wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:31 PM

I work on different projects throughout the year to include fashion, home sewing and quilting.  I  sort fabric based on fiber content. For instance, cottons could be sorted by 100 % cottons, cotton blends, flannel, corduroy, etc.  Then I sort by color or print. For fashion fabrics, I pin the pattern number and view on the fabric. I keep the fabrics in clear plastic totes labeled with the fabric contents. For quilting fabrics, I usually shop for a specific project and will keep both fabric and project pattern together in a jumbo storage bag.

RLMason wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:31 PM

I work on different projects throughout the year to include fashion, home sewing and quilting.  I  sort fabric based on fiber content. For instance, cottons could be sorted by 100 % cottons, cotton blends, flannel, corduroy, etc.  Then I sort by color or print. For fashion fabrics, I pin the pattern number and view on the fabric. I keep the fabrics in clear plastic totes labeled with the fabric contents. For quilting fabrics, I usually shop for a specific project and will keep both fabric and project pattern together in a jumbo storage bag.

iBetty wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:38 PM

My yardage is folded and stacked on shelves and organized like a fabric store.  lol.

I keep them separated according to if they are solids, plaids, polka dots, novelty, floral, etc.  The flannels, corduroy, velvet's, etc are kept together.   I have never sorted by color.  For smaller pieces and scraps , I store in clear plastic bins.  Not by color but I do have separate bins  for brights and for landscape theme.  The other small pieces and scraps just mingle.  I am a scrap lover.  I think when they mingle .... they multiply.  My scraps never diminish, no matter how many scrap quilts I make.

Guilded Gal wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:52 PM

I put shelves on the sides and back of my closet to make a mini walk-in closet, folded my fabric using a 6" wide ruler (roll your yardage around then fold), then sorted by color. Fat quarters are in tubs by color on the bottom shelf and material reserved for projects or patterns on the top? I do have two special categories- batiks & Christmas which have their separate space on a shelf. Folding the fabric like this makes it easier to stack material and see at a glance how much you have of a particular piece.

Guilded Gal wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:52 PM

I put shelves on the sides and back of my closet to make a mini walk-in closet, folded my fabric using a 6" wide ruler (roll your yardage around then fold), then sorted by color. Fat quarters are in tubs by color on the bottom shelf and material reserved for projects or patterns on the top? I do have two special categories- batiks & Christmas which have their separate space on a shelf. Folding the fabric like this makes it easier to stack material and see at a glance how much you have of a particular piece.

Lindy101 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:55 PM

Dick and Jane get their own special cubby, as do the French fabrics, the butterflies, frogs and dogs themes. Batiks get their very own boxes, and 'normal' fabrics go by color families. As you pointed out in your blog, so much depends on the individual quilter's creative style.

Best tip? "Don't put your fabric down, put it away. "

angel0528 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:56 PM

I organize my stash folded by color on bookshelves , my holiday fabrics are in a smaller cabinet, I also keep the larger amounts on tubes that are in a corner of my room.. My small pieces I keep in clear containers  by color so its easy to keep together and to find for projects that I am doing. I like keeping my fabrics out so I can see them it not only gives me inspiration but I think of it as pieces of beautiful art and if you keep your stash neatly organized that's what it becomes a piece of art done in the fashion of a quilt.

angel0528 wrote
on 5 Apr 2014 11:59 PM

I organize my stash folded by color on bookshelves , my holiday fabrics are in a smaller cabinet, I also keep the larger amounts on tubes that are in a corner of my room.. My small pieces I keep in clear containers  by color so its easy to keep together and to find for projects that I am doing. I like keeping my fabrics out so I can see them it not only gives me inspiration but I think of it as pieces of beautiful art and if you keep your stash neatly organized that's what it becomes a piece of art done in the fashion of a quilt.

angel0528 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 12:01 AM

I organize my stash folded by color on bookshelves , my holiday fabrics are in a smaller cabinet, I also keep the larger amounts on tubes that are in a corner of my room.. My small pieces I keep in clear containers  by color so its easy to keep together and to find for projects that I am doing. I like keeping my fabrics out so I can see them it not only gives me inspiration but I think of it as pieces of beautiful art and if you keep your stash neatly organized that's what it becomes a piece of art done in the fashion of a quilt.

angel0528 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 12:01 AM

I organize my stash folded by color on bookshelves , my holiday fabrics are in a smaller cabinet, I also keep the larger amounts on tubes that are in a corner of my room.. My small pieces I keep in clear containers  by color so its easy to keep together and to find for projects that I am doing. I like keeping my fabrics out so I can see them it not only gives me inspiration but I think of it as pieces of beautiful art and if you keep your stash neatly organized that's what it becomes a piece of art done in the fashion of a quilt.

carolmealing wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:24 AM

I do everything by colour, so all my supplies are sorted that way, whether we're talking about fabric, yarn or beads.  A neat idea for smallish pieces of fabric is to use a CD rack - the racks take up hardly any floor space and you can see everything! I have one that rotates and only takes up one square foot of floor space - with 32 cubby holes to fill that's quite a lot of fat quarters or scraps!

carolmealing wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:25 AM

I do everything by colour, so all my supplies are sorted that way, whether we're talking about fabric, yarn or beads.  A neat idea for smallish pieces of fabric is to use a CD rack - the racks take up hardly any floor space and you can see everything! I have one that rotates and only takes up one square foot of floor space - with 32 cubby holes to fill that's quite a lot of fat quarters or scraps!

geckostreet wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:26 AM

I sew both clothing and quilts so have lots of scraps.  I cut my scraps into usable sizes with my Accuquit and store them in plastic bins by size and color. My favorite sizes are 2", 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 5 1/2".  I have a head start on making a donation quilts with my quilt group.  I recently acquired numerous clear magazine bins that I plan to sort my tiny scraps into to use for art quilts.

Prettynickle wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:26 AM

I recently put up wall shelving from Ikea and sort my fabric by color.  Now I have 6 of them  on the wall, off the floor, easy to see and reach. I can see everything and get inspired.  I keep craft items like birds, houses I've made on top.  A way to show off without showing off perhaps?   I also took large, clear plastic jugs, (like the tootsie rolls come in at Costco) and screwed them to the wall under my TV in the sewing room and put scraps in them.  Great for scrappy grabs when looking for something small. I love my sewing room!

on 6 Apr 2014 1:56 AM

I found the question about whether or not you like to see your fabric interesting. I like seeing my fabric when I am sewing or quilting, but not when doing one of my many other hobbies like cross stitch, crochet, etc. It becomes distracting then. So I keep my fabric in clear plastic containers in a pair of tall cabinets with doors. Easy to open when I want to see, and close when I don't. The doors are also great for deciding which fabrics to use together in a quilt. I tuck the top of an old sheet in at the top of the doors, and pin fabrics to the sheet. This way I can look at them from a short distance away and see if I'm getting the contrast or blending I want to achieve. Another plus of the cabinets is that I placed them with just enough room between the side of the cabinet and the wall, so I can store my quilting frame there when it's not in use. On the other side of the cabinet, I added a hook for hanging my cutting mat and rulers. When one small room has to handle so many different hobbies, it has to be organized.

Robweb wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:57 AM

I'm in Australia so don't qualify for the competition, but I thought you might like to know how I organise my stash. For anything on a bolt I stand them in a cheap wooden cube open on the top which I decoupaged some years ago. Fabric bought by the yard, fat quarters and things like jellyrolls and layer cakes etc are stacked in shelves, sorted by colour as much as possible. Any scraps that have potential for either patchwork or applique are kept in storage drawers, once again sorted by colour. I also have decorated plastic storage jars that I use to hold any scraps that I have already cut into specific sizes. These are sorted by size. I keep a large bin under my work station, so that as I cut out what I need I throw the offcuts into this bin to be sorted later. I saves time while I'm in the rush of creation. Nothing gets thrown out without first being checked for potential usage in the future. Good luck to all those eligible for the comp.

on 6 Apr 2014 2:17 AM

My storage style is the Piling System:  stuff in teetering stacks that I've pulled for yet another project!  The stacks get sifted through and pieces snitched from for a new idea, and so it goes - not very organized, but I spend lots of time sewing and very little time organizing - organizing might just be horribly overrated!

on 6 Apr 2014 2:18 AM

My storage style is the Piling System:  stuff in teetering stacks that I've pulled for yet another project!  The stacks get sifted through and pieces snitched from for a new idea, and so it goes - not very organized, but I spend lots of time sewing and very little time organizing - organizing might just be horribly overrated!

on 6 Apr 2014 2:18 AM

My storage style is the Piling System:  stuff in teetering stacks that I've pulled for yet another project!  The stacks get sifted through and pieces snitched from for a new idea, and so it goes - not very organized, but I spend lots of time sewing and very little time organizing - organizing might just be horribly overrated!

on 6 Apr 2014 2:31 AM

Like so many others, my stash is folded -- though instead of using rulers to wrap the fabric I had two pieces of smooth Masonite cut to appropriate ruler like sizes; one to fold 1/2 yard and under  pieces and one for pieces larger than 1/2 yard.   After wrapping the fabric and removing the board, the fabric is folded in half and "filed" upright in open plastic bins used by restaurants for bussing dishes. The bins are stored on free standing shelving units and covered by simple, tailored, fabric "slipcovers".  The front panel is loose with a dowel slipped into a casing at the bottom.  To gain access, I roll the front from the bottom to the top and secure it with ties attached at the top.  I'm a sort by color gal.  There's no need to label the bins as the fabric is visible when the front is rolled up.  The bins are not excessively heavy; they slide in and out easily.  The best part:  no faded fabric!

on 6 Apr 2014 2:31 AM

Like so many others, my stash is folded -- though instead of using rulers to wrap the fabric I had two pieces of smooth Masonite cut to appropriate ruler like sizes; one to fold 1/2 yard and under  pieces and one for pieces larger than 1/2 yard.   After wrapping the fabric and removing the board, the fabric is folded in half and "filed" upright in open plastic bins used by restaurants for bussing dishes. The bins are stored on free standing shelving units and covered by simple, tailored, fabric "slipcovers".  The front panel is loose with a dowel slipped into a casing at the bottom.  To gain access, I roll the front from the bottom to the top and secure it with ties attached at the top.  I'm a sort by color gal.  There's no need to label the bins as the fabric is visible when the front is rolled up.  The bins are not excessively heavy; they slide in and out easily.  The best part:  no faded fabric!

on 6 Apr 2014 3:19 AM

I organize my fabric stash like many other have stated here, primarily by color.  In a large extra closet I have put side by side & at each end, heavy-duty plastic shelving units from Menards that fit together easily using NO tools; also I can control the top shelf height as all units are identically & interchangable. I can see & easily reach to pull out a stack of greens to find the right color for a project.  I also stack on the closet floor labelled bins of related fabric: Christmas, other holidays & birthday, baby blanket projects, cats & dogs, other animals, foods, panels:) special flower fabrics for that watercolor quilt I have started, etc; then there is a very tall wicker laundry basket w/lid that holds possible backing fabrics of 4-8 yds; another bin holds related fabrics I am collecting for special quilt friends, & of course, there is a bin of 'what was I thinking' fabrics or cast offs from others. Things looked great until a big cat jumped in & slid fabrics off shelves in a heap...ye-oooow

epaburke wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 3:42 AM

Plastic milk crates are good--you can see what's in them, and stack them on top of each other.

lindamckeen wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 5:21 AM

I separate my fabric by type: commercial in one crate, hand dyed in another and then a third with silks, sheers etc.  And always scrumbled, never folded, as I would prefer to get soft organic marks rather than hard fold creases if the fabric doesn't iron out thoroughly.

on 6 Apr 2014 5:42 AM

My stash is folded so there is a rounded end toward the front.  Fabric is against one wall in stacks on wooden shelving which I put together from shelf units.   The material is sorted by color, and within each color I separate the solids from prints, and the prints are put together by value.  That makes the solid colors much easier to find,

Material which has been picked out for a quilt is put in a clear plastic box;  these boxes are on the lower shelves.

Small leftover pieces are put in a drawer until I can get 90 small squares.  At that time I take a break from quilts and do a stuffed animal.  That gives me a change of pace and empties the scrap drawer.

on 6 Apr 2014 5:42 AM

My stash is folded so there is a rounded end toward the front.  Fabric is against one wall in stacks on wooden shelving which I put together from shelf units.   The material is sorted by color, and within each color I separate the solids from prints, and the prints are put together by value.  That makes the solid colors much easier to find,

Material which has been picked out for a quilt is put in a clear plastic box;  these boxes are on the lower shelves.

Small leftover pieces are put in a drawer until I can get 90 small squares.  At that time I take a break from quilts and do a stuffed animal.  That gives me a change of pace and empties the scrap drawer.

didash wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:43 AM

I've been storing like everyone else - folded in bins, but by size.  Now that I've been quilting for about a yr and a half, I've started to accumulate quite a stash.  So my new mantra is: "Don't buy it until you NEED it, and don't save every little bitty scrap!  I ALREADY have more fabric than I will ever use in my lifetime...so I'm starting to sell, give away, and use what I have FIRST!

Mary D.M. wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:59 AM

I am a snowbird - travelling from Ontario, Canada to Florida for the winter.  I like to carry my stash (or a portion of it) with me and I have found that shallow plastic bins - about 6 inches high and about 16X20 work well for storing and transport.  I fold (I use a iron to get the fabric smooth and nice and compact) into squares that are about 6" square and then line them up on end in rows in the bin.  I can see what is in them at a glance and I can tell roughly how big they are by how fat the squares are.  The bins are easy to pack in the trunk of my car and carry back and forth.  My stash is not huge but I am working on it.  I currently have two bins but I can't help buying more fabric and will need a third bin to contain it.  

Mary D.M. wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:59 AM

I am a snowbird - travelling from Ontario, Canada to Florida for the winter.  I like to carry my stash (or a portion of it) with me and I have found that shallow plastic bins - about 6 inches high and about 16X20 work well for storing and transport.  I fold (I use a iron to get the fabric smooth and nice and compact) into squares that are about 6" square and then line them up on end in rows in the bin.  I can see what is in them at a glance and I can tell roughly how big they are by how fat the squares are.  The bins are easy to pack in the trunk of my car and carry back and forth.  My stash is not huge but I am working on it.  I currently have two bins but I can't help buying more fabric and will need a third bin to contain it.  

sockrmom wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:16 AM

I store my scraps in  pretty photo boxes. They are made of archival material so don't degrade fabric.  My best tip is to have a fabric swap with your friends.  Something you might not like anymore might be just what they're looking for or vice versa.

sockrmom wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:16 AM

I store my scraps in  pretty photo boxes. They are made of archival material so don't degrade fabric.  My best tip is to have a fabric swap with your friends.  Something you might not like anymore might be just what they're looking for or vice versa.

sockrmom wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:16 AM

I store my scraps in  pretty photo boxes. They are made of archival material so don't degrade fabric.  My best tip is to have a fabric swap with your friends.  Something you might not like anymore might be just what they're looking for or vice versa.

tootsie00 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:25 AM

I store my stash by color, and currently am working on book casing them.  I pre-wash and iron the fabric, then wrap it on boards or bolts that fit on a bookcase shelf so they stand up like a row of books.  I can easily see what I have on hand, and with a tag on it, I write what the yardage is so I know if I have enough for the project I want to start.  That give me the opportunity to compare color variations from a distance, and allows me to become inspired.  Scraps is a large project that really needs to be addressed.

Diane JEM wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:29 AM

I have organized my fabrics on shelves by color...then I have taken other fabrics and stored them in containers.  Squares cut in various sizes with the sizes on a label on the see through container.  Larger pieces are stored on the cardboard flats that the manufacturer winds their bolts of fabrics (these are usually discarded by the shops and I collect them for longer yardage.  Other plastic containers have fabrics for Christmas, Halloween, Red Hat, Cats, Batiks, Specialty Fabrics and Purses and Bags.  This makes it easy to locate a fabric for any project I am working on. All patterns are in a clear tote.  I have completed an Inventory of all my Patterns, Rulers, Cutting Implements, etc. so when I visit Quilt Shops when traveling I know what I have and do not make purchases of duplicates.

Diane JEM wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:37 AM

I have sorted and stored most of my fabrics by color on shelves in my sewing room.  Other fabrics: Red Hat, Halloween, Christmas, Bag and Totes, Cats, Batiks are stored in see-through totes and labeled - on shelving in the closet for easy access.  Longer yardage is stored on the bolt cores that the manufacturer sends fabric to the quilt shops - these cores are usually discarded by the shops and I collect them to use.  I have completed an inventory of all my supplies so that when I visit a quilt shop I do not buy duplicates of patterns (stored in plastic totes and labeled), rulers, specialty cutting tools, etc.  This has really made it easy for me to work on my projects and find what I need when I need it.

Diane JEM wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:37 AM

I have sorted and stored most of my fabrics by color on shelves in my sewing room.  Other fabrics: Red Hat, Halloween, Christmas, Bag and Totes, Cats, Batiks are stored in see-through totes and labeled - on shelving in the closet for easy access.  Longer yardage is stored on the bolt cores that the manufacturer sends fabric to the quilt shops - these cores are usually discarded by the shops and I collect them to use.  I have completed an inventory of all my supplies so that when I visit a quilt shop I do not buy duplicates of patterns (stored in plastic totes and labeled), rulers, specialty cutting tools, etc.  This has really made it easy for me to work on my projects and find what I need when I need it.

Diane JEM wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:37 AM

I have sorted and stored most of my fabrics by color on shelves in my sewing room.  Other fabrics: Red Hat, Halloween, Christmas, Bag and Totes, Cats, Batiks are stored in see-through totes and labeled - on shelving in the closet for easy access.  Longer yardage is stored on the bolt cores that the manufacturer sends fabric to the quilt shops - these cores are usually discarded by the shops and I collect them to use.  I have completed an inventory of all my supplies so that when I visit a quilt shop I do not buy duplicates of patterns (stored in plastic totes and labeled), rulers, specialty cutting tools, etc.  This has really made it easy for me to work on my projects and find what I need when I need it.

locallyamber wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 8:09 AM

To store 1/2 yard or more of fabric, I fold my fabric lengthwise in quarters (so it's 10 or 11 inches wide), and use comic book backer boards to roll it on.  You can buy 100 for about $10 or $12.  They are sturdy enough to hold your fabric upright, and thin enough so they don't take up precious room on the shelf.

cmejer wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 8:10 AM

I have my quilting fabric sorted by project first,and scraps leftover by color. I like under the bed storage boxes to save space, but if I had the room I would like them more visible!

on 6 Apr 2014 9:27 AM

SOY DE ARGENTINA , NO PUEDO PARTICIPAR, PERO OPINARÉ IGUAL. DEPENDE TAMBIÉN DEL ESPACIO DISPONIBLE, YO POR EJEMPLO TENGO EN UN PLACAR CAJONES DE MADERA QUE USO PARA ELLO Y COLOCO EN SU FRENTE UN TROZO DE TELA PEQUEÑO COMO MUESTRARIO Y SÉ  QUE ENCUENTRO EN CADA CAJÓN. CUANDO SE TERMINA VOY CAMBIANDO . NO PUEDO COMPRAR LAS REVISTAS SI SÓLO VIENEN EN INGLES Y NO EN ESPAÑOL. SIEMPRE ME PREGUNTO POR QUE SIGO SUSCRIPTA, PERO BUENO, ME ARREGLO CON LA TRADUCCIÓN Y LAS IMÁGENES. SALUDOS A TODOS Y GRACIAS. SUSANA

on 6 Apr 2014 9:27 AM

SOY DE ARGENTINA , NO PUEDO PARTICIPAR, PERO OPINARÉ IGUAL. DEPENDE TAMBIÉN DEL ESPACIO DISPONIBLE, YO POR EJEMPLO TENGO EN UN PLACAR CAJONES DE MADERA QUE USO PARA ELLO Y COLOCO EN SU FRENTE UN TROZO DE TELA PEQUEÑO COMO MUESTRARIO Y SÉ  QUE ENCUENTRO EN CADA CAJÓN. CUANDO SE TERMINA VOY CAMBIANDO . NO PUEDO COMPRAR LAS REVISTAS SI SÓLO VIENEN EN INGLES Y NO EN ESPAÑOL. SIEMPRE ME PREGUNTO POR QUE SIGO SUSCRIPTA, PERO BUENO, ME ARREGLO CON LA TRADUCCIÓN Y LAS IMÁGENES. SALUDOS A TODOS Y GRACIAS. SUSANA

sailkate wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 9:38 AM

I store my fabric by type; batik, Christmas, Civil War, novelty, ect.  The larger pieces are folded using Lois Hallock's method so I can see them clearly on the shelves.  Smaller pieces are folded and stored in small fabric boxes - still open so that I can see the fabric.  Being able to visually scan my fabric is important to me.  

nancy333 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 9:54 AM

As my stash grew, I have changed my system many times.  Here is what works for now.  I have cycled through the wash/not wash issue several times. Now, if I wash a length of fabric, I put a small safety pin in the corner.  When I come across that, I know that fabric has been washed.  No safety pin means that I have to decide if the fabric needs to be washed for that project.

I store all fabric from 1/2 yard to 3 years wrapped around comic book boards and shelved into wire basket carts (Container Store) on wheels.  I sort by theme (Christmas, butterflies, flower, batiks) and then by color.  Larger than 3 yards or backing fabric gets stored neatly folded on a shelf in the closet. Fat quarters are stored in clear bins and sorted as above. I have lots of embellishments and find that I need to store them in clear bins so I can see what I have.  Out of sight and out of mind holds true.

On every door that I can, I have put those over the door pantry racks with baskets (Container store).  In those racks, I sort and store items like glue, floss, scissors, pins, rulers, markers, and thread.  The goal is to return the items to their own spot when done using them.

My scrap method has evolved.  Under my cutting table, I keep 2 popup mesh laundry hampers.  I toss small scraps that I would never use in a quilt into one and larger scraps into another.  The tiny scraps get put in a small bin next  to my sewing machine and I use for leaders when sewing strips or as test pieces for checking tension or thread color.  The larger scraps get recut into either strips or 3.5 inch squares for scrappy projects.  I do this cutting on those days when I want to do something but don't have enough time or energy to do more then mindlessly cut scraps.

I have started painting and dyeing my own fabric and love the process but haven't figured out how to store those pieces yet.  They are spread decoratively over my daughters bed and bedroom but alas she will be arriving home from college in a month and I will have to figure out how I want to store them (and how I want to use them).

Bev-Houston wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 9:58 AM

I have a 6-foot tall by 4-foot wide stainless shelving unit. I use four 11" square collapsable cubes: blue, red, green, yellow which fit nicely on one shelf. Each cube contains fabric in colors that primarily match the color of the cube. I have the cubes turned on their side so that I can see the fabric at a glance. On the shelf below, I have 2 large plastic drawers: one for fat quarters and one for pre-cuts. I keep scraps in a large flat-bottomed tote bag.

tlmoses wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 10:06 AM

When I get some new fabric I refold any amount of fabric 1/2 yard and more around my 6 inch ruler so that they are all the same size and then stack them by color in my cupboard.  There are doors so I get a wonderful surprise every time I open them!.  The fat quarters get folded all the same and stacked by type, theme, etc.  I participated in a charm square swap group for awhile and so far they are all in a clear box until I come up with something better.  I have bookcase style shelves where I keep 2" strips, 2 1/2" strips and color groups of scraps into clear plastic boxes.  I will probably cut the scraps into the strips.  I also have a basket by my cutting table for odd size scraps as I'm working on a project.  My daughters and nieces know where to go when they need some fabric for a project!

mahaines1 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 10:10 AM

As I read through the other posts I realize I use a combination.  I have a wire rack in the closet with clear plastic totes.  The fabric is sorted by color, but I also have some that are for Christmas, large prints or a specific line of fabric that I might want to use together in one quilt.  Backing and really long yardage pieces are on bolts and stored upright on a shelf so they are easy to see.  I also have a couple of bins for specific size pieces, such as my 2 1/2" strip scraps or some 4" squares I received in a fabric swap. Fat Quarters and Eighths each have a box of their own. I store UFOs in project boxes with the pattern and all the fabric I need to complete the project.  I even purchased a label maker so I can label the box to see which project is there without digging through the stack. Completed quilt tops are stored on a plastic hanger along with the fabric for backing and binding.  I carried that step further for my table runners. They on on hangers with clips so they can hang straight and not be wrinkled when I pull them out to use them.

on 6 Apr 2014 10:31 AM

Allow your fabric to have air flow to prevent fiber deteriorating. Keep out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Resold to prevent permanent folds. I sort by type. Ie 30's, batiks, florals. For basis by color then broken down by shades/death of color. It makes finding what you need easier. When in sections it also moves your eye & sometimes you add the unexpected which just "makes it awesome"!

on 6 Apr 2014 10:36 AM

I organize my stash by folding all fabric around my 6 1/2" ruler.  I made fabric stash buckets for every color of scrap.  Now all my scraps are contained and easily accessible. Sometimes the buckets run over. I organize my stash by color mostly.  Some days I play with the fabric and pull pieces for a new quilt.  I might put it all back, but planning the quilt is part of the process.  

Jereena wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 10:53 AM

My Fabric stash is not huge. I keep the prints according to the collection and separate them by fat quarters, jelly rolls, charm packs, yardage etc and keep all solids separate as well. There is also separate bins for tiny scraps, strip scraps and square and triangle scraps. This system works for me so far. But I am always open for changes if it suits me better.

Williamsj9 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:00 AM

The first thing I do I put kits together for a complete quilt including the pattern. This way it is easy to grab a project and get started. Yardage I wrap on comic boards and display in cubbies. For specific types of fabric such as 30's or civil war fabrics, I have a drawer for each. Scraps I cut into useable sizes and store in a bin I purchased at Menards. I have a place for strings for string quilts. Fat quarters I also keep in one place.  I also join a UFO challenge every year to encourage me to finish what I started and not be excessive in new purchases.

JeanneB1 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:10 AM

I like to see my fabrics arranged by color.  I wash all my fabric before they get to my sewing room.  Anything larger than 2yards is hung on a hanger, everything else folded, stacked by color, and shelved.  

Tiny bits, 'crumbs' are put in clear bags by color groups, I.e. Reds-oranges-pinks, yellows-greens, blues-violets-magnetas.

If I buy a collection of Precuts, I keep them together, at least for awhile....eventually these pieces will join the color sorting system.

I'm easing into the practice of cutting scraps into strips, squares, bricks....

JeanneB1 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:10 AM

I like to see my fabrics arranged by color.  I wash all my fabric before they get to my sewing room.  Anything larger than 2yards is hung on a hanger, everything else folded, stacked by color, and shelved.  

Tiny bits, 'crumbs' are put in clear bags by color groups, I.e. Reds-oranges-pinks, yellows-greens, blues-violets-magnetas.

If I buy a collection of Precuts, I keep them together, at least for awhile....eventually these pieces will join the color sorting system.

I'm easing into the practice of cutting scraps into strips, squares, bricks....

marti23 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:17 AM

I have been quilting for about six years and have amassed quite a fabric stash.  I never thought I would love fabric so much.  I purchased comic book boards to organize my fabric by color in open shelves so I can see it.  They come in 100 per pack.  I asked my daughter if I should order 1 or 2 packs.  "Do you think I have more than 200 pieces of fabric?" I asked.  She looked at my fabric and said to order 3 packs, "if you don't you can always work towards 300". It is a work in progress.

abmd wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:23 AM

I hang larger fabric pieces on hangers with multiple ladder-style rungs, which lets me see them all and also get a sense of how large they are. Smaller and irregular scraps are pinned to the large sample if it remains, or pinned to a clothesline stretched across one wall of my studio. This helps me see at a glance what I have to work with (size and color). The small scraps I keep adhered to a low tack sheet of repositionable adhesive mounted on the wall, so they look like a small crazy quilt. I can arrange and change the pieces on the wall before I sew them into a piece. All my fabric is easily visible, but not cluttering up tables or work spaces or the floor!

JGP wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:30 AM

I organize my stash by fabric type and fiber. Wools together, quilting cottons, cotton corduroy. I do all kinds of sewing so this is most efficient. The quilting cottons I also sort by color. Fabric selected for a project are keep separate . Some of my stash are recycled fabrics such as silk tie fabric, felted wools, etc. They are kept separate. My ultimate organizing plan is to take over my son's room when he moves out!

Grandmichele wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 12:01 PM

So many good ideas and here are mine.

I keep all my sewing tools neatly stored in a toolbox so that they are easily transportable. I do the same for thread, bobbins and thread-related items, all of which are kept next to my sewing table. In my sewing closet, my fabric and embellishments are sorted by type  in large zip-lock bags (labelled with a description of a future project or an idea for use) filed in identical lidded and labelled clear boxes with the date it was last reorganized  (I have a Dymo labelmaker attached to my computer which makes this easy). Larger pieces of fabric are in clear boxes as well so that everything is stackable, visible and organized the same way. I keep scraps in a large bin, the contents of which are used for making clothes for cardboard paper dolls with my granddaughter on a rainy day.  Other than diligent labelling, this is really no fuss and easy to maintain.  

on 6 Apr 2014 12:15 PM

I have the fabric, pattern, sewn-together pieces, and cut-out pieces for a quilt I've been working on bundled together in one box. Then I have a box for longer lengths of fabric, which are neatly folded (and the bin is clear, so I can see them!), and a third box for smaller pieces, like fat quarters or leftovers. I'm destashing some of my larger pieces of fabric that I've had on hand for years and never used right now, and I think there's some more fabric in the closet that I need to sort through and find a home for. I don't really have enough on hand to feel the need to sort it by colour.

DRHolt wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 12:34 PM

I have spent that past hour reading the many suggestions!  I have 3 Ikea cabinets that I use.  The one with shelves get baskets with ufo's.  The shelve with glass is all sorted by colour, included are the drawers.  The 3rd cabinet is a cube so gets my books.  I also use bins for scraps.  By colour!  A 4th cabinet with doors holds the gingham, Red/black/white collections and other craft related stuff.

I use large tool cases for all my sewing paraphernalia.. they work great with rollers I can move them anywhere.

The bins with stored backings and misc. fabrics like Flannel.. store under my large cutting. notes on them tell me exactly what is in them.

The wall above my cutting table is a large flannel sheet for designing!  I love my work space!

on 6 Apr 2014 12:47 PM

I have lots of lovely little scraps that I hate to part with, so once in a while I assemble them  into long strips using fun, colorful stitching. I sew the the small pieces into interesting abstract designs and the resulting strips can easily be rolled or folded for storage and added to projects later. Here's a bracelet cuff project that uses the saved strips:

www.instructables.com/.../Upcycle-Fabric-Cuff

Artvisionz wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 12:54 PM

I have sooooo much fabric!  I store mine in 12-1/2 gallon clear plastic bins.  I fold all of my fabric and store it in the bins standing on end, like filing system.  This way, I can easily see every piece of fabric in that bin when I open it and can also easily remove it, just like a file folder in a drawer.  I organize by fabric types such as cottons, home decor, silks, sheers, vintage, etc...

on 6 Apr 2014 12:56 PM

Organizing all of my fabric stash is like cleaning, it needs done, but can be parceled out in portions so it doesn't need to be done all at once.  At present, I have bins of solids, seasonal, numerous bins for patterned fabric, a couple for fleece, and a bin for batting.   Numerous bags for projects, complete with fabric, notions, and patterns; call them UFOs if you like, placed on shelves in a cupboard as well as matching drawers in a wall unit.  Unfortunately I keep finding fabric, etc. that is not in the aforementioned bins, nor would it fit if I tried.  Each bin is marked with the contents and I can usually find what I'm looking for.  I've recently begun quilting and have 2 table runners and a wall hanging waiting for me to learn how to free-motion quilt in order to finish them as well as fabric all ready to make 2 separate quilts.  For inspiration I'll go through a selected bin and imagine what I will make with it.  Looking at fabric, feeling it, and dreaming of finished projects is what fuels my soul.

majicfingers wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 1:30 PM

I have a large plastic bin for each type of fabric(flannel, cotton, Knits...). The contents are then sorted by color.

kathleenbaer wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 2:11 PM

Once I spent almost a year with a friend getting my whole house all perfectly organized.  All my fabric was folded into pieces exactly the same width and stacked perfectly on shelves or sorted in bins or other containers.  It was beautiful.  I still look at the pictures of this perfectly organized space, but what I realized was that in that year, I had spent all of my time organizing and none of it creating, so now I put stuff where I can see and get to it, and spend the rest of  my time creating.  If organizing is your thing, go for it, but if what you really love to do is create, then spend your time and energy making art!!!

annebahm wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 2:15 PM

Like many, I use plastic drawers and sort mostly by color, however, I include a drawer for Christmas fabric, one for landscape or storybook fabrics, and one for large floral prints.  All my fabrics are prewashed and pressed before placing them in the containers so they are ready for immediate use! I have separate small tubs for planned projects that include the pattern plus any related notions, etc.  there is also a large drawer for a few UFO's.  Small reuseable scraps are stored in baggies in the color drawers.  I do have a few photos of my fabrics entered on a Fabric Stash phone app  which helps me especially when shopping.

maisydog wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 2:15 PM

Since I find that value is the most important ingredient to the success of a quilt, I use a simple system:  I evaluate value through my plastic rosy value finder and sort into 3 stashes of light, medium, and dark fabrics.  Smaller pieces and scraps are placed in 3 bags (light, medium, and dark).

on 6 Apr 2014 2:32 PM

I generally sort my fabric by color with some variations for large pieces and "special" prints. I also sort my scraps this way.

Carmen@114 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 2:47 PM

I prefer to see as much of my stash as possible.  I have a lot of my smaller scraps folded up neatly and stacked in baskets so only the edges are viewable.  That way I can see more fabrics.  I haven't done it yet, but I really want to use a file cabinet for my larger fabric pieces in much the same way.

on 6 Apr 2014 3:00 PM

I store my fabrics in clear plastic tubs with lids (keeps the fabric clean) I sort them in designer first so that fabrics that match stay together, then the remainder I sort in colour order, in this way when it's time to start a new project I decide firstly on a designer then I can match additional colours into the mix. I also upcycled denim into loads of things from quilts to oven gloves and bags to pinny's (I'm English ;) ) my denim is sorted into pairs that have great usable pockets for bags, and the rest are sorted by colour, all the blues go into a big tub with a lid and the blacks and all other colours go together in another tub)  I also keep a small selection of pieces out in a work basket on my jutting table as sometimes just seeing a colour or a pattern will inspire an idea !!

reddbudd wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 3:11 PM

I must admit, I am not the most organized, I work pretty chaoticly, but I keep trying..  I do have fabric in bins sorted by color , and a platstic storage shelving unit with doors for the larger pieces.  I have been throwing the extra strip pieces for sashings and bindings into a bin of its own, perhaps for a scrappy, stripy quilt sometime .  I also keep small scraps in a bin for crazy quilts, yo yo's, & various other small  scrappy type projects.  I think that just keeping it

all fun is the most important thing.  

reddbudd wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 3:13 PM

I must admit, I am not the most organized, I work pretty chaoticly, but I keep trying..  I do have fabric in bins sorted by color , and a platstic storage shelving unit with doors for the larger pieces.  I have been throwing the extra strip pieces for sashings and bindings into a bin of its own, perhaps for a scrappy, stripy quilt sometime .  I also keep small scraps in a bin for crazy quilts, yo yo's, & various other small  scrappy type projects.  I think that just keeping it

all fun is the most important thing.  

cherylleabo wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 3:20 PM

I sort my fabric by content (I'm a garment and household sewer too!), then color.  I fold around a 5" x 24" ruler, which makes the perfect size to fit a double stack in each section of a 9 section cubicle shelf I purchased from Lowes ( I have 4-need more!) Precuts and scraps are in 3 7-drawer rolling carts next to the shelves, and flannels, backings, fleece, and batting are kept in a nearby closet.  To protect the fabric in the shelving from dust and light, I purchased a flannel-backed vinyl design wall sheet with grommets along the edges, which hangs across the front of the shelving on eye hooks.

on 6 Apr 2014 3:26 PM

I use different methods but the one set-up I go to the most often is my closet. I emptied a closet that was used for clothes we didn't wear anymore but couldn't throw out and I now hang my fabrics like I did my pants and coats. I open the door to the closet and see all that is there at a glace and can get to what I need so much quicker. I love it!

Line

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 3:59 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

Shar Short wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 4:00 PM

I sort by type and then color.  For instance, most of my commercial fabrics are on shelves that folded and stacked by colors.  I have another shelf that is all hand dyed or other surface designs and then color sorted.  Christmas fabrics are by themselves, landscape type prints are by themselves, etc., all sub-sorted by color.  Not sure it is the best way, but for now it works pretty well.  

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 5:17 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 5:17 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 5:17 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

quillow wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 5:19 PM

When I find a pattern I want to make I go through my stash and bag what I have for the pattern and make a list of what I don't have; then add the pattern to the bag. As I purchase what I needed-it goes in the bag. The rest of the stash is by color and print theme.  Hope this method will help others.   The others get cut into usable sizes and boxed in their place for future use.

Anneew wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:07 PM

I keep two  A3 size boxes labelled for my current project and the other to collect suitable fabrics for my next project.. these hold enough fabric and bits for a queen size quilt. It saves the daunting task of sorting through the whole stash, so you can get started straight away. I sort by colour and then into solids and patterns.

Anneew wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:09 PM

I keep two  A3 size boxes labelled for my current project and the other to collect suitable fabrics for my next project.. these hold enough fabric and bits for a queen size quilt. It saves the daunting task of sorting through the whole stash, so you can get started straight away. I sort by colour and then into solids and patterns.

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:11 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

angela maves wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:12 PM

I organize my considerable stash by colour and by type of supply.  For instance, all batiks are sorted by colour and so are my wool rovings/yarns and my paints/crayons/dyes etc.

My container of choice is the Antonius wire rack system by IKEA.  Anything fat quarter or larger is neatly folded and stored in the Antonius with like colours.  Smaller bits go into coloured plastic boxes from the dollar store.  Reds go in a red box and get labelled, browns go in a brown box and so on.  Each type of supply has it own Antonius tower.  The fabrics, of course, take up several towers.

The reason why I prefer the Antonius or Antonius type system is became it is on wheels and can be easily moved to where my students or myself need the supplies to be.  I can move an entire tower or I can move just the blue basket or just the green basket etc.  

Threads/beads/wire and metal are stored the same way but in smaller systems like moveable plastic drawers on wheels or spinner racks.

I keep an empty basket or tray to carry to the storage racks to " forage" for the ingredients for an upcoming project.

This method of storage/organizing works best for me because I need to see what I have in the way of supplies both to see what I need to buy (if anything) and to be inspired.  The trick, as always, is to KEEP it that way and to stay in the habit of putting things back where I got them.

Aunt Juju wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:20 PM

I sort fabrics by color and store in clear plastic bins.  I have some bins for types of fabrics such as 30s, landscape, floral and so on.   I print labels on the computer and stick them inside the box to know what is in the box.

For projects, I put all the fabrics and supplies into a plastic storage tote.  If the pattern is from a book or magazine, I use my computer printer/copier to make a copy of the pattern so the book is still available on the shelf.  It also cuts down on wear and tear on the book.  Books are stored in magazine boxes, sorted by subjects, such as scrap quilts, applique or by author.  

Small scraps are stored in other plastic bins to be used for applique or scrap quilts.

Fabric and project boxes are stored on shelves in my closets.

FranYo wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:27 PM

I've adjusted your #1 suggestion (downsizing) to help others in my community.

When I saw myself getting close to "hoarder" status with my overflowing bins of collected fabric, I took charge of my own tendencies....I looked around at others less fortunate than myself and found a community that is sorely under served: the ignored senior citizens who languish alone in homes and care centers, those who rarely have visitors or gifts from loved ones.

A few of my quilting friends and I started a sewing group who make patchwork quilts, lap-sized, for specific individual whom we "adopt". We pooled our stashes and come to each meeting with as many squares as we can cut and stitch 'em together for delightful, colorful quilts. A little bird (a social worker friend who knows who needs attention) informs us of names of those people we can focus on.

Once the quilt is made, I hand stitch their name and an uplifting message as a quilt tag. We then schedule a small celebration to present them with their quilt.

We've come to really know some of these folks and several of us have taken our adoptees to heart and visit regularly help in any way we can, even if it's just to listen to their stories.

All in all, it's very rewarding, especially for us, the used-to-be fabric hoarders!

sharferrin wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 6:56 PM

I have my fabrics stored/sorted by color in walmart plastic bins.  These are fabrics that are awaiting inspiration.  Another cabinet I have a small storage section with projects that either been started and delayed or about to be started.  Another small tower drawer unit has projects that have gotten lost and now have a place where I will target them.  I have vowed ;0 to check these often so I can recirculate projects from someday to soon...!

memarston wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:19 PM

I just finished organizing my studio and stash organization was the most difficult.

I organized my quilting fabrics by color group leaving the very small pieces separate.  Additionally I organized my specialty fabrics as separate groups for example hand painted, Japanese and then net, lame and shears each have their own section. My quilting cottons are in a large cabinet. I have used plastic totes but no longer do that as digging in them is annoying. Small pieces are in a scrap basket.

I would like to have my fabric visible but my studio is very sunny and the folded edges fade. Having them behind closed doors works because I open

on 6 Apr 2014 7:24 PM

My large fabrics are rolled up and stored in breathable plastic & fabric storage bags like the ones that go under the bed.  Small pieces are put inside the rolled up pieces.  Same colors or prints of the same color are stored together.

memarston wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:35 PM

Sorting has taken several weeks.  I have become very selective and used the mantra of keep, give away, grow away and allowed myself one small box of undecided pieces. I have labeled this with a date by which they must be integrated in regular storage or out they go

I am creating an inspiration board with visual ideas and potential projects.

I also purchased a label maker and it has keep me going. All my boxes are labeled by contents and or specific projects.

My fabric dyes and paints are stored in another room as I paint out doors.

BJinPA wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 7:50 PM

I store my fabric in plastic bins, by size and by style.  For example, I have one bin with large cuts that are intended for backings.  I have another with cuts that are about 1 or 2 yards. Then I have my Christmas, Halloween, 30's and Civil War era prints in separate, smaller bins.  Fat quarters are in one of those plastic set of drawers on rollers, and my scraps are cut into strips and squares, stored in even smaller bins!  

Kdmkraus wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 8:32 PM

I sort by color and / or collection in bins. Beyond that as I pull fabrics to incorporate into a particular project, these are stored with the pattern until I am ready to start it.  Whenever inspiration hits I can go to my stash to pull for another project or start one that has been prearranged.

lcharles wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 8:54 PM

I  recently was able to reorganize my sewing room recently. I wrap my larger pieces of fabric on comic book cards (8.5x11) and organize them by batiks and non-basics, then bt color.  I stack them on a shelf so I can pull pieces and see how they would work in a design.  As much as I would love to increase my stash by buying fabric patterns I love but I can't seem to do it. I have to have a specific project ready to go before I buy my fabric. I will usually buy more than I need for the project and increase my stash that way. An additional bonus is that a lot of the pieces work well together when I'm ready to start another project, and I get to keep my stash under control.  I keep pieces too small in zipper top bags and store them in bins, also by batik and non- batik. One of these days I'll cut them into squares.

lcharles wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 8:54 PM

I  recently was able to reorganize my sewing room recently. I wrap my larger pieces of fabric on comic book cards (8.5x11) and organize them by batiks and non-basics, then bt color.  I stack them on a shelf so I can pull pieces and see how they would work in a design.  As much as I would love to increase my stash by buying fabric patterns I love but I can't seem to do it. I have to have a specific project ready to go before I buy my fabric. I will usually buy more than I need for the project and increase my stash that way. An additional bonus is that a lot of the pieces work well together when I'm ready to start another project, and I get to keep my stash under control.  I keep pieces too small in zipper top bags and store them in bins, also by batik and non- batik. One of these days I'll cut them into squares.

marlynfoell wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 9:09 PM

I fold any pieces of fabric one yard or larger just like they'd be rolled on the cardboard rolls at the quilt or fabric store, then fold over in the middle.  Then they stack nicely in the square wire bins that fill up the closet space in my studio.  I organize by specialty--ie batiks, Christmas, novelty, children's, then by color.  The bins hold the stacks two wide & not so much that when you pull out a piece everything else gets disheveled.  Fat quarters are in two rolly carts that have drawers deep enough to hold them folded just like they come from the store.

ejanieb wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 9:38 PM

My fabric is sorted by the type of fabric. The quilting fabric is newer so I am still trying to organize it. At this point, I have fat quarters in the same drawer. The yardages are sorted by color and/or type (ex: batik, solids, prints).

on 6 Apr 2014 10:09 PM

Good advice abounds in the comments here. I have read most of them and find that most of my ways of hoarding...I mean storing  my stash has been said. But I will summarize.

On Ikea Bonde shelves I have plastic rubbermaid clear totes with anything under a meter wrapped on comic book board and sorted into colour families, except a tote with Christmas fabric, a box of Novelties and children's prints. Over a meter is stored flat folded in my cutting island which is on wheels and is an ikea base cabinet with a ikea table top.

My scraps under a fat quarter is strip cut into various sizes from 3" and over to 1 inch.  These are sorted into a rolling tower.

I have projects in the same totes as the fabric totes so I can mix and match boxes and storage space. Or I have smaller projects in the 12 by 12 flat boxes that I buy on sale that are uses for Scrapbook paper.

Thread, notions, and other supplies are in rolling cart towers and reside under my ikea desk/sewing table. This area constantly under goes change as I search for things, use things up or buy new things. I am trying only to buy fabric I need for a project this year. I have years of projects in what I have.

Thanks to everyone who has shared.

on 6 Apr 2014 10:09 PM

Good advice abounds in the comments here. I have read most of them and find that most of my ways of hoarding...I mean storing  my stash has been said. But I will summarize.

On Ikea Bonde shelves I have plastic rubbermaid clear totes with anything under a meter wrapped on comic book board and sorted into colour families, except a tote with Christmas fabric, a box of Novelties and children's prints. Over a meter is stored flat folded in my cutting island which is on wheels and is an ikea base cabinet with a ikea table top.

My scraps under a fat quarter is strip cut into various sizes from 3" and over to 1 inch.  These are sorted into a rolling tower.

I have projects in the same totes as the fabric totes so I can mix and match boxes and storage space. Or I have smaller projects in the 12 by 12 flat boxes that I buy on sale that are uses for Scrapbook paper.

Thread, notions, and other supplies are in rolling cart towers and reside under my ikea desk/sewing table. This area constantly under goes change as I search for things, use things up or buy new things. I am trying only to buy fabric I need for a project this year. I have years of projects in what I have.

Thanks to everyone who has shared.

on 6 Apr 2014 10:40 PM

Comic Book stores sell archival 'boards' used to mount collector comics on, but they make

fabulous fabric 'folding boards' to keep your stash looking neat and viewable when stacked on shelves or in bins.  The comic boards are sold in packages of 100 and are approximately

10" x 6".  You can conveniently fold fat quarters or any fabric up to about 3 yards.  I like to use a plastic paper clip to keep the fabric from unfolding.  

22busydori wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 10:50 PM

I started organizing fabric by color. Now as years have flown by my

collection and resource (AKA stash) has expanded. I've reorganized

my space, small extra bedroom, with some shelving and on floor bins

with drawers. The shelving is mostly for collections such as holiday,

patriotic, designers and backing fabrics.  

I now have some categories such as reproductions, suede-like dyed cottons, artists dyed and painted yardage, period style etc. in drawers. My pales and pastels are in one drawer; this saves going through colors to find lighter values.

I cull out and pass on from my stash as I am "shopping" for a project.  

KathleenU wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:14 PM

I organize my all my fat quarters and scrapes together as I like to see how they look with one another but I organize my larger pieces by color.  Since I also work with some unusual fabrics, these I store in still another area.  This all makes sense to me and the way I work.

mitzibarker wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:33 PM

I'm one of those "messies" that relishes the visual stimulation of my fabric stash.  I store most of my fabric in several stacked shoe organizers, available as a knock-down kit from most discount and home improvement stores.  Each individual "cubby" in the organizer is sorted by color and type of fabric, so I can just look over the colorful wall of cubbies and pull fabric for a project.

ld9381 wrote
on 6 Apr 2014 11:40 PM

I also store mine by color with separate bins for holiday, batik and novelty. I use clear plastic lidded bins on shelves. I also have a separate bin for precuts and another for fabric collections. I am still working on getting organized, but at least now I can find what I want.

DuAnnW wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 12:22 AM

My walk-in closet works out great for my fabric stash because I can close the door and keep the fabric away from light! I have fabrics arranged in plaids, black-and-white, dots, stripes, flannels, florals, novelty, and hues. I can open the door, walk inside and pivot to find just the fabric that will work for my latest project.

gail byers wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 12:40 AM

I have several ways to store my stash.  First I have a large bookcase with cube boxes in which I put fabric according to type ie childrens, batiks, Alaskan, Southwest, scrap bin,etc.. The top shelves have quilting books organized into type of books also. The cubes are clear and easy to see into or move around.  I have larger plastic bins in a closet on heavy shelving and those have kits, flannel fabric, minky/fleece, backings, etc.  There is another cupboard with shorter bins and they are arranged in color series and are fat quarters or half metres.  I have a basket on the counter with most current projects and 2 drawers by sewing machine with more projects organized with fabric & pattern.  Recently started using small decorative tins to contain cut projects in one place; works well and easy to take to class or retreats. Today I just pulled out my children's bin and came up with the fabrics for an Easter Egg runner.  Trick is to put the rest away as found and tidy that bin; thus you enjoy your fabric and remind you of those precoius finds you bought. Happy Quilting!!

AZenner wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 1:13 AM

I use squares of cardboard to wrap my fabric stash so they can easily be stacked upright in the drawers of an old dresser I use in my sewing room.  When the drawer is pulled open, each one can easily be seen.  I also fold larger pieces into squares and stack them by weight on shelves in the closet, so that each piece can be seen by it's edge.  Some are stacked by pattern/design because they came off old upolstery sample books.  These are interesting pieces I haven't decided what to do with yet!

mc2fran wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 4:52 AM

I will add a few I haven't read yet (might have missed, though):

1. 1-3 yard pieces folded over edge of hanging file folders, in file drawers.

2. Scraps under 2" tossed into a large, heavy crystal rose vase behind my sewing machine to use as testers and leaders. I call it my "bit bucket".

3. Manila folders cut into 12 pieces used to stiffen folded fat quarters, 8 pieces for halves. These fabrics stand on edge in Iris Media boxes, and the boxes stack on shelves. Fabrics are in order by color and value. Red, White and Blue are grouped separately, batiks, too.

4. Fat and long eighths are wrapped around 3x5 cards in shoebox size clear fliptops, according to color, etc.

5. Tiny prints for doll clothes have their own section, too. Narrow laces and tiny trims are there, too, with a couple of "model" dolls, who try things on.

6. Scraps are in zip bags inside shallow plastic tubs, sorted by color family.

7. Recent purchases wait in their store bags with the receipt until they can be tagged and filed. Wherever there is space in the closet or under the sewing table extension.

8. Completed Quilts are kept in nice cotton pillowcases on shelves in a linen closet, and under a guest bed.

9.  Charity quilts are a wonderful way to develop your skills, and use your stash. No stress on you because they will get unconditional love.

B Sylvan wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 7:28 AM

No matter how I sort (usually it's by color and value in plastic pull out bins) the most important thing I can do to keep my stash organized is to put fabric away when I'm done with it!  I pull out a tremendous amount of fabric when I'm working on a project, and I only get into trouble when I don't put away the leftovers promptly.  Then I get those avalanches of fabric all over the floor.  However you organize, your system only works if you use it, so always put things back where they belong!  

L329 wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 9:00 AM

I save the zippered or envelope style plastic bags that new sheets, blankets or linens come in.  I put a copy of the pattern inside with any fabric, thread etc., that I have purchased for this project.  The bag usually has a sleeve/window in it and I put an index card with  the project name, date and a list of items in the bag and what items need to be acquired.  This keeps everything together and shows what  I need for the project at a glance.

wadeallie wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 9:07 AM

I store my fabrics by 'theme' or use in space bags inside of Rubbermaid bins, outside in our wooden shed. Mice get into everything so this is why I use a double protection system.

I arranged fabrics by theme: children's prints, Christmas prints, super heroes, etc. and filled space bags. These then went into the bins and I marked each with numbers: BIN #1, etc. I have a master list that I can reference with BIN #s and their contents.

I enjoy applique also and for organizing those, I divided colors into clear, plastic, organizing tubs. These are set up on top of a refinished dresser, stacked where I can easily dig for a particular fabric.

~A. Wade

rjvandev wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 9:31 AM

My favorite way to quilt is with strips, and so if I pre cut my strips I fold them around an old giftcard, tag them with the strip length, and put them in my clear strips box (where I also keep the gift card for easy access), edges up. I can easily monitor when I have enough pieces for the quilt I want to make with those colors, and I can rearrange the order in the box if I'm inspired. I keep a book next to my main fabric shelf so that I can  fold material over it and put it away- all material being folded to the same shape- and they are shelved based on if they are solids, hand-dyed, or printed. My printed stack is ordered by my favorite, most inspiring fabrics on top. I keep a small bin next to my sewing machine with a clear Ziplock bag for trimmings I can reuse- when it's full, I pull it out, zip it shut, and add it to my scraps collection, easily view able because it's clear!

MaryP@3 wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 9:55 AM

I keep large yardage pieces in one bin, sorted by color with deep reds at one end and deep purples at the other.  Smaller pieces are folded into squares and sorted into a rainbow sequence kept in a smaller bin.  Scraps go into empty tissue boxes to keep them clean and together; these will be used later to create new textiles by placing between two layers of water-soluble stabilizer and sewing all over with free motion machine stitching before removing the stabilizer.  Every bit of fabric is used.

tparz wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 10:00 AM

I prewash all my fabric, iron it and fold.  Then I sort the fabric by colour .  I pin to the corner the size and quantity of the fabric as well as the price per meter/yard.  I store it in a glass cabinet so that the dust does not collect on it and I can see the fabric without opening the doors.

on 7 Apr 2014 10:28 AM

First my stash is divided into two groups, batiks and other cotton prints. Then quarter yd/fat quarters or smaller are sorted by color into clear plastic shoe box size lidded boxes that are the depth of my shelving. I have another cabinet that has project boxes that I am currently working on that include the patterns and fabric. Those boxes are the plastic scrape booking boxes I got from my local craft store. Any larger cuts of fabric are folded and stacked on a shelf inside another cabinet for easy viewing.

stitchindeb wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 10:49 AM

The best idea I've ever had is a dresser. I have a 5 drawer tall dresser that I use for fat quarters. I fold them so they are the depth of the dresser drawer about 4X 5 inches and place them in the drawers upright so I can see the edge of each piece as I pull out the drawer. I have lined the drawers in contact paper so the wood on the drawers don't touch the fabric. I have them sorted by color and one drawer is all specialty fabrics like sheers, metallic, sequined etc. I can pull out what I need and place them back in easily. I do use large Clear bins organized by color for my large pieces of 1 yard or more. They are placed upright so I see the edge of all the fabrics when I open a bin and also from the side of the clear bin. Another tip I can share is that when I finish a quilt I take the small pieces left over and place them in a Ziploc freezer bag. Then if I need to repair a quilt I will have the fabrics to use. I place these bags in giant popcorn tins that I also use for plant stands, Colorful and useful. I don't get into them often but they are there like a time capsule if I need them.

csgebhart wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 11:22 AM

I put my fabric on open shelves behind closed doors.  My best tip is that I always place the fabric on the shelf with a single fold to the front, so that I can see all my fabric at a glance.

Joy Wallace wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 11:36 AM

I have narrow Ikea cabnets  in my sewing which I have filled with my fabric in order of colors.  I got this fabulous idea years ago from somewhere to fold my fabric around my wide cutting ruler and fold in half - they fit perfectly into the shelves and can see at a glance what I have in each color.  I only do this with any fabric over 1/2 meters and the FQ have there own shelf and smaller pieces (scraps) in a laundry hamper to search when needed.

Pam Losely2 wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 1:16 PM

I like to store my stash in clear containers. Your idea culling out the fabric you "THINK" you won't use would free up some space. I put the items that I am interested in working with in one tote to get at easily. I have zip-lock bags of

scraps by color. And I found out that it is a good idea to sort by type. It took me

all day to find fabric from the 30's style. I wish they had already been together.

At the same time I grouped a set of orientals together  and a group of red/white

and blue to do a scrappy quilt of valor in the future. Thanks for the ideas I feel the need to organize.

Pam Losely2 wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 1:16 PM

I like to store my stash in clear containers. Your idea culling out the fabric you "THINK" you won't use would free up some space. I put the items that I am interested in working with in one tote to get at easily. I have zip-lock bags of

scraps by color. And I found out that it is a good idea to sort by type. It took me

all day to find fabric from the 30's style. I wish they had already been together.

At the same time I grouped a set of orientals together  and a group of red/white

and blue to do a scrappy quilt of valor in the future. Thanks for the ideas I feel the need to organize.

debjyates wrote
on 7 Apr 2014 2:07 PM

I love to use clear plastic bins. Some fabrics are sorted by color. Some fabrics are sorted by fabric line (with a potential project in mind). And I use smaller clear plastic boxes for kits or projects so everything is together. Then when I'm done with the project, the fabric goes into the "color boxes".

on 7 Apr 2014 3:21 PM

I put my material together by  Holidays ---.easter fabric- then colors--X-mas- mis... by color and hue,

on 7 Apr 2014 3:21 PM

I put my material together by  Holidays ---.easter fabric- then colors--X-mas- mis... by color and hue,

on 7 Apr 2014 4:03 PM

I usually put all mine in "sets".  I tend to buy 3-5 pieces of fabric that go together and so I keep them this way.  Sometimes one from one set ends up matching with another set.  This way if I am looking for flowers, or owls, or batiks, or kitchen themes I know they are all together.

on 7 Apr 2014 4:08 PM

Sort my fabric by project. Try not to have too much left over. However, beginning to have a collection of little scraps.  Someday there may be a scrappy quilt in my future.

on 7 Apr 2014 4:27 PM

I fold my materials on a flat cardboard that I snipped from a gift box, remove the cardboard, then sort by type (100% cotton, flannel, etc.) and color (red, blue, purple).  I tend to sort stripes and plaids as its own type then by color.  Larger pieces (yards) are kept in different stacks from fat quarters, 1/4 yds., etc.).  Scraps are kept in a box until I have space/time to sort out (oops it's been a while). Threads and accessories are in the dreaded drawer.

on 7 Apr 2014 4:27 PM

I fold my materials on a flat cardboard that I snipped from a gift box, remove the cardboard, then sort by type (100% cotton, flannel, etc.) and color (red, blue, purple).  I tend to sort stripes and plaids as its own type then by color.  Larger pieces (yards) are kept in different stacks from fat quarters, 1/4 yds., etc.).  Scraps are kept in a box until I have space/time to sort out (oops it's been a while). Threads and accessories are in the dreaded drawer.

on 7 Apr 2014 4:29 PM

I organize by color, in a hutch with a glass door, that keeps the cats out of it! I love looking at the rainbow stacks.  I have all my favorite fabrics in the hutch and my less-used fabrics in a chest of drawers.  I regularly reorganize and shuffle them around so that it all works better for me. Scraps are stored in photo storage boxes, sorted by color, under the hutch. About twice a year, I go thru all my fabrics, pull out the ones that no longer "speak to me" and send them off to a friend in Ohio.  That makes room for newer fabrics, heh!

on 7 Apr 2014 4:32 PM

Wow, do you all have a lot of tips for organizing and storing your fabric stash ! We received more than 300 entries.

12drawer wrote
on 9 Apr 2014 4:01 AM

Having only done a quilted Christmas gifts & a few larger items so far i have only bought fabric for each project but already i have a stash! i claimed the bottom shelf of the dining room sideboard & have sorted it by size.... larger pieces in one container & smaller scrapping pieces in another, then also another container for batting..... hopefully my stash won't get too big or ill have to take over the laundry cupboards, but judging by what others say about their stashes i may need a bigger cupboard!

on 16 Apr 2014 8:44 PM

I am new to quilting.  After my mother and aunt passed away within months of one another I inherited their stashes!  All this fabric is a bit overwhelming.  So I settled on two storage methods - for the moment.  My partner built me a wonderful wall hung sorter with plexiglass shelves.  I keep a range of fat quarters there - slots for 50 fat quarters on each.  Then I have two multiple drawer holders in my closet.  Oh, and a large tub of Momma's silk stash.  And then of course a few pieces of fabric I just couldn't pass up.  Suffice it to say I have plenty of fabric.  Good thing I recently retired so I have time to match the amount of fabric!

Hammidad wrote
on 28 Apr 2014 7:25 AM

I store my fabrics by colors in drawers and on shelves in my sewing room.

Hammidad wrote
on 28 Apr 2014 7:26 AM

I store my fabrics by colors in drawers and on shelves in my sewing room.

Hammidad wrote
on 28 Apr 2014 7:26 AM

I store my fabrics by colors in drawers and on shelves in my sewing room.