This is almost too embarrassing to share, but I’m all about the truth tea here in my little part of the world.
What you are looking at here is my cabinet of shame. Otherwise known as my fabric stash.
How can anyone create anything when faced with this??
Answer – It can be done, but with much frustration. I mean, who wants to scour through this mess looking for that one piece of perfect fabric and take up precious sewing time?
I know I don’t, so I decided to tackle this situation head on.
There are tons of blog posts written about stash organization and I think I’ve read most of them. I finally figured it out. What it all comes down to is finding a system that works for you with the way you work. Sounds simple, but it took me some time to reach that conclusion. Sometimes I just have to be knocked over the head with the obvious to see it.
What works for me is having most of my fabric in this cabinet. I feel like I have a small fabric stash, but even so it can quickly get out of hand (as evidenced by the above photo!) I also have a small sewing room and need to make the best use of the space I have.
To begin dealing with this mess, I first took everything out of the cabinet so I could start with three empty shelves. Then I tackled the easy things first – charm packs, jelly rolls, fat quarters. All of those are easy to stack and that’s what I did.
Next up – yardage. But how to deal with it? I love the look of fabric folded on comic book boards but I don’t have them and didn’t want to order them and then have to wait for them to be delivered. (I’ve said it before, patience is not something I have a lot of..) And since I’m being honest, folding fabric on and off those boards probably wouldn’t fit my style…it’s pretty but not practical for me. It’s not the way I work.
So, I decided anything over a yard would be folded in 9″ widths. Why? It’s easy to fold fabric by the yard, then in half and half again. What I ended up with were pieces that were 9″ x WOF. Then I folded the piece lengthwise into thirds and it fit perfectly on my shelf.
Anything l yard or less would be folded in 6″ widths. I chose six inches for two reasons. One, I usually buy fabric in 1/2 yard pieces. This is easily folded by thirds into a 6″ width. Two, I will instantly know by looking on the shelf if I have less than 1 yard of any particular fabric. No more time wasted finding the perfect fabric and then discovering I don’t have enough for the project.
Solids are stacked together, prints are together, and larger pieces that can be used for backings are together. The great thing about this now is I can see what colors I need to concentrate on adding. For instance, I have very little low volume fabric and now know to look for that when shopping.
All my threads are together on the top shelf, and since there is now room for all of them there they aren’t crowding my other work spaces. I’m looking for an alternative storage solution for the thread; I would rather have that shelf space for fabric.
Here’s the cabinet now:
Isn’t this so much better??? I’m happy to say that it has been this way for several weeks now and I’m finding it easy to maintain. You know that little rush you get when you walk into a fabric store and see all that goodness on the walls and shelves? Everybody feels that, right?? I get a little of that now when I head to this cabinet to find a piece of fabric for a project I’m working on. So fun!
Smaller pieces are folded and placed in a bin. I try to work out of the bin as often as I can so that it doesn’t become too full. Scrap pieces are put in color coded scrap bins that are the size of shoe boxes and stored in the closet. (I’ll show you those in another post.)
I have made a conscious effort to deal with the scraps and leftover pieces of fabric from every project as soon as I finish that project. It has made a world of difference in keeping my sewing room more organized.
Scraps are cut into squares – anywhere from 5″ to 2-1/2″ – whatever I can cut. I don’t fret about it as much as I used to. I know at some point I will find a project for these pieces and cutting them before putting them away keeps everything nice and neat.
I love having my fabric organized. I found so many pieces I’d forgotten about while working on this project, but now I can see every piece of fabric I own. It’s a small stash, but even small stashes can get out of control; it is much more manageable now.
I have other areas of my sewing room to work on and will do that over the summer. I’ll share more as I finish them. Right now I’m just enjoying having an organized cabinet!
Do you struggle with organizing and managing your stash and projects? I’d love to hear/see your solutions.
This organized cabinet is my crush for this week. Before we see what you are crushing on this week, let’s recap a couple of last week’s projects.
Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts made this stunning quilt for her mother. Read her heartwarming story and see more great pictures by visiting her blog. I love her color choices for this quilt.
Deana of Dreamworthy Quilts shared this braided quilt – look at those soft and soothing colors! I’m looking forward to seeing this one quilted.
And check out Sandra’s (Sew of Course) custom designed beach bag. This little bag is begging for a day by the ocean – I hope you get to go soon Sandra! 🙂
Now it’s your turn! What are you crushing on this week? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic about a project you’re working on, a handy gadget you love to use, or anything that has you excited to be in your sewing space – here’s how: