I started really getting in to quilting in March of this year. It’s only been three months! I may need to remind myself of this next time I’m fighting with perfecting Half Square Triangles on the quilt I just started….
Anyway, today I wanted to talk organization.
I must confess, I am not, by nature, a very organized or neat individual, which is why I think I’m so proud of how my stash organization turned out. My husband just stares at me blankly when i get enthusiastic, like why can’t I get excited about cleaning the rest of the house this way, or maybe he doesn’t think I’m as clever as I think I am?
I remember telling the woman who sold my my new sewing machine that I was trying really hard to only buy fabric for projects I had a plan for. She laughed at me and told me “Just you wait.” I didn’t understand. I do now. I honestly tried to stick to this! The fear of spending money on something and then either not having enough or never knowing what to do with it terrified me. (It still does!)
But my mom found a woman who was de-stashing for $10 a grocery bag, so, needless to say, now I’ve got a stash, and once you’ve started, every trip to the fabric store ends in a few cuts of unnecessary fabric. It adds up quickly.
One day I glanced into the garage and realized my quilting stuff had completely taken over a table and spilled onto the floor. Everything was just piled like a cotton volcano that had recently erupted.
That day I went to Big Lots and bought clear plastic tubs, then I neatly placed chalkboard labels on them, and commandeered a shelf. Lids were important to me because my garage is prone to dustiness, and I didn’t want to have to wash everything before starting a project. I bought three smaller tubs for scraps. I keep 2.5″ strips or precut squares, 3.5″ strips or precut squares, or precut triangles that are bigger than 2.5″ in these.
I used the other 6 tubs to sort by color. In fabrics that have lots of colors, I picked the color that spoke to me most, because, honestly, if I’m putting together something, I’m going to think the same way.
Next to the shelf I used the pegboard to sort my rulers.
On the top shelf, I have legal-sized cardboard boxes with masking tape labels to sort by project, and since I carry my stuff into the house to work, this has made a HUGE difference in the time it takes for me to set up and clean up from working.
My sweet husband has allowed me to keep my sewing machine on the dining room table, cover on, which saved me from trying to find a spot in the house to keep it clean and safe.
My next step is to start labeling all the folded fabric in the tubs with a piece of paper attached by a pin that lists how big each piece of fabric is, that way when I go searching it’s easier to see what I’ve got.
I’d love to see what any of you use to organized your quilts, fabric, or sewing tools!
Here’s what I’ve got! I’ve limited myself to just this space, so hopefully I finish some projects before I buy any more, as some of the tubs were surprisingly full.