>>>>

Monday, June 22, 2015

Where are the Fabric Fairies??

20150612_183503
My fat quarter storage has looked like this for years.

YEARS.

And when I ran out of  drawer space, I bought more.

There has been no stopping of this collecting madness.

Fat Quarters are like candy-

One or two here or there may not seem like a lot, but when you have a job that takes you into quilt shops around the country, and you want to support the quilt shops, it is very easy to pick up a couple that you like, make a good-will purchase to thank them for carrying your books and supporting YOU as a designer, and take them home.

Only – I can’t sew them up as fast as I can buy them.

My drawers have been overladen with wonderful fabrics, but they are so full that I can’t even get back in there to pull out what I want, not to mention remember just what is hidden in there in the first place.

I have reached a crisis point.

The larger drawers are so heavy that they don’t open and close right, and the stacked units are falling apart:

20150621_104002

Oh, you poor babies!  You need rescuing!

20150621_103936

Tada!!  I opted for super strong industrial shelving from Sam’s Club!

I have several of these here at the house, they hold cases of books, vintage sewing machines, items in a closet –if I decide I don’t like this way of storing my fat quarter stash, it can always be used in the garage or the shed at the cabin ---I had been thinking of CD racks..but I don’t want the dust factor, or the bug factor  ((Yes, I live in the country in the hot and humid south!)) and I knew I wouldn’t be able to store as many, or to keep them neater and more orderly.

20150621_131237

Yesterday’s purchase – shoe boxes with lids from Lowe’s-

Yes, I know it's a mess -- it always gets worse before it gets better!

And I began the job of unfolding and refolding to fit.

20150621_141736

Attacking the black on whites first!

20150621_155819

I am restructuring this whole mess!

20150621_204809

Looking so much better!  Long way to go.

20150622_081749

By bedtime I was here.

20150621_204829

Side view of three bins of neutrals!

20150621_204848

The Strip-It-Down-Now Pile!

I culled some pieces I really wanted to be "gone" from the Fat Quarter stash.  These were odd pieces, smaller pieces or just things to add more variety to what I've already got in strips.

These will make a great addition to the neutral strips in my Scrap User’s System – I always need more variety and will be happy to see these go there.

Oh yes, and to those who are amazed that I even HAVE Fat Quarters, or to reply to your question of “Fat Quarters? I thought all of your fabric was in strips?”  Well, honey, guess where strips have to come from to begin with? You usually can't buy them already stripped down.  It has to come from yardage, fat quarters and leftovers from other projects.

This is going to take me a long time to complete, because I leave for Vermont on Wednesday.  I’m tackling one color at a time, an evening of folding fun when I can get one, and it will get done.

I am going to need more containers!

And this:


No, let’s shop for something else.  I think there is enough fabric here for a while!


Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

Click Here to join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!

38 comments:

Pauline Lentsment said...

When the fairies have finished at your house can you send them to my phone thanks. Lol

Pauline said...

That looks wonderful! You have more fat quarters than any quilt shop I've ever been in! But then, you're more productive and inventive than any quilter I've ever even know of! Love it!

cityquilter grace said...

you HAVE been busy...looking fantastic so far....and i love those shelves, they DO hold a lot of stuff....quite a collection there

Barbara B said...

Excellent advice --you inspire me to do something similar.

Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

Doesn't it feel good to have them organized? They look great on the shelves!

Laura said...

Ahhh lovely organization! I need to get organized. Thanks for sharing all things quilting from storage to stitching!!

cathy dale said...

It is looking good...

carol fun said...

It is looking good... I like to buy FQs too but I've found that they never want to leave a shop alone... they always need to take a couple of buddies along which is why I have so many of them... I wouldn't want to take them away from their friends... LOL!

terriquilts said...

I think you're going to need more shelves...

Susan said...

I go thru my fabric a couple of times a year and cull out the pieces that no longer thrill me. I box them up and send them to a friend or I donate them to the doggie thrift shop for them to sell. That helps me keep the stacks and drawers under control and makes room for new purchases. :)

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Bonnie, I had those plastic drawers too. They were stacked from floor to ceiling in my sewing room closet. And just like you, after a while I found that the drawers on the bottom wouldn't open. Then the side supports began to split from the weight. I love your solution!

Can you tell us what size those plastic boxes are?

Do you have trouble with fading when fabric is stored in clear boxes?

Becky said...

I have the same rack, but added shelves from a second unit so my containers are only one deep - no lifting of the top ones to get to the bottom box. It does work better than the drawers, although I still have some of those.

Leah said...

I love shelves like those - use them for all sorts of jobs around the house. We even use a larger unit as the entertainment center in our living room.

I also use shoeboxes for organizing fabric, tho usually by project rather than for the unallocated stash. If you find that you need some kind of labeling, rather than just seeing color families through the side, the quickest, cheapest, and most-easily-updated method is to slip an index card between the fabric and the plastic.

Looks great! I hope you can squeeze in some more time to play soon!

PS - Saw a lovely 'Grand Illusion' at a quilt show this weekend. Fun!

Carla said...

When you cut your strips from Fat Quarters, do you cut them 22" in length or 18" in length....does it matter?

mascanlon said...

This is on my project list too for exactly the same reason. Those plastic drawer units seemed like a good idea but then I stuffed them full to overflowing and even stacked stuff on top! I don't have space for that metal shelf though so will have to think on this a bit more!

Nikki said...

I appreciate your comment about trying to support your quilt shops. I feel the same way, love to visit them....and feel I need to purchase a little something to thank them for letting me enjoy myself. Glad to know you feel the same way! Love your storage system. I am a slow sewer and my fabric stash is not huge but I do lose track of some of my favorites. It might be time for me to try your shoe box method. Thanks for sharing! PS. I am working on a boy's scrappy trips for Diana's Golden Needle. It is fun pulling trying for a manly look...obviously I have too much girly fabric!

Stannert said...

I have several of the shelves from Sams and everytime I have an extra bit of money I buy another one. Have not thought of the shoe boxes tho. Will have ro give that a try!

Stannert said...

I have several of the shelves from Sams and everytime I have an extra bit of money I buy another one. Have not thought of the shoe boxes tho. Will have ro give that a try!

Kevin the Quilter said...

This is a great way to organize Bonnie. I do the same thing but, on a smaller scale......perhaps I need to go shopping more?? LOL

sm smith said...

Looks great!! I need to do that, but it probably will never happen, LOL!

smsmith35@windstream.net

Anonymous said...

I've been passing up the pre-cut FQ's and going for a 1/3 of a yard cut from the bolt, if possible. I know this doesn't give the same "fat" yardage, but it works for me, and the prices can be comparable. (I saw FQ's for $3.50 recently, but yardage for $10-12.)

Joann said...

I too have my fabric sorted by size/color and in clear plastic bins. I love being able to see a wall of beautiful color every time I step foot into my studio...instant happiness :)

Mary said...

LOL Fat Quarters are like Potato Chips! Can't buy just one. Glad you figured out a bug free solution!

Myrna said...

You're reorg is coming along nicely!! I only have a few fat quarters, but 1/2 yard cuts...now that's another matter! I have them in plastic bins on shelves and they do get heavy to lift sometimes.

sao said...

You are making progess for sure. It looks good!!!

sao in Midlothian, VA

Jacqueline said...

You go girl......

khowardquilts said...

It looks like a great way to handle fat quarters. I really don't have many fq; those I have have mostly been gifts.I pulled a bunch of fabrics for baby quilts and now they are in a big blanket bag and are a mess. I should tackle those sometime.

Good luck sorting and folding.

eaddb876-90ce-11e3-b89a-000bcdcb8a73 said...

How do you keep so many neutrals? I buy them all the time. I buy them whenever I find them. As soon as I make a quilt those bins are bare again! I upped my neutral yardage to 3 yards each. Maybe after a year I'll start having some extra!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Ah snap! Love the way you have organised your fabric! I've just been trying to deal to my scrappy stash too! Sorting & storage are a bit of a headache for me! Oh that, and putting fabric away after using it is also a stalling point too! I've been sorting by colour into plastic baskets,and it’s all looking very inspiring right now... it’s just a pity I can’t seem to keep it nice & tidy for too long!

Ameswf said...

Way to go Bonnie. I use the sweater size plastic boxes rather than the shoe size, but same idea. If my stash isn't organized I can't stand it. Amy

c said...

I feel your pain, dh never understands it is worse organising before it is done. I bought bookcases. Put in extra shelves. Bought a 2.49 basket with a handle on it at Walmart. And began putting all fqs that were not batiks or 30s. Still never got done, I buy one fq a month now, there are a couple of brand new sets I would like, but I have to use up some first.

c said...

I feel your pain, dh never understands it is worse organising before it is done. I bought bookcases. Put in extra shelves. Bought a 2.49 basket with a handle on it at Walmart. And began putting all fqs that were not batiks or 30s. Still never got done, I buy one fq a month now, there are a couple of brand new sets I would like, but I have to use up some first.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

I don't know if you read my comment or not, I posted it a little late, but this is exactly what I meant! It made my day to see that "great minds think alike!" This system maximizes space and convenience. A 3"x5" label, a big sharpie and block lettering helps too, it just speeds things up. I bet you will be getting more interested in working with color....subtle changes, combos that feel just right, and even some special books and tools for color!

Laurie
leavesongrass@cox.net

Swedish Scrapper said...

Your progress pictures of everything so far color sorted was just what I needed today! My fabric is stored under one big table, stacked in crates. Today is the day to batten down the hatches again. Happy travels!

Swedish Scrapper said...

Your progress pictures of everything so far color sorted was just what I needed today! My fabric is stored under one big table, stacked in crates. Today is the day to batten down the hatches again. Happy travels!

Faith (Stevie) Harris said...

Ooooo, and since the containers aren't quite as deep as the shelves, you can store long items behind them. That's always a problem. Let's see, a nice wine rack for rolls of things like stabilizers, oh, boy, I'm off and running now. Wish I had room for the shelving unit!

Patricia said...

Great way to store fabric, will do it. Like the quote and the guy!

Anonymous said...

Folding my mother's stash of quilting fabrics was sad but fun after her death. I had a lot of things to sort through and dispose of as executor of her estate--but this was pleasurable. I have all her fabrics set aside in separate boxes by color and am using them in projects for each of her great-grandchild. Her taste in fabric was not the same as mine--I tended more to her mother's style sense of bright and contrasting colors. But they both had the same ethic as I do---every bit of fabric was saved and used; the fabric leftovers from a blouse or dress was rolled into a small bundle and fastened with a bit of selvedge. I am unrolling those little bundles to cut into tumbler blocks when I get back from a week in Wisconsin with my husband on my farm--the place where I grew up.

I too have industrial shelves in my sewing/work room--they will hold 500 pounds each, and not as pretty as the metal ones but very functional. folding fabric is a pleasure on those days when inspiration and joy have left.

s in Texas