Friday, June 12, 2015

Fat Quarter Storage Solutions!

This is what needs to GO.
They have been great up until lately.  They would be super for someone just starting to stash.
But what I’ve found is that the top drawers weigh down onto the next drawer down, and the one under that gets more stuck…it’s just not working for me anymore.
I asked in my morning blog post if anyone has any storage solutions for me and a couple of interesting ones came in!
This one from Shelly:
I store my fat quarters in ikea Pax cabinets.  I buy the shallow depth ones. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90214563/. I use the 39" and the 19" ones.  Also, I bought the 79" tall but they do come taller.  


Shelly’s FQs look so nice!

They will hold a lot of weight.  I use these wire baskets http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39010951/ I think you have to buy the rails separate.  They use to come together but now they do not.  Anyway I have been using these for about 10 years and just keep adding to them.


Ignore the fabric piled on the top drawer I am adding another drawer and had to shove the folded fabric back in temporarily.
Thanks for sharing, Shelley!  This is really something to consider.  I do love IKEA, and knowing these shelves can take the weight is nice to know!  Of course, I love that button rug too!

I also got a note from Subee who shares how she stores HER FQs:
To store my Fat Quarters I open them out, stack them up flat then roll them like a log. As you roll the fabrics naturally fan out so you can see each one in the log roll.
I then just tie them with some fabric strings. Since they were pressed and were stored flat when you unroll the log they are nearly perfect for cutting.
This sounds like something I need to try too!  Subee, do you roll the 18” or the 22” side?  Do you then stack them on a shelf or store in a basket? I’d love to see a photo!

There were many more ideas in the comments section on this morning’s POST.

I love the idea of having the colors and the fabrics visible…and I’m willing to try anything at this point to have them more easily accessible!

I love my Fat Quarters!  I just want to love them BETTER!


I finished THIS today!


I love the quilting!

And can you spy the y2k fabric?? Look hard!

This has been such a fun project to work on over the past year.  Our next OFFICIAL Leader & Ender project will be released in July –in the interim I’m still working on more Idaho Square Dance blocks from the May/June issue of my Addicted to Scraps Column in Quiltmaker Magazine

Be watching for more details!  I have three weeks off in July – boy do I need it.  And I plan on working out the details of what we can do over the next year THEN.

Is there anything you’d like to see us do?  Anything you’ve really wanted to make but haven’t started yet that would be a good Leader & Ender unit?  Let me know!

It needs to be something simple.  4 patches, 9 patches, half square triangles, tumblers sewn in rows, sixteen patches…it has to come from simple shapes, and easy to sew in between the lines. 

Share your inspiration with me!  We might just work off of your idea!

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  1. IKEA Antonius. 4 wire baskets in a frame. Sturdy, baskets pull out. Can be stacked. Love mine, and very affordable.

  2. I have been saving 1.5" hst. Hundreds of them...........please can we do something including them :)

  3. Anonymous7:49 PM EDT

    I have similar drawers, but with plywood between them. The sides seem to be pretty sturdy and the plywood board keeps sagging at bay. One drawer just has 2 regular boards front and back. That works too. My husband has more lumber than I have money for new storage! Now I spend on fabric etc.

  4. Anonymous8:28 PM EDT

    How about a project made from 2 inch squares? Easy to sew, and have on hand, especially since I have hundreds of them cut and waiting as leaders and enders.

  5. How about the estate-sale scrap quilt that Yankee Quilter shows in her June 12, 2015 post? Lots of HSTs, but an interesting way that the light triangles circle around the center in threes.


  6. I love the idea of the IKEA baskets myself. I have the Sterilite shelves for the quilting supplies (non fabric) and they do tend to collapse over time. I have my fat quarters/yardage on crib rails leaning against a wall. However, that isn't going to last forever because I just have a small stash right now ;)

    As for leaders/enders, I started with 2" squares and put them together with one solid and one print. I was planning on a four patch/nine patch something, but I'm stuck and my 2" squares are all used up. I have a stack of GIMQ bonus triangles to to use up (but that can go to an Ocean Waves later). I think I need some leader/ender inspiration, so I'll hang on 'til next month, unless I get impatient and get one of your books before then ;)

  7. Bonnie, I am happy with anything you decide. You inspire me to make more.

  8. Love the Lozenge quilt and love the quilting! You give so many of us inspiration!! Thank you for posting Shelley's IKEA organization!!

  9. I was able to reinforce my plastic storage drawers with paint stirrers on the sides. I am still working on my Lozenge project. With getting married and moving 1100 mikes, I haven't been sewing much. Still unpacking and getting my studio set up. Got foam core boards for design wall today. Still need to get a cutting table. IKEA next week.

  10. When my son was young, we had two sets of those brightly colored open plastic bins that sit angled on rods, kind of like a bookshelf, for his toys. The bins are PERFECTLY sized for FQs, so that's what I now use. I set them on shelves in my small walk-in stash closet, on edge so that the fabrics can be seen. The rodded "shelf" units that formerly held those bins, have now become quilt racks. Repurposing and no cost = win-win.

  11. I have similar drawers but they are from the container store. They have different size racks and depths of baskets. Myou can get a melamine top and use it like a work surface too.

  12. http://www.containerstore.com/shop/elfa/components/elfaDrawersAccessories

  13. Anonymous11:00 PM EDT

    scrappy Ocean Waves? Can use pairs of squares to make 2 HTS units or use strips and the Easy Angle.

    Basket blocks made of squares?

  14. What about a double four patch for a leader ender?

  15. I'd like to make a red and neutral or white quilt probably out or squares. So I think a red and white leader ended would be a nice way without being bord to death of just the two colors

  16. I know I can always use a better fabric storage unit than I have at this point. Really enjoyed both of the suggestions. Have fun choosing a new system and then rearranging all of the fabrics. Rediscover some really awesome ones that you have forgotten.

    Bonnie, I would love to do a leader/ender project with half square triangles. I have not done very many quilt or block patterns with them. So with a lot of encouragement and other quilters trying to set goals and a project would really be fun and a great learning experience for me. Hopefully a lot of other quilters also!

  17. I have two stacks of hefty containers. On the bottom of each stack are 2 of the larger under the bed kind of size containers full of fat-quarters (4 of them!) Then on top of them I have three layers of 2 smaller containers stacked (1.5L) full of UFOs and projects I want to do! (that's 12 containers!!!) six of them are Bonnie WIPs... talkin turkey, midnight flight, winston ways, Cheddar bowties, Celtic Soltice and GIMQ. I love every one of your mysteries and projects... but I just can't keep up with you!

  18. C.D storage units hold fat quarters very nicely. Fold fabric to C.D size and arrange by color.
    They come with many shelves and are tall and slender, so they do not take much space.

  19. How about a block or two from your addicted to scraps column. Kill 2 birds with one stone...a leader/endear project and an ATS finish!

  20. Anonymous2:12 AM EDT

    Bonnie, I was perusing some of my older quilting books and in her book Simple Blocks Make Sensational Quilts, Winnie Fleming, the author showed a simple 4 patch "Bird in the Air" It finishes at 6". This is the "Bird in the Air" that is a half square triangle of dark and light with two light sqs. added to form a triangle and then sewn to another dark sq to complete the block. Did I describe this well enough? Anyways this small block divided on the diagonal by light and dark is so wonderful because you can use all those wonderful log cabin sets to finish your quilt design such as barn raising, sunshine and shadow as well as zig-zag. Thus everyone would be leading and ending the same block but the quilt would look different depending on the set! I love it so much i am going to start it and hope you think it has possibilities?? Carolyn Barnett csbbobbin@yahoo.com

  21. Can I add my voice to the call for Ocean Waves as a leader/ender challenge. Thanks so much :)

  22. Anonymous5:30 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie

    How about a leader/ender sample quilt using 2" squares /strips. We could have a different block each month/week depending how long you wanted it to lost eg 12 weeks/months if you wanted to just complete one block it could be a sampler or if you made more blocks the same it would be a row-long! Just an idea

    Mandy Adams UK


  23. Anonymous7:07 AM EDT

    Hey Bonnie. I also have the wire stands that are free standing you can get from Ikea even though I got mine thru the container store!!!! A little more expensive but I use to fold my fabric into fat quarters but it was too time consuming I fold my fat quarters in half and then in half again and stack them into a little deeper drawer. Much easier to take out a stack and refold as I use them!! I would send a photo if I know how to do that thru this post!! Let me know if you are interested!!! Dee Dalton. deedalton@att.net

  24. I love "Moth in the Window." Might be too complicated for leader ender though.

  25. Anonymous9:15 AM EDT

    Why store FQ's separately? I fold mine to the same dimensions as my other fabric pieces, and slide the FQ's in wherever the colors fit in my stash rainbow. You can tell at a glance by the thickness of the folded edge that you do not have 1/2 yard or a whole yard of that fabric. If I were looking for a certain color, I would never think to look for it in separate FQ storage. But if the FQ is in its place in the rainbow, I always find it.

  26. How about something with pinwheels and or log cabin layouts. I love scrappy.

  27. I'd love to do tumblers for the Leaders and Enders project. I just bought the tumbler die for my Go Cutter!

  28. A thousand pyramids has always been on my wish list. How about busting some scraps with that one?

  29. I would love to do 4 patches. I want to do the Idaho Square Dance. I have reorganized so many times that
    I should have become a professional organizer, but everytime I move(a lot) requires something different. I think I will be doing it one more and hopefully, the last, time and I was just sitting here trying to figure out where all this "stuff" will go. Maybe a lot just needs to "GO".

  30. I use the same plastic drawers that you do. And the newer version of them which are smaller. I have had them years. The bottom one does get finicky. Periodically just switch the bottom ones to the top. (it helps) And I store the stuff I don't like on the bottom (or the Christmas fabrics--that I use rarely) or the color I just finished with and won't use for a bit.

    Will be looking forward to what you come up with!

  31. I store my fat quarters in file cabinets...each drawer holds a different color family.

  32. I store my FQs in dresser drawers, standing on their edges. works well- can see them ALL! FUTURE l&e? HOWW BOUT SIMPLE half square triangles? with nice crisp white on one side and brights on the other? i've been wanting to make one of these for a while.... thanks for all you do, Bonnie!! -jude

  33. For leaders and enders - something that uses 2" squares would be good - my bin is overflowing!!

    Loved how my lozenge quilt turned out.

  34. Would love to do either 9 or 4 patches, they are such classics and it doesn't matter what size you have in abundance, they will look good from 1.5" to 3"!

  35. I love the storage drawers!! I'm not very good at remembering to get a leader ender project going! Probably should! I get so into what I'm working on I can only think of that!! My most recent was an original pattern inspired by your traditional with a new twist!! I was so happy to give it yo my best friend (I give all my quilts away! There are many gifted Bonnie Hunter quilts out there!) If you want to see my Blessed finish check it out! Have a beautiful day!!

  36. I too would love to do the "Bird in the Air" block. I keep coming across it, but never seem to start the quilt.

  37. Anonymous4:58 PM EDT


    For storage I use the Container Store's brand of clear plastic boxes and their [or Home Depot's] Intermetro wire shelving units. You can adjust the height of each shelf and buy additional ones. I found I could fit one additional shelf in! There are also clip on side baskets. The plastic boxes stack well on each other and there are no holes in the top for movable handles, in case of a leak or accident. I use the smaller sweater size box and the men's shoes boxes.

    This way I can take a box of fabric to my cutting table. None of the fabric is exposed to light, so I don't have to worry about fading. Plus I group by type of fabric [30's, Kaffe, batiks, hand dyes] and put a big label on the front of each box [can't do that with wire drawers].

    I tried wire drawers for a while. They do pull out well but taking a drawer to a work area isn't pleasant and takes up more space than I'd like. Also, they need to be in a closet to prevent fading.

    I do not live in a high humidity location. You might. If so, I don't know if plastic boxes that seal really well are a good idea for you or not.

    I LOVE being able to clean up quickly with this method. And find things quickly!


  38. I have been wanting to make a quilt of 16 patch blocks, with each block done in 2 colors. The two colors could be scrappy....so a "red and white" block could be scrappy reds and scrappy whites...it would be easy for everyone to use whatever size squares they want..2.5 or 2 or 1.5.....and to kit them up....I need inspiration to get going on this...and you are inspirational!


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