Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stash it to me

How do you organize your stash? I have a system that partially works for me.

Fabric is sorted by color, or type (all my batiks are in the same place):

Dots (love....):

And that's where my system kind of breaks down. In my earlier days of quilting, it seemed like most of my fabric fit into a "color" category. But now that I'm so drawn to the newer lines, they are a little harder to categorize.

A few weeks ago, I saw a certain fabric on Crystal's design wall, loved it, emailed to see if she could give me more information about it (aren't those blocks awesome against her aqua wall?)

She said it was a Heather Bailey print.

Ah. I have all those HB prints: Bijoux, Pop Flower. And here they are:

Out of sight (even though in a cute basket with a label clearly stating "Heather Bailey"), out of mind. See what I mean? This is where the system is broken.

 How do you stash your stash? By fabric line, like Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson?

Grouped all together, without any plan?

Grouped together for a future project?

I'd love to hear your organization methods. What works? What doesn't work? Do you have good ideas for sorting your scraps, which is another whole dilemma...

And this is here just because it's beautiful...and smells so sweet.


05 08
Grandma G said... #

Hmmm... maybe you should open a store. ;-)

ilovebabyquilts said... #

I posted some of my stash yesterday, I keep it in a Bergsbo cabinet from IKEA. I sort it based on color, but was wondering last night if I should store it by what goes with what. I definitely have my designer stuff segregated from my now, hated, regular stuff!

Crystal said... #

I can't resist a "how do you organize your stash" question, although you already know my answer.

The thing that has helped me the most is sorting by color. I like to see everything I have in a color I want and pick the one that works the best. It's the most efficient way for me.

Sometimes when a print has two strong colors, I make a new pile. I have a green/pink pile (also my green/oranges go here too) and a green/blue pile. Mostly when something has two colors, I sort by the background color because it's usually the dominant color.

I keep some things separate like my piles of Neptune and Mendocino because I know they'll end up in a quilt on their own. But the coral Neptune went into the "red" pile because I won't be using it in that particular quilt.

I guess this works best for me because all my fabric is similar. I don't do novelty prints but if I did, those would be in their own pile. Batiks are on their own. Dots are in their respective color piles.

I think organizing is more a feeling than anything. Where do you feel your HB fabrics should go? Mine are sorted by color because then I know where to look for them. Because, as you've proven, sometimes a girl has so much fabric that she forgets just what she has in her stash. But if you immediately think "I have some HB that would work perfectly here" then a HB stack would be most helpful.

Edith said... #

Interesting. My stash is much smaller than yours so I try to keep it contained in a few plastic boxes. These aren't the best for organization (if you have to pull something from the bottom, you mess everything up getting to it) but I try to arrange by color. Sometime things can be classified in multiple ways, in that case sometimes they get re-categorized occasionally depending on what I am seeing in them at the time. I think I probably spend a significant amount of time re-organizing whenever I start a new project (I consider it part of the process) and every once in a while I pull out a group of fabrics together and keep them together until I actually take up the project or change my mind.

Lisa A said... #

What an amazing stash! Just beautiful.

Terri said... #

I am seriously needing some work in this department.

I keep my rare stuff in bins the stuff thats out of print everything else in just stacked, not in any certian order either. Althought the stacking by color is pretty to look at. For me it was harder to put fabrics together and get inspired. I think I am going to put everything in collections, then whats left organize by size of pieces.

Cheryl Arkison said... #

Sweet peas already?

I sort my stash 95% by colour. The only deviations from this are themed fabrics, like Christmas, or specialities, like flannel.

My scraps are stored the same way, by colour.

And I do not separate my designer stuff. All fabric has a designer at some point, so a more popular name doesn't get a special spot. Besides, I never buy an entire line nor would I be likely to make a quilt using only one line of fabric.

Quite often I will do a pull for an intended project, and those get stored separately, but depending on how long it takes me to get to that project those fabrics may recirculate among their friends.

I think the most important thing when storing stash is to take a look at the quilts you currently like to make and how you approach each new project. You want your fabric to inspire and to make it easy for you to just start creating.

Jessica said... #

My stash is teensy tiny and fits in a rolling bin, currently organized by project:)

Kat said... #

My stash is not nearly as large as yours, but it is growing faster than my storage nonetheless. Originally it all fit in one of those long, shallow rubbermaid tubs, the kind that are meant to roll away under your bed. At one point I had it all organized by color in there. Now, the majority of my stash is stacked on top of that tub. I do keep my scraps organized: strings by color, triangles, and other miscellaneous pieces. And I keep my fabric lines together for the most part, but I don't have very many of those. When I have more space I will organize more by color and the amount of the the fabric remaining, but for now it's basically a pile :-)

Unknown said... #

now i'm not going to try and pretend that i'm an expert... but this is how i do it! ;)

- all my rare collections go together in plastic bag ( since i will most likey use them together )

- all my heather ross is together
- all my japanese is put together

- then everything else is sorted by color...

it works for me :) and i hope it helps you too!!

xo, Heather

Kim said... #

Fabrics sure look nice and organized. I organized mine last not too long ago and now looking for a bookcase to put them in so I can see what I have.

Kristen said... #

Ok, my brain works in weird ways. I secretly like having a slightly disorganized stash because that way I find "surprises" that I forgot I had. Funny enough though, I've never bought duplicates. I do, however, keep things organized by type of fabric. Quilting cottons, flannels, chenilles, apparel, canvas, etc. all have their own "homes". But sometimes even those lines get blurred. ;)

The Luedtke Family said... #

Perhaps aspects of how I organize my closet can assist somehow. (I do not have a fabric stash worth showcasing, just tossing into A plastic bin. Yep, just one bin)

So, my closet is arranged by type of garment and by color. First I have my pants - on five rung hangers. My first shirts I have on hangers my sleeveless shirts, from white to black or lightest to darkest. Then in order: my short sleeve cotton shirts, long sleeve cotton shirts, shirt sleeve buttoned shirts, long sleeve buttoned shirts, some hangable sweaters, jackets, skirts on a five rung hanger, dresses, then special occasion items.

That being said, perhaps you could arrange categories by light to dark. Or follow the colors of the rainbow.

Good luck, organization is always a persistent need!

Jen said... #

Holy Cow Girl!!!! Now that is a stash!!!!!!!!!! I'm so jealous!!

as for my organization, I have a drawer in my desk that is just fat quarters (give or take some inches) and not really organized. My stash is rather teeny tiny compared to yours! Then I have scraps that are billowing out of a plastic grocery bag and once we move they will get organized by color in plastic drawers. Then the other big drawer in my desk is grouped into future projects; All the fabrics put together as how I want to use them.

Again, once I move in about 6 weeks it will all get organized much better! But boy am I envious of all your fabric!!

monaluna said... #

Timely post! I'm going to reorganize my fabrics this weekend. Right now I have them organized by fabric type - cottons, silks, jerseys, etc. - and then by print type, so all the batiks are together and the modern prints together. Then, I have a little lable around fabrics for specific projects... which I never seem to get to. However, I think I might just organize them by color. Some of these comments have helped me decide on the finer points of color organization, too!

Anonymous said... #

Oh my gosh, I wish I was that organized! How beautiful--and inspiring. You won't be seeing similar photos from my sewing room any time soon :)

Jennifer said... #

Your stash is fabulous! Up until now I have sorted by designer because I have been known to buy duplicate yardage. However, I'm starting to sort by color as I am becoming more interested in color combinations as my stash has grown fairly large. What I'm the worst about is keeping scraps, large or small organinzed...

Jennifer :)

Q @ JAQS said... #

I'm in limbo right now. I have a small sewing room setup and a small closet to put all my fabrics in. I don't know if I should organize by color - which seems logical but a lot of patterns and designs don't really 'go' even in the same color scheme. Right now my stash is a mixed of color organization and pattern organization. I don't think there's a 'right' way of doing it.