A Clean Sewing Room, Is A Happy Sewing Room

Spring is in the air! I don't know about you but it felt like winter lasted a long time.  I know I shouldn't complain because we live in Arizona but it does get pretty chilly here for the desert.  And I'm not a fan of the cold, hence why I live in the desert! 

Spring is the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning.  It represents a fresh starts, new growth and good change. A year ago, when I moved my fabric shop out of my house and into a retail space, I changed my den into a sewing room instead of a fabric store. 

A year later and I'm still figuring out where things go which has resulted in this disaster of a space:

Now, some of the stuff you see in the above picture is leftover from Quiltcon that never made it to Quiltcon but that is no excuse for a messy room.  

I've always prided myself on having a clean and organized sewing room so this is a bit embarrassing for me.  I don't know about you but for me having a clean space inspires me and motivates me to do more sewing and get some work done.   When there is chaos everywhere I just don't want to deal with it so I will just ignore it which just makes everything worse. 

I'll be spending the month of March getting this room into an organized and clean space for me so that I can feel motivated and inspired to quilt. For this week I will be focusing on my fabric stash and getting it all cleaned up and put away. If you have a messy room like mine I'm hoping this will motivate you to get organized as well and maybe you will learn a new tip along the way!  I'd love to hear any tips you have as well so feel free to leave a comment. 

For Fabric By The Yard:

Anything I have in my stash that is a half yard or more I always fold on to these comic book boards: 

These can be purchased from Amazon and are perfect for making mini bolts of fabric. They are acid free so you don't have to worry about your fabrics getting ruined or stained. And they stack nicely on a bookshelf for displaying them. 

(Jelly roll is used for size reference of the mini bolts)

You can then sort them by color, or style, or design type, whatever works for you.

Fabric Scraps

There are several ways to organize your scraps and my advice to you is find the one that works best for you that you can stick with. When I first started quilting I read a blog by Lori Holt on how she organizes her scraps and I thought it was a great idea!

Her process is to take your scraps at the end of a project and cut them in to the following increments: 1.5" strips and squares, 2.5" strips and squares, and 3.5" strips and squares.  So I took this process and had these baskets made:

I'd love to say that this is the process I have stuck with but sadly it is not.  I simply just don't have time for this kind of organization LOL but I wish I did! 

In reality what happens is I have a bucket at the edge of my cutting table and all scraps go in there.  Once that basket is full I dump it into a vinyl bedding bag that I have kept and always keep every time we buy new bedding. And that's where they have stayed for years....and years.  

I have big plans for those scraps though!  Stay tuned for Scrappy September!

Project Storage

I'm probably a rare breed of quilter where I mostly only buy fabric with a specific project in mind.  If I see something I love I will usually buy one or two yards, but most of what I have in my stash is bought with a specific project in mind.  So project storage is important to me so I don't forget which project I actually bought it for! 

Ikea is my favorite for project storage because it's cheap and made for small spaces which is always a bonus. The box in this picture is several years old and has been through the ringer. They don't have them anymore but they have others that are very similar.  What I like most about them is the window in the front of the box where I can put a note and say what project is in the box. I will put the pattern with it as well as any binding or backing I have for the project as well. 

I would love to hear from you on how you store your fabric.  Perhaps your methods can help someone else. Share in the comments!

Next week we will talk about thread storage. 

5 comments

Shauna Crusa

Shauna Crusa

I am so new I do not have a set up- I am very excited to see all the great ideas and hopefully save so trail and error. I steal ideas with no shame.

Ruth

Ruth

I also usually only buy with a project in mind unless I absolute love the fabric. I organize my fabrics / trims for projects using Artbin super satchel or an off brand like them. I find them very easy to stack & I label them on outside with a sticker for the project.

Lesley Visutsiri

Lesley Visutsiri

The quilt to the right with the dark fabric is from a pattern called Ingleside by Sarah Jean Makes.

Alison

Alison

I second IKEA! For one, they have something to fit any size/shape craft space. I love the Alex unit and desktops for workspace, I have a couple Kallax units and use the baskets from the container store to store fabric in. I label the bins with the write on (w/chalk paint) to identify the fabric collection line. I have the half depth baskets from the container store that I place folded fabrics (on end) in so that I can see them. I can easily pull them out and see what I am looking for. I like the fact that the baskets keep everything hidden and uniform looking. Everything has a place, so cleanup is always quick.

Pat

Pat

Is there a pattern to the quilt on the right side of the design wall? Thanks!

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