Tag Archives: organizing fabrics

Organising my fabric stash – Round 2

NWF Fabric stash organising 1 2015-04-12

In the past, I’ve written about both organising and storing my fabric stash, but in particular how I categorise fabrics has changed a bit, and so here is round 2, an update on the order in which I store them. I’ll also show the bolts I have in use now. The Ikea Kassett boxes are as much a favourite as before, and the collection has grown by a few.

The pencil palette starting with yellow is still how I think of the colours, but I’ve moved pink to go between red and violet rather than orange and pink. The rainbow colours fit into two boxes of the Kassett size, which is one step larger than dvd. In the photo above, there are six boxes of that size, one of the dvd size, and two of the cd size.

Here’s an outline of what this post is about:

  • Organising fabrics:
    • Quilting cottons:
      • Patterned fabrics
      • Solids
      • Some pondering about cut sizes
      • How to handle earmarked fabrics for various projects
      • How to handle scraps
    • Canvas-weight fabrics, cotton-linen blends, double-gauze, fleece, etc. and embroidery fabrics
  • Folding fabrics:
    • Mini bolts
    • Micro bolts

Let’s begin!

Patterned quilting cottons

For some reason, when I think of fabrics and categorising them, I begin from the patterned fabrics, so here goes! In box 1 there are yellow, orange, red, and pink fabrics, whereas box 2 contains violet, dark blue, light blue, turquoise, and green fabrics:

NWF Fabric stash organising 2 - The rainbow 2015-04-12

After the rainbow comes beige and brown (the stack in front only), and then the multi-coloured fabrics:

NWF Fabric stash organising 3 - Beige brown and multicoloured 2015-04-12

If you compare the height of the folded fabrics in beige, brown, and multiple colours to the rainbow fabrics, you will notice that the former aren’t on bolts yet. I’ll talk more about the bolts below.

Next up are the grey and black fabrics:

NWF Fabric stash organising 4 - Grey and black 2015-04-12

Some fabrics have been purchased to be used as collections in projects, even though I usually prefer to make my own mixes and matches. Also, I have a few fat quarters (whereas most of the fabrics above are in fact skinny quarters or half-yard cuts), which all go into a dvd-sized box:

NWF Fabric stash organising 5 - Fat quarters and project bundles 2015-04-12

A quirky thing is that fat quarters certainly are a quarter of a whole unit, but maybe you can see which fat quarters originate in the EU? Up on “top”, the Bonnie and Camille fabrics are metric fat quarters, as is the only batik in my collection down in the right-hand corner. Apart from the end-of-bolt cut navy B&C in the middle, the rest are fat quarters from North America, which are based on the yard. 1 yard is 91.44 cm (or 0.9144 metres), whereas 1 metre is 1,0936133 yards.

The larger project bundles are stored in a Kassett box two steps larger than the dvd-sized box:

NWF Fabric stash organising 6 - Large project bundles 2015-04-12

These are fabrics that I have earmarked but not begun cutting into yet. I do have other boxes for various works in progress, but for these neat stacks of fabrics, the quilt-shop bags used for shipment work beautifully when repurposed like this.

Solid-coloured quilting cottons and miscellaneous other fabrics

My solids are in a sorry state still. I’m drooling whenever I see projects made by others where they clearly have been swimming in the Kona pool. While the current stash doesn’t exceed 20 colours (some solids are elsewhere right now), the intention is to expand this category in the future; hence the spacious conditions of the current fabrics.

The miscellaneous box contains canvas-weight fabrics as well as cotton-linen blends, linens, a Nani Iro double-gauze (which I have no idea of how to use but it’s so pretty…), and a black fleece. In the same living quarters are the embroidery fabrics:

NWF Fabric stash organising 7 - Canvas linen blends etc and Solids 2015-04-12

Lately, I’ve looked at the canvases again, but haven’t yet been able to decide what to use for an embroidery basket.

Scraps of quilting cottons

Scraps are still stored the same way, in two cd-sized boxes, with one for miscellaneous scraps (I like ziplock-/minigrip-type of bags to keep them flat to avoid extra work) and the other for designated projects (for instance the Tokyo Subway Map quilt).

NWF Fabric stash organising 8 - Scrap fabrics 2015-04-12

There’s is a logic to the minigrip bags in the miscellaneous-scraps box, but after making the spider-web blocks for February Queen Bee of Scandibee, Lizzie, it is in a state of holy mess still. Gotta choose one’s battles and all that…

Now that we have looked at how I store my fabrics, excluding the vintage and pre-quilting-me categories, I think it’s time to dig deeper.

How I categorise my patterned quilting cottons – The rainbow-coloured, beige, brown, grey, and black backgrounds

Categorising my patterned quilting cottons makes my heart sing. There’s something about finding similarities and then pondering whether they are strong enough to cause sub-categorising or such to happen, or whether to accept a certain level of lack of “control”. I hesitate to call it lack of control, because I decide what goes where, and nobody can tell me otherwise, roughly put, but disorganisation doesn’t quite fit either, at least not when categories are named loosely. What on earth am I talking about? Let’s see :P

The first concept that I already mentioned in the first article on the topic is tone-on-tone. Hue is “colour” (a pure colour) and so I begin with fabrics, which don’t exhibit anything but either “lighter or darker colours” (forget colour theory for a while, okay, or this gets insane) of the same hue. In the pink case below, there are three fabrics starting from the left that are tone-on-tone fabrics:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Tone 1 2015-04-12

For some reason, the pink category is abundant in comparison with some other colours. Anyway, tone is hue with some grey added, whereas we get a tint when white is added to the same hue, and, finally, a shade arises when black is mixed into a hue. Like I said, following religiously colour theory would make the task of categorising seriously, humongously nasty, but I shortly had to mention the origin of tone to make sense.

In the categorisation of quilting fabrics, one usually sees tone-on-tone mentioned, and this is how I think of it, too, since I can’t easily determine what the hex values or such of a particular specimen would be. Suffice to say, the pink on the far left looks “dirtier”, more greyish black, compared to the “clearer” pink next to it. I let the eye decide.

Next up in the photo above, we have two fabrics of what I call white-on-tone. Next to them, I have placed tone-on-white fabrics, of which there are also two.

Finally, there’s a merry mix of tone-on-whites and white-on-tones where other colours have been added, too. These “multi-coloured tones” I sort only according to pattern size, which is either small or large, relatively speaking. I see eight small-patterned multi-coloured tones above, whereas the large-patterned category contains only two fabrics. This is entirely subjective, and also depends on what the current fabrics are in my stash. The main point is that there isn’t just the hue alone or hue combined with white in this section.

When we look at my dark-blue fabrics, the situation is this:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Tone 2 2015-04-12

From left to right, 3 tone-on-tones (you might choose to put the wavy fabric elsewhere but I recall it as entirely blue and that’s what matters), 0 white-on-tone, 1 tone-on-white, 4 small-sized multi-coloured tones, and 2 multi-coloured tones that could be chucked in the larger category but which sort of are small-sized as well. Subjective this is…

This same organising structure I maintain for the whole rainbow as well as beige and brown fabrics, but what about grey fabrics?

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Grey 2015-04-12

Exactly the same. We see: 1 tone-on-tone, 2 white-on-tones, 0 tone-on-whites (the striped fabric includes black), 5 small-patterned multi-coloured tones, and 1 large-patterned multi-coloured tone. You already know the drill regarding black fabrics, but, for good measure, here they are:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Black 2015-04-12

From left: 3 white-on-tones, 4 tone-on-whites, 3 small-patterned multi-coloured tones, and 1 large-patterned multi-coloured tone.

To summarise:

  1. Tone-on-tone
  2. White-on-tone
  3. Tone-on-white
  4. Small-patterned multi-coloured tone
  5. Large-patterned multi-coloured tone

How I categorise my patterned quilting cottons – The ones with multiple colours on white background

In between brown and grey, I have squeezed what I think of are multi-coloured fabrics. In reality, they are on the greyscale in the sense that their background is white, whereas grey and black fabrics as presented above have those background colours.

The problem arises when I try to define a dominating colour in the pattern on a white background, and where it’s been possible, I’ve thrown these fabrics into categories 4 and 5 above.

If you look at the fabric with the pink birds on a white background earlier, you’ll see the occasional yellow bird, too, but my eyes still read it as a dominantly pink pattern. The flowers next to the birds have other colours than pink, but again, pink dominates the pattern. Then we have lots of yellow squares amongst red and pink squares, and the story goes back to there also being a similar fabric in cool hues – which I recall as mainly blue. Subjective experience once again :) The point is to know where you will spontaneously look for a particular fabric.

Here, however, is a bunch of fabrics, which my brain views as “multi-coloured” in that I recall them as a complete mix of several colours:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Multicoloured 1 2015-04-12

You might recall the fruits of the first fabric as red or pink, perhaps, but I haven’t been able to decide whether there’s more red or pink, and so I might look for it in both places. In fact, I also view the green leaves as quite striking, so my memory has put them in the mixed category from the beginning. Another example are the bikes, which have yellow baskets and black wheels. My eye recalls all of them, including the pink.

The newest tweaking of this category happened yesterday when I noticed a pattern for the first time. I have themes going on! Above, there are two fruits, five flowers, (on my kitchen table pulled out for this month’s bee blocks are a few animals), and four “stuff”.

Below, there are four scallops, two miscellaneous geometric patterns, three dots, two triangles, and four stripes:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to categorise fabrics - Multicoloured 2 2015-04-12

It makes me happy to find similarities like this, and while it can be a pain to establish some kind of system, this kind of organising helps me stay motivated to clean up after I’ve finished cutting for a project.

I think I would maintain it even if my sewing space wasn’t my kitchen table, because as you saw earlier, I’m no fan of scrap baskets, but if cuts are large enough to actually be able to “do” something, I’d rather keep them “in the system” still.

This brings me on to the final section of this post, namely how to fold fabrics in a neat way.

Folding fabrics – The mini and micro bolts

Whenever I can make something easier for myself, I try to stick to it. In the case of fabrics, I don’t want to press more often than necessary, and to cut accurately one obviously has to press things beforehand. This is yet another reason for my dislike of scrap baskets, but it wasn’t only until recently that I solved the problem regarding folding cuts smaller than the mini-bolt size.

The mini bolts were introduced in 2013, which suddenly seems like ages ago. The size of these comic backing boards is 171×266 mm, and after investigation it seems like other boards wouldn’t fit my Kassett boxes as well, so pay attention to this if you are interested in creating a similar folding system for yourself.

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to fold fabrics - Mini bolts 2015-04-12

Above is a skinny quarter and a half-yard cut for comparison.

Anyway, mini bolts and too small cuts. Enter micro bolts! They are nothing but free postcards that I had floating around. I’m not sure whether they are acid-free like the comic backing boards, but the intention is short-term use.

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to fold fabrics - Micro bolts 2015-04-12

Yep, they look almost like mini bolts. What you can’t see is that three of these aren’t folded completely around the postcard, but are merely sitting on top of it. Size-wise these micro bolts fit perfectly into the tiny space in the Kassett boxes, like you can see in the very first photo of this post.

For comparison, a micro bolt on top of a mini bolt:

NWF Fabric stash organising - How to fold fabrics - Mini and micro bolts 2015-04-12

See, lots less pressing necessary. And it’s so cute, too!

As usual, if there’s anything at all that you feel like commenting on, or asking perhaps, feel free to do so! How do you feel about organising fabrics, is it something for you? Or do you wish your stash would be more contained, but don’t know where to start?


Snip, snip, snip said the scissors – An ode to colours

There’s a reason for my not working with the Robert Kaufman Kona “paint chips” more and that’s because they are a pain to combine with fabrics. Yesterday I saw Rachel’s blog post Manipulative Kona Color Card and my brain took one huge sigh of relief as everything fell into place. Out came the colour card and a pair of sturdy Fiskars kitchen scissors.

When thinking of how to write about this project, I heard in my head “Snip, snip, snip said the scissors…” sung by Judy Garland, so let’s take a look!

“Meet Me in St. Louis” was filmed in 1944, 70 years ago can you believe it, but it’s like a Kona colour card! (I love her weird face at the end of the video!) Here’s my proof snipped so far…

NinaWithFreckles - Kona colour cards being snipped 1

When noticing how the text goes up and down depending on the original location on the card, my brain switched completely into “Nooooooo!” mode and I went as far as to look up the Kona collection on the website to see whether the fonts would look like these – so I could copy-paste names and numbers into Excel or something…

I have an extra card that came out maybe a year and a half ago, once they had released new colours. Of course those swatches aren’t on “paint chips” so I will have to make them myself. Which obviously means I need to write something somewhere, too, and I’d prefer computer over handwriting. Hence that scream above. Tough luck, me.

In the photo above there’s actually a twin chip thanks to the text bleeding over from one chip to the other. And I haven’t decided what to do what to do what to do about it yet.

And look, the horror! Not only is the text upside down from time to time, but the chips are also of varying width!

NinaWithFreckles - Kona colour cards being snipped 2

At this point, the rational portion of my mind seemed to have had enough and I found myself taking a deep breath whilst letting go of everything related to the appearance of OCPD.

I’ll have to live with these colour cards being as annoyingly imperfect as they come, because I refuse to spend hours perfecting something that may eventually fray around the edges anyway, causing the credit card to swing and a new set to be delivered.

After googling a bit, I saw another version of the snipped cards, this time on a velcro strip as wall art of a kind. I think a portable version is more for me, but I’m still pondering ways to store them.

With all the “crazy” out there now, what remains to be said is that I absolutely LOVE seeing these tiny blobs of colour next to each other in an organic way! Fabrics truly are a happy place!

A bunch of musings and stuff

Weekend 2013-12-14

Weekend stuff

Eclectic Maker in the UK sent me some much needed tools a couple of days ago and earlier this week I got my member card and pin from Modern Quilt Guild, all of which you can see in the photo. The sewing gear includes bent safety pins for basting quilts, appliqué pins, extra fine pins of normal length, a hera marker, a seam ripper (which has received the Red Dot design award; it’s larger and more ergonomic than the one that came with my sewing machine), and an oval, magnetic pin cushion.

I’m particularly fond of the magnet thing (although you’re not supposed to place anything magnetising close to a digital sewing machine!). During sewing, I’ve usually managed not to hit the tiny pin box, but they float next to it on the table or on rare occasions fall down on the floor, which is quite bad considering there’s a floor mop aka cat roaming around here. Now it seems to extend this invisible hand up in the air and it grabs the pin regardless of how sloppy I am when still staring at the area around the presser foot. Happy camper. Oh and if you’re wondering, the manufacturer is Prym.

What about those comic backing boards? Well, I was digging through the box with patterned fabric of white, grey or black background and the piles in the Kassett boxes just don’t inspire me. I also realised I should combine fabric with white background with its corresponding coloured background pile, because now, if I want yellow fabric, I need to look in both the box with yellow-background fabric and the one containing yellow details on white background. It’s just too complicated and I tend to forget what I have. Finally, I think I have to embrace the colour wheel and start organising from pink and red rather than in pencil order. Since I happened to walk past a comics store today, I hopped in and found the backing boards for a royal price of almost 20€ for 100 boards; such is life here in Northern Europe… Conveniently, I still have Mini Fabric Bolts and Some Studio Organization by Smashed Peas and Carrots saved in my bookmarks.

Love Patchwork and Quilting - Issue 1

Love Patchwork and Quilting – Issue 1

And why are there four black-and-white fabrics on the table? Weeell. I blame Eclectic Maker. They sent me an ad to subscribe to a new quilting magazine called Love Patchwork and Quilting and it’s too complicated to commit to an overseas subscription, so instead I consulted my beloved Zinio once again. Lo and behold, you can purchase either single issues or a long subscription! I couldn’t walk past the two very delicious-looking first issues and as it happens, in the first issue there’s a “Rail Fence Cushion” cover I want to make. The current one is too shabby and this task has been on my to-do list over a year already, so black and white it is. As you can see, it really isn’t my fault; I had no choice whatsoever. Totally innocent. As far as practical matters such as templates go, download them on the LPQ blog; easy peasy. And issue 2 contains an exclusive pattern by Tula Pink, so with all the great pattern makers involved as well as nice general writing, it’s bound to be good!

Off to sort some fabric!

Storing my fabric stash and other sewing gear

Fabric storage - Ikea Kassett 1A couple of days ago I wrote about organising the fabric stash and today I’ll show my way of storing them. My angle is the small space, because I live in a small flat (37.5 sqm or 404 sqf) and sewing isn’t a very good hobby to have, unless one keeps all the stuff fairly organised as well as easy to move between working area and storage area.

I have a walk-in closet with wall-mounted shelving and while it used to be a space for clothing and other textiles mainly, I’m currently doing a bit of a puzzle with the aim to get all clothing out, then corral other objects there, sewing-related items included.

The Kassett boxes made by Ikea are excellent in my opinion, since they come in various sizes with uniform looks (calms the visual part down a bit) and they don’t break the bank. The reason for my pushing this line is simple; we don’t have many options here in Finland, but it’s sort of take it or leave it in many cases. I also don’t happen to appreciate plastic all over the place, so good labelling is key when you miss the see-through aspect.

Two stacks of fabric fit into the Kassett box pictured below. There is space between them still for easy lifting in and out.

Fabric storage - Ikea Kassett 2

Kassett size 27x35x18 cm, one step larger than the dvd box

Fabric storage - Ikea Kassett 3

From above – Folded fabric is the size of a three times folded quarter yard, about 9”x6”

That little space between the two stacks is really important to have! In theory, the folded quarter yard could just fit into the cd-sized Kassett, but your hands would have to squeeze in to lift the stack and you don’t have any chance to quickly scan the pile. On the other hand, if you fold like this and place the pile in the dvd-sized box, you pay for storage of thin air. So the one step larger box is perfect and this is what will fit into it when the stacks go up to an inch below the lid:

Fabric storage - Ikea Kassett 4

These will fit into the second-largest Kassett

As for weight, I wouldn’t want to handle boxes larger than the ones above, because fabric is heavy. I don’t stop at sewing stuff, but store lots of other things in the Kassett boxes, and my philosophy is “like with like, customize box size according to amount of contents (more and smaller boxes over fewer and larger)”. My handwriting isn’t too bad, but after having tried to read with ease texts on the uppermost shelves, I’ve concluded that computer-generated text is preferable.

While the labels are easy enough to rewrite, I prefer the thought of a dynamic stash, which has produced the following labels for quilt-weight fabrics so far: Coloured background 1, Coloured background 2, Black-and-white background 1, and Black-and-white background 2. They live in the box size pictured above, as do Solids.

I don’t have many solid fabrics yet, but I’m thinking the amount could increase whereas some of the other categories could shrink or at least not expand much, so the solids got their own larger box too. In dvd-sized Kassett boxes I keep the following: Canvas, Linen and blends, and Other fibres (double-gauze etc.). A couple of cd-sized Kassetts house these: Scraps, and Scraps for projects (currently Tokyo and Slices scraps). I like storing my scraps flat, because I don’t want to press them again nor do I like the space that the fluffy shapes demand.

To be honest, I won’t mention a couple of boxes of fabrics inherited from my grandmother, because I still haven’t truly dealt with them other than refold after having chucked out some really odd leftover pieces produced when cutting clothing etc. Let’s pretend they don’t exist for now.

What’s left to mention are the two large under-bed-sized boxes of another brand. They look almost like the Kassett boxes (which pleases me greatly… *rolls her eyes at herself*) and due to their larger footprint they are the perfect home for works in progress.

Buttons, bias tape, threads, you name it; it all has been sorted according to context and put in the dvd-sized boxes. It is super helpful not to stack the contents vertically, but once a small box is full, you create another one. In a small home, it also means that you bring out only a couple of small boxes rather than some very difficult to maneuvre storage solutions.

And the labels themselves? I’ve found the Apli labels, which come in 20 labels per A5-sized sheet (two columns) to be perfect here, because they cover the area of the label cardstock completely in vertical direction. All I have to do after printing is to cut off the overhang in the horizontal direction. The method of sticking the label onto the cardstock is very high-tech; hardcore eyeballing.

The typeface I use is League Gothic and here most labels are written in size 20 with 2% wider tracking (not kerning but you can read about both here). If there is lots of text, I resize to 19 and/or decrease tracking to 1 or 0. Normally League Gothic reads well but on the higher shelves it’s easier to have a bit of space between the letters. I prefer all caps for higher readibility, as well. If you want to download it, go to FontSquirrel where they have a fantastic selection of free typefaces that come with commercial-use licences. If you don’t have the appropriate software, my favourite is Scribus.

The Apli labels are really good everywhere in the household, by the way, and I print return-to-sender stickers, handwrite on kitchen jars (they come off again like a charm when washing!), and all sorts of things.

If you have questions on any of these topics, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

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The Organise Your Sewing Room series consist of these articles so far:

Organising my fabric stash

It was time to reorganise my fabrics and after having read articles in the superb series Art of Choosing by Jeni of In Color Order, I realised my stash structure was close to how I needed it to be, with only a few tweaks necessary to make. I spent some time putting back fabrics used in recent projects, shuffling within colours and looking closely at prints. It was great fun and I want to share my decision-making process, first through an explanation and then some photos.

Jeni uses the rainbow as her foundation, but originally I got into this from another direction, the artist’s pencils. Both Caran D’Ache and Faber Castell, which happen to sit (currently unused) in my crafting stuff, start from yellow, so that’s what I chose back in the day. I’m so set in the pencil order that I haven’t had any success when trying to switch to the rainbow order.

The order of colours I’ve chosen is this: yellow, orange, pink, red, violet, blue, turquoise, green, brown and the greyscale. I know some prefer pink between red and violet, and brown could go close to orange-reds, but since neither brown nor greyscales are in the rainbow I’ve put these at the end of the colour line. The greyscale starts with white and ends with black in my stash.

I want things neat, categorised and contextualised if possible. Blog articles are a great example in that you can add both categories and tags to them, and while tags are fine when you have lots of information to dig through, the very rigid categories are of fantastic assistance in this case; you want one context to be applied to a single fabric. (Or you could choose not to organise in any way, but simply keep stacks in a glorious mix. The latter isn’t for me though, so here we are.)

Jeni’s way of presenting fabrics with prints was the heureka moment for me. In Recognizing a Fabric’s Overall Color, she discusses with good examples the different looks that a fabric can have: 1. tone-on-tone fabric, 2. color+white fabric, 3. fabric with small accents, 4. fabrics with large accents, and 5. multicoloured fabrics.

I had tried too complex a way to sort – by background tone – and something was missing, so to view fabrics in this five-category way helped me learn more about the prints and bring order to the multicoloured as well as the greyscale fabrics, which were in a holy mess still. In Organizing Your Stash by Color, Jeni combines the tone-on-tone and color+white fabrics into one group, which is helpful. Now I use the five-category model to understand my stash, but the physical organising combines categories 1. and 2.

How I organise my fabrics with prints:

  • Coloured background
    • In artist’s pencil order
      • Tone-on-tone and color+white fabrics
      • Fabrics with small accents
      • Fabrics with large accents
  • Greyscale background
    • White background
      • Accent colours in artist’s pencil order
        • One accent colour
        • Several accent colours
      • Multicoloured accents
      • White+grey fabrics
      • White+black fabrics
    • Grey background
      • Tone-on-tone and grey+white fabrics
      • Fabrics with small accents
      • Fabrics with large accents
    • Black background
      • Tone-on-tone and black+white fabrics
      • Fabrics with small accents
      • Fabrics with large accents

The “troublesome multicoloured fabrics” in my stash are in fact not difficult at all. I’ve discovered that once I’ve identified a particular background colour for a fabric with multiple colours, the accent size will be enough for further classifying this fabric.

Fabrics with white background are the exception, as I have quite a lot of these. To make things slightly easier, when I’ve identified one accent colour as the main one, I place the fabric according to artist’s pencil order, rather than among the multicoloured accents, of which there are many enough to be in no order at all. To decrease the amount of sub-sub-sub-categories, the accent size of patterns on white background is ignored.

Now it’s time for the photos! I’ll use pink as an example.

Stash organising 1

Fabrics with pink background and fabrics with pink pattern on white background

Stash organising 2

Fabrics with pink background, tone-on-tone and pink+white up on top

Stash organising 3

Fabrics with pink background, small accents up on top

Stash organising 4

Fabrics with pink background and large accents

Stash organising 5

Fabrics with pink pattern on white background, pink-only accents up on top

Stash organising 6

Fabrics with pink pattern on white background, multicoloured accents that are mainly pink

Stash organising 7

Fabrics with white background, multicoloured accents – No main accent colour is identifiable

Stash organising 8

Fabrics with black pattern on white background

Stash organising 9

Fabrics with grey background – Tone-on-tone and grey+white up on top, small and large accents at the bottom, and question marks in the middle (possibly tone-on-tone or small accents so they are in between the two)

Stash organising 10

Fabrics with black background – Black+white up on top (which is where tone-on-tone would be too), small accents in the middle, large accents on the bottom

All the other colours work the same way as pink. Currently I don’t have any fabrics with grey accents on white background, but they’d be squeezed in between the multicoloured ones and the black ones on white background.

I’m a pretty organised person, but constant maintenance of this system will be too much, so the structure is one that I’ll keep in the back of my head when making decisions in the future on which fabrics to purchase (what type do I already have lots of, what is on the other hand missing). It’s also been great to finally develop a way of classifying fabrics out of a colour, texture and pattern point of view – because the quilt is the end product and that’s where the results will be visible. When chaos has reached an uncomfortable level, I’ll apply this structure once more when reorganising, but in between I prefer less rigid rules.

Next organising article will be on stash storage! (Yes, with photos once again!)

Edited to add: You can find it here now.

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This is the first article in the Organise Your Sewing Room series.

Tutorials online – Organizing the fabric stash

I figure it is a good idea to have a plan – before more fabric begins to fill my home – on how to organize it, so here is what I have found so far. These are some interesting reads, because not one way is obviously more right than the others:

  • Organizing – Thoughts Needed | The Sometimes Crafter
  • Step One (of many) | Oh, Fransson!
  • Stash Evolution | Lulubloom
  • Fabric overload | vintage modern quilts

I’m also thinking I’ll sew my own “crates” that would sit on a shelf on its side instead of the floor – because I don’t want any plastic into the house any more than really necessary these days. I would practice my button-hole making and add protective crate covers, which would obviously hang down like a curtain in that position, to keep the fabrics clean. My plan is to buy fabrics mostly when I have a clear idea on how to use them, so I won’t ever have as large a stash as can be found through the links above, but they still deserve to be treated well. It is an investment after all!

I still have no idea of which of the three to pick, but most likely it will be a fusion somehow.