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My fabric needs to be more organized, so that's what I've been attempting lately.  It is a challenge for me.  Should I sort strictly by color?  Theme?  Coordinating fabrics?  As I sort, I'm finding I mentally put fabrics together for projects, which derails the organization!

I like the idea of sorting by color, so that when I do pick a print, I can just go to the different colors to find coordinating fabrics, but I'm finding that easier to say than to do.    If I do sort by color, what do I do with multicolored prints?  

I have quite a bit of western fabrics that I've kept together, but sorted in colors.  I have children's prints together, but there are also coordinating fabrics mixed in with them. I have projects packed in bundles.  30's prints are by themselves.  I have one bin of solids - all colors mixed together.  (sigh)

What do you do? What would you suggest?  


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Comment by Tanyel B on August 22, 2015 at 10:30pm
I have done two things to organize my fabric. I have folded and sorted it by size. Fat quarters were all folded the same way and size. One yard or less folded a certain way. More than a yard folded all the same way. After the time consuming effort of folding everything to certain sizes, I sorted it by color or types. Batiks are really the only fabrics kept by type. I can't say I enjoyed all the folding and re folding. But I love the results. I can now find fabric when I need it. Oh and my scraps are organized in baskets by size of the scrap - small, medium, large. Good luck finding an organization method that will work for you.
Comment by Irene Gallway on August 22, 2015 at 7:03am

I like to sort by color but like Pam mentioned.  It has a tendency to not stay that way for long.  I find when I take some out for a project and scraps are left over, rather then putting it back with it's colors I make squares from 2" to 12" and then put them in baggies according to size.  I use my squares in small projects and applique. 

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on August 19, 2015 at 10:36am

Carol Ann, you should put your question on the main page in a new post.  Good question.

I have my finished quilts hung over a quilt ladder and on quilt racks.  I can enjoy seeing them through the year, and can rotate them to the beds when I want a change.  The down side is that they get dusty.   I would love to someday have a glass fronted cabinet or hutch (think vintage) where I could fold and see the quilts, and still keep them dust-free.   My goal for "someday" is to be able to change the quilts on my bed each month - or each season at least.  I'd like an Irish Chain for March, a maple leaf quilt in fall colors for fall, etc.  I have a red quilt suitable for February, and a Christmas quilt for  December.  Storage would be a consideration.  

My unquilted tops are folded in totes right now.  

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on August 19, 2015 at 10:01am

I have a related question:  How do you store your finished quilts?  I don't always make them FOR somebody or give them all away.  I just love making quilts!

Comment by AidaCJ/NH on August 19, 2015 at 7:57am

I sort my fabrics by color, however, I keep all the Connecting Threads fabrics in the same set they come when I order them. I then label each set with the name of the line, such as "Island Hopping", "Luminiscense". Easier to get the right combination.

Comment by Cat Lady--MO on August 19, 2015 at 6:56am

PQ, you are so right about the different colors as they move from one primary to the next on the color wheel.  And yes, that is part of the reason I have different stacks of blue, etc.  I try to keep some of them close to each other, like they would appear on the color wheel. 

Trying to decide if a color is more yellow-green or greenish-yellow will often depend on what I am placing it with.  Sort of the same concept of choosing a light, medium, and dark fabric.  Sometimes that medium is really a light when the dark is darker and sometimes it is a dark when used with lighter pieces.  And sometimes the light is really a medium when I pick up the next light I want to use. 

It is a wonderful problem to have though, as all those shades and tints and tones and lights and mediums and darks, lend themselves to an infinite possibility in the quilts we make.

Speaking of color shifting, lately I have discovered that some of the grays I have are more pink, and some are more lavender, and they do not exactly compliment each other.

Comment by J.S. on August 19, 2015 at 4:55am

I organized mine by color last year.  Then I did flannels and plaids separate.  It's been so nice to justreach in my cupboard and find what I want all nice and folded.  I don't know why it took me so many years to do this.  Then I separated all my scraps by color and put them in clear plastic boxes in the closet. 

Comment by Barb/WI on August 18, 2015 at 9:27am

So glad you posted this.  There are great tips in here for all of us.  And, I think we can all identify (and laugh) at the challenges of organizing and staying that way.  We won't even begin to discuss the challenge of what and when to purge!

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on August 18, 2015 at 8:03am

Cat Lady - you have to have those many piles because there are so many subcolors (if that is a word) within the category "blue" - the turquoise, navy, gray/blues, etc.  And when do they turn into greens?  Same with the rest.  I have times I can't decide if the fabric I am holding should fall under the pinks, reds, oranges or browns.  Greens are a nightmare, too.  There are more shades and values of greens than one can shake a stick at.  I guess it's a wonderful problem.  :)   

Comment by Cat Lady--MO on August 18, 2015 at 7:05am

I sort by color.  But my problem is I have fabric sorted by color in multiple areas.  For example, I have a tub of blues under the cutting table, I have three stacks of blue on a shelf in the cutting area, I have a tub of blue and a stack of blue piled up in the guest bedroom.  Now substitute all of the other colors for blue and you can see my problem. 

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