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I have been looking around my sewing area lately and it really needs some organization!! I have several of those stackable drawers but even when I can kinda see thru them I forget what I have!! It is not just the fabric and tools I need organized - how about all of the patterns/books/magazines??

Ok I need help and who better to ask than all of you - give me tips on how to better organize so I can actually find what I need when I want to!! And how do you organize fabric - by collection or color or what??

I know this is alot to ask - BUT - when we are quiltaholics at some point it becomes necessary!!!

thanks for all of your help!!


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Hi Deb....I have a HUGE sewing room with tons of cabinets, drawers, counters and cupboards so getting things out of sight isn't a problem. It's finding where I put stuff that drives me nuts! I finally decided to organize my fabric in some of the cupboards by color. It does present a problem when wanting to put together collections but I figured I usually search for a color rather than a certain manufacturer or total collection. When fabrics come from CT, they are folded wrong side out so all of them have to be unfolded and refolded right side out so the color shows on the shelf. Most fabrics from shops is already folded right side out. Also, I saw a You Tube demo on using a large ruler to fold fabric...very cool! You just fold the fabric selvege to selvege, right side out, then lay on a table with the ruler (needs to be one of the 8 1/2 inch wide rulers) across the width of the fabric. Wrap the fabric round and round and then pull the ruler out when it's all folded into a neat 'package'. It really works.

Good luck; organization is one of the things I like to do best. I go nuts in office supply stores buying little containers and boxes and stuff like that.
Great post Deb! I'm sure we'll all be able to pick up some hints and tips, no matter if your sewing areas are the way we want them or not.

I have my huge sewing table made out of bathroom vanities, so I have lots of storage under it. One side of my table is dedicated to the kids' crafting stuff, so imagine the room I'd have for quilting supplies if I had it too! On my side of the table is my fabric. I have some larger pieces/yardage that I've piled in a basket. Anything that isn't large, I cut into squares, I have 12 1/2", 6 1/2" and 5" squares each in it's own pile. I do have my 5" squares in a plastic container, but haven't found anything for the other squares yet. I also have a shelf on my table where I store my rulers, baggies, quilt templates.

I have a bookshelf and on some of those shelves are magazines that are in the holders Wendy mentioned. I don't have many books, but they are on the bookself, and patterns are in a basket-nothing in a particular order.

I also have one of those shelves with the baskets-you use for toys, etc., that I've been putting projects that I want do next in. I can then take the basket and bring it to quilt outings.

I also have a dresser that I hide stuff in too. I've got stuff I don't use often in it.

I have all my buttons in a large green Ball jar. I still have a big rubbermade container on the floor with stuff in it, mostly fusible fleece and purse/tote making stuff.

I too, will try to post some pictures later. This could be fun, we'll all have organized sewing rooms for 2010!!
I attended a "War of the Scraps" class at Pine Needles once and she suggested ironing your fabric as you buy it and putting it on hangers in your closet so you can see what you have-saves a trip to Quilt shop for something you already have! the hangers should be labeled with the yardage to save time. I did get a bunch of my fabric on hangers,but by no means am I organized! I have a large old dining table in the center of my space and have tubs of 2 1/2 " strips and charms . I have one of those toy storage racks with tubs of fabrics arranged by color. I have a large storage tub with plastic bags full of USOs and UFOs,some of which only need tobe quilted. I have an old waordrobe filled with batting and batting scraps which I intend to use in quilt as you go strip quilts and then there are a couple of shelf units and an old kitchen safe that I use for storage,also and old chest of drawers filled with UFO's,orphan blocks and fabric scraps. I should be organized,but really everything is piled up everywhere. Hope to finish organizing this winter.
I don't have that a closet big enough for that! :)

I have tubs sorted by mostly by color. I also have Christmas, novelty and John Deere material tubs. Yes I really do have that much JD fabric!
Isn't it a crime to have that much JD fabric?!?!?! Tee Hee!
I am fortunate that I have a large room that is all mine. The downside is that I have a desk area and use the room to do bookwork for the motorcycle organization (we hold three positions which means I do most of the work). That take away a little from my sewing storage. I have kitchen cupboards around two walls with yardage in most of them. Nearly all that yardage is for garment construction, not quilts. I have one cabinet of baby fabric, one of knits (for tops), and a couple that have wool, etc. Most of my quilting yardage is in tubs. I have a wire rack that I have the things I'm currently working on. I have scraps sorted by color in several smaller totes. My sewing table in the middle of the room is a big help - its base is two lower cabinets with a shelving unit in between. The top is about 40 x 72. Right now, I have the design wall up in front of a double bookcase that has all my quilting books and magazines on it. That is also where I keep my on-going leisure reading books.

I'm afraid that I don't have a good method of keeping track of where fabrics may be. I do have a TO DO list posted on one of the upper cabinet doors so I know what I plan to work on next.

Keep the ideas coming!!!
DH had a great idea for my storage. We tore up the closet and put shelves in. And we took out the closet shelves, too. Then we bought clear bins, and I organized the bins by color. I don't put the lids on the bins, I have heard that can cause problems with moisture. I also have a bin for batiks and one for civil war fabrics. And I have some UFO's in a bin. Things like that. It really has helped a lot, but I do need to clean up a bit in the 'closet'.
We painted the shelves white, and the back of the closet a really bright yellow. I love it.
Hoppy Quilting!
Linda, Sounds like you have a method I could use as I have the closet space but everything just there with no method. What type and size of plastic containers did you use. Karen
Wow! Some of you are really organized! My sewing room is in the (unfinished) basement. It used to be awesome-large and way organized, and then my LA came along and invaded!!
I too need to do something different down there. I have a several of those plastic storage drawer things. Those are for thread and notions. Then I have some milk crates stacked on their sides to store my books/magazines in. (I do have some of those magazine organizers that Wendy was talking about, but they're still in the packages!) Most of my fabric is in large see-through bins sorted by color, underneath my frame. Along with those bins, I keep more books, several machines stacked on top of the bins and some batting scraps. Behind my frame, I have three large rolls of batting standing on end!- I hate them being there, so my plan is to somehow mount some rods to the ceiling rafters to hold the rools of batting. Then they will be up and out of my way.
Oh yes, I can't forget my sewing room extends to the rest of the house now! Our spare bedroom has a chest of drawers (5 of them), all filled with fabric. ThenI have a large rolling sheving unit with three shelves. This is filled with yarn, thread, fabric and more fabric. Then I have a basket or two in almost every room of the house that has quilting books (some magazines) in it. I hate having my stuff all over and don't really know what to do about it. I need some way to condense things. Everything just kind of "exploded" when I got the LA because it takes up so much room.
I like the idea of hanging the batting. I wonder where I could do that and keep it clean too? don't have the luxury of a basement or it would be taken over for sure!
Why don't we all hire Wendy to fly around the country and organize for us? That would be so much fun.
Here, here!!! Good thinking, Linda.


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