We are in the middle of this year’s edition of Spring Clean Your Studio, a fun blog hop devised by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com!
I moved at the end of last year, so I have a new studio to share!
As I’ve written before, I’m a pretty tidy person in general, so what feels messy to me might look like like a clean space to you. I’m coming off an intense couple of months of sewing for Spring Quilt Market, so while that’s underway, I tend to stack things in piles on my biggest available surface – the top of my fabric drawers:
(I would have taken pix at the height of the chaos, but there was a lot of secret fabric in there that I’m not allowed to share until after it debuts at Market)
A lot of the fabric drawers were so tight that I could barely get my hands in them, and I find this really unpleasant to deal with; it makes me want to just not use the fabric in there, which then leads to shopping trips (and often to duplicate purchases!) Thus the first order of business was to re-sort the drawers, and then to file away all the fabric on top of them.
I have a lot of hand-dyed fabric, and while I don’t want to get rid of it (I use when I teach hand-dyeing) I don’t need it at the ready. I decided to pull it from the drawers and move it into storage tubs that can live in my office closet.
This freed up three drawers for shifting and filing the rest:
I still have some batting to absorb, but I’ll get to that soon – it’s destined to be frankenbatted into some charity quilts for my guild. I also want to have a good sort on the rack at the back of the picture, but that will have to wait a week or two while I finish up my market obligations.
I store fabric mostly by type/substrate (batik, cotton, barkcloth, canvas) and then by genre (solid, print, etc.) I have specific drawers for fabric with text, skulls, and robots/space. Some of the fabric is sorted by manufacturer – this is so that when I design with it, I don’t inadvertently mix in other companies’ fabrics. I also broke up all my fat quarter towers this time as then I’ll actually use the fabrics in them – seriously… I had some that are 4 or 5 years old that had never been touched.
I keep large cuts of solids in the drawers, but the main solid stash (mostly fat quarters and smaller) lives in smaller boxes:
I’m not a scrap quilter, so while I set aside scraps as I work, I periodically bundle them up to giveaway on Instagram (follow me here!) My next round of giveaways will include scraps from the quilts I made for this market season out of fabric that isn’t out just yet 🙂
I think the most important thing about fabric storage is to find what works best for you, and to do it in a way that makes your fabric available to you for both inspiration and use. If you can’t get to it, it can’t get used!
I don’t need to see all mine out on a shelf, so having it in drawers works fine. I also would never bother with storing it around boards as it would take up way too much space to do that. I store by type and color, but I know other people work well storing by size.
I’m also a fan of periodically sorting through your entire stash, both to sort in the new treasures and to purge the old. I think we all buy fabric that we outgrow before it gets used, and if you get it out of the house you have room to buy more! I send my no-longer-loved fabric to my guild’s robust charity quilting program, or our monthly Free Fabric table. Your local Project Linus group is always a good place for fabric you don’t want to keep.
Please check out the rest of the blog hop!
May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com
May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com
May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com
May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com
May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/
May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com
May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com
May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com
May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog (you’re here!)
May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com
May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com
May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com
May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com
May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com
May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.com
May 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com
May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog
May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com
May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com
May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.com
May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com
This is a very interesting essay about fabric storage and purging. I just did a small purge and will do more again soon. I agree that as our tastes change we need to get rid of the old to make room for the new, and the fabric that we eliminate can go to charity quilts or other worthy causes.
I store my stash (all cotton quilting fabrics) by color. I see that changing somewhat however as recently I’ve found myself buying fat quarter bundles that I like to keep together and use in a single project, which is new for me.
BTW, I love you term “frankenbatting”. What a perfectly descriptive word.
Your design board looks awesome!! And love how one wall has small quilts at the top. Especially since it looks like you face that wall as you sit at the machine. I live in a 2nd floor condo. The pathway to the units is RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOWS!! I sit facing that window – but the shade is always down. I would hate to expose the general public to a working quilting space!!! I’d better get to work til I feel I can raise the shades!! LOL! doni @ Oregon coast