Friday, June 13, 2014

Organizing Fabric: Scraps & More

Happy Friday! Lots of sorting and organizing has been going on over here (not so much sewing, though; however, I plan to remedy that this weekend!  Here are the next two steps in the organizing plan--don't worry if you're behind--I really hope that everyone will follow along at their own pace...I just thought it would be helpful if I got all of the posts out in a shorter amount of time.

I've had to switch up a lot of things in my sewing room to accommodate the new cutting table, and I still need to rearrange a few things (the Butterfly quilt will be moved so it's not half-hidden behind the bookcase). I actually had nearly all of my fabric in another room, and I haven't brought anything back in that doesn't have a designated spot.

I keep my paper pieced hexagons organized by color in a small plastic bin.

Day Nine:  Tackle Scrap Storage

Today is the day you'll make a plan for your scrap storage. If you honestly don't quilt with your scraps, you can sell or donate them: many people appreciate playing with scraps, and there is no reason they should go to waste.

Ideally, I try to cut up leftovers from current projects into scraps while I'm cutting out my main project. When I'm able to do this it saves a lot of time. Of course, I haven't always followed this advice, so I have a little backlog...but I store project left-overs in separate plastic bags in a large storage bin and try to cut up a bag or two each Saturday. 

I also have a "scrap basket" of miscellaneous fabrics I need to deal with. When it's full I take an afternoon and cut the fabrics into the categories listed below.

I stack pieces of fabric ranging from fat quarter size to under 1/2 yard on my shelves by color. Once I've opened a fat quarter bundle I move all of the unused fat quarters or partially used pieces to the shelves. If something is 1/8 yard or less, then I cut it into scraps.

I store scraps in plastic bins by size. When I get a lot of one particular size I sometimes will separate into a "warm" color bin and a "cool" color bin. 

Here are the types of scraps I store:
  • 2 1/2" squares
  • 3 1/2" squares
  • 5" squares
  • 1 1/2" strips
  • 2 1/2" strips
Make a list of bins or containers you might need for scrap storage, but don't buy anything yet. If you need to keep things together you can use plastic zipper storage bags temporarily...they can always be re-used.

Another thought:

Sometimes I do keep scraps by a certain designer together. I keep Fig Tree fabric scraps together for scrappy Fig Tree quilts...I just love the way Joanna's collections play together...and I do the same thing for Bonnie & Camille fabrics and Minick & Simpson fabrics. It just seems to make sense for those collections. Everything else gets thrown together, though!

Day Ten: "Move in" Day

Today you can start organizing the fabric in your sewing room! Follow the plan you made for Day 8, and have fun!  Don't forget to plan for spaces for bins for your scraps.

I'm not going to list a lot of details for this project...just start moving all of those fabrics back where you want them to go! some're half-way finished, and you deserve a break! Just a preview... we still have some other fabric related items to talk about (we haven't even talked about kits yet), but we'll also be working on patterns, magazines, and books next week!

Happy Weekend! And thanks so much for stopping by and for all of the support for this series!


bmayer said...

I really need to tackle my sewing room...Maybe next week! I dont do much traditional piecing, so cutting my scraps into squares/strips etc. wouldnt work for me,since I do more applique. What I do for my scraps is, I've bought large lidded glass containers in interesting shapes at HomeGoods, and separate my scraps by color, and leave them out on "display" looks like a candy store!

Janet said...

Sherri ...thank you for all the wonderful hints, tips and ideas....I plan to put them all to work in July (youngest daughter is getting married next week ). Love that I can scroll back on your blog to get caught up ....and such a great blog too....Janet (a HUGH fan from Ontario, Canada )

suemac said...

What a lovely display of fq bundles. Yum.

Carla said...

Your room is just beautiful! All those gorgeous hexies....

Sherry said...

Hi Sherri! Thanks for all the tips on getting organized. I did organize my yardage about a year ago. I bought several large cabinets and put all my yardage on the comic book boards -wow that took forever but so much nicer than being thrown in tote boxes. My sewing room isn't big enough for all my fabric so my cabinets with yardage and precuts have a room of their own, the fabric room. LOL I do have two cute cabinets with my favorite fabrics and FQ bundles in my sewing room. I need to get my scraps organized. I agree with you on keeping my Fig Tree, Bonnie & Camille & M&S fabrics together. I've made several quilts mixing their charm packs together. I'm doing the current MODA QAL using different precuts of my Fig Tree fabric lines. Keep up the great work on inspiring us to get organized. I'm a big fan of yours - your work is awesome. Have a great week-end!

Siobhán said...

I have really enjoyed this series! I am particularly interested to read how you store your scraps. I have an overflowing scrap bin and am just starting to cut down the scraps. I also started doing leaders and enders with some of the cut scraps, which is a lot of fun.

Nonilovestosew said...

I've so enjoyed following you! Thank you so much for doing this! You have such a sweet way about's always a pleasure to read your posts and ideas!

Sheri said...

I appreciate your organizing blog tips so much. At first I just read out of the corner of my eye, because I was too uncomfortable with thinking about my stacks and messes. Then little by little without thinking about it too much, I did a little of this and a little of that. Then my daughter came along and started a little cleaning and organizing, and I felt obligated to help and so we got a whole lot done one morning. So without really planning to follow along, I am. And it's so much nicer already. Thanks!

Karamat said...

Great tips! And I love seeing how other people organize their fabric.

The Patchsmith said...

I am loving this series. I can't say my sewing room is any less cluttered but at least the clutter is getting organized (can you call fabric clutter?)

The Patchsmith said...

I am loving this series. I can't say my sewing room is any less cluttered but at least the clutter is getting organized (can you call fabric clutter?)

Mara said...

I really, really LOVE your shelves! All filled with fabric, now I have a question and maybe you have said it before, but it looks like you don't pre-wash the fabrics, do you?

gigi said...

Love how you used the architextures and the text fabric, especially how the text made stripes! Love your enthusiasm too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...