The new blog post is here! The new blog post is here! For those of you - ahem - of a certain age, you may appreciate that take from Steve Martin's hysterical movie, The Jerk. I feel that way sometimes - crazy excited about little things. This post is one of them!
We've all been sharing glimpses into our sewing and creating spaces, which has been so much fun and so inspiring. I've gleaned great ideas on dealing with organization. But this is the post that I had in my head when this whole thing began. How to deal with fabric!
Fabric is awesome. Fabric is beautiful. Fabric is ESSENTIAL to my craft. And for a long time I was a loyal member of the You Can't Have Too Much Fabric club. Butttt..........actually I do think you can. Have too much, that is. When it starts to impede your ability to sew. When your sewing space begins to look like a cluttered warehouse rather than a space to inspire and create. Yep - I reached that point, and so began my adventure into fabric organization. Yes...it CAN happen!
Here is where my fabric cozies up and makes itself at home. Behind the curtain! There are several reasons I chose this approach.
Visibility: When the curtain is pulled back, my fabrics are visible. And yes, while out of sight, out of mind is great, when I need to pull fabrics (or shop my stash!), it is MUCH easier to simply pull back the curtain and have a full view of what is available, rather than dig through totes to see what I have. I tend to duplicate less and make better use of what I have this way!
Grouping: While this might not look like it, these fabrics are organized by fabric line. Based on the way I work and design, it makes more sense for ME to organize my fabric in individual cubbies (LOVE LOVE LOVE those cubbies) by fabric line. If you want to take a similar approach, you might group your fabrics by project, or perhaps by season or theme. For instance, I collect (sigh....trying NOT to do that, but it is a compulsion!) fabrics with words on them. I keep them on their own little shelf.
Light: The curtain is a best of both worlds scenario. I can protect my fabric from light and from dust, but still have easy, complete access.
There is a "trick" to this - and it's all in the special tension rods I used. If you haven't tried them, let me tell you- they are AWESOME! I discovered them a few years back and they are a game changer. Normal tension rods fit inside a window frame - easy peasy. But you can't do that with the cubbie bookcases (Ikea - gotta love that store!) because of the cubbies, which are full width and depth of the bookcase.
Hence the Maytex Twist and Shout curtain rods. Yes, they come in different sizes and colors. And you can find them here. I've linked to the brushed nickel ones I use in my studio, but other colors and sizes are available, and I've even started using them in other rooms so I can easily make changes to my curtains when I want to. (yep, an affiliate link.....)
EXTRA DESIGN WALL: I chose white curtains for multiple reasons. It keeps the space bright and clean looking. And I can use that broad open space as an extra design wall. Since they are curtains, fabric won't "stick" to it like a normal design wall, but I've been known to drape strips of fabric over the rod (like when I was making my To the Point guided improv quilt - was a terrific place to organize the 20 2 1/2" strips used for the diamond points).
But that's not the only way I deal with fabric. I do have scraps - don't we all??? I keep a large basket under my cutting table, lined with a large plastic bag, for trimmings and small scraps. I use these for stuffing. I've made pet beds, draft dodgers, and even floor cushions, all stuffed with these scraps that might otherwise end up in the garbage.
And what about bigger scraps? Well, I've talked about closed storage (and I am a HUGE fan of closed storage), but I'm also a "basket gal". I love a pretty basket! So....while I'm in creation mode, I put larger scraps (those that can be used in smaller projects) in baskets, again organized by fabric line. You can see leftovers from projects from my last three lines in baskets here.
But of course I have "closed" baskets as well. I am a fan of vintage picnic baskets, and they make awesome storage! Because they have a lid, the fabric is protected from light and dust. I use my picnic baskets to organize fabric groups such as holiday, novelty, or project specific. I add little hang tags on the handle identifying which group is inside to make it easy to locate. Honestly, these are for my long-term projects - things I WANT to make at some point in time, but know I'm not going to get to right away!
How do you handle your fabric storage? What's your favorite way of organizing your fabrics so you can get to what you need? Leave a comment below and let me know!
As with the earlier Creative Spaces posts, I've got a special giveaway for you this week. The fabulous folks at Warm Co. have provided a wonderful prize package: A Warm 100 queen batt and a Warm'n Natural King batt! Want to win that? Just use the Gleam widget at the bottom of the post to enter. I'll also be choosing at random a winner from the comments on my Instagram feed (and hey- while you are there, please follow me AND share the posts. Help a gal out, won't you?) The IG winner will win a mystery fabric pack prize! Woot Woot! Comments and giveaway for this post have closed. Thank you. Please see other blog posts for additional opportunities to enter giveaways.
I'm so glad you stopped by - and I look forward to seeing you next week! In the meantime, set your calendars to check out everyone's posts. The schedule and links are below. As always, let's share the love - follow all of these terrific folks on social media, share the posts, and leave awesome comments so we all know what you like and what you'd like to see more of! And please follow all of the terrific designers across the platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest - to enable us to continue to bring you great content!
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Thanks for sharing the quilting passion with me. Happy stitching!
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