Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fabric Folding and Organization

Seems like there are a few folks out there looking and needing to set up a great sewing area and get it organized.  You know who you are...I'll get you my pretties!

I have visions of greatness in a sewing room, but alas, my house does not allow.  So I have 'made do' with an otherwise useless corner.  While I would love to have a room dedicated solely to my crafty cravings, this little space actually works quite well. 

So set aside any misconceptions that you need alot of space!  You don't!  You just need a little corner to call your own that is functional.  What I have learned is that I love having everything within minor reach!  Call it cramped, but it really does work!

In the spirit of "Full Disclosure", I am not always tidy.  Oh, the shock!!  When I am working on a project, or several at a time, I have stuff everywhere!  Here's what my table looks like this morning:
Fabric and crap everywhere!  As you start to grow your "Stash", you will need a place to put it.  Preferably one that makes for easy access, quick pickings and does not require you to go thru mountains of messed up, haphazardly thrown together piles in search of the perfect piece!

Recently, my MIL taught me how to fold and store fabric for optimum space savings and selection.  We can all thank her for this little clip:
Once you have your pieces folded, you can organize them by colors, prints, families, or however you choose:

Larger pieces (yards or more) you can fold and store flat in another area if you like.
Did you notice the scrapbook type containers?  They keep your UFO work flat, you can store unused fabric in that same project/family all in one handy spot and then stack them for another day!

Storage always being an issue, think "up and down". Simple shelving keeps things handy as well as baskets. I like to use one basket for small scraps which might be useful for applique pieces and another for larger cuts that are simply too small to fold yet might be useful later. I don't throw out much fabric...ya just never know!  See what I house my fusibles etc. in? Mmmhmmm, an upturned hard top sewing cover. Why not???

All this is under my cutting table.  Not pretty, but whatever!
All those tools...where to put them?  You may remember the simple drawers I use.  You can purchase these at any big box store.  They come in very handy.  If you are fortunate enough to have a little table space, leave the wheels off and they slide right under!
You can put an organizer tray right in there and things start to come together.  Even better...TINS!  Never throw one of them away!  They make for awesome little organizers without rummaging around for things!  Great for the 'pack and go' weekend trips also.
My SIL got me reusable zip ties for Christmas, I found they work great for rolling up fusibles and such.  Gosh those rolls and cuts just always get in the way!  You can also paper clip them together. 

Marking problem!  I got this little cardboard pencil holder one for a dollar!  I keep fabric markers in one slot, regular pens in another and then little cutting tools in another.  A pint or quart jar would work great!  Betcha ya have some of those laying around, huh?
Notice my "Good Scissors" are not housed here.  They get put up safely!!

You know I don't "do" cute.  Does it work?  Yes.  Problem Solved.

Someday...My MILs Stash... 
She keeps hers in a large wardrobe and in containers.  She can just pull them out by color/family and pick and choose!  My stash is nothing compared to hers!  And if you want to see her entire sewing room (which she told me not to do), click HERE.

Now if you want to see a Picture Perfect room check out Sew Many Ways...this is a blog my MIL follows...wipe the drool ladies!!! 

And yeah, I feel inferior now too!

Now that ya'll have some space to plan, what can I do ya next? 

Do you know Pig Pen went to work and told the guys about Nigerian Goats????  It's a viscious cycle of fun!


  1. First, where do you get those enormous cutting boards! My store doesn't have ones that big :( Second what will I do with all my free time once I am not bent over, sifting through mismatched baskets of fabric, mumbling obscenities that I can't find what I am looking for? Third, where does one find that much fabric? Between APG and Jan I bet there is a shortage in the midwest. Fourth, where would you ever get an idea about Nigerian dwarf goats? ;)

  2. I can only look on in stunned silence. I will NEVER be that organized! I have all good intentions, but I am weak, frail, no spine. I need to do something with my very, very large yarn stash. Any ideas? There must be a Nigerian dwarf goat wind blowing - I have two on order for the spring!

  3. Oh wow.... how beautiful your area looks. I love the hints for folding. I'm adding that to my list. I don't quilt but have lots of quilt material that friends have gifted me with to start my "bags" that I plan to make to sell at local craft fairs, etc. By using your folding technique I think I can get them all into the plastic bins I have.

  4. Jane, you are a terd. And you only think you won't acquire that much fabric. Wait for will come! And that much fabric, I will blame all on my MIL. She's a horrible terrible rotten awesomely wonderful enabler. :) I think MamaPea should show us HER stash too. Betcha she has lots.

    Susan, don't be deceived, it's not all it's cracked up to be! You are not ONE of those adjectives you used for yourself girl! You want a smackin'? Ok, well that line may only work on the dogs...hehee. I am SO very excited you are getting the goats this spring! I will be watching you very closely!! YEAH!!!

    As to your yarn, do you have a yarn spinner thingee? That's what I use. But, MamaPea or Erin or of course my MIL would be better qualified to answer that one. They'll be around soon enough... I hope. :)

    Hope, works on any fabric, so give it a whirl! Hey, someone else suggested those bags's that darned cycle again!!!

  5. HA! I WISH I HAD A CORNER! Seriously, I have a wall! I am already uber-organized when it comes to my yarn, Susan - I have one of those wire organizers for hanging in a pantry etc, only I hang them on the back of a door and all the yarn (alot!) goes there. That will all change next week, I'm doing the 3 hour trip to IKEA by myself this weekend (yay, no hubby rushing me!) The only space I have is a narrow hallway - I am getting a bunch of IKEA tall cubby cabinets that are only 7 inches deep and I am covering the whole wall in them LOL. Hubby says he'll build me a long table that flips out of the wall but we'll see..., and Jane - I've already started amassing fabric and I can't sew worth a damn yet heheehee! I'm so excited for the weekend to get here, only wish I had a fellow crafting friend to make the trip with me, we would be dangerous! Love all the tips APG, keep them coming...

  6. Erin, hint, hint...we'd love to see all that! And I mean all of it! The racks, the wall, the cubbies...ideas are always welcomed! And yes you can too sew! I've seen it with my eyeballs! :)

  7. Alright - this post is really going to enable alot of people!!! Great job on the folding tutorial!!! Your stash will soon match mine. I have many, many years on you. Don't forget that!

  8. Great post, really great post. But you've made me feel downright ashamed that I have a whole room for my quilt studio. Don't pick up rocks to throw at me yet 'cause it's the first space that I've ever had that is mine alone. And that's in more than 40 years of different houses. I did a lot of quilting on the kitchen table with storage in a three-shelf cupboard.

    I'll do a post tomorrow on what's in there if you won't hate me because I have a WHOLE ROOM! Deal??

  9. Jan, shall I tell the TRUMP story next???? I think I will do that....hehehee

    MamaPea, you shouldn't be ashamed at all! I hope I speak for all when I say - we'd LOVE a peek inside!!!

    I for one vow not to hate you because you have an entire room. I may lick the computer screen, but that's as far as it will go...promise!

    p.s. my MIL has an entire room too. Plus one for her long-arm, plus one for her other crafts. Count'em up! THREE. Let's send a lynch mob! hehehehehe

  10. Looks great Diana! Want to come oganize my house? Oh and by the way...u look really skinny! :)

  11. It looks so dirty when you put it in writing that I have three craft rooms! Um, yeah, the trump card. I'm thinking this Farmer's Wife quilt might be involved!!!!

  12. O. M. G. I almost kissed the screen when I saw how cute everything you have is and how nice you have it set up. If I had a corner to set things up in here, I would model them after the "APG WAY". Alas, I have a card table that comes out and has to be put away every night or the sweet farmboys here would miss out on half their school space. But your organizational ideas are FABULOUS!! And your fabric...OMG. I think I just kissed the screen again. :)

  13. Address of MIL please.... LOL!!!! Just kidding, we would convene on those 3 rooms and she would never get rid of us, campers parked outside...eeeheeehee

  14. Hey, nice post! My sewing area is a corner of the bedroom. It hasn't seen much action lately (uh, the sewing part) and I think I'll use a few of your ideas to maybe help me out. I tend to just flop things on my table and chair, and so each time I want to sew, seems I end up putting away laundry before. Thanks for the ideas!

  15. MamaTea, I bet the boys wouldn't mind so much if they missed a few "Math" lessons, huh? ;) Someday my sweet, you'll have your space! So long as you have space to do your that is a 'must have' space. hint hint

    Erin, arrangements have been made...I am on strict orders to start 'lifting' things every time I walk out the door. Hehee! No need for that, the woman gives away her shirt every time I see her!!!

    Lori, hey thanks for stopping by and commenting! Sometimes a little space goes a long way. It may not always be pretty...but heck when you are working on something it never is anyway, right? Now what we will all be waiting on is what Miss Erin comes up with for hers!! She'll have a doozey I'll betcha!

  16. Almost forgot one...HEY JULEE...what do you want? Why are you sucking up?

    Need a babysitter??????? Muahahhahahaa!