Friday, April 1, 2022

How to Organize your Fabric Stash!

My Fabric is all organized!.............. APRIL FOOLS! 

It is no surprise that many quilters have large stashes of fabric. At first, it just becomes a fun hobby to collect fabric and have options, a yard here and there and then before you know it, the stash is overflowing and becomes overwhelming to the point that you don't even know what you have anymore!

It's time for some Spring cleaning! The perfect time to get organized. Learn how to create a system that will last for years from our quilting experts so you'll never have to go digging for a dot again. 

Tips and Tricks from Debby Kratovil:

If you love scraps, cut them into usable pieces ex. 5” charm squares, 2-1/2” jelly roll strips. Overtime, if you realize you do not use them, donate them to your local quilt guild.

You can sort by color which is an effective method but if you find yourself looking for a particular piece from a particular collection often then this method Is not ideal for you.

I currently store my fabrics by vendor and collection. Many of them are secured with a rubber band (because 90% of what I have are fat quarters or half-yard cuts) and the name of the collection is attached with a piece of paper. It’s very easy for me to find what I’m looking for and the coordinating fabrics will work together for another project.

Having the right storage system is important and don’t be afraid to get creative with it! I began using large yogurt boxes from Costco! Each box can hold about 12-15 cups and over the years, I have about 4 dozen, that’s 48 boxes total for my samples. It of course took me a few years to eat all that yogurt but the beauty of this is that the boxes stack nicely with each other up in my closets and I place labels on the outside, so I know exactly what’s inside.

Tips and Tricks from Jennifer McClanahan:

I organize my fabric by color then by company and subcut that into designers. I also categorize my novelties separately and then have subcategories such as Baby, sports, children, etc. All my Precuts are kept together in one spot and then broken down into FQ, 10”, 5” etc. see some images below for inspiration.

Tips and Tricks from Lisa Norton & Lora Zmak:

Ikea cabinets are my favorite with flannel covered foam core attached to the fronts. It hides the stash and creates a nice design area. Medium sized plastic tubs can also work. Lora Zmak made a YouTube video showing off her sewing room and provides some excellent organization tips! Watch HERE 

Tips and Tricks from Mel Beach:

Most of my fabric is stored in these wire baskets and frames from IKEA. The photos all feature the Antonius system, which has since been replaced by a very comparable Jonaxel system. These baskets are strong and hold lots of fabric. Most of the fabric is folded and stored vertically so I can see all the fabric when I slide it out like a drawer. I can pull the entire basket out and place it on my cutting station for a deeper dive. Most of my stash is sorted by color with a few baskets reserved for special collections such as solids, ombres, gradients, multicolor batiks, florals, stripes, etc.

For fabric scraps, I have a rainbow Really Useful Boxes® 8 Drawer Rolling Cart from Michaels right next to my cutting table. (Find it HERE) It is perfect for sorting my scraps by color into the color-corresponding drawer, with neutrals (black, white, grey) going into the pink drawer and multicolor scraps sorted into the teal drawer. Having all my scraps sorted by color makes it easy to find the perfect scraps for any project! 


Tips and Tricks from Rob Appell:

“I love to try to keep my fabrics organized. I have an old McCall’s Pattern cabinet, that holds my personal stash of sea life and landscape fabrics, do not dig around it there often, it has become a bit less than perfect, but at one time was  based first on waters, rocks, plants, fish, and then scale, and then color and texture. 
Once I started created massive amounts of quilt related videos, the plan for organization had to change. I mounted shelf tracks on my closet wall to hold plastic totes that can all be removed and swapped due to the filming schedule and where I am at in the projects. I few of those bins are all Michael Miller Basics, and also at one time were color coded and nicely folded and stacked by texture then color. 
Then I started a new project… photos the current situation - I guess you can say that as much as I love to be organized,  I love Making stuff more, so I will clean up later. - Rob”

Which one was your favorite organizational hack? Happy sewing and spring cleaning! Your fabric and space will thank you 😉

For inspirational quilts and other projects, visit us at:

Be sure to follow us on social media @michaelmillerfabrics 

Learn more about these quilting experts with their links below:

Jennifer McClanahan
Instagram: @sweetteapatternco 

Lora Zmak and Lisa Norton
Instagram: @material_girlfriends 

Mel Beach
Instagram: @melbeachquilts 

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