Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Organizing…it’s a good thing!

While in the process of making my granny squares quilt recently, I ran out of pure white Kona cotton.  Horrors!  I was sure that I had lots more but when I searched through my stash, I had every shade of ‘white’ imaginable, except for pure white.

So a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do and that is to head to her local quilt shop…which for me happens to be about 65 miles away…to buy some pure white Kona cotton.

Five yards should do it to bulk up my stash, right?

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But heavens, a gal can’t drive all that way just for five yards of boring white fabric…right?

This collection of Civil War and reproduction prints…the most expensive one priced at $5.99/meter (1 meter = 39”)…just begged me to take them home.  In a moment of weakness,  I caved.   *wink*

Did you notice the ‘real’ turkey red fabric on the bottom left?  Be still my heart!

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I really didn’t need any more fabric.  After all, I bought yards and yards of gorgeous fabric on our recent trip to Maine which, I’m embarrassed to say, was still sitting in bags on the floor of my studio because I had no where to put it!

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My choices were to either  reorganize or downsize.  The latter was entirely out of the question!

I recall reading somewhere about folding fabric a certain way, using a 24” x 6” plastic quilting ruler so that all the fabric would end up being a uniform size thereby taking up less space.  I went on line and googled ‘folding fabric’ and found exactly what I was looking for.

Here’s what I did and how it’s done.

Leave the fabric folded as it comes off the bolt, wrong sides together and folded selvage to selvage.   Lay the fabric out on a flat surface with the selvage edge to the right.

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Take your 24” x 6” ruler and lay it on top of the fabric about 4” up from the bottom edge with the top or left edge of the ruler lined up with the folded edge of the fabric.  The right edge of the ruler will be hanging off the selvage edge side of the fabric.

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Fold up the bottom edge of the fabric and lay it on top of the ruler.  Make sure that the left hand side of the ruler is  and continues to be lined up flush with the folded edge of the fabric as you proceed through the next steps.

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Holding both ends of the fabric in place, start to turn the ruler and fabric away from you, winding the fabric around the ruler as you go.

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Continue to do this until to get to about 6” from the end of the length of fabric.

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Fold the raw edge end of the fabric over onto itself…

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and then lay it on top of the ruler.

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Slide the ruler out leaving the fabric in place.

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Then fold the fabric in half.

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Here’s what you end up with…neatly folded stacks of fabric…all the same width and oh so manageable!

Why ever did I wait so long to do this?   *sigh*

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I wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture but I forgot to.  What you see below are some of my more recent fabric purchases.  The rest of my stash is stored in clear plastic bins.  Some of the bins are labeled but for the most part, they aren’t and are buried stacked in the cupboard in my studio.

I am going to buy a few additional crates like those shown below and my plans are to fill them with similar fabric which is hiding in the bins in the cupboard.  My goal is to be able to shop from my stash with ease whenever possible.

Just by doing this exercise I found fabric that was already stuffed stacked in no particular order in these crates that I couldn’t see and forgot I had.

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I also have plans for the fat quarters that you see in the open plastic bins but I’ll save that for a future post.

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If I were to leave fat quarters like these in pretty rolls and folded bundles they would never be used!  They too will be integrated with the rest of my fat quarter stash.

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It doesn’t  look like a whole lot but each piece of fabric stacked in the bottom crate measures between 3-5 yards in length which I purchased specifically to be used as backing for quilts.  It’s actually surprising how small they look and how much less room they take when folded this way.

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I feel so organized now and I don’t know about you but I personally can’t function or create when my ‘space’ is in a state disarray which is exactly the way it was. 

It should take me a couple of days to complete the job and then? 

Let the creative juices flow!

knametag2

46 comments:

Stephanie said...

Spiffy! Other than a few recent fabric purchases for projects I've been shopping my stash. I love my stash so I'm trying to use it more often. AND it's cheaper...maybe not nearly as fun as a day out with friends for fabric and food.

Dianne in the country said...

Hi Kaaren,

You had a very productive day. I have been folding my fabric that way for a long time. My big problem is all the magazines I get. Any suggestions as I am not ready to pass them on yet, but need a better way to store them. Hope you are not getting the snow that Atlantic Canada has been reporting.
Enjoy your day.
Dianne

Юлия said...

Thank you for the idea!

Heather said...

Looks good. I have a different fabric storage system and spent yesterday tidying my studio. So much easier to be creative and productive when everything is not in disarray. :)

Karen said...

Those rolls of fabric look so pretty. I know it is not practical to keep that way if you are ever going to use the fabrics. But rolled, they look so neat delicious.

Linda said...

NEED.... WANT.... LOVE...
that turkey red.
Isn't it great to get organized and see what we actually have.
I can honestly say that I have been using up fabric from my stash for some time now.
Now I'm working on the granny square using up my scraps that were all cut into 2 1/2 " squares and thrown into a basket some time ago to be used for leaders and enders.
Thanks for the great post.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Thank you for sharing this. I seem to have fabric stored in several different places and folded in several different ways. I dislike wasting time looking for fabric! While at a quilt store a few weeks ago, I learned how they folded fat quarters--very easy. So much easier to sort by either colors, fabric types, or designer.

Lesley said...

What a wonderful organized stash! I love the method you showed us to fold fabric. It certainly left you with a very neat studio and it also shows us how much fabric a person can have if they store it neatly! So if I organize, I will have more room so I can go buy more fabric, right? Chuckle...

Joan said...

Last fall I found a link on Pinterest for folding the fabric using the same method. It's a good thing! Have a great day! X0

handmade said...

WOW WOW WOW that looks need and lovely wonderful organized.... I never dare to buy more then a fat quater because of the space.... but thanks to you perhaps I will hahaha .-)

Karen said...

Your fabrics look pretty all lined up so neatly. It will be a job to get it all done but in the long one will save you space and time. Plus you get to touch all of your fabric and you will find pieces you forgot you had lol. I always feel better when I clean up the nest - however it never stays that way lol. Thats the creative juices at work :).
Hugs - karen

Synthia said...

I, too, fold my yardage as you are doing yours. Another advantage is that you can count the folds to determine how much length is in each piece without pulling it all apart to measure.

Lori said...

Nice scores at the quilt shop!!
Your fabric looks so pretty and organized too!!

Janet O. said...

That is a neat trick. I know we are only seeing a fraction of your stash and you have a big job ahead of you, but how nice it will be when finished! I need to do that with my larger pieces, mostly purchased on sale to be used for backings. They are cumbersome and unwieldy--all folded in different ways and looking as if they are about to topple! Thanks for the detailed steps of how to do this!

JCnNC said...

I touch, feel and refold my fabric twice a year ... just have to do it. As I use it, I end up readjusting the stacks so that the shelves look full again and this keeps me from buying more to fill the blank spaces. LoL I know you must be feeling better with each new day, because you are getting your surroundings ready for creativity. Have a wonderful day, Kaaren. Judy C

Beverley said...

What a good idea. Mine is mostly fat quarters from years ago. I keep them in a drawer so they don't get faded. I would love a proper sewing studio. How do you store you magazines and patterns Kaaren?

Heartsdesire said...

What beautifully stacked fabric you have, Kaaren. I'm going to have to try that method. I always have to clean up my sewing space before I can start a new project, otherwise, I can't find anything. I'm going to start cutting the Granny Square quilt today with a jelly roll of Strawberry Fields. Hope mine turns out as gorgeous as yours did.

WoolenSails said...

My fabric was folded nicely and in categories by types, now it is a mess again. The minute I need some things from my stash it is all over the place, lol.

Debbie

Pat said...

Great job well done! When you are finished come on over we will have some tea and then we will start organizing my room!!

conny's quilts said...

What a loveley stack and so nice the folding-tutorial...

Shelley said...

I can see you have way too much red fabric in your stash :) The poor things, sitting there, not being used! lol!

Darlene said...

Terrific idea - truly organized.
I love all your recent purchases.

Me and My Stitches said...

I love being organized! And it's always fun to see someone else's stash - I wish I could play in yours!

jackiero said...

Lovin' it :D Hugh thank you!

Mary said...

I hurt my hand and since it hurt to use my Rotary cutter for a few weeks I chose to sort and re-folded all of my fabric that was on bolts using the ruler method. It looks so nice in the stacks and it is easier to see there compared to being hidden away in a tote.

Quilt Hollow said...

I fold mine just like this too! Though, looking in there now it could use a tidy up. I have enough fabric to open a small shop....the designers just keep making GOOD designs that I just have to have! Is it another illness? Hmmmmm?

Ulla said...

I have known about this ruler folding for a long time, but my fabrics are still folded in many different ways and stashed in bins and cardboard boxes. Do you make house calls ;o)?

GerryART said...

Uniformity is the answer to the 'disarray' of my Stash Room.
Your shopping will be easy-peasy from now on, Kaaren.
Love and hugs
Gerry

quiltgrammy said...

Love your new fabrics purchases, that red is BEAUTIFUL!!!
That is the way I fold my fabric,too, I also folded some of them in half one more time so that I could put them in those plastic drawers(had so many, that I still feel I need to use them) and still see all of my fabrics.

Janet-Olde Crow Primitives said...

Maybe after seeing how you organized, it will give me some incentive to organize mine. Tomorrow is a 9 quilt shop shop hop. OMG.....more fabric :)
~Janet

Karen said...

I discovered this trick several years ago. It really works. Doesn't it feel good to be so organized???

Carrie P. said...

thanks for sharing that folding technique. I am going to have to do that when I get a chance.

Sandra Henderson said...

Oh wow!~ I love what you are doing! Great idea.
HAVE FUN!~You will be so glad. I purchased a LOT of bins back in the winter and feel a bit more organized now. However , the larger pieces still need addressing and this is a great idea.
Did you know Gisele at Art Escapes blog is back?!?! She sure is... and has been very busy!

Ginette said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Kaaren!! I am definitely going to give it a go... maybe then my fabric will stop toppling over when I pull something out!!

Sandy said...

Thanks for the tute on folding large pieces of fabric...how handy! My sewing area is in a bad state. I, too, cannot create when it is like that. Time to arrange!

Patty said...

I've organized my sewing room but I'll darned,the fabric just ends up creeping out all over the place again, pesky little boogers! lol.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

So nice and neat! Love all your new fabric and the fact that you saved a trip and gas....giggle.

Sandy said...

With the high price of gas you have to make sure that your stash is adequate so that you are not traveling when it isn't necessary. Fabric shops were on the list for yesterday and my goodness when quality quilting fabric is priced between 4 and 7 dollars a yard it is saying please take me home.Folding is on the list for today. Love your FFF. Thank you!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hi Kaaren.....what a great idea for folding material! I can't believe how much material you have...but I guess when you sew a lot and quilt you have to have a lot of different patterns etc. I hope my workspace is filled like that one day and that neat too! I hope your day is a good one. Maura :)

Merilyn said...

That is a very good method for folding fabric! I love how you've displayed your fabric in the wooden crates, at least you don't end up forgetting what you have, it's so nice to see it all, a visual/creative feast!!!!

Merilyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merilyn said...

Silly me clicked twice and I ended up with the same comment again, sorry 'bout that!!

Sheila said...

Thanks for sharing "a better way" to fold your fabric. I love to be organized also. Have a great week.

Lynn said...

Wonderful job on organizing! It looks so inviting, like now you can create away :)

Karen said...

I love this way of folding too. I'm slowly going through my stash and doing this. I'm amazed at how little space they take up this way, versus bins. Yours look lovely!

Quiltingmama said...

I like how you folded your fabric. What a good idea!