Welcome to the first day of spring! In each issue of McCall’s Quilting, we include our MQ&A page where the editors and designers answer a different question submitted by readers. In the March/April 2018 issue, we answered the question, “What is your best spring-cleaning tip for your sewing room?” Here’s what we had to say.
From Group Director Tricia Patterson:
My husband asked me several months ago, “What are you doing differently now that you didn’t do before starting work with the Quilting Company?” I had two answers: 1) I use our Yardage Calculation spreadsheet to figure out yardage and fabric cuts, and 2) I sort my fabric according to prints, solids and tone-on-tones, by color. My latest clean-up was separating my stash into these categories and placing the organized bundles into plastic tubs. I also separated the seasonal and theme fabrics into individual tubs. I’m very impressed with how it helps me find the fabrics I’m looking for much more quickly.
From Associate Editor Anissa Arnold:
Organize your projects. I always have multiple quilts and other sewing projects in progress simultaneously and I tend to struggle with focus after a while. I like to take a day or two break from sewing and reorganize everything I have in progress. This allows me to go through everything I’m working on, see where I’m at and make a plan for moving forward in a productive way. Plus I’m a organization-freak so I always work better when my space is clutter free!
From Associate Editor Gigi Khalsa:
I should be the one collecting advice for this question, rather than dispensing it, as my sewing room is getting pretty chaotic these days! One thing that might help me clear up mental and physical space is finishing all my unfinished projects, rather than starting new ones. Another thing that helps me stay organized is to regularly cull my scrap pile. I throw all my scraps in a box next to my cutting area, and every now and then I go through and get rid of pieces I probably won’t use. The remaining scraps are usually perfect for making small, fast projects like mug rugs, mini quilts, small cases and the like. Even though I know I shouldn’t be starting something new, I tell myself that starting easy, fun projects is important for helping me stay organized. My pile of unfinished quilts just laughs ruefully.
Click here to read more of Gigi’s fabric storage tips.
From Features Editor Mary Kate Karr-Petras:
I start my sewing room spring cleaning in late winter. My fabric and supplies share a closet in our guest room with a variety of other items including our fully assembled artificial Christmas tree. Because we tend to keep our tree up a long time—my husband claims the Christmas season lasts until the AFC Championship game in late January—I take advantage of the extra space in the closet during and after the new year to sort and rearrange things. (Truth be told, this year I’ve had a lot more stuff to sort through and organize so my sewing space is still in disarray, but I’m working on it!) Doing so lets me get reacquainted with what I have and think about what I might want to do with it in the coming months. I’m looking forward to getting back to piecing something new!
Happy Spring Quilting!