How do you store your fabric? When I first started quilting, I got a nice big plastic tub and figured that would be plenty of room for all the fabric I was going to need. It was, for a while. But the tub started overflowing and the lid wouldn’t stay shut, so I put the excess fabric in a bag. Then I needed another bag. Then, maybe I’d put this coordinating group of fabrics in a box since they look nice together and would make a great quilt. Oops, I need another box for these fabrics someone gave me. Oh, I should keep my smaller scraps separate so let’s put them in this drawer. And so on. It got to the point that I didn’t know where anything was. I knew I had half a yard of some specific fabric but I’d have to look through 50 different containers to find it. Time for a fabric storage overhaul.
I thought about where I should keep it and decided on the closet in my sewing room. Out of the way but accessible. I still have to find a spot for all the stuff that was displaced, but it’s not fabric so it’s less important anyway. Next was to decide what kind of container. There are lots of choices! Shelves, boxes, bins, drawers, bolts, hangers, and more. Most of my fabric is pretty small pieces – fat quarters or smaller – so I’d want a system where I could see a bit of everything and not have to go digging around. You may have seen that Quilters Newsletter has wire drawers in the sewing room in our Creative Spaces Special Issue, available at the Quilt & Sew Shop. I don’t know what model or make those are. I did some research and found the style and price I liked best at Ikea – the Antonius wire drawer and frame system that can stack multiple frames. They’re relatively inexpensive and as long as you can use a hammer you can put it together easily. I got four frames, for a total of 16 drawers.
It took minutes to put everything together, but much longer for me to refold all my itty bitty pieces of fabric to fit in the new set up. I can go into the folding saga some other time. I’m really pleased with it because, while there’s no way I can fill up all my drawers with the fabric I have now, there’s plenty of room to grow. Or I can put a group of fabrics into its own drawer if I know I want to use them for a specific project, and I have a few drawers for WIPs. It’s really nice to pull out a drawer and be able to see everything I have in a certain color. Plus I was able to get rid of a bunch of deteriorating cardboard boxes and bags that were cluttering my space.
The fabric organization is still a work in progress, but it’s a million times better than it was before. Maybe this evening I’ll go and spend some quality time with my fabrics (which are all in one place now!) and we’ll laugh about the way we used to do things when we were young and crazy. Typical Valentines Day plans.
If you need something fun to do this Valentine’s Day, make sure you go enter our giveaway! I hope you have somewhere good to put all those pretty fabrics should you win them! I’m also curious how other quilters store their fabrics, so please share if you have a good system. Tell us all about it, perhaps on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!