a post about fabric, and organization, and the lack thereof…

So this is what I’ve been working on… trying (as always, it seems!) to keep my fabric organized and put away.


I should do this more often, because they do look nice all folded and separated by color


Now my job will be to keep it this way…

It’s hard when there are always fun new fabrics coming out though. I mean, how could I resist? New Monaluna Mingle prints from Robert Kaufman, a couple Michael Miller dots and stripes in my favorite combo of yellow (which I prefer to think of it as ‘sour lemon’) and gray, a few Japanese prints, and a fun new print from Carolyn Gavin’s new line, Wild Thyme.


I ordered these from Fabricworm, (and in linking to her shop just now, I also noticed she now has the new Anna Maria Horner flannels available… hmmm…)

Anyway, I’m thinking perhaps a little something like this? It’ll probably have to wait until next year, but until then it’s fun to look at…


And now I better go get these new fabrics put away!

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50 Responses to a post about fabric, and organization, and the lack thereof…

  1. 1
    Jennifer says:

    I just drooled all over my keyboard. Oh, for a stash like that! >SWOON!<
    -Jennifer (longtime reader, first-time commenter)

  2. 2

    It is tough to keep them all organized. As soon as grouped and put away, my brain sees fun color combinations that have to be explored, so I start pulling pieces back out again and playing around with them. And I have a problem when I buy an entire line at once (e.g., Amy Butler’s Love). I can’t separate them at first. It’s like breaking up a family. So, they have to remain grouped together until I start to use them, and then anything goes. Weird, huh!?!?

  3. 3
    Cara says:

    This is my constant battle. I group by color but keep my Denyse and Heather Ross in separate color-coded piles. And my Munki is in a separate area too. But with multiple sewing projects under development (and moving at a snail’s pace, I might add), I just never seem to have everything folded and back in place. I have a huge container for fabric that has been recently cut into and needs to be folded and reshelfved. It’s just a mess.

    But your bins look oh so lovely!

  4. 4
    Crystal says:

    They do look very pretty all together! YOu should be able to see what fabric you need nicely!:D

  5. 5

    I had all my fabrics organized for my move in September, they’ve all been pulled out for use over the past couple months, and now I have to move again next month! So, I will be doing the folding, sorting, admiring game again very soon.

  6. 6
    Whitney says:

    It’s seriously time for an intervention. Maybe it can be planned as a duo — I’ll stop buying from J.Crew (nice sour lemon reference, btw), and you stop buying fabric until you no longer need 20 bins to store it all. Plan? I think so.

  7. 7

    Oh, you are better than I! I can keep the colours organized, but they are never this folded. Good job!

  8. 8
    LPQuilts says:

    Do you have a good method to quickly fold and do so uniformly? I am going to work on the sewing room, this weekend, and fabric folding is high on the agenda!

    • 9
      admin says:

      LPQuilts – I fold my fabric around my 6″ wide ruler and then fold both sides in to the middle, and then I fold it in half (if that makes any sense!) That size happens to fit perfectly in my storage bins.

  9. 10

    Your fabric stacks look yummy. Organization, in a way that is workable at least, is really hard. Especially when you start playing with your fabric. Off to Fabricwork to buy more….

  10. 11
    giselle says:

    wow, your fabric is to die for… love the new stuff you bought too!

  11. 12
    Mary says:

    It’s definitely a full time job! They do look so nice when they are all organized.

  12. 13
    Norma says:

    Isn’t it funny how you can start saying things like “next year” already!

  13. 14
    Millissa says:

    Crazy amounts of beautiful fabric! That is what my stash aspires to be!! Thanks for sharing.

  14. 15
    amanda says:

    Oh wait, hang on a sec — gotta go mop the drool off my keyboard.

  15. 16
  16. 17
    Jenny says:

    so now that you have it looking entirely too lovely, can I expect to find scrap bags and ‘extras’ in your shop??

  17. 18
    Millissa says:

    Also, do you organize by size? At what point does something go in the scrap bin?

    • 19
      admin says:

      Millissa – The fabrics in these bins are fabrics that are a fat quarter to 1 yard in size. I use other bins to store cuts larger than a yard. I have another bin that holds fabric pieces that are smaller than a fat quarter, but which are still a usable size. Then I use smaller bins for strips of fabric, and for those teeny tiny scraps.

  18. 20
    Meredith says:

    Oh how beautiful! I have done very little fabric collecting, mainly because I am unsure of how much to buy when I don’t already have a purpose in mind. I just love how it all looks so tidy and organized.

  19. 21
    Meg says:

    I have such a habit of grouping for certain projects, or types of projects. All the Xmassy stuff together, all the Civil War repros together, all the 30’s repros together, orientals, cuts over 1 yard, etc. Then as new things come in, they have to stay to one side and be NEW for awhile, then they get scooped in gradually when I’m pulling for quilts in the planning stages. The idea of sorting by color is actually kind of daunting!

  20. 22
    Chelsea says:

    Can you just go ahead and put a label on those boxes with my address on them and send my way? That would be GREAT! haha =)

  21. 23
    Alissa says:

    Yum. That is all that I have to say.

  22. 24
    Genevieve says:

    funny, I’m off to Bed Bath and boyond expensive with my coupon to buy bins to re-organize my stash while the husband is out of town this weekend. Can’t let him see just how much unused fabric I truly do own.

  23. 25
    Kristin says:

    Your stash is beautiful! I was wondering if you have a certain amount that you buy of fabrics, 1yard, 1/2 yard, etc… That is what I always struggle with how much do I get, because inevitably there is a fabric I don’t buy enough of and then can’t find again!

    Thanks for sharing.

  24. 26
    LPQuilts says:

    Thanks for that measuring tip. I’ve been using my 6″ wide ruler, too, but didn’t like the loose ends!

  25. 27
    Callipygian says:

    Just lovely! And inspiring, as I’m using this last day of my week vacation to clean the house and organize my sewing room.

  26. 28
    qsogirl says:

    oh wow. so beautiful. this makes me want to leave work and go home and sew *now*

  27. 29
    Susan says:

    Ashley, I see that they are mostly organized by color…but what about those fabrics that are not identifiable by just one color. They are multi-colored. How do you organize those?

  28. 30
    Michelle says:

    I struggle with organizing my (small-ish) stash. I can’t ever decide to do it purely by colour, or by pattern, by fabric type, by designer or by pretty colour combos for inspiration!

    It’s a big dilemma in my life.

    P.S. I want your stash. Badly. If you ever need to purge… πŸ™‚

  29. 31
    Andi says:

    So wonderfully colorful and fabricky.
    Wish my stash looked so divine.
    Andi πŸ™‚

  30. 32
    Suzanne says:

    Oh wow – what a stash! It all looks so good sorted in the bins. I always have a hard time separating fabric from the same designer and line…hmm…

  31. 33
    Audrie says:

    I have to agree… getting things organised is one thing… keeping that way is by far more difficult!

  32. 34
    Jackie says:

    I just love organizing my fabric. You always seem to find something that you had forgotten over time and it is like new all over again.

  33. 35
    Mama24Monkeys says:

    I have to ask….How did you get such a wonderful stash? Seriously? What is your thought process on what and how much to buy?

  34. 36
    jacquie says:

    i’m not sure there is an activity that i like better than this…feeds two needs…organization and playing with fabric.

  35. 37
    Kyla says:

    You may say that the house is a mess and the fabrics are everywhere but this looks pretty organized…..i think that whitney has a good plan. It would save both of oyu a lot of money and space.

  36. 38
    amandajean says:

    drool!!! you pick the best fabrics! i LOVE to sort my fabric by color. it’s so much fun.

  37. 39
    Janice says:

    What size of bins are you using? Are those the shoe box size? And where did you pick them up? The plastic boxes that is.

  38. 40
    Sarah says:

    Love love love your fabric–I think I would like it all in a jumble on the floor, but folded and stacked makes it irresistible! Also, your “to do” stack reminds me of watermelon or something equally juicy for some reason πŸ™‚

  39. 41
    jaybird says:

    you aren’t supposed to resist.. what would the fun be in that?

  40. 42
    Diane says:

    I love playing with my fabric… stacking a couple together, getting new ideas, folding… but it makes me afraid to cut into my favorites…what if I use it all!!!

  41. 43

    I just did this with my FQs. I try to tell myself that I don’t need new fabric. My husband built me shelves to house it all and now I can lay in bed and see it all in the closet…how dreamy.

  42. 44
    Cindra says:

    I always struggle between putting my colors with like colors or keeping them with collections… tough choices…

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  45. 45

    Thanks for letting me include your awesomely organized Tupperware fabric organization round-up. Here’s the link to the post in case you want to stop by and check it out!

    Filing Fabric & A Fabric Organization Round-Up

    The Thinking Closet

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