you know it’s time to do some organizing…

…when the fabric stack gets this tall!

Surprisingly enough, I’ve managed to do a fairly good job at keeping my fabrics organized by color in individual plastic bins. Though as you can see, periodically I have to run around the house collecting all the various fabrics which have escaped.

I sort (loosely) by color, and then back into those bins they go! I use these plastic bins from Walmart – this size perfectly fits three rows of folded fabrics (folded around my 6″ ruler). So far so good! How about you? Do you sort by color, or do you prefer to sort your fabrics some other way?

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70 Responses to you know it’s time to do some organizing…

  1. 1
    shelia says:

    DROOLING! šŸ™‚

  2. 2
    Anna says:

    Lovely!! I really want to come over and drool near your fabric storage. I also sort by color except when it’s a certain line I love – then those will be out separate.

  3. 3
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  5. 6
    Tanis says:

    Oh my gosh! Such gorgeous bins of colourful goodness! Love.

  6. 7
    Trisha says:

    I had my fabric sorted in big totes by color. It was just thrown in all messy. But that wasn’t working until I folded it all uniform and put it on shelves by color. Now I can step back and see my whole stash and it has made it so much easier to pull fabric for a quilt. I don’t know how I lived with it in big totes for so long.

  7. 8
    Amy McGrady says:

    I sort by color. I have the tall plastic drawers cabinets that I keep mine in. Yours looks much more neat than mine.

  8. 9
    Chas says:

    I sort my fabric by designer. Heather Ross, Joel Dewberry ect. My stash is getting larger so I might switch to color groups, I am really considering it after seeing your fabric storage!!

  9. 10
    kelly says:

    i am coveting your FMF.

  10. 11
    cathie says:

    ooooh so pretty!!!

    I sort by pattern type. so for example solids-no pattern, seasonal, stripes, floral, animal, childrens etc. Then I have the specialty fabrics seperate. So faux fur, silks, pvc etc. Oh and all panels are seperate too.

    And that’s all anything that’s over a fat quarter size. Under that size I cut it up in the Accuquilt and then the little bitty pecies get put into a bag that I use for cat pillows.

    I’ve got 3 IKEA Antonius wire drawer sets and 2 of those 6 plastic drawer units and a large tote.

    OCD? nahhhhhh šŸ˜‰

  11. 12
    Karyli says:

    OOOhhh! I just wish I that much fabric so I could sort it…

  12. 13
    Kate says:

    Amazing assortment of fabric. It’s like a happy rainbow!

  13. 14
    elsa says:

    I am not near as organized as you ~ you really put me to shame.
    Mine is just willy nilly on shelves and I have to go searching
    for what I want, plus the fact that my sewing area is really
    tiny and I have no closet or storage space whatsoever (I live
    in a 1911 duplex and I guess they didn’t have a need for
    storage then). Think I need to figure out something because I
    really like how you’ve organized!

  14. 15
    brittany says:

    i only buy with a certain project in mind (weird, i know) so i keep fabrics sorted by intended use.

  15. 16

    So jealous of your stash!! Mine are sorted mostly by collection, although I think I might switch to by color soon!

  16. 17
    Rebecca says:

    you have the most amazing stash ever!!!! i also sort by color, and keep them stacked in a closing wood cabinet. opening the door is a treat :o)

  17. 18
    Melinda says:

    I sort mine by color also with some separating by theme, ie: holiday, flannel, 1930s, I spys. But I have my laying flat in the bins – I like your system much better. Now do I want to spend the changing it all. Maybe one bin a week. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. 19
    Sally says:

    I sort mine by collection or project, with the extras just put wherever. You’ve inspired me to get my fabric sorted. I have orange fabric envy though wow!!! what beautiful bins.

  19. 20
    phiona says:

    ummm…i think you may have a fabric problem šŸ™‚


  20. 21
    char says:

    Wow, great pictures of your stash! I sort by color also.

  21. 22
    Liz says:

    Yep, I sort by color as well. And I love plastic bins for storage! I actually just wrote and posted pics about it here. It’s so satisfying to see things neatly folded and stored by color, instead of in crazy piles here and there (which always happens, of course…).

  22. 23
    Krista says:

    Will you come and organize my fabric….PLEASE!!!!!

  23. 24
    Annette says:

    Well, if I had a stash like you I would absolutely stash them in boxes by color. Looks really yummy. Sadly my stash is far from big yet as I have just started my sewing and quilting journey, but with the speed I end up putting things in online baskets and happily click the Buy Now! button I am sure I might catch up a little bit with you by the end of the year… Dutch Sisters had some of their FQs rolled up in a basket, sticking up like pins. I kinda like that idea too. Anything that exposes color I guess makes you drool and ooooh and aaaahhhh. I am green of envy! Like an ogre!

  24. 25
  25. 26
    Claire says:

    i have several systems in place for sorting my fabric.
    i have about 6 small tote bins of fabric that are already promised/dedicated to a project/quilt, along with the project idea and/or pattern….i have enough to keep my busy for about year or so.
    then i have another tote bin with all pre-cuts.
    then i have a hug tote bin with all sorts of cotton quilt fabric….there was a rhyme and reason to how the fabrics were placed in it at one point in time, but I’ve sifted through it too much that it looks completely unorganized…..what i really need to do is go to store and buy the shallow bins, similar to the one you have, which will help out a lot and be a lot less heavy.

  26. 27
    Annalia says:

    o-c-d…sometimes it pays off. Very envious (but in a magnanimous, admiring way.).

    My fabrics are organized in bins. Whenever I clean up, I scoop all of my unfinished projects into a bin and put it in the closet on top of the last bin I filled up. šŸ™‚

  27. 28
    delia says:

    Ooh, so pretty and organized!

  28. 29

    I sort by theme. I’ve got animals, people, stripes, polka dots, nature, solid color, textured, checks and plaids, and misc.

  29. 30
    Jill says:

    I sort by size then color. I store my fabric in a closet so I use hanging shoe organizers as shelves. One for fat quarters and one for half yards. 1 and 2 yards go on the hanging organizers that I think are meant for sweaters then anything larger hangs on it’s own clothes hanger.

  30. 31
    Munaiba says:

    I reorganised my sewing room an fabrics last October. You can see it before here:
    and after here:

    I used to try to keep the fabrics just in colour order but that didn’t work for me. So now I keep all my Kaffe’s together and then in colour order and all my other moderns together and then in colour order; then my solids and my batiks etc in colour order in their sections. I find this works better for me.

  31. 32
    Karen says:

    AHHH! SUCH organization. I LOVE IT! That is what I need to do for my small collection of fabric.

    Btw, red stack, third down from the top… what fabric is that? I’ve seen that recently in a couple of blogs and like it a lot.

  32. 33
    Beth says:

    Just sorted mine recently…some in small cloth bins by color scheme and others displayed on bookcase by line (so I can see all the beautiful colors!) May have to try your folding trick…great stash!!!

  33. 34

    I have to sort by colour, or I never know what I have! Fortunately my stash is under control enough that I can fit it onto one shelving unit, so it’s not too challenging šŸ™‚

  34. 35
    Lindsay says:

    Oh my goodness. I think my chin just hit the floor. You have some amazing fabrics.

    Right now I have my fabrics sorted mostly by project they are destined for and by collection for those that arent destined yet. I dont have enough to sort by color but I certainly love the way it looks and the ease with which you can pull new projects.

  35. 36
  36. 37
    Terri says:

    that is a beautiful stack of fabric just the way it is. I hate to admit that I don’t organize my fabric in any order. I do have nice shelves and plastic bins to store it in, but I wish I had it all organized by color.

  37. 38
    katie says:

    I sort by color, then size. My large pieces are in dresser drawers, my small bit in clear shoe totes, all by color. I also do sort by strip size, as I am cutting, I cut remainder pieces into the largest size strip possible (sometimes only one inch) and put them into plastic tubs recycled from lettuce packaging, for use in strip quilts.

  38. 39
    Jen Eskridge says:

    These pictures make me so happy!!!

  39. 40
    Suzanne says:

    I would like to watch you fold your fabric so I can make my piles look so tidy.

  40. 41
    Kristine says:

    Thanks for the tip about the 6 inch ruler. I’m going to use that. My stash is due for a big tidy up.

  41. 42
    SallyB says:

    It’s good to see another fabric hoarder out there.

  42. 43

    I sort pretty much by colour but I keep most of my solids together and I have the odd shelf that is random but with a theme. Such as fabric that I inherited from my Gramma is all on one shelf because it is special. I see some pretty sweet flea market fancy in your stash!

  43. 44
    erica says:

    I try to sort by color but then I get into a project and all bets are off. I end up with stacks all over the studio. Your fabrics are so inspiring! Thanks for the peek šŸ˜‰

  44. 45
    Patty says:

    Wow, your stash looks really organized to me. And your fabrics are in a pile and all folded. Mine is apt to be in a pile but not folded!

  45. 46
    Patricia says:

    I am envious, lovely stash… I do not have enough fabrics to sort by colour but I dream that one day I will. The ones I have I like to fold neatly in bins like yours.

  46. 47
    Nichole says:

    I’m definitely a color sorter – my stash and my scraps!

  47. 48
    Heather Bechtold says:

    oooooooooooooooo that looks delicious!! i love looking at fabrics. you have some good ones. i sort by color. that’s how amanda taught me.:) i have a white shelf that has cubby holes and i put them in there and when you walk into my sewing room you can see them. almost like art. i love it.:) my brother in law gave me the idea.

  48. 49

    Thanks for the eye candy! Yep, i sort by color too.

  49. 51
    Christie says:

    Gorgeous! I used to sort by designer, but when I unpack my sewing room I may try sorting by color. So pretty!

  50. 52
    janet says:

    Love them all! gimme gimme! hahah šŸ˜€

  51. 53
    Kelly says:

    A few years ago I decided to tackle my helter-skelter way of storing fabrics. At that time I found this tutorial on folding/storing fabrics. Who knew you needed a tutorial for folding fabrics! But it changed my life and brought order to my sewing room chaos. Maybe it will help some other people out there. šŸ™‚

  52. 54
    Kira says:

    This may sound silly, but I would love a tutorial on how you fold your fabric around a ruler. I always have a hard time folding to the same size. What do you do with your bigger yardage? Thanks, and love your blog!

  53. 55

    Nice stacks, and folded so perfectly! šŸ™‚
    I tend to sort by collection, since I’ve been kind of a bundle-addict lately. I just finished refolding all my fabrics, which I intend to sort by color. That’ll make it easier to find prints and make combinations.

  54. 56
    barbara says:

    are these FQs? what do you do with big amounts of yardage? i buy fabric at 3 yard to 9 yard pieces (for backgrounds and for backing). how do you organize those?

  55. 57
    Mary says:

    I am no where near that organized, but that stash looks good enough to eat!

  56. 58

    “…collecting the various fabrics that have escaped.” That is a great way to put it. I organize by color, but I am terrible at folding fabric and I somehow end up with lots of stacks and strays around the house that have been pulled for various projects (or I thought I would use in a project). I spent some time yesterday re-organizing my fabric, only to start pulling back out again for another project!

  57. 59
    Jodi says:

    Love the photos and I love to organize stuff. My stash looks alot like yours for pieces smaller than a yard. I just figured a uniform way to fold fabric that is larger than a yard (I don’t have too many of those). Your post really hit home as I am in the process of organizing the strips, etc. Love your blog.

  58. 60
    amy says:

    I like to sort by color if they are not part of a collection, I like keeping collections together.

  59. 61
    April says:

    Unless I’m collecting fabrics for a certain project. For example, I’m making a 1930’s quilt for my daughter. So all 30’s fabric goes in a pile. Cuz when I DIDN’T do that I ended up using fabric that I was supposed to save and had to go out and buy more. Doh!

  60. 62
    Chris says:

    oooo, such delicious fabric porn. Always nice to see! I am going to get some of those bins and do the same. That looks great!

  61. 63
    Jennie says:

    oh wow!! your stash is awesome!!

  62. 64
    Tiffany says:

    Love sorting my color … it’s the only way šŸ™‚

  63. 65
    Jennifer says:

    That’s a great way to sort your fabrics! All pretty by color! Beautiful!

  64. 66
    Chelsea says:

    Yes yes, your stash is completely drool worthy. But how about that nubby rug?! Where did you get it? So clean and white still!

  65. 67
    Gwenet Constantinides says:

    wow, if ONLY i could get my hands on fabric like yours here in South Africa. very very envious.

  66. 68
    Shannon Brooks says:

    I am so envious of your stash! I am just starting to get into quilting and have only been using charm packs so far, so I pretty much use up what I buy, but I would love to have a stash to go to whenever I want to create something. How did you amass such a large amount of fabric? Do you buy yards at a time or fat quarters; do you buy every chance you get or only when you have a specific project in mind? I’m asking so that I know how to build mine :). Love your blog, BTW!

  67. 69
    Sandra H says:

    I have my batiks all stored together, my Kaffe’s together and my Xmas together etc.,my white tone on tones have their own drawer(s) but my other fabrics are kind of stored by size. All my random FQ’s are in one space and jelly rolls in another. One yard sections are together in one large tote and larger yardage and pieces for backing is in yet another location. I like to lay my fabric kind of folded in the largest space available (less creases). I find that works for me. (just don’t look at the mess in my quilt room….. šŸ™‚

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