Sewing / Quilting Tips & Tricks

Re-arranging my fabric stash

I am celebrating my temporary unemployment by working as hard as I can at home. It is glorious! I am fully aware that I will eventually rejoin the workforce and help provide for my family; but for right now, I am at home by myself for five hours each day and I am energetically attacking every project that arises in my brain.

Yesterday I pulled out all of my plastic fabric bins from the sewing room shelves to the living room floor. I arranged them in a convenient semicircle with myself at the heart. It was like letting my fabrics give me a big hug as I worked with them. 

My goal was not merely the joy of gazing at fabric, although I admit to occasionally spending more than a few minutes at the fabric store just gazing. I love fabric. I can’t help it. But you see, I have some dear friends: my mom and two sisters, who also love fabric. They are so sweet and recently divided up a stash that was passed to them by a neighbors’ recently departed mother. If you can believe it, my girls saved several boxes of fabric just for me! I couldn’t go to divvy up day, so they saved pieces that they thought I would like and can I just say . . . they did awesome!

As a seamstress, I occasionally receive bits of fabric stashes and it is exciting to look through free fabric, but truthfully, I can usually only use maybe 20% of what I am given, then I pass the rest on to someone else.

Not this time! I loved closer to 90% of the precious treasure that was so kindly delivered to my home by my favorite buddies. Yes, they even brought it to me! 

So yesterday was the big day when I organized my new fabrics into my bins. My system is useful to me, but I’m sure there are many other ways to organize a stash that are just as great, I mean, it’s fabric so you can’t go wrong. Right?

My big sister inspired me with the clear tote with a label card idea, I really love it. My previous system was to dig through unmarked cardboard boxes, so this is pretty much the Tiffany’s jewel case compared to that!

I categorize by how I’m going to use the fabric, not strictly by fabric content. My fleece and flannel are still in cardboard boxes because there are such copious quantities I will need to purchase larger totes for them. My quilting fabrics are all together in totes labeled with the two or three colors that are inside. My fabrics for clothing for people  (yes, that’s how I think of them) are in one tote, my denim is in one tote, and my doll clothes fabrics are in several totes labeled “textures” with the more formal fabrics (satins and velvets) in one and casual fabrics in another. I categorize by how I’m going to use the fabric, not strictly by fabric content. My fleece and flannel are still in cardboard boxes because there are such copious quantities I will need to purchase larger totes for them. My quilting fabrics are all together in totes labeled with the two or three colors that are inside. My fabrics for clothing for people 

I fold each piece so that it fits in the bin standing up with the largest folds at the top. That way I can see every fabric in the bin by just taking the lid off. After a few hours yesterday, I had all of my new fabrics tucked in to place and now I have a full and happy heart brimming over with gratitude. What a lucky girl I am to have my friends that I’m also related to, how blessed to have the ability to sew because it brings me such joy, and so grateful for the ownership of many beautiful supplies to make things with.

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