Wednesday, February 11, 2015

15 Minute Spiff Up #6

Are you ready to move on? Are you tired of working on batting?  Or did you go off to your own area and make progress where you needed it the most? I was lucky with the batting -- mine was mostly organized so it didn't take me all that long.  I can't say the same for this week's chore.  Are you ready? 

Our next assignment is: 

Straighten Up and Organize Your Fabric -- Yardage! 

You already know I keep smaller pieces -- fat quarters and left over bits and pieces in baskets on top of my shelves.  You saw how great they looked several weeks ago. Now I'm attacking my yardage of 1/2 yard or more. I have to admit this wasn't my favorite assignment.  In fact, I haven't finished it yet.  But, I must admit my yardage is not in horrible shape, just messy.  

Many years ago I changed how I stored my yardage. I used the book Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois Hillock when we moved into our previous house.This was a book, not a workbook. Before, I stored my yardage in clear plastic bins on open shelving.  The fabrics were organized by color in the bins.  It worked but I had to drag out the bins, pull the lids off and rifle through them when I was looking for fabric.  Not the best situation but usable.  After reading the book I decided I would try Lois's method of folding the fabric over a ruler and then folding it in half.  That year for Mother's Day my son gave me some time to do whatever I wanted him to do.  You got it.  He was folding fabric for me -- yard after yard of it.  And, my fabric became much easier to find and use.  Since then I've kept my fabric, by color on open shelves. 

Generally my fabric isn't all that messy.  It does get plowed through and moved around and the straight piles become crooked and disorganized.  Here's what it looked like when I started the Spiff Up 6 weeks ago.  Not looking all that great.  Of course, the top of the shelf was cleaned up when the fat quarters were straightened up. 

As I said, I haven't finished this project.  But here are the shelves that have been restacked and spiffed up! What I am not going todo is work on the leftover plastic bins.  They hold odd bits and pieces of fabric by color.  When I have room in one of the basket of fat quarters and small pieces I will sometimes drag out one of the bits from the plastic bins.  I should also straighten the fabric on the top of the bins.  Most of that fabric is owned by the quilt guild and I store it down there so I don't forget who it belongs to.  
Now when I bring new fabric into the house I wash it and then fold it over an 8 1/2" x 24" ruler. If it is more than 1/2 yard I also try to mark how much fabric is folded so I don't have to unfold it to see how much is available. (Does this look familiar to last week's plan?) 

Ok Spiffer Uppers!  That's your assignment -- clean up, organize, and neaten up your fabric stash.  Whatever way you choose to store your fabric make sure you've got it organized, easily accessible and neat! I'll finish spiffing up my yardage and then figure out what area we need to move on to.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the next areas I move into will take more than a week of work to get it easily accessible and looking decent.  Let me know how you do.  

How do you store your yardage?  Yardage to me is generally over 1/2 yard but some of my pieces in my color stacks are smaller.  Just like some of my pieces in my fat quarter baskets are bigger.  Give us your best ideas.  You never know when your method will spark interest in someone else. 

I'm slowly working on getting some of my sewing goals for the week worked on. This cold is still dragging me down enough that I went to the doctor today.  Well, good, it truly is a cold and hopefully, with medication, I'll start feeling better soon. 

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. Great task.
    I posted photos of the before on my blog
    I'll update as I go along.
    I was thinking about this, so this will get me motivated.

  2. I have tall Ikea bookcases and store by colour. Small bits are in a shoebox on the colour shelf. I have a few shelves with coordinating fabrics for future projects. I then cover them all with sheeting to cut down dust but mostly visual clutter. Behind those curtains I must confess to some leaning stacks! :O I guess the batting time was considered a resting period. lol

  3. I use my 6 x 24 ruler. Pieces that are 1/2 to about 3 yards are then folded in half and put on shelves. Pieces that are more than 3 yards to into the backing bins, though I note that most of the backing pieces are more like 4 to 7 yards. Every so often I pull everything off a shelf and restack it all. In the process I discover some pieces that I had forgotten about.
    P.S. I cannot understand the enthusiasm for folding fabric around comic book boards (or their quilty equivalent). They are about $9 per hundred. I would need about 2000, or $180. That's money I could spend on more fabric!

  4. I use the same folding process that you do, it makes it so much easier to see what I have in each color stack in the closet. But I still have a lot of unfolded fabric. Hmm wonder if I could convince Drama Teen to fold fabric for gasoline money?

  5. I store my yardage in a similar manner, but I'm afraid of sunlight fading the fabric, so I've hung a colorful fabric shower curtain over the shelves in order to block the sunlight that filters into the room. Are your windows tinted to protect your fabric on the open shelves?

  6. OK, for my last after photo.
    I have reorganized by size of the stack. I got all of them into their respective places with room to spare.
    Amazing how some rearranging can open up spots.
    Thanks for this challenge.


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