17 March, 2009

"Let's Talk" Tuesday...

There's been a lot of talk on the blogs lately about "stash busting", there are weekly reports calculating yards in and yards out as a way of documenting "stash busting" progress. This week's question pertains to stash management.

Where do you keep your stash and how do you organize it?

I have wire shelves mounted on the back wall of a closet, the shelves go all the way to the ceiling. There are six shelves placed twelve inches apart, so the stacks of fabric can't get too tall in between shelves. The first shelf from the bottom begins twenty four inches off the floor and I keep bins under that shelf, they contain tops to be quilted and blocks waiting to become tops. My stash is organized by color, there is definitely more blue in my stash than any other color. (Red is a close second, though.) I don't shelve purchased "collections" together, but rather organize them by color, too. I don't re-shelve any pieces as small as (or smaller than) a fat quarter; they get cut up into strips and squares using Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User's System and placed into marked bins, ready to sew. The one thing I can report about my stash is that it is organized; getting smaller, however, it is not. Busted.

..and sew, let's talk...
Life is Good!

26 comments:

Trudi said...

Organised, well I suppose so, of sorts. I have wire baskets that are stacked up to 10 high, and each one contains a colour range, or batiks, or plains, or novalty prints. My tops waiting to be quilted are stacked in a box below my quilting frame, so they shame me each time I go there! lol and my projects are grouped together or stashed into boxes to be done very soon. I am trying to establish a scrap system just like you and Bonnie, I have still some way to go to make some areas of it useable yet, but have always had plenty of srips ready. I managed4 months of stashbusting, and have recently crashed and burned, but will pick myself up, brush myself down, and persevere! I like the small dent I made :o)

leigh anna said...

i organize my shirts by color and type....
but that is the only fabric stash i have....

*karendianne. said...

I like organized but unfortunately I lost my way. I'm not stashbuster.

I converted my entire double door kitchen pantry into my fabric stash so I can look at it all the time and be happy. (I have a big kitchen) It was once orgainzed by color but mixing and matching fabrics did me in.

I also have a stash in bedroom #3 and closet of BR #3 that I forgot about. That's a terrible mess because it's hidden behind shelves that close.

Scraps I faithfully use Bonnie's System and THAT is organized in a nice bin along with blocks awaiting the "come hither" look, nicely labeled w/ my notes inside.

The Calico Cat said...

Organized... Not in quite a while. For now I have PIGS & I have a couple bags of this color or that. I have most of my cat collections & other novelties on a wire shelving unit - but it hasn't been neat & tidy for quite a while... Most of my taupes are all together too...

I'd like to be better, but...

mamaspark said...

I have my stash in bins organized by color but it is all in the basement. I try to use from my stash first and am really trying to decrease what I have (except for that last trip with LTW!

debbie said...

I'm working on organizing my stash. I took over my son's room when he left, but didn't take his stuff out first. Three years later I am doing just that,huge job. I got wire shelves for the top half of the closet, and have a few 3feet tall book cases under the shelves. My quilt shop fabrics are in there, organized by color and some by collection. There are also groups for style or purpose...like novelty and juvenile or civil war, reproduction, and batiks because they can be many colors . My non-qs fabrics are being organized now, and i'm not sure where i'll put all of them. I keep them separate because I participate in group exchanges and for those only use quilt shop fabrics. When I first joined a quilt group some one told me that was proper, if i could afford it. Or maybe she said always give the best you can afford.
Blessings,
debbiem

Nancy said...

Stash isn't my problem; it's UFOs. I have fabric and pattern folded together in a cupboard for perhaps 6 projects. The small amount of stash fabric I have is organized by type -- hand-dyeds together and batiks together. And William Morris together. Daiwabo together. Mostly FQs. I have two Rubbermaid tubs of scraps; one batiks and the other everything else. And someday I plan to cut all of that into strips.

Connie W said...

My stash is organized on shelves similar to how you have your stash organized. I stack by color but do keep some collections together, loosely tied in ribbons, so as not to forget. I have space below the bottom shelf where my sewing machine collection is kept (yes I collect a few of those too). The bottom shelf has a place for fabric on bolts (I don't have many) plus fabrics folded the same way but minus the cardboard. Near the top I keep the flannels and other fabrics not as likely to be used often. I am not a stashbuster either. Scraps and smaller cuts that are left over are in baskets under my sewing counter/desk.

SubeeSews said...

I was lucky enough to receive two pattern cupboards...like they have in stores for Simplicity/Butterick patterns etc. So I have the fabrics in drawers by color. And innocently enough bought Jinny Beyer's entire Pallet collection of FQ's. Then hubby installed a shelf across the entire back wall of my sewing room. That has 64 bolts on it. I used to sew in that room but outgrew it. So second bedroom has 2 wire shelf bookcases full of bolts and numerous plastic containers with collections in each and my machine quilting frame setup. I have now oozed out into the livingroom. I moved my sewing machine under the picture window and some plastic rolling bins followed. I am now eyeing the family room but hubby says "no way".
I have been trying very hard to convert my scraps into Bonnie's Scrap Saver system. Totally love it and all the plastic containers involved. When I feel like some mindless sewing or cutting I am in business.
Happy ST. Pat's day to you all!

Karen Newman Fridy said...

Funny, when I first started quilting I PROMISED myself I was not going to over-collect fabric...

(ROFLOL!!!!!!)

60 linear feet of shelving later, I can say that I'm working on getting it all in one place and better organized. I have some things sorted by color, other things by group - batiks, novelties, etc.

I am on a quest to get some of it used up...I've been neglectful of doing things like preemie quilts for which many of those fabrics were purchased. I'm hoping once the studio is all back together and I can see what I have, that I can work some of those projects into my other production time.

Dolores said...

I'm sorry but what exactly is organization? I tried it once - maybe twice but the fabric is still in several places. I have sewn all my life and I collect all kinds of fabric (if it's on sale I can find a use for it - eventually.) I have a sewing room that is called a studio (just a name change when we remodelled.) It was organized for a little while but it is too small for my stash. I have tried to keep the quilt-related stuff separate so I guess that is the extent of my organization but there are times I still cannot find things.

Domestic Designer said...

My stash is organized in a large closet in my sewing room. I used plastic bins and organized the fabric by color. It makes it so much easier to go and grab and sew. My bigger pieces are organized in a stand alone cabinet by type of fabric. I have two shelves that hold works that are in progress (UFO's). I am pretty organized with my fabric, now I just need to be more organized with my time so I can spend more time sewing! Have a great day!

LauraQuilts said...

When Salem Stitcher did her complete studio re-do, it galvanized me into a re-organization fit! I have fabric sorted by color in plastic bins and the bins are labeled. Patterns are in baskets. Kits, or patterns that have had the fabric purchased, are in tote bags - pick up any tote bag in my sewing room and presto! There's a quilt in there waiting to be liberated. The batting is on a roll in the closet, batting pieces are in a huge shopping bag in the closet. Now I can't find ANYTHING! I've hidden many things from myself and I believe it's because I have denied my nature - I'm a stacker! Recognize your own system - if you are a stacker like me, stack away! The strips I have cut using Bonnie's system are artfully draped over the serger. Finished quilt tops are in the playpen (in the guest room). Three cheers for organized chaos!

Libby said...

Currently my stash is mainly kept in two cabinets in the garage. Well - one cabinet holds books, magazines, patterns along with various and sundry notions liberally sprinkled with some UFO's *s*
The fabric is in the other cabinet. The top shelf holds fat quarter bundles. My local shop does a great job of assembling these bundles and they look so darned cute when kept in tact. The next shelf holds large cuts of one yard or more folded as if they were still on the bolt. Mainly they are background fabrics, but I am not above purchasing yards of something that will make a great border or back. Those all live on the second shelf.
Shelf three holds half yard cuts and shelf four holds what's left. I try to keep the shelves organized by color - I try *s* There are bins stacked on top of the cabinets that contain my scraps cut into various sizes, my wool stash, and civil war/repro scraps.
Since I can't always get out to the garage for fabrics (yes, I have to rearrange the vehicles to open the doors) I keep a couple of baskets filled with a variety of scraps in the house. A quilter's toy box, if you will.
I'm not particularly concerned about busting my stash. But I'm also not trying to preserve it either. I happily pull from it for projects and just as happily shop to add more whenever opportunity knocks.

Nan said...

You are truly organized, I do believe! I have much of my stash on 3 shelving units. They are organized by shapes on the fabric (stars, dots, stripes), holidays, and colors. I have put fabric collections together in a cupboard, and kits in another cupboard, fat quarters in two plastic bins, and scraps in a huge bin. Not as well put together as yours, but I know where everything is, and with my memory these days, that's a good thing!
All I need to do now is use Bonnie's scrap system, and I'll be totally organized!

Quilting4U said...

Oh my gosh! I am probably the most un-organized person when it comes to my stash! My current studio measures 12ft X 15ft. I have much lost space due to knee walls, the machine is set about 5ft away from the wall, so I don't hit my head, if working in the back. Now, I am only 5Ft 4In!One side of my machine is butted up against the wall, so I can't even walk around it AND if I do a King Size quilt, I almost don't make it because I can not go but so far on the left side of the table! So enough about my space issues because of my longarm! My fabric stash is funny! Large Large Ziplock storage bags are used to hold many many fabrics, I change them around when I prioritize, but I get frustrated because I have no room , that all different projects or just fat quarters purchased get thrown into whatever bag, may have a little squeeze in room! The one closet I have has several stacked plastic storage bins, with everything but the kitchen sink in them,BUT nothing can be disposed of! They are stacked on top of each other and I have to pull them all out to get to the one I want. And, of course, I don't know which one I want, because, they are not labeled or organized!When we moved into this house 3yrs ago, we knew we had downsized too much, BUT I did gain a room for my machine! We currently have our home on the market, so one day, I may have a larger room for Iris and my sewing! I don't hold my breathe, because even though we are in a really growing area, the economy is still going to slow the process down, so in the meantime, I just keep on doing what I do, organized or not! What a loaded topic, thanks for sharing, and letting others share, it has been great!

dianne said...

i like to look at my fat quarters and novelty fabrics, so they are living in two cube shelf units that are stacked on top of each other ... sorted by subject (novelty, halloween, space, christmas, food, et cetera) or by color ... i don't usually buy more than a yard or two of any one fabric, unless it is for something specific - then it goes into a plastic tub with all the other stuff i need for that quilt ... i tape a picture on the side of the tub so i'll know what is in there and what i am supposed to do with it ...... and i am not worried about stashbusting - my stash is beautiful ... and it annoys my oldest son!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I don't spend time counting yardage in or yardage out ~

My stash is contained within my studio ~ some sorted by project, some sorted with fat quarters (in color families) in drawers, some sorted into clear plastic 2-1/2" strip bins by color family (akin to Bonnie's system), and longer yardage for backs is folded on a shelf.

Like Karen, I'm visual and love to see what I have because it makes me smile.

Because I spend way too much time helping others stay organized at the law firm where I work, I want my time in the studio to be colorful and as stress-free as possible.

Carrie P. said...

Lowes Hardware had a piece of furniture at the store when I started quilting. I bought two of them. It is sort of like a bookcase but it has 12 good size cubby holes where I put all my fabric by color and my UFO's.

Cheryl said...

I am laughing, because I don't if what I have is organized, but I have those wire basket unit from IKEA...that slide on a track. I have some sitting in my sewing room and some in a closet Then there's the linen closet in the hall that is full of kits, bundles and stacks...shame on me!!!!

Mimi said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I organize my fabrics in plastic storage boxes that I can stack two high beneath some long tables.

I sort by color, holiday (halloween, Christmas, etc.), flannel, upholstery, minkie, chenille, felt, denim, etc.

I have a huge sewing heaven. It's the entire upstairs of my cape cod home.

I'm a very messy person. I need to clean up after every project, but surprisingly the messiness doesn't interfere with my creativity.

Hugs

Quilt Memories said...

Orginization.........WOW...........
I am not an organizer, DH is, so all my junk drives him nuts. When I was recovering from my last surgery in Jan., he decided my sewing room needed re-organized, now I can't find a thing. He thinks because HIS computer is in MY sewing room he is supposed to have a say in how it looks. He has lost his mind, I tell him all the time, what's mine is MINE and what's his is MINE. If he wants to do something constructive, he should have been vacuuming! That's my story and I'm sticking to it***VBS***

Zlaty said...

I have been trying to stash bust, but I don not want to take the time to count how much fabric I use! :)
My fabric is currently in two places. Part of it is in a tv cabinet on the main floor and I have some in plastic bins in my sewing room. I plan to organize it in one place, some day :)

Happy sewing!

paula, the quilter said...

Like you, I have wire shelves in a closet, but only 3 shelves and these are for the yardage. I also sort by color here and in the antique bookcase that holds the FQ. Under the wire shelves are bins of yarn and velvet. I keep 2 paint buckets for scraps for string quilts and 2 other bins for strips.

quiltmom said...

HI Mrs.Goodneedle,
I will just confess- I am a fabricoholic and a great collector for the stash. I do have it semi organized into colors, batiks, florals, monotones and speciality fabrics( stars, kids, sunflowers and funky fabrics) There are over 20 boxes ( clear plastic bins of gorgeous fabrics) upstairs in my sewing room that have spilled out onto the landing bed. I do work from the stash first and have projects in mind for some of the collections up there. I figure there are worse things than to be addicted to collecting LOL
We all seem to have our own unique ways of sorting and organizing that work for us. I figure I can keep making quilts forever from my stash - that's my story and I am sticking to it !!
Have a great week,
Regards,
Anna

Barbara Ann Beamer Jones said...

My "stash" is fairly well organized - it's the odds and ends of notions and gadgets that seem to always be migrating. If you want to see some pictures of my sewing area and stash closet, check out my blog at www.wvheavenlyhome.blogspot.com. I love to read how others have organized their things!