I'm finally getting back into the studio - to work on it, and in it - and while it's definitely a work in progress, I'm pretty pleased with my fabric storage arrangements. Since fabric storage is a question that comes up constantly in my sewing and quilting groups, I thought I'd get back to the blog with my storage system.
|Folding the fabric around my folding board|
Home decor, specialty and misc. fabric are boxed up in the closet, as I don't need them often. So that leaves quilting and garment fabric easily accessible in the studio. Over the years I've tried a lot of different organization plans for my fabric, large shallow bins shelved in a storage room, open shelves mounted on the wall, huge bins stacked on top of each other - the worst.
|Nice, neat stack after folding|
When we moved into this house, I decided I wanted to start with cube style shelves. They are sold under several brand names and in various sizes. The ones I bought are 36 by 36 inches, with nine 11-inch-plus cubes in each. They can be stacked two high -- attaching both the lower and upper to the wall for safety!
For a long time I've been using the ruler fold method of folding my fabric -- fold selvedge to selvedge, then fold around my six-inch ruler as if it were on a bolt. Slide the ruler out, then fold in half. Nice, neat stacks that are all the same size. With the new shelves, that left wasted space, so I cut a piece of heavy cardboard to 10-inches wide and use it for folding. That gives me nice, neat stacks that fit perfectly in my cubes. And no spending money on little pieces of cardboard - I'd rather spend on fabric! With this system, fat quarters can be folded in half, then in half again and fit nicely in the stack, so they are not stored separately.
|Main fabric storage. On the left are novelties and specialty types of fabric.|
On the right are fabrics that don't go in a special category, sorted by color.
Since I don't have room for everything, Christmas, other holiday and juvenile went into separate bins. I have a lot of batik, so it is sorted by color, then shelved. I have a lot of beach and related fabrics, so they are separated by type or them and shelved with the batiks.
The other specialty types I have less of, one or two cubes at most, so they are just stacked without sorting for color.
Then everything else - the calicos, the blenders, the small florals and geometrics are sorted by color and shelved. Since many have multiple colors, I go by the color they "read" as at first glance. The bright multi-colors have their own separate stack. The stacks of colors start off light to dark, but get jumbled with use, so every now and then I pull out the stack and rearrange.
|Garment fabric above, backings below.|
Bins to left have yarn.
|Batik and beach theme fabrics|
My only issue with the cubes is that they sit right on the floor, so fabrics on the bottom shelf may get dirty. For one set, I built a base out of two-by-fours, but ran out of time for the rest. So the bottom level has fabric bins filled with yarn - another stash for another day!
|With screens up to protect fabric.|