Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sorting & storing your stash

I made a start on getting fabrics unpacked and into the new linen cabinets yesterday afternoon. In the process, I had to think a lot about the most logical way to sort them.

When I started quilting, I used to sort my fabrics (mainly fat quarters) by colour - a basket of blues, another of reds, and so on. As I've acquired more fabrics and also started working with specific themes, I find it is more useful to sort fabric by type/style than colour. So I am working with the following main groups -
  • C19th reproduction
  • 1930s repro
  • batiks
  • Japanese/oriental
  • taupe
  • novelty
  • panels/ombre
  • woven plaids/stripes/checks
  • non-quilting/unusual fabrics
Pieces larger than 1/2 metre/yard are folded and stacked on the shelves. 1/2s and 1/4s will be in boxes & baskets, still sorted by type. I do not worry about creases in storage too much, as I always press & starch fabrics before I work with them anyway. I'll continue my scrap systems - taupe scraps, Japanese/oriental scraps, anything else - and my strip boxes (1in, 11/2in & 21/2in Japanese/oriental strips). Most of my 'special' vintage Japanese fabrics, like those pieces I've been given by friends and very unique/antique pieces (inc. old yukata sample books) are still at Yamadera and are in their own storage drawers already. Fabrics already allocated to a future project will be stored together; the stack of blue fabrics on the centre shelf above includes the beginnings of two new quilts. Jelly Rolls can make a cute stacked display - they never fit well in boxes!

Before any fabric storage went into the room, we hung blinds, so these are always down unless I'm working in there and sun damage will be minimal. If it turns out there's strong sunlight on this wall in summer, I'll drape the cabinets temporarily. All my stash is unlikely to fit in the cabinets and there will be a fair bit in boxes on top I expect, but so far they are doing a great job of swallowing up cloth in surprisingly little space.

How do you store your fabric stash?


Anne said...

I've already pulled out my batiks and my solids from my main storage area, but I need to reevaluate the rest of the system. Thanks for your list!

Lis said...

Always interesting to learn how other people store their stash. I use stacking plastic boxes (not very attractive and not that practical as I often need to haul out several boxes to get to the bottom one). I store by theme: Japanese, Blues, New Zealand, Christmas, brights, plains, large pieces for backing....Writing this has made me realise I need to re-sort my stash, this doesn't work well at all!! Thanks Susan :-)