Paper and Fiber Arts

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Organizing Fabric

Half Yard Pieces Meet ROY G BIV
 It all started because I vowed to myself to complete at least one UFO (Unfinished Object/Obstacle) each month this year.  So, I selected what I "thought" was going to be a relatively simple project that I started about 11 years ago.  Yes, 11 years ago.  (There have been some major changes in life that caused me to not be able to sew or craft for several years. But I am back with renewed vigor!)

"Zuzu's Petals" Quilt-In-Progress Packed With Pattern
 The quilt I wanted to complete was mostly cut out and partially sewn.  It has been moved to three different homes since it was started.  However, I was confident that I could easily complete it because it was packed in its own little box.  It turns out, the border fabric wasn't in the box.  There are two borders on this quilt.  I now had to locate (in my scary fabric stash) two pieces of fabric that could be used in this quilt. I won't even go into the problems that arise with matching 1/4" seams when you've switched sewing machines in the interim! Or maybe it is just my wonky sewing. :-)

Over 900 small half-square triangles
 Let the fun begin!  Or not.  My stash had been loosely organized by color and that had usually worked for me because I didn't actually Use my stash.  I have not been sewing for the past several years and before that, I just added to it.  One of my ongoing resolutions for the past couple of years has been to use up more of what I have and not to buy anything if it isn't really "needed".  This policy had to include my fabric, now that I am making sewing a part of my life again.  Sorry for the digression... back to organizing.

Scrap heap = Pieces smaller than a quarter yard
First, I had to decide How to Organize.  It was apparent that it needed to be by size first and color second.  The next step was to measure. Every. Piece. Of. Fabric.  This took several days.  It seemed that the best plan of action was to see how much space each size was going to need and then sort that size by color.

Fat Quarters Rolled and Sorted Into Elfa Drawers
I still need to rearrange the One Yard Pieces and the Fat Quarters by colors/shades.  The rest of the yardage pieces are looking so pretty on their shelves though!  Once that is done, I am going to tackle the scrap piles.  Currently, they are roughly sorted by lights and darks.

If I post How I am planning on sorting my scraps, maybe it will happen sooner... rather than later. Plus, if I remind myself that the scraps cost the same as the larger pieces of fabric, (about $9 a yard) then it gives me some added motivation.

Because the smallest pieces that I am willing to sort by color are Fat Quarters or Quarter yard cuts, all of the Fat Eighths and other scraps will be cut down into strips, rectangles or squares. Everything will have to be ironed first.

After they are cut, they will be bagged and sorted in labeled boxes by size.  I'll post some pictures when I am done.

If you have any suggestions for organizing, please leave me a comment!  I am always looking for alternate ways to improve my workspace.

Thank you for visiting today!

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