Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Quilting organization.

Interweave Press is having a contest and wanted to know about tips for organizing your stash. There will be a random drawing for the prize winner, so I figure there is no chance I will win, but thought I should post some of the things I do for those that might be interested.

I have to agree that you need to use the system that works for you. Mine is storing fabric in boxes that paper came in. They fit on my shelves just great. I do not sort my fabrics by color, but I try to keep some by fabric theme such as juvenile prints so it is easier to grab what I need when making a baby or Project Linus quilt. I also keep all Christmas fabrics together in one box so that I don't have to root through boxes to find what I'm looking for. Otherwise I love going through my stash looking for just the right color and falling in love with my fabrics all over again. That is part of the joy of quilt making for me.

My best organizational tip, is whenever you are finished with a project, cut the scraps down into workable size squares and rectangles and now that I'm into making hexagons, those as well. I cut up as much as I can into 2.5 " x 2.5" squares, 4.5" x 4.5" squares, and a 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles. I call these my 2 by 4's as to me they are the same as the 2 by 4's that constructions workers use to frame out a house. I can make hundreds of styles of quilts with these three shapes. Anything smaller goes in the trash and pieces that are bigger get folded back up neatly with the rest of the fabric unless all that is left is a strip and I cut that into a 2.5", 2" or 1.5" strip. So I have been ahead of the jelly rolls, etc. for years!

Whenever I get a new quilting magazine, as I look through it, if I see a project that can be made out of my pre-cuts, I will flag it with a Post-it note and the same with easy baby quilts I will flag as well. That way when I need a new idea I don't have to look at the whole magazine, just the pages that are flagged.

I have a disabling chronic health problem so anything that I can do to make things easier truly benefits me, such as I have a Janome 7700 with an automatic thread cutter (much easier than picking up and manipulating scissors to trim off threads), an acrylic table that allows me to rest my forearms and hands on while piecing and I always do chain piecing, push 'buttons' to set my settings so no manipulating dials (I never use the jog dial on the machine).

No matter what the world is doing in their sewing spaces, do what makes you comfortable. I love the look of all those fabrics that are setting open on the shelves, but I also know what dust and sunshine can do to fabric, especially on the folds. So mine is packed away. Oh yes, fashion fabric is in boxes separate from quilting fabric.

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