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Slowly, but surely

Stash expansion, organization and a question (plus a giveaway!)

On Saturday, the girls and I took a road trip all in the name of buying fabric. Little did I know that I would be walking into a sale! I did a little damage...

Fabric 1

The stash expansion led to a reorganization of sorts. I sat on the floor of the studio and loosely reorganized everything.

Fabric 2

Fabric 3

Before the weekend, most of my fabric was organized by fabric line, but I found that I was forgetting what I had or that I was unable to locate certain prints. I pulled everything off of the shelf and went through it all. I divided it by colors and then reorganized it further. I kept some fabric lines together, mixed some others together and discovered some interesting fabric pairings as I reorganized. I also walked away with a much better idea of what I have (a lot of fabric!) and where some missing and forgotten pieces are.

I don't know if this system will work for me in the long term or not. But I am curious about how others organize their fabric. Do you do it by color? By Designer? By yardage? Not at all? Please tell me how you do it. And, as an incentive to get you talking, on Friday afternoon I will pick one commenter on this post to receive a custom fabric bundle from my stash to yours. The winner and I will discuss what they might want and almost everything is on the table. It could include vintage feedsack squares, out of print Heather Ross, some original Flea Market Fancy, out of print Lizzy House or something else entirely. Sound good? Yes? Ok - spill it.


Bettina Groh

In hopes for the chance of winning your giveaway I will admit that I don't organize. I am lucky if fabric makes it into a storage container. Yes, I am an organizational failure!! I'm a little better about my teddy bear mohair... that I attach to hangers and hang up.... LOL

Mama Urchin

Mine is organized by color. Occasionally if I buy a group of fabrics from the same line I keep them together but usually on my shelf or work table, not put away in the cabinet. Eventually though everything ends up organized by color, including scraps.


I sure wish I had that much fabric hidden away in my house. I put mine in plastic bins and they are just put on top of each other in no order.


I organize by color for the most part. I keep certain things together -- all my 1930's & flannels. If I buy a group of fabrics for a specific project I will keep those together too. Even if it's a future project.


Organize? They at least make it into plastic bins but in no special order.

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge

For the most part, I organize my stash by colour. My Konas have a separate area from my main stash and from time to time, I buy a selection of fabric from a particular line or designer and keep it together. I also keep all my Christmas prints together. But honestly, it's whatever actually works for you that's best! :)

Sarah R

I'll admit that I don't really have an organization system beyond weight/type of fabric. I have found that the best thing for me is just to stack and restack it regularly to help me remember what I have.


That stash is amazing! I don't have enough to really organize... It's just in a plastic tote. :(


For me by size and colour. I buy mainly half hard/metre cuts and infrequently fat quarters. I used to buy collections but now I buy 1-3 prints from a collection and mix it up. It's presently a mess and needs resorting.


Oh. Solids and spots separately by colour and size.

Mad Cat Quilts

I'm a not at all kinda girl. I have my stash in boxes or loose drawers on a bookcase. I've thought about organizing it by color, but I always just end up pulling almost all of it out when I'm looking for something specific, or some inspiration. I need to see and feel and compare to what I have already pulled. Having to look thru all my fabric also ends up showing me things I had forgotten.


I keep all my civil war (or what I think to be) fabrics together and the rest of the fabrics together by color. I use shoe shelves stacked on top of each other and then on top of a shelf thanks for the giveaway.


Mostly by yardage, all fat quarters together, larger pieces in a bin, scraps in another bin. But I'm always putting some pieces together for projects and leaving them in storage, so it all gets messed up! Your shelves look lovely.


My stash is very much smaller but I tend to organise by colour - I don't often (probably don't ever, actually) work within a fabric line so I find it easier to search by colour. I find anything that isn't more-or-less red, blue, green or pink a little tricky though - they all tend to get flung together with a little less order. Good luck with any future sorting!


wonderful, i do at least try organizing by color, though as soon as i start pulling out some fabrics... everything gets jumbled up... no i really don't have the greatest organization of my fabrics


I don't really organize with a special system. I have bins for different colors, but some lines stay together, others don't... Not really efficient, I have to admit!


My stash is sorted by fabric line and my scraps are in totes separated by color. You have a great stash - if I had that much I would probably just look at it, pet it and put it back:))))


I have scraps sorted by color, but the yardage is stored in bins by purchase. I've recently admitted that's not working for me at all. The goal is to get it sorted by color.

melissa miller

I organize by style. Solids together, 1930s repros together, retro/vintage together, etc. I don't really have much of a stash. Especially compared to what I see online.


i tend to keep it organized by designer or style (denyse is all in one overfilling tub; '30s repos are together; red & white styles together).

it's working, but not quite. perhaps not having it in... eight plastic tubs would help?


My unused fabric is organized by designer. Once I cut into it, it becomes part of the folded but unorganized stash. I have made a lot of my favorite combinations by just stacking fabric randomly, though, so I'm not too tough on myself about it.

Leslie J

Some by color and some by designer because I love Robyn and Kaffe so much!!


I just did a total restack/redo about a week ago and I organized by color because that is how I quilt. I did seperate out large pieces for backings so that I know what I have. I find it good to do this every once in awhile to remember what I have.

Suzanne Mooney

I need to organise mine as it really is a mess and is stored in grey plastic totes. It is very loosely organised by designer. I've been thinking of changing it and putting it in color order but I just have not found the motivation yet. Though I am planning a trip to Ikea on Saturday. Maybe I will find some pretty storage inspiration up there :)

Jen L

I keep my fabric in a standing cupboard, and organized by color. I'm still getting used to folding them so they look consistent, but that's an art form I haven't mastered yet!

Janne Ellingsen

Lot of mess right now.... but when it was organized, it was divided into different kinds of fabrics. In big boxes. Now they are just piling up on a shelf and in bags. Not good!

Barb N

I 'try' to organize by color and by amounts. It gets really confusing for me when the 'amount' gets small. So mostly I go by color. It's interesting - I've noticed my fabric choices mimic my clothing choices (I organize my closet by color, too!)


I try to organize by what the fabric will be used for- clothing, baby quilt, holidays etc. Seems to work for me, but it is always fun to re-organize and find something fun!


Mostly by color, sometimes by designer. And my smaller scraps are in little bins.

Jan - isisjem

Random fat quarters I organise by colour. They are folded into squares about the size of a cd case and stacked on end in a drawer so I see a skinny bit of fabric when I open the drawer. I keep some bundles/lines together like my Mendocino stash. I organise half yard cuts in the same way as the fat quarters. I keep things like solids and linen together and have cuts of yards and above just grouped together (not so many of those to worry about colour order.) I keep scraps in a big plastic box, with each colour in it's own zip lock bag.


I separate by solids, prints, large amounts (2+ yards intended for quilt backings), and scraps (scraps aren't sorted at all!).


I do it by color! Right now I don't have as big of stash as you do so I just put it in a plastic bag. But when my stash grows, I think I am going to color organize and put it in a clear box


by type of project, type of yardage, then color but sadly it's strunge out allover the place right now. I just love your shelving. I have shelf envy. Sigh...i need a craft room.

Jessica @ Just a Mum?

At the moment, it's organized by colour in clear bins in my living room. I'm moving in June, and will finally have a dedicated work space, and will be able to do something a bit easier to get at, but I think I'll still do colour order. It's pretty :)


I have a somewhat random organization system that seems to work pretty well. I bought a dresser at a yard sale last year and use that for the majority of my storage. I keep fat quarters/half yard cuts folded in the lower two drawers, organized by color. Fat quarter bundles that I intend to use in a single project stay together in another drawer. I have two large drawers devoted to multi-yard cuts, one for garments and one for quilts. My scraps are kept in two vintage train cases, so they are easy to rummage through but can be left out without looking messy. I have a large liberty for target bin that sits on top of my table that holds "in process" pieces and new purchases that will need to be integrated into storage.


I organize my fabrics by color and have a special place for the solids and plastic boxes for scraps (also organized by color). That works easy for me.

thanks for the giveaway, always is great to have a chance to get more fabric!


I have one spot for garments/linens, one for quilting. Quilting is organized by color, with solids kept separately and some lines kept together if I have a few pieces of that line. The multicolors are tough - I have one spot for white background, one for black background, and one for low volumes too. And oh, the scraps are everywhere.


I organize by project. I recently donated just about every fabric that wasn't waiting to be used to a friend who was working with teaching the homeless to sew quilts....I figure I can restock my own stash with time. ;) when I have a stash, I like to keep my fabrics stacked together in "families" (same momma or papa....just different offspring)


I organize first into flannels, voile, home decor, knits, and the largest grouping - quilting cottons. And then, just for the quilting cottons, I further organize them into solids, novelty, florals, small prints, and large prints. I used to organize by color but this new system works better for me.

Lisa Q

I organize by color and I have most of my fabric stash in bins…that way I can pull a bin at a time to look for what I want. I usually keep new fabrics together for a while…so pretty to look at and think about what I might want to do with them.


I totally need this post! I'm constantly looking for a good organizational system. Currently I have all my quilter cottons in ROGYBV order and then the apparel fabrics stacked and folded separately. It's pretty. But sometimes I have a hard time splitting up a fabric line. Your stash is so beatiful!

Mary Claire

Oddly enough I started re-organizing my fabrics this weekend too! So two answers the before and the after.

Before - main stash organized by color. AMH and DS fabrics kept separate. AMH was org'd by line and DS was org'd by color. For all three, larger multi yards were kept in separate piles. Big scraps also kept in a pile. Also had a few misc piles; linen/linen blend, super specials etc.

After - integrating almost all fabrics by color and separated by size. So when I am done I will have stacks on the shelf of 1/2 - 1yard cuts. Another small stack of larger than 1 yard cuts. Tubs with folded FQ - ish sizes. And finally I'm gonna fold my big scraps and put those in a small tub too cause I cant see them in a pile and its driving me nuts. I will still have a few random stacks of the linen/linen blend, flannel. But for the most part all the cotton is going in the main stash.

It's a never ending process I think, but I am determined to sew with this fabric and having it where I can see what I have should help!


I do mine by color and all my solids are by color but seperate from the prints. If I have a bundle that I really love I keep it together. At first when I just got started I had all my bundles together. Then I decided I could match my own stuff up and I have to say I like that better.


I have a very small stash, it fits into 2 night stand drawers. the top drawer holds my FQ's organized by the collections or polka dots with polka dots and I have all of my blues together, cause I have a lot. The second drawer holds the larger cuts of fabric, just folded up. I would love to get the comic card backings if my stash grows bigger.

holly | bijou lovely

I mostly organize by color, with some exceptions. New collections that I've just received usually stay together for awhile first in a separate cabinet, and those are organized by designer. I usually want to make something with a line as a whole first before splitting it up, so this serves that purpose. Once I've done that, I move them over to the other shelves and separate them by color. Solids, linens, apparel fabrics and home decs have their own shelves too to make them easier to find. Small cuts (FQ or smaller) have their own shelf too so they don't get lost in the yardage. Scraps all go in one basket that I sort through once it gets full to sell as scrap packs. If I need them before then, I just search through the basket, which is probably not the best method!

Jen H

I organize mine by color. I organize the solids separately. I don't organize by yardage other thank keep my fat quarters in a separate bin. I hope your organizing works out. Thanks for the giveaway!


I did the exact same thing this weekend… I decided to organize by colour, I find it gets me out of the 'designer' rut (only using one line in a project because I don't have anything else that coordinates).
Also, I organized by type of fabric (voile, quilting, solids, linen). It works great for me. I find I'm spending much more time playing.


My stash is relatively small and so easier to keep a handle on... I organize it by collection before it has been cut into, and then scraps I organize by designer (all Amy Butler together, all Denyse Schmidt together, all Anna Maria Horner together, and then a miscellaneous pile of 'everything else'!).


I have all my solids in one drawer, and everything else is separated by colour. Apart from the Denyse Schmidt stash - that's got a giant drawer all to itself ;-)

shirley tener

I first organize by a project, I sew for my new grandbabies (7) all under 5, 4sons, DIL, and now ME>..all those scraps are saved for a scrappy quilt. Then its by design, then Japanese, valuable ( like the one of kinds I buy from spoonflower ), I have textures, then colors, then size, like charm packs. I have open space so that I can see all of it, let it inspire my sewing desire. Right now I am trying to sew me a Lg quilt.. So the shelf above my work space is filled with the fabrics I bought for me ! My fabric is my Space and decoration, even the smallest scrap has a glass container for mod podge, then I have a basket for selvedges. its taken about 2 years to accomplish my studio to my needs and how I want to sew. My last desire is cork flooring. I use alot of linen, I can even use the curtains for a design fixture. A Studio for me is therapy, I stay at home everyday, so this is where I live in my house. It gets the best. I raised 4 boys, Now I have a space of Fabric. its folded How I want to see it, its moved around and bunches sometimes, because I am working on it. The area is a clean white space for that purpose.. all the folding a certain way.. Naw.. I play with it. All my AMH right now is on a Big Pile on my Special size Ironing board. I am designing with my hands. I hate and cant draw, I use the fabric. Ok.. sorry you asked now... gotta go buy some scissors, Now dont ask that question.. I can go on and on.. LOL

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