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The great studio clean out

I am extremely lucky to have a large space in our home to use as a studio. It's great to be able to spread out and work on projects and leave them in progress if I need to. The problem with a large space? It's very easy to spread out and leave projects in progress if I need to. Also known as: I make big messes. Or: I rarely clean up completely before I move on to the next thing.

Studio clean up

I have spent a good chunk of my available sewing/creative time in the last week going through the studio and just organizing my fabric. The main push for this was the color theory/color palette class by Anna Maria Horner on Creativebug. After watching that, I just knew I had to get my stash organized by color if I really wanted it to work for me in the best possible way.

Studio clean up 2

I started slowly, one shelf at a time, sorting and arranging the fabrics where they were. Because some of my stash was organized by designer, it seemed easiest to just arrange each designer's fabric into color order instead of overwhelming myself with pulling everything off the shelves. So, that is what I did. First, Anna Maria. Then Heather Ross. Then Carolyn Friedlander and Lizzy House. Finally, Denyse Schmidt. After many hours, all these designers' lines that I have, in part or in whole, are all mixed up with each other, but still separated by designer. The end goal is to get all the designers mixed up, too, but I am really getting tired of organizing fabric. For now, this is where it sits and I am good with it. It is so much better than it was before. Eventually, I will take the final step and mingle it all together.

Studio clean up 4

And because projects like this tend to snowball, I am also going through the shelves that hold larger cuts of quilting cotton and garment fabrics. I have no need to shop for quilt backs! I also like to wear blue - so many of the garment fabrics are navy or a close cousin. I had no idea how many possibilities there were in my own stash. Sad, but true. Also, exciting! It's like shopping for new fabric with the stuff I already own and I'm excited to think about making quilts and clothes based on what I already have on hand. I also stacked all the quilt tops that need quilting with their backings in one area. I hope that this will get me to finish a few before I start more.

Studio clean up 3

I have found many blocks, piece of patchwork and quilts in progress! I'm excited to revisit some of these ideas and see where they go. Hopefully, into some finished quilts! But also inevitable in a huge clear out like this, I have found a lot of things that I don't want or need any longer. I am slowly going through the pile and have been offering up a few things a day on Instagram. Some of these are items I would just like to go to a welcoming home so they are free. Other things, mostly fabric and patterns, have some kind of value so I am selling those. My goal is to finish this week so I can get back to sewing. There is nothing like a clean space and a fresh palette to get the ideas churning! In the meantime, I will be back this week with a tutorial or two that I finished up before I made the mess even messier. See you soon!



Clean and organized always feels so good doesn't it?! And I need to go watch that AMH class pronto.

Bonny Schmid

I have my quilt fabric sorted by designer - but I don't think I can take the extra step and mix my designers together. I will be reading your post to see if you succeed! Please take a pic when you do :)

Sandra W

I go one step further in my fabric organization. I separate the tone-on-tone by color and have them in one section. Then I sort the multi-colored fabric by color. Over the years I have learned that the multi-colored fabrics are more difficult to use effectively so I limit purchases of this group now.
Also, I separate designers using this method. When the collections are kept together there is a tendency to use them together--and this is not very creative. I sort designers like I would any other fabric.
I have two exceptions--I have some out-of-print Heather Ross which I group together. Also, I keep novelty prints together--bikes, planes, etc.
Erin--you may recall we met at a Craft Week-end in NY state last year. We were in the "Quilters" room.
I have been following your blog ever since (ad hoc) and today I subscribed.
I always love to read about sewing room organization!


I keep my by color except for the Halloween/Christmas themed stuff.

I love that improv you've got going.

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