Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stash Organization - Folding

Stash organization is really a hard thing for a lot of quilters.  I know for me, I tend to want to quilt.  I don't want to clean, straighten, organization, etc.  There are as many ways to organize and store your fabric as there are quilters. 

The main thing for me is that I want to see my fabrics.  I want them out in the open.  I want to be able to easily pull them out and throw them back on the shelf, as I compare, plan and think my way through a new project.

I want a fabric store look.

I have found that some quilters use various materials the same as quilt shops use cardboard to wrap material.  For me, I have found that corrugated plastic works the best.  Here is a quick tutorial on how I fold my stash.

Start with the corrugated plastic:

You will have to find a sign company in your area that will sell this to you.  I can get an 8 foot by 4 foot piece.  They will cut it down for me.  If you can't get them to cut this down for you, the plastic easily cuts with a box cutter.  I'm able to cut my down into 64 6in by 12in rectangles.  These easily hold a couple yards of your standard width quilting fabric.  You may need to adjust this to meet the needs of your stash.

Now it's time to start folding.

I fold selvage to selvage.  Then I fold that in half, selvages to midline.  Then lay this flat and grab a piece of plastic.

Leave a bit hanging and then hold that bit up onto the plastic.

Then start folding.  Keep it snug, flat and neat.  Fold until you have the last bit hanging over.

(I seem to have left out the frog material.)

Then fold the flap as you want.  You can do a point, like above.  You can fold one corner all the way down and wrap around.  I do both, depending on where my brain is and how much fabric I have left over.

Secure the flap of fabric as you wish.  You can buy special clips for this or tuck.  I admit that I prefer using pins.  Especially, pretty pastel ones. 

Then line them up:

Isn't that gorgeous?  I'm not finished with all my fabrics but I'm about 2/3 rds of the way there and it really has made a difference.  I can see my fabrics.  I am using what I have.  I love it.

The small boards really only work well for 2 yards or less.  If you have something larger.  Like say 4 yards of something you got cheap at Hobby Lobby:

I know.  I need a 12 step program.

You can cut the plastic longer.  That will work.  But I like to ask JoAnn's for empty fabric boards.  I have yet run across a JoAnn's over 3 different states that won't give them to me, for free, willingly.  You use the same method as above.

A perfectly folded bolt!

Prefolding, you can go ahead and square up your fabrics.  You can wash your fabrics.  Prepare them however you want.  I put the fabric straight from the store to my shelf.  Take this and make it your own, to fit your needs.

Go out and clean your stash!  Make your fabrics seen!

And let me know how you fold your fabrics.  I'm always wanting new ideas and suggestions.



Kristen said...

Love this idea! I mainly have FQ's in my stash, with some yardage....I like the corrugated plastic suggestion - all that visible fabric, what a motivator to sew!

SewLovedByYou said...

It has seriously changed the way I use my stash. I actually use it now! :)