After visiting my friend Lorena’s studio and seeing how beautifully organised she is I felt that my sewing room (see below) was sorely in need of a good sorting out.
I always thought that the IKEA Expedit shelves would be great for fabric but I have found the depth of them a mixed blessing. I was keeping my fabrics folded as fat quarters and that led to piles two deep and due to the small cross-section they were very unstable. However, I noticed that Lorena had the same shelves but had folded her fabric lengthways so you can have more fabric per stack, which is more stable and you can see them all. So obvious when someone else has had the bright spark moment for you!
Here’s where I’m up to. It’s hot and I’m taking a rest from slaving over a hot iron. It takes so long to do this stuff. I’ve been at it for 4 plus hours already!
As you can see I still have along way to go!
After three days of sorting and folding and moving and stacking and re-stacking, the chaos that was my sewing room has been tamed! What’s more I found my lost appliqué.
This time round I decided to go with the conventional wisdom and I sorted the fabrics in colours. The problem is that there are so many fabrics of some colours that the whole “pigeon-hole” is full and you can’t see much. So if I want a turquoise/blue fabric I’ll have to take the whole lot out to see what’s there.
Time to reorganise my sewing room. Here are some “during” photos. As you can see I found it very difficult to find enough room to sort stuff in order to reorganise it.
But I did get the fabric organised before I had to stop for the night. As you can see the bookcase is looking pretty spiffy!
The rest of the room however needs work and that’s this afternoon’s job. Wish me luck!
One of this blog’s readers is Tina Bonifacio, a talented and enthusiastic professional organiser. She commented one day that she had helped a quilter client to organise her studio. I thought it might be interesting to learn what she did. I’m sure there are some of us whose studios are perfect but I’m equally sure there are more of us who could learn a thing or two. Tina has sent me her case study so here are some edited highlights and photos of the transformation.
Bringing quilting order to quilting chaos by Tina Bonifacio
My client was firm about wanting to re-use the organizing products (bins, containers, baskets) she had on hand and we did that with the exception of one purchase that was in line with her budget and her DH’s handyman ability… wall-to-wall, 12″ deep Rubbermaid white wire shelving. We used the shelving along one entire wall and hid it behind a few sets of inexpensive sheets selected to coordinate with her newly painted room.
A word of caution!
Will you hold it against me if I admit to you that my client later had to have shoulder surgery because she was able to do so much more quilting? The good news is, now with her newly repaired shoulder, she can do even more quilting and crafting!
Take home points
Thanks Tina for sharing this transformation. My take home points from this case study are:
- Sort through your stash and if a fabric no longer speaks to you then get rid of it. Sell it on eBay or donate it to charity quiltmakers.
- Re-use the containers you have. You don’t need to buy expensive, new and matching containers.
- Vertical storage is a “must”.
- Simple solutions – such as the sheet curtains for hiding the Rubbermaid shelving – can be attractive, functional and inexpensive.
- Have a system. This is probably where I would need to he help of a professional organiser as my brain just doesn’t function this way. But once you have a system in place that tells you where particular items should be stored then it’s easy to put them back there when you’ve used them. If you don’t, then each time you use them you’re tying to make decisions as to where they should best be stored. The answer for me is usually I can’t work it out and so it gets left out and not put away.
I hope you’ve found this useful. I know I have. I still have a question though and maybe you have the answer. I can never work out how to sort my fabrics. Should it be by colour, by collection, patterns or solids, or value? I’d love to know what you think and how you organise your stash.