Studio

A New Way to Organize My Fabric

As I mentioned in the Postscript section of my previous post, The Tale of Three Tulas, Part III, I’ve been working on a new fabric organization system.

For years in my the studio in my previous residence as well as my current residence, I’ve stored my fabric flat like this:

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However for years I’ve been inspired by people who store their fabric like this:

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My quilting sister Dana’s studio

Or like this (from the post Feb 2019 post Quilter’s Studio and House Tour):

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In the first of the above images, my friend Dana used empty fabric bolts she got from quilt shops that had extras, which she cut in half.

In the second and third images, another quilter used recycled cardboard that she cut to size.

I loved the idea of vertical fabric yardage storage but did not want to go through the effort to collect empty bolts from fabric stores and cut them in half; nor did I want to cut recycled cardboard to uniform size.

I knew there must be another option (one I could buy) so I did a bit a googling and first I found what I would consider overpriced options such as “mini bolt board” on online fabric stores. etc. That was not going to work, at those prices, I would just keep my fabric yardage stored flat.

A bit more googling revealed less expensive options such as using comic backing boards for fabric storage!

Then I found this YouTube video on how to do it:

Brilliant!

I ordered a couple hundred of these boards and got to folding! (I got them from Amazon.com and you can find them by searching “Comic Book Boards”. I ordered the Size 6 3/4 X 10 1/2 size because it fit well in my cubbies) 

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I decided to repurpose my IKEA cubby bookshelves in my home office to be a combination of books and fabric, and arranged my fabric yardage by color:
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I am quite pleased, it is like having my own fabric shop – ha!

In case you are wondering, I was able to organize onto the comic backing boards fabric cuts from a quarter yard to five (5) yards!

Here are more photos with close ups of many of the cubbies filled with fabrics:

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You will notice that many of the cubbies have stacks of fat quarters in front of the vertically arranged fabrics. Inspired by the YouTube video I shared earlier in the post, I’ve begun uniformly refolding some of my favorite fat quarters to place with yardage of the same color.

(Fat Quarter – a quarter yard of fabric cut into a rectangle that measures 18″ x 21″, commonly packaged with other fat quarters into a themed fat quarter pack.)

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was very patient during my fabric reorganization project. He napped with various piles of fabric waiting to be folded as in the photo I shared in my previous post:

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So here’s a question for the crafters reading this post: Do any of you store your fabric vertically like this; or do you store you fabric in flat folds?


Postscript

So what became of the hanging shelves in the closet in my studio where I was storing my fabric?

Well I repurposed them to hold batting and interfacing:

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51 thoughts on “A New Way to Organize My Fabric”

  1. That shelf is a work of art in itself! I don’t have much fabric since I usually get it as needed for apparel projects, so mine is crammed into a storage bin under my bed. However, my mom quilts and has LOADS of fabric that (if I remember right from the last time I raided her stash) is stored horizontally.

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  2. Though I like to see my fabric folded and standing, I’m not willing to devote the time to putting it all on the comic boards. I stand folded pieces in plastic boxes which fit on shelves. I can take the boxes to the cutting table. Your storage display is beautiful!

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  3. I am with you on the vertical storage and I began with the comic book boards and I did a minimum of 1/2 yard . This worked for a couple of years and then I moved. This process of fabric storage helped in so many ways with moving. I have now shifted into “make this fabric go away” mode. Any new fabric that I purchase I store vertically but no longer used the boards. It really feels like I am shopping at my favorite quilt shop when I go through my fabric looking for my next project. That is the best part since I no longer purchase as much fabric as I once did. Now I am looking for a home for my emptied book boards. LOL.

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  4. I like having small and large pieces of the same color together; I can sure see the advantage of vertical storage–what I want is always on the bottom with my current flat approach. I wonder if what I have in five plastic tubs would translate to one big IKEA fixture like yours.

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  5. So pretty and organized! Most of my quilting fabric is currently in drawers and the fat quarters are stored vertically and viewed from above when the drawer is opened, but my collection is nowhere near as impressive as yours. My sewing room gets a lot of sun so if I would keep everything on display the colours on the exposed folds would start to fade which I really don’t want to happen!

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  6. Wow, I am so impressed with both of my quilting sisters organization of fabrics. SO much I want to jump on the band wagon. I don’t think I have enough to look like a quilt shop but it sure looks nice and stores up well and sure easy to find, rather than rummaging through piles of fabric. I did get some bolts and have cut them in half and that’s how I am going to start my fabric organization. Nice job ladies!!!

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  7. Wow! I think I might do this! I currently store mine horizontally on IKEA Shelves. But since I’m moving this might be a good time to switch. MAYBE I could purge some fabric at the same time. Thanks for setting me up with a plan.

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  8. Wowza!!! Now that is a beautiful fabric storage solution!! I bought comic book boards about a year ago and put my half yard to 1+ yard cuts on them…they fill about half a book shelf. I buy mostly FQ and have them folded, standing up in plastic tubs sorted by color. My 2+ yard cuts are stored stacked in a big plastic tub and I loathe having to go thru it when I need background or backing fabric! I need to do something about that! I didn’t realize the boards would hold up to 5 yards 😮 That could be a game changer for me 😉

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  9. Wow — looks fantastic! I too store my fabric on comic boards vertically — I have a very small stash of fabric. I have a closet full of precuts stored in plastic containers which are numbered — I keep a spreadsheet listing the contents of the containers. It took some time setting up the spreadsheet…but it keeps me organized. In another closet I store batting, interfacing and all my other embroidery related supplies.

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  10. That is so beautiful! I used to do flat folds too and see the benefit of going vertical. I am slowly moving the fabric to be vertical. I am hoping they will stay that way without any boards, but it is good to know that there is an inexpensive option.

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  11. Wow Tierney! The fabric looks like so much more fun now. Like you would just want to dive in and play, play, play. How long did it take you to wrap and organize all of those pieces of fabric? Mine are flat, vertical, rolled and shoved where ever there is a spot. LOL

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  12. I had to comment… OMGoodness!…this is art..what a beautiful ambitious task and well worth it…great job Tierney👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾 Every piece is visual and at easily accessible. I store my drapery fabric in rolls because of the weight. Love your studio…I know you must be tickled every time you walk in. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

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