Episode 460: How to Organize + Store Your Fabric
Listen to the show in the player at the end of this post.
*BONUS for our podcast subscribers! Get 60% off a subscription to American Patchwork & Quilting. Click here to take advantage!
*BONUS for our podcast subscribers! Get 50% off one digital quilt pattern of your choice in our online shop. Visit apqshop.com, and use coupon code PODCAST at checkout.
How to Organize + Store Your Fabric
Fabric organization and storage is one of the struggles that most quilters can relate to. We all have fabric. Some of us may have a lot of fabric. And we're always on the lookout for the best way to organize it in our spaces! Doris Brunnette, the editor of Quilt Sampler, shares some ideas for getting your fabric under control.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- The first thing you want to think about is how you're using your fabrics. And what kind of projects you gravitate toward. Do you pull fabric from your stash for specific color palettes? You may want to organize your stash in rainbow color order then. Do you love patterns that use layer cakes or charm squares? You may want special storage for your precuts! Do you only quilt for holidays and special occasions? You may want to separate your fabrics by season, baby, or other novelty type prints. And if you're a scrappy quilter, having a great scrap storage system may be more important than how you organize your yardage.
- Next, you need to consider your space. Will your fabric be stored on open bookshelves? Will they be in drawers? Do you only have closet space? After you've identified where your fabric will be living, you can come up with the best storage solution. If you're sorting fabrics on bookshelves, you may want to consider canvas bins to protect the fabric from direct sunlight. If you're storing fabric in drawers, you'll want to display them horizontal so you can see the fabrics and may need drawer dividers to keep fabric upright. If your fabric is going to a closet, you may want to consider see-through plastic tubs so you can stack them easily.
- You also want to consider your design aesthetic. Do you like to see all your fabrics and do your fabrics act as décor? Or would you rather all your fabrics be hidden away? (This is especially true if you share your sewing space with another room of the house.) Do you like to pull all your fabrics out when choosing them for a project? Or do you want to pull out just the one you need? Thinking through these questions can help you determine what type of container is best for you.
Reader Tips with Lindsay
Lindsay Mayland shares our most popular reader tips for storing and using acrylic rulers and templates.
We love hearing these ideas from our readers. If you're interested in submitting your own tip for feature in our magazines or on the podcast, send an email of your tip to APQTips@meredith.com.
What We're Loving
Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, shares a product she's loving right now. She loves the Stash N' Store Organizers by It's Sew Emma. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's a plastic organizer that comes in two sizes: mini and regular. The top has rubber slots in an Orange Peel block design that can hold your notions, marking tools, and pens in an upright position.
Joanna then shares some behind the scenes tidbits to share about the new series of bags in Quilts & More called Pack Your Bags. The first pattern came out in the Spring 2020 issue which is currently on newsstands! We'd been looking into doing a bag series for a while now, so when we teamed up with the super talented bag designer Jessica VanDenburgh of Sew Many Creations, we knew this was going to be good! We have it planned so that each issue has a different style of bag, all beginner friendly and designed to help you build up your skills with things like zippers and topstitching straps. They make a pretty nice travel set when all four are done!
On today's show, Lindsay Mayland chats with Annette Plog of Petite Quilts. Annette is a talented quilter, an antique quilt collector, and her block exchange group, 19th Century Patchwork Divas, has been replicating antique quilts for more than 20 years. In the chat, we discuss her background as a quilter, tips for starting a block swap group, what she looks for when buying an antique quilt, and her book True Blue Quilts.