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Tuesday's Tip: 10 Tips to Keep Your Quilting Space Organized

Jackie Vujcich fabric stash Fiskar fusible web fusibles Light Steam a Seam 2 notions Olfa organization quilt studio quilting fabric quilting rulers rotary cutter stabilizer stash storage thread thread spool Wonder Under

A clean quilting room with fabric neatly stacked on shelves or bins.  See my tips on how to organize your sewing space at Colorado Creations Quilting blogs


Did you know there's prime real estate when it comes to quilting? Consider using these space saving storage ideas to get  quilting supplies like fabric and quilting notions off the floor.  

I've discovered that if like items are stored together, they're easier to find. Even better, if these items are the same size, they're easier to store. Check out these 10 tips to get you on the path to an organized space.

Recently I was asked to offer some advice on a piece for Redfin "Experts Share How to Create the Ultimate Quilting Room" (a great read which you can find here).

Redfin logo

While the article featured only one of many golden nuggets from each “expert” (never thought I’d be called an expert!), it got me to remembering what my quilt studio space was like in the good ol’ days (or maybe not so much good but cluttered).

 Image of a messy quilt room with stuffed drawers and fabric on the floor.

Yep I literally had a path in my quilting studio!


10 Ways to Clear Your Floor Space

FABRIC 

When I started a project in the past, I would start pulling fabric off the shelf and end up with a disaster on the floor.

 Fabric  falling off stuffed shelves

Similarly, as I was working on a project, scraps would end up on the floor. I hate to say, but it seldom got put away after the project was complete. Needless to say, I just pushed the items out of the way so I could work on my project.  It wasn’t easy to work around the clutter on the floor but the priority WAS the project!

 

 Quilter's Code: WITHWIT  (what in the heck was I thinking)

 

But after a while of walking around, over and on these piles, I’d find myself saying “WITWITH”.

Now, fabric is folded and put away as soon as it's used.

 colorful quilting fabric folded neatly on shelves

No more tripping over fabric! Folding fabric, the same way so it stacks easily for storage has solved my problem. You can read more on folding fabric here. Coming soon is the blog post exclusively on storing fabric. So, stay tuned...

NOTIONS

Do you know what is the most underused space in a quilt studio?  No trick question - it's the doors. Whether it’s the closet or entry door to the room, this is prime space for storing notions.

Used to be that all my doorknob was good for was hanging my scissors. (They’re about 2 feet long and a great prop at Halloween!)

large scissors hanging from doorknob

Seriously though, think about using a door hanger (normally used for hanging decorative items such as wreaths) to organize embroidery or wooden hoops. 

 door wreath hanger used for hanging wooden hoops

 

An over-the-door clear pocket hanging organizer works perfectly to hold items such as Lite Steam a Seam 2 or Wonder Under fusible web (my personal favorites) as well as stabilizers.

door organizer for stabilize                over the door organizer for fusible web products for quilting

I’ve even gone to lengths to take all the spices out of my pantry door organizer and replaced them with more of my fusibles. I certainly don’t use the organizer much because I cook as little as needed so I’ll have time to create.

pantry storage over the door rack with various food items on the racks

 

Sure, you can use a wooden holder to store your thread.

 wooden thread spool holder



But with a little creativity, you can use an over-the-door shoe organizer instead. It’s great for items like spools of thread and Olfa or Fiskar rotary cutters.

 over the door shoe holder used to store thread 

P.S. Brownie points given for color-coding!

And for you DIY’ers how about making your own over-the-door organizer for all your Omnigrid or Creative Grid rulers like the one shown here?

 

over the door home made quilt ruler organizer

 

Or why not try something like this ruler storage unit as  seen here at Nancy’s Notions?  It corrals your rulers (remember: like kind = easy to find). 

quilt ruler storage nancy's notion

Or this one. 

quilt ruler organizer


Believe me, step on an expensive ruler on the floor and figure out that once is enough!

For a walk on the wild side and another way to increase floor space, how about a shower caddy?  I'd love to hear about what items you'd store in this one.

shower caddy

Oh, and don’t even get me started on under-the-counter space!

Under cabinet storage featuring small bottles of brightly colored beads

In my next post I’ll talk about keeping work surfaces clear.

For a blog featuring more about thread look here.

For a tutorial using my favorite fusible web look here.

Happy Quilting,

Jackie


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  • Jackie Vujcich on

    Marilyn, you and I think alike. I use tubs with a combination of color coding and a spreadsheet to know what’s in each tub. My tubs aren’t clear (trying to help that fading issue)-that’s why I also use the spread sheet. I describe the project or the fabric going in the tub. My PIGS live in my tubs (projects in grocery sacks). I know you’re not supposed to do that but some of them have been in the tubs for over 15years! And really no problems with the PIGS-but then again maybe it’s the dry climate here that doesn’t make this an issue.

  • Jackie Vujcich on

    Thanks for the comments Charlene. I’m sorry, I can’t speak to the humidity problem as I live in a very dry area of the country. (We have problems with very chapped lips to say the least.)

    As for fade marks, I would think storing it in a closet away from sunlight would do the trick. Another suggestion would be to refold the fabric every 6 months or so as you’re supposed to do with quilts. (But who has the time for that-right?)
    Personally, mine are folded on shelves (the ones in the pictures) in the room. For the shelves that get direct sunlight, I drape a pretty piece of fabric from the top of the shelf down so that all the folded fabric doesn’t fade. I guess one could use old/ugly piece for draping but what’s the fun of looking at ugly!? I am resigned to the fact that eventually that draped piece will fade and need to be replaced in the future. I just take the draped fabric off when I need to get a piece off the shelf.

  • Marilyn on

    I use clear plastic tubs for fabric and color code it. Because I can see it and tubs fit in stacks on my shelf s.

  • charlene y. on

    So funny! I can so empathize with your thought processes! Thank you for the tips and am looking forward to future posts.
    I’ve just inventoried at least 2/3 (I hope) of my fabric stash with a word file, and stored them in boxes. Do you have any suggestions on preventing fade marks along the fold lines (even if stored in a closet)? Or conversely, how can I prevent mildew when stored (ahem, for years) in boxes? Humidity ranges from 65%-85% year-round.


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