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Saturday, July 21, 2012

And sew on or otherwise known as She won't be featured on Hoarders!!

This time last year found me moving in the heat wave of the year. And sew it goes this year too. No, not moving in, but moving around! And another heat wave!

As you might (or not) remember, when I moved, it took an entire POD to move my fabric and junk, sewing supplies, machines and all the stuff that goes with what we do.
Just the beginning, it got filled to the brim!
We moved in such a short time period, and Hubby was away at Mayo Clinic, so when it all got to the new house, it got carried to the unfinished part of the house.  And then it waited for me to get it all organized.  Since that time, we've had more stuff moved in the same part of the basement from my father in-laws place and of course more stuff just multiplied from here and there and everywhere.  And it's still waiting.  Part of the problem has been our indecision on whether to spend the millions finish the daylight basement or not.  It's a lovely space, with adequate light for a stewdio, and it would be nice, but.....I just can't see the money spent there now.

So over the last year, I have waffled tried to decide how to store my fabric and supplies without spending much money.  A long time ago when my "resource center" was in it's infancy, I had a nice system that I could use with it folded flat and stacked in a closet on an installed Rubbermaid shelving unit.  That just doesn't work anymore.  Not only do I not have a closet I can devote to this addiction fabric, but I have far more than will fit in a normal size closet!

Showing you my stash is indeed like showing you my underwear drawer, ratty panties and all.  But someone once told me that if you need to change something you don't like,  you have to face up to what you were doing before that wasn't working.  So here is what ISN'T working!
Resource center explosion!

Over the years, as we've moved, the "resource center" has grown, not only in size but in personality.  There are fabrics for applique. You know those right away.  They are the ones with the hole cut out of the center part or just inside the edge because the design was just perfect for that flower or leaf, right?  There are bolts of fabric with 4+ yards on them to be used for borders and/or backings.  They are the ones where the price was so good you couldn't afford not to save that much, right?  And then there are the fat quarter sets purchased here and there that all matchy matchy and make you feel good when you pet them.  Of course, there are those that you just got because they were pretty, or on sale, or you thought you needed it.  There's the staples of the stash - the neutrals, the solids - the workhorses of most of my quilts.  There are the kids that don't want to play with the others: Aunt Gracie's 30's, orientals, batiks, novelties.  Those of course, must be kept separate from the others to keep them from fighting amongst themselves.

The last organization system I used was  those great big tubs you see in the moving picture.  It sort of worked out OK.  The house we were in facilitated the storage of them easily, and I got so busy with health issues in the family, I never had to pull them out to use them much.  I just worked out of my scraps or projects in process.  When I did use them, I just left the fabric out, and usually the stuff came spilling onto the floor, never to be put away.  That is, until we moved.  And that brings me back to the point of this post!

I have finally decided that I am not going to wait until I have my mind made up on finishing the 1200 square feet downstairs for my studio.  I've decided to start my organization with what I have, with minimal outlay of cash unless the system can "grow" into a new space - or not.  Here's what got me so inspired:   

OK, so I have shelving units, not quite like hers, but they are workable for now.  So that's a go. The BIG tubs had to be winnowed down to something usable and at a reasonable cost.  I found a really good deal on the exact right size tubs at Target and used my Red Card for a 5% discount on top of that. So a couple of weeks of stopping at all the local Targets got me the number of tubs I think I need.  And then I took the plunge.  I brought a tub sack upstairs and began sorting batiks by color.....

Mayo just can't figure this out!
And after a short period of time, another shopping bag and a small tub turned into this:
And it feels soooooo good!
Then it was onto the Aunt Gracie's.  I had no idea that Aunt Gracie had brought all her cousins to town and were sleeping in at least two tubs and who knows in what boxes that are still to be found!
Ruler folding as described in
One large tub, 2 shopping bags and a handful of scraps later.
My goal is to work on at least one tub per week.  BUT!  I kept running across large cuts of fabric and I just couldn't justify putting them into the smaller bins.  So, another pile got started until I found a solution.  And a solution was found just last week!  I was at our guild's quilting bee, and Roberta mentioned these mini-bolts she had purchased at a show that seemed would be just the ticket.  They are from Polar Notions, are acid free, reusable and easy to use.  Besides, they work beautifully.  I decided anything larger than 2 yards would be on one of these bolts.  And even better, they fit onto my existing book shelves, so no new storage shelves will be necessary!  Everytime I walk by a pile of yardage, I bring it upstairs, wrap it on the bolt (they hold 15 yards), and voila!  Stored!!!!
(45 yards)  This is just the beginning - notice the sewing machine to the left to give you an idea of the size.
Now you know what I've been doing with my time.  I'm tired, but energized at the same time about getting all this under control.  How about you?  Are you willing to share your stash hoard resource center?  Any things that work for you?


Hubby said...

"What's for dinner?"

Loris said...

Wow! Great work! It will definitely take some persistence but you will love it. Hope everyone is healthy now. Love to Mayo from Cambria :-)

powersthatbeequilting said...

Some of those fabrics look more like my kind of fabric than your kind of fabric! I'll pick them up on my way through town next year, huh?! Hugs.

Joan said...

You go, girl!!!!

joan said...

You go, girl!

Annie said...

You're making great progress. I don't have much of a fabric stash, but I need to figure out a system for yarn.

Sammie said...

After spending a lot of money on the Polar Notions things, I found out about Comic Book Boards, a 6 3/4" x 10 1/2" heavy cardboard piece, also acid-free, that works the same way as the Polar Notions, and cost $11.88 for 100 of them. By buying three packages from Amazon for $35.64, I was able to get free shipping:-).

Sammie said...

I spent a small fortune on those Polar Notion mini bolts until I discovered Comic Book Boards -- 6 3/4" x 10 1/2" cardboard, acid-free, and 100 of them for $11.88 on Amazon. Buy three sets (over $25) and get free shipping.