Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trial and Error Tuesday - storage tip

I apologize, I only have time today for a quick tip.

One of the coolest things about becoming a quilter is all the wonderful fabric you get to work with.  Unfortunately, a side effect of this cool thing is a tendency to accumulate said wonderful fabric.  And where do you put it all?

I have seen some beautifully organized closets in blogland.  Neat, folded bundles of fabric, organized by color and sometimes even theme.  I am in awe of these closet owners.  I, however, do not have the sensibilities to be able to organize this way, nor do I have the extra closet space.  I have mentioned before that my studio space is actually a large portion of the garage.  I want my fabric to be close to me, so it is there too.  So, I need it to be protected somewhat from mostly dust and any car exhaust that makes it that far into the room.  I started by buying large plastic storage bins with lids.  When my stash could all fit into one of these bins, it seemed like a marvelous thing.  But, then I began to accumulate more fabric and I started doing projects that needed, for example, 20 different fat quarters of a certain color.  So, I started to need smaller bins where I could dedicate one bin to a specific color.  They do make small, lidded plastic bins, but after I bought a few I realized there was another option = plastic produce containers.

We buy a lot of our produce at Costco, but I have also gotten some with large containers from the regular grocery store.  I'm talking about the larger containers that hold 4 pounds of grapes, or 1 pound of baby spinach.  I can pack a lot of 1/2 yard and fat quarter pieces in these things.  I like to separate my colors, but I can also fill them with fabrics planned for specific projects too.  For instance, I have one bin for my blue and white stack-n-whack fabrics, one with all the cut pieces for the Batik tile quilt that I started earlier this year, one with fabrics for a hopscotch game I plan to make (someday), one with all my charm packs, layer cakes, etc.  Also handy are the quart size berry containers.  I use these smaller containers to hold my scraps, which are somewhat organized into general shapes (but not colors, I don't have that many yet). I also have a small berry container with half square triangles that were leftovers from some flying geese I made at some point.  You get the idea.  The containers are great.  They are see-through, lidded, can be stacked, I was already buying them to get the produce, and best of all I am reusing something which is good for the environment.

So next time you get something in a plastic container, think to yourself "would this be suitable for 2 1/2 inch strip scraps?

How do you like to organize your fabric?


  1. Hi Jen, Storing your fabric stash in clear produce containers, is an excellent way to recycle. I'm fortunate enough to be one of those closet owners.

  2. I'm accumulating quite a few of the produce containers myself....love the spring greens and the spinach and arugala mix. I was purchasing the shoe box plastic containers from the dollar store, but hey, why not use something that you've already paid for and does the earth good!


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