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?

2 comments:

  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.

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  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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