Fabric and scrap organization – 2017.02.23

I’m participating in an Instagram challenge #organizedsewingspace2017 conceived and facilitated by Stephanie Jacobson.   The challenge will run from January through June with two challenges/tasks per month and an approximate two-week window per task – a 12-step plan!  I didn’t actively participate in January due to other commitments, but now I’ve joined in.

The first assignment for February was Fabric Storage and Organization.  I’m happy with my basic fabric system, but it had gotten totally out of control! My fabric should all be in the 12 wire baskets, but as I’ve been working on projects, the fabric has migrated to the counter-top, and to boxes and bags on the floor. In order to get to the fabric, I first had to clean off the table. Then I moved it and the design wall out of the way.  The photo below was taken  just before I started re-organizing my fabric storage.


Over the next several days, I sorted and organized my fabric and pulled a lot out to give away – fabric that I bought years ago and my tastes have changed. Most of my fabric is fat quarter size or smaller – I only have one wire drawer with larger pieces, mainly used for quilt backs. The boxes on the right hold some of my scraps. The boxes and bins on the counter are intended to hold scraps, notions etc. as I continue to get organized.



The second assignment in February is Scrap Organization.  I love keeping scraps, but I find it very hard to keep them organized.  I’ve been through several phases of how I store my scraps.  A few years ago, I decided to store my scraps in zip-lock bags, sorted by color. I liked this solution because I could easily see what I had in each color family.  But then I had to find a place for the bags.  I stored them in boxes on the shelf behind the design wall.  In theory, the scraps would be out of the way, but still accessible when I needed them.

IMG_8056  DSCN1344


However, I didn’t find it easy to sort new scraps into color families, so I ended up with a few bags (and boxes) of unsorted scraps. Here you can see 3 boxes filled with scraps sorted by color, two boxes of unsorted scraps and a bag of solid scraps. Time for a new strategy.



So here’s my new scrap strategy.  I bought several 11″ black fabric storage cubes and labeled them with color cards from the paint store. Each cube holds 2 of the jumbo size zip-lock bags.  I LOVE ❤️ the way it looks!  And it works for me – after I got these set up, I sorted all the mixed scraps into their color bins, and it seemed really easy.



While I was at it, I discarded a LOT of too-small scraps. Below you can see my 18″ tall garbage container full of scraps that I never should have saved in the first place.



I’m really liking this 12-step plan, and I can’t wait to see what the assignments are for March.

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Creations by Nina-Marie    Confessions of a Fabric Addict   Esther’s Blog   Sew Fresh Quilts


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17 Responses to Fabric and scrap organization – 2017.02.23

  1. Maria Billiet says:

    Great idea with the the folders and then the colours on the sides. Might try it myself.

  2. Koojiebear says:

    Brilliant idea with the paint colour cards! It does give you an extra lift when you stand back and think oooh that looks so nice now. And then you wonder how it got so messy! LOL!

  3. I’ve had a huge tidy up this year as well, but I really love the look of those colour cards.

  4. The color cards are a great idea …. I can see they will make sorting scraps much easier … a task I’ve been avoiding for a long time!!!

  5. Maggie says:

    Once you declutter, it feels like a weight is of your shoulders. It opens the door to creativity, which will be boundless. I am ruthless, when it comes to organizing my space. It is wonderful, how little I need to buy, yet I can create and make so much more, now than ever. At the end of this process, you will look back and realise, it is a life style change which is one everybody should embrace. Have fun, enjoy the journey!

  6. I understand your difficulty in relinquishing the too small scraps! I am still a saver but now I throw them into a bag for filler for animal beddings donated to local shelters. Just an idea!

  7. maggie says:

    love your space and ideas

  8. I’ll have to check out that hashtag on Instagram – always looking for help on organizing. Love the paint card idea. I put my scraps in wire waste baskets purchased at the dollar store. They fit on a shelf and are big enough that I can rifle thru when I need that color family.

  9. Your new system looks like it will work well for you! It’s definitely a dynamic process. What works for certain sizes and shapes of scraps, stops working when the scraps themselves change. Having a cut-off of “too small” is really helpful!

  10. Lynn says:

    I love the idea of using the paint color range chips.

  11. Dar in MO says:

    I love the solution to your scraps and color cards. How do you have the cards attached to those cute black boxes.?

  12. Wow! You made a huge difference in your creative space, great work. I could never have tossed fabric out. I’m loving Amanda Jeans (Crazy Mom Quilts) ticker tape trees and am hoping one day to have enough scraps to make a quilt like that for myself. Have a great weekend!

  13. I just tackled cleaning the sewing room. I have a whole lot of fabric I’ll never use.

  14. Ronni says:

    Can’t wait to see what the next challenge is. Paint chip labels are genius.

  15. I really like using those paint chip cards. What I struggle with though is those scraps of fabric prints that I can never decide where to file.

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