January 6th, 2018 - Sewing Room Organization

In August of 2017, I ended up with another IKEA shelving unit in my sewing room. I didn’t really want to get more shelves because I thought it would mean that I would be tempted to get more fabric. Well, that’s not true. For starters, there’s no room for more fabric. I really need to use a lot of this fabric up before I add any more to this stash. I emptied out 27 bins of various sizes into the shelves and cupboards. Let me tell you that it’s so amazing to see 90% of your fabric at a glance. Picking fabric for a quilt is a breeze when you can hold up a piece of fabric against what’s on the shelves and see what goes and what doesn’t without taking one piece of fabric off the shelf.

This was a giant mess for the longest time. I had to take all the fabric out of bins and the shelves and try to figure out how to set it up to be the best possible arrangement. Once I figured out how I was going to store my fabric then the work began.



I piled the fabric by colour and then began refolding. I used a 6×24″ ruler and used it like a cardboard bolt. I wrapped the fabric around the ruler as it came off the bolt and then folded it once in half. So when I need a hunk of fabric, I unfold it and unroll it like they do at the fabric store. Fabric folded on my shelf measures 6″ wide by 12″ deep and I stacked 2 rows on each shelf. The shelves measure 13″x13″ and are 15″ deep. Anything smaller than a fat quarter went to the scrap bins



You can just see in the bottom left corner a stack of Rubbermaid bins. I used to have them labelled and stacked in the corner. When you wanted some fabric, you had to pull them out and it was always the bottom bin that I wanted.  I even had a chart made so I knew which stack of ins to pull out.



I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The white shelving unit holds mostly fabric. The drawers have fat quarters, batiks and some fabric collections in them. The bottom baskets have more batiks, flannel, yarn and a few kitted up projects.



The black shelving unit has books across the top. The cupboards hold quilting supplies like starch and basting spray and kits. The bottom drawers hold a couple of BOMs that I have yet to start and more kits.




And those 2 white cupboard units are under my cutting table. The fabric is piled 2 layers deep but it’s all very organized and I pretty well know what’s in the back row. One whole shelf is Christmas fabric and another shelf is children’s fabric. And the bottom shelf is fabric collections. You know when you buy a yard of the whole fabric line that you just had to have and can’t think what to make with it. And then there’s the shelf of stabilizers beside the bolts of Christmas fabrics that are too big to fold in half. I guess I better get busy and use more of it up.


On the top of both shelving units are my scrap bins. There are 20 shoebox-sized bins, 10 for strips 1″ to 6″ and 10 for squares 1.5″ to 6″. I’ve been making myself cut up the scraps as soon as I’m done making a quilt instead of the pile I usually have on my cutting table. It keeps  my room looking tidy and if I keep it up, there’s never that daunting pile that stymies my creativity.

Anyway it was really easy to do, it didn’t cost me anything as I had both shelving units and the cutting table already. All from IKEA. Now that I’m done my room, I feel like I can go make something without having to clear up a mess.  I guess I’m a little OCD but I like it!

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