Fabric, How-Tos

Organize Your Fabric Stash: Part 3 – Organizing Fabric by Size

This is the third installment in a series on Organizing you Fabric Stash.  While some of these tips apply to other crafts, I’m focusing here on fabric.  Check back later for tips on organizing your Notions!

Before reading, check out Part 1 – Let It Go and Part 2 – Gathering Projects Together.

Step 3:  Organizing Fabric by Size

I have a predelection for precuts.  I just love fat quarters, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and charm packs!  When I’m done with a project, I cut remaining fabric (pieces less that ½ yd) into skinny quarters (9” x 42”), fat quarters (18” x 21”), 10” squares (layer cake size), 5” squares (charm pack size), or 2 ½” strips (jelly roll size).  I keep these, along with purchased pre-cuts, in shallow plastic drawers, often folded so that I can see as many pieces as possible!

  1. Fat Quarters (& Skinny Quarters):  Fold and organize like hanging file folders, with just the top edge showing on the top.  A drawer can usually hold several columns of fat quarters. Keep your skinny quarters similarly folded, but in a separate place.
  2. Layer Cakes & Charm Squares:  Stack 5” and 10” squares into even piles, keeping squares of the same fabric together.  If you have a purchased pack, leave it in its plastic sleeve or cardboard band and add it to the pile.  Depending on your drawer size, you should be able to fit a stack of layer cakes next to four stacks of charm squares.  
  3. 2 ½” Strips:  These are tricky!  Some jelly rolls come in the traditional roll form, while others are in oblong folds.  I usually stack the strips of a fabric together and fold into quarters, so that I have a small stack that is 11” long and 2 ½” wide.  You can also do this with 3” (or any other width) of strips.
  4. Scraps:  Everyone has a different tolerance level for what size of scrap they will save.  If you make rag rugs, go ahead and keep those 1” strips! If you want to make a postage stamp quilt, save those tiny 2 ½” sqaures!  But if you aren’t going to use it, Let It Go!

Let It Go:  Do you have a large collection of fat quarters you know you’ll never use?  Precuts are the perfect size for donating!

Larger pieces should be measured and labeled (I used safety pins and sticky notes).  When you go looking for a large piece of backing, you won’t have to get everything out and check!  I keep larger pieces of fabric folded and tucked into drawers so that I can see the edge of each piece in the drawer.  Other people like to store large pieces of fabric folded on wire hangers, which is a great idea if you have a storage closet!

Let It Go:  Do you have some large pieces of fabric that you absolutely hate?  Maybe you planned on using if for backing… But if you don’t like it and don’t have a specific project it goes with, let it go!  Everyone has different tastes, so chances are someone else will find it and love it!

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