I have big bins sorted by color (eg. yellow, pales, blues, greens) and others that capture fabric types (eg. linen, upholstery, denim, gauze/nets/tulle) (actually a lot of my tulle and years-worth of collected onion-bag-netting live in a plastic, huge former pretzel jar). I also maintain smaller boxes labeled by subject matter, such as:
** small geometrics;
** tropical prints (mostly palm leaf shapes, which I adore);
** farm (chickens, sunflowers, cheery ginghams);
** WIPs (currently I have a small suitcase for Global Warming fabrics; a basket for Ghost House);
** I Spy (prints with subjects suitable for children’s blankets – things like lighthouses, trains, frogs, maps, chopsticks).
To name a few. Then there are drawers. In March of 2010, my studio flooded with four inches of water and I used the ‘opportunity’ to buy six IKEA dressers, replacing saw horse supports with STORAGE, and also inserting a couple under the table where previously there had only been laundry bins. Drawers are ALSO sorted, some by fabric type, others by how fabric was recently used, for example:
** Shirts — even though these could be sorted by color bin, I find it easiest to find them if they have their own drawer;
** Half-assembled little ‘sketch quilts’ along with landscape prints (you know, like the Capri pants with scenes of Paris?);
** Plaids and ticking;
** Felt scraps (actually there are TWO drawers of these and three large under-table bins)
** Silk scraps;
** Christmas fabrics (and two drawers of finished Christmas pillows);
** Christmas photo-transfers waiting for inclusion in a project;
** Sheers and gauze and PFD silk;
** Doll stuff.
To name a few. And then there are the laundry bins. Here’s where things can get a little out of control. Laundry bins generally become catch-alls, in part because they are the links between upstairs/downstairs and stuff gets piled in. I have a bin for batting (and a milk crate for batting scraps); another bin full of large pieces of upholstery fabric; another bin with recently-used or about-to-be-used teaching supplies. But then there are at least four more that should be gone through.
Precious scraps generally live in clementine boxes, which I love because they can be stacked like Lincoln Logs, and transport easily for an upstairs sewing session. I also spray painted the sides of some tray-like boxes from Costco, and labeled them. What’s in these trays doesn’t necessarily correspond to their labels anymore, but they hold things like strips cut for string quilting or binding; pressed scraps; fabric with words printed on them. I like ‘trays’ because they can be slid into the shelving above a fabric bin.
I just went to the cellar to take some pictures and I have to say – it is TIME to put some effort into sorting (again!). Wow.
But here’s progress – I finally took the time (less than five minutes) to learn how to single space on wordpress between hard returns!! Yes, progress. (Part of why I wanted to make a few lists here).