Organizing My Quilting Space – Again!

I can’t tell you exactly what kicked off my latest frenzy of sewing room organization, but this one is different. If you read my blog post from late February titled My Quilting Room sparks Joy, you should have set an egg timer on this. Or bought a lottery ticket and waited. In my defense, that post dealt with my methods of sorting and organizing my thread collection. It’s funny how I never mentioned fabric – or heaven forbid, my scraps!

I recently finished up two major scrap based projects, and that meant that I needed to put the leftovers back into my stash. I’ve often thought of my sewing space being organized, but when it came time to attempt this – which admittedly doesn’t happen very often, I found myself very frustrated…where did it belong? The pieces which were regular cuts – yards and fat quarters, which is pretty much what I buy – were easy. Once I put those back in the shelves, I was left with one big pile of ugly to deal with.

My scrap system is small (I’ll come back to that in a minute). I have a finite amount of space to work with, and I’ve made it a minor obsession with trying to organize it – which can also be quilter’s code for keep it out of sight and out of mind. I don’t have enough space to keep the fabric in plastic drawers, but I do have an over the door shoe organizer in the closet. It’s incredibly handy, and keeps fabric at eye level…but the before picture above shows what it can look like after a year of working with it.

It was clearly time for some maintenance, and to ponder the question of how much fabric can I realistically deal with. The Maintenance was in fact pretty easy…go through each of the pockets (which are supposed to be organized by color, and take out any fabric which isn’t in the right pocket, then take the largest piece in the packet and roll the smaller pieces within it.

Turquoise scraps
The inside of the turquoise packet.

Repeat until you run out of fabric, or pockets…in my case, I didn’t run out of pockets, but found I had some extra spaces to fill, which allowed me to find room for some interesting finds that I unearthed along the way.

Where did all these bindings come from?

This was the largest surprise of things I found along the way…I don’t recognize or remember making a majority of these bindings. And as far as I know, I don’t make random bindings – I tend to make them and keep them in the project box until needed…so who made these? And why – I made a quick inventory of my UFOs, and no, I’m not missing any bindings. I see an interesting improv project in my future.

Other interesting finds in those pockets included a couple of UFO projects to add to that group of projects. The binding stash was the biggest surprise…I’ma bit embarrassed about that.

So, a reasonable question to ask would be – is this all the scraps you have? Not by a country mile…I also have a big, unsorted bin if scraps that haven’t made it into the shoe system yet…and a deadline coming up. By the end of the summer, I’ll be able to report back on that.

This cleaning cycle is an ongoing project here, and next week, I’ll give you some insight into the other areas that I am dealing with, and some solutions which have presented themselves in the process. As I said before, this cycle is different.

Thanks for reading, and leave me a comment below as to how you deal with scraps – sooner or later, we all have to.

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