Free Fabric Friday

on July 27 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 148 Comments

We’re still excited about all of the fun ideas you gave during FFF last week! It started us planning in a big way (as we simultaneously work on announcements for the Big, Big Bag Month Contest next week!). Craft space and supply organization was mentioned, and lately it’s at the forefront of our minds too. How do you organize your work space and supplies? Do you have extra-handy tips to keep things tidy and at-the-ready? Fill us in with your comment through Monday morning and we’ll give one yard ($9.10 or less) of fabric (your choice!) to five people. Feel free to add a link to pictures that give a good idea of your organizing solutions. We really want to know how you keep track of it all (and still see the floor!).

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148 Responses to Free Fabric Friday

  1. Jill says:

    I just installed about $600 worth of Elfa into a closet to create a craft space just for me!

  2. Sarah N. says:

    I store each of my current projects in a plastice shoebox. Everything goes inside – fabric, pattern, pieced blocks, etc. Then the whole thing goes on a bookshelf in my sewing room. Nice and handy whenever I want to pull it out and work on it.

  3. LeeAnn says:

    I kindly refer to my sewing room as the Room of Doom. It functions as a storage area currently since we moved out of a townhouse to an apartment, but I found room to fit my sewing desk and have been stuffing supplies in every nook and cranny. The one thing that helps me keep the floor clean is having a small desk trash can at my feet for thread and scraps. I also keep a tall slender clothes basket not too far away to hold all my scraps I could reuse. I also bought pins with the biggest heads I could find since I am sewing on carpet now. This has saved my feet many times!

  4. Chantel says:

    I keep everything in those plastic zipped storage bags that you get when you purchase sheets, bedspreads, and cutrains. What I like most about them is that they come in such a variety of sizes, thus you can store everything from fabric scrps to loads of material in them. The smaller sizes are wonderful for keeping your sewing supplies such as scissors and such in. But best of all they allow you to see what’s inside your bag at a quick glace and keep everything clean. And unlike containers they hardly take up any room at all!

  5. Ruth says:

    One can never have too many shelves! I recently got a new shelf just for fabric, and I’ve started sorting and folding my stash. Pictures are here: http://sewchic.blogspot.com/2007/07/organizing-my-fabric.html

    My button collection is sorted into baby food jars….sorted by color and/or style. I have way too many buttons, but you know, they sure come in handy when I need them.

    love your site!

  6. Angela says:

    I have sterilite drawers (like rubbermaid plastic drawers) that I’ve used over the years for a million different things. I use that or other buckets. My mother-in-law on the other hand has fabric in three closets (including one which is the master bedroom closet, under all the beds in the house and in quite a few dressers. Pity the day when she passes on and we get to unearth all of it! ;)

  7. Samantha says:

    I use a lot of binders and tackle boxes. The tackle boxes I use are very simple. They are clear plastic and one layer with removable dividers. They look a lot like the old floss boxes you used to see in the cross stitch aisle. I put rick rack, piping, ribbon, and other trims in these boxes. I roll them and put them in the little compartments. This really helps because I can see through the box what is there and can find things fast. These stack nicely on shelves or they have a tab with a little hole on two corners so they could be hung on the pegboard as well.

    For buttons, I put like kinds of buttons in little floss baggies that are sold to organize embroidery floss. These have a hole punched in the corner of the baggie and can either be threaded onto the big silver rings and hung on the pegboard or they can be sorted into boxes. I like to use the plastic pencil boxes that you find on sale in the school supply aisle this time of year. I also keep floss in those little baggies and I file the baggies in shoeboxes according to color number. Then when I collect the flosses for a project, I can clip those baggies on a ring and keep them together in my sewing basket. At the end, just file them back in the boxes.

    Binders: I put my pattern pieces in manilla envelopes labled with the pattern name/number and sizes and any other notes I want to write on there. Then they get filed in a file drawer. The pattern envelopes are in page protectors in a binder. Some pattern covers need to stay with the pieces, so I just photocopy those for the binder. For patterns with multiple sizes that I use a lot, I put each size’s pieces in a small manilla envelope to further subdivide the pieces within the larger manilla envelope. This really saves so much time and saves wear and tear on my pattern pieces. I have a lot of sewing magazines with pattern inserts. I started filing those inserts in page protectors in a binder to keep from losing them once I remove them from the magazine. And if I have traced off pattern pieces from that insert, they slip easily into the page protector with the insert or they can be filed in the manilla envelopes. I also file smocking plates in the page protectors in binders too. Lots of binders! But they work–I stay organized for the most part. :-)

  8. Joanna says:

    OK it seems that I don’t even know my own flickr address!! Here is the correct one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joanna_silva/

  9. Joanna says:

    I am in absolute awe of some of these craft spaces, particularly Erin at “house on Hill Rd” My goodness that is loverly!! Idefinitely have scored some ideas for the future. I have put pictures of my space on my flickr page- http://www.flickr.com/photos/joannas_ scraps/

  10. Brenda Lommel says:

    I found that my biggest organizational challenge was keeping track of current projects and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, especially since I usually had too many going at once. I finally came up with this solution. I have specific containers set aside that I throw everything for a project in; fabric, pattern, thread, scissors, pen…whatever I need. I have four different sized containers and I have to finish the project in one before I start a new project that size. This helps me keep my work space a lot more tidy.

  11. Nancy says:

    I use an open shelf for uncut fabric and bins for in-progress quilts. My favorite new storage ideas are an over-the-door shoe organzier for small tools, notions, etc., an oatmeal can for cutting tools, and cardboard grocery trays for fabric pieces. For photos check my blog (the photos are at the very end of the post):
    http://craftywench.typepad.com/knittingwench/

  12. Oiyi says:

    I love using the card board boxes that you can get at Ikea that has lids to hold my fat quarters. It even has a slot on the front for a label.

  13. Angelique says:

    Mine isn’t organized just yet but I plan on putting my fabric in nice stacks on some large metal racks I bought from Costco. I have my thread on a wooden thread holder. I keep my embroidery supplies separate from my sewing supplies like stabliziers and interfacings. They almost look the same.

  14. Concha says:

    The room at the back of the kitchen that I use as my carafts room has a spare bed… that’s where I put my projects, fabric that needs to be folded, patterns, books etc.

  15. Anna says:

    I store most of my fabrics in plastic containers, usually by fabric type, quilting, clothing material, etc… I like to keep my sewing table clear and my machine ready to go, in case I have a burst of creativity I can get at it. Also after completing a project I clean up the area, most of the time!!! I also find that I just have to much stuff to be completely organized and tidy but behind the closet doors is a disaster.

  16. Nanette says:

    I use clear storage boxes like you store Christmas ornaments in. Then I can see from outside the plastic box what is inside. I have all shapes and sizes. And small boxes for ongoing projects. It really helps me keep my stash in order. I also put same colors together in “long term” storage boxes. This way when I’m working with a project and I need an extra color I can find it easily. I know this is not an original idea. But it really does work. I store the plastic boxes in closets or just on the floor in my sewing room. Boxes with holiday fabric are stored in my attic because I know I usually only need them once a year. The advantage of the plastic boxes also is that it is pet proof, water proof and easy to carry and go through when needed. Recently I vacationed with my sisters and we did a fabric craft project. I knew my novelty fabric boxes were the ones to take for this project and packing the fabric was already done. Tote and go.

  17. Amy says:

    I just redid my sewing room after a big move and I am thrilled with my set up. I boutique the Ivar system from IKEA and it is working out quite well. All my fabric is sorted by color. I use just small pieces of fabric so it is really easy to keep it folded nicely in squares and put away.

    Another favorite of mine is, a magnet strip that is next to my cutting/ironing table. They pop on and off super easy.

    Here are some pictures of my studio:
    http://www.trusler.org/blog/?p=89

  18. Becky says:

    I like to use cabinets that are meant for the garage and then I fold my fabric all alike and stack them by color groupings. Otherwise my room is a terrible mess. I have ordered a cabinet for my sewing machine so hopefully that will motivate me to clean up my room.

  19. Jen says:

    My sewing room houses the castoff furniture from the rest of the house, so I’ve got a big bookshelf, a wobbly kitchen island, and an old chest of drawers for stashing my craft supplies. I guess I should be happy that I haven’t got such a large stash that I can’t make this work…

  20. Mel says:

    I turned my regular closet in the spare bedroom into a sewing closet. It has perfect shelves for stacking all the fabric I am addicted to buying. I keep the small scraps in a bag for those fun scrap quilts.

  21. Emily says:

    I’m looking for organization tips. Right now all my fabric is in rubbermaid totes. One for fat quarters, one for all other cuts of fabric and one for leftovers and uncompleted projects that I don’t love anymore. I keep a small baskets with little scraps and bits and pieces for patchwork or applique.

  22. Jane Weston says:

    I’ve found the best way to store my fabric and quilting supplies is in 2 large cabinets from Ikea. They live in the dinning room and hide a multitude of sins :o)

  23. Amy says:

    I am still working on finding the best organizational systems for my studio. After reading all the comments here, I will be well on my way to making it better. When I am working on a project, my space seems to blow up with things everywhere, but one thing I always do, is clean up everything once the project is done. It’s not only a physical work space cleaning, but a spiritual one as well, if that makes sense! Thanks for such wonderful ideas, and for all you do at Sew Mama Sew !

  24. Pam says:

    I just got my craft room back and I have re-organized a few things. I keep all my fat quarters in a dresser drawer stacked across in four rows, lined to the back of the dresser by color. This way when I open the drawer I can see everything I have.

    I also, just bought an apothecary jar at a local big name store to keep all my spools thread in. It saves space and I can find colors immediately.

    I keep current projects in baskets and take out a basket as I want to work on something. Makes it easier than looking thru bags and boxes.

  25. Suzy Spence says:

    I could not survive without my stacking cubby shelves from Target! They organize my insane fabric collection and allow me to access it visually and physically while putting together projects. http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgiapeachez/927105066/in/set-72157600991483562/
    xo, suzy

  26. Tina M. says:

    Plastic bins. I sort according to size of fabric. But it’s still a mess :(

  27. Diana says:

    Like many I sew in my dinning room. I do not have space yet for my own room of sewing and crafting love!! I also use baskets and boxes. I would have to say that keeping my fabric folded helps me fing what I need. I even fold it right back up after I cut it so there won’t me another pile forming.
    Love all the info I have read and I think I need to plan a trip to Ikea!!!!

  28. Christy says:

    Oh how I dream of being organized! Unfortunately, there is no room in our house for a designated craft/sewing area, let alone a place to organize everything. I eek out whatever space I can in the closets. Most of my fabric is stored in an old picnic basket and a very large gift bag. :(

  29. miss julia says:

    I am in the process of completly redoing a very small room that must also double as a guest room. The thing that caught my eye was instead of folding the stacks of fabric (after pre-shrinking) was to roll, less stress on the fabric..Right now I feel like I am floating in a sea of stuff

  30. shorty says:

    I am working on my space. I store most of my fabric in plastic see through bins. Everything else I am still figuring out. Thank you all for posting pics, it gives me great ideas.
    SHorty

  31. Ninon Carrere says:

    I am recycling nesting/stacking boxes to sort and store fabric for various sewing projects. These boxes came from a food company like Harry and David,and arrived this last Christmas. I put fabrics by project in each box, stack them in my sewing room. The boxes are pretty and too nice to toss. Also keep items together while working on project, the lid acts as a tray to hold scissors, thread etc next to the sewing machine. Easy to transport or to keep several projects side by side if working on them, without stuff getting mixed up. You can find these kind of things at Ross or other close out type stores as well.
    Another trick I have for organizing my treasures is using my quilt rack for vintage tableclothes. They are too cool to hide in a drawer, also helps me remember what I have. This rack sits in the corner of the dining room. Tablecloths stay ironed too.

  32. sharon says:

    still working on the after pictures `…. and hardly the poster child for studio organization. I like to keep as much visible as possible so it gets used … so open baskets for fabric … glass jars for notions and such.

  33. Amanda says:

    I use small plastic tubs with labels for my smaller supplies, like zippers, ribbon, knitting needles, buttons, etc. These tubs are in an armoire. My fabric is supposed to be neatly folded and stacked by color, but that is rarely the case. I have a peg board with hooks and containers hanging on it, which is where I keep my scissors, pins, rotary cutter, etc.

    I have some links to other’s sewing rooms I like. I love this one here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imessaround/517549157/

    I love that it is so colorful. And I like all the little baskets that are out and in reach.

  34. quenna says:

    I have a very small house..so my craft area is a corner of our family room. Like everyone else, most of my fabric is folded and place sideways on plastic totes (by genre, i.e. japanese, retro, linings). I have large (with handles) baskets to store fabrics that need to be cut so I can transport them throughout the house (it’s large enough for my cutting mat and etc). I also keep a basket of “inspiring” fabrics — stuff I love but not quite sure how to best use it — for decoration and signing over :)

    But my favorite tip is organizing different projects using ziplock lock bags. In each are the cut fabric pieces, lining, notions, interfacing, and etc. These are them stored in magazine files in a little shelf next to my machine. When I’m ready to sew a bunch, the contents are placed in an open shoebox so everything is visible and yet contained (I tend to knock lots of stuff to the floor!). I tend to make smaller projects like wallets and wristlets so it’s perfect!

    Not so good with sewing supplies…just lots of wide mouth jars and a little bobbin box made by my daughter: http://blissfulbyquenna.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-made-my-own-mothers-day-gift.html

    Thanks for all the great tips :)

  35. Amanda V. says:

    I have found one way of organizing that adds decor to the room as well, I have taken an old frame, (I’ve made a few of different sizes, one frame from an old wooden screen door, one frome a large picture fram found at a tag sale, painted and distressed.) I then remove all backing so it’s just a frame and then staple chicken wire to the back of it and hang on the wall, It makes a great visual statement and I use clothespins to stick up bits of fabric, little envelopes or baggies with buttons, pins etc., folded squares of fabric, etc., I can hang ribbon all in a row as well, and it also keeps things from getting forgotten in a cupboard somewhere, it is nicely in plain sight! It works great!

  36. carol says:

    Funny you should ask! I have an entire set of pictures of how I mange to stay organized in a teeny space, Hanging shoe organizers, tool drawers, ribbon towers, go see………

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbcyr/sets/72157594277418269/

  37. Mika says:

    I’m just starting out but I have one large-ish bookshelf which I have all my fat quarters sorted by color and stacked, yardage cuts folded neatly on the bottom, novelties are seperated out as well as flannels. My vintage linens have their own stack on my desk to be admired until I use them. On top of the bookshelf I have the Rubbermaid containers that are the next size up from shoebox size labeled according to contents. In these I keep my precut squares (I LOVE scrappy quilts!), half square triangles, noodles, I Spy squares, etc. My cutting table holds my tools, along with fabric I’m playing with at the moment, and a wooden shelf that my husband made for me that holds all my ribbons, it has dowels in it to hold the rolls in place. Under that table I have the rolling 3 drawer carts with each drawer labeled to hold scrap strips for string quilts, etc. It’s still definitely a work in progress as we just recently moved in and I had a baby (in the same month!), but I am really happy with how it’s going so far!

  38. Barbara says:

    I was so happy 3 years ago when I purchased a home with an actual 10′ by 13′ laundry room. that was all I could think about ~ forget the rest of the house. My, how that space is getting to small now. I share it with the computer credenza and the washer and dyer. I ‘m luck to have a sewing table that has a flip-up extension. I have added those white bracket shelve to the wall above my sewing table. I use plastic containers to store my fabric, organized in to sizes. I have a couple utensil holder from the kitchen department for scissors and such and a cork board to hang patterns and notes. I think this room is in a constant state of change due to a the amount of fabric I keep bring home…time to reorganize and clutter. You ladies have given be the inspiration to get clean today.

  39. Bridget says:

    I’m lucky enough to have a sewing/craft room and I find that it stays organized when I can see it all and use what’s in front of me. I fold my fabric and keep them in those clear bags new comforters come in so I can see what I have and it stays clean. I also keep a cute basket on the floor next to my sewing table. I throw all the scraps I know I’ll use for another project in the basket and the scraps I won’t use go in a box that I donate to schools to use. If I have fabric for too long I’m that I find I really probably won’t use I give it away. Purging definately keeps the clutter to a minimum!

  40. Sara says:

    My sewing machine is next to our kitchen table right now, so I have no choice but to clean up after every time I sew. I allow myself one small container of notions(scissors, seam ripper, etc.), one cute pincushion, and one clear jar of thread. Where I keep the rest of my stuff is another story, but I am getting lots of great ideas from all the comments. Thanks everyone!

  41. Meredith says:

    I’m new to sewing but loving it. Got my first very basic machine this past Christmas. I’ve had to negotiate a small spot in our bedroom. Not all of it is pictured here, but I did just organize my small but growing fabric stash! I love seeing everyone’s spaces. There’s something so great about seeing the way people create.

    Here’s my “sewing shelf”

    http://threesweeties.typepad.com/who_put_me_in_this_minvan/2007/07/tidbits-and-upd.html

  42. I second the poster who recommended sorting and organizing before buying your storage containers. Then you’ll know exactly what size/type and how many you’ll need.

    Great tips, everyone!

  43. Jessica says:

    Wow! I’m so glad I stopped by today! I love reading everyone’s organizational methods! Definitely going to incorporate a few of those over here! I, too, read Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out, which is really a wonderful book! Her methods are fool proof. And procrastinator proof, v. helpful in my life!

    The one thing I could not live without is my label maker. I label everything. That way I have no choice but to put things away where they belong. As for sewing specifically, I have 4 blue fabric boxes with red trim and each one houses ONE project with all it’s trappings. That way, when I want to work on one, I don’t have to look around for all the pieces and can just get to sewing! You can see a picture of my workspace (in it’s early stages, a few months ago) at the bottom of this post on my blog: http://thecozyapartment.typepad.com/the_cozy_apartment/2007/03/never_give_up_n.html

  44. Kairle says:

    Wow! I just added a couple of posts to my blog with pictures of my reorganized sewing room. Here’s one from last week…
    http://happyvalleyquilter.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-sewing-room.html
    And if you scroll to the bottom of this post you will see how I store my fat quarters…
    http://happyvalleyquilter.blogspot.com/2007/07/im-free-im-finally-free.html

    I just recently found your site and I have enjoyed it so much!!!

  45. Kim says:

    I need some help with the department. I have a craft closet in our little apartment. I usually keep my fabric in bins- but most of the time it ends up in sacks. I can’t wait to have my own space (sewing/craft room).

    All the ideas have been great. Thanks!

  46. DML says:

    I’ve only just come out of the bottom of the closet and bought a bookcase to put all my crafting supplies in. Two big rectangular baskets from Ikea hold my fabric and yarn. My thread is in a shallow office-storage box, with all the spools laid on their side so I can see them. Everything else is in hat boxes, crochet-style baskets and board boxes. I do use clear storage containers inside these boxes, but I couldn’t use them as the main storage: hubby might notice how much ‘stuff’ I’ve been accumulating… ;)

  47. After years of struggling with space management in my office, it is a small room with many purposes…You can read about it on my blog…..In the latest make over I added and extra dest across from my writing desk and that became hte sewing area…..I keep fabric neatly folded on a book shelf and for all my supplies I have class jars on shelves.

    Pics here look for Sunday July 8th
    http://theherbalway.blogspot.com/

    I think the greatest tip I can offer is simplify……..sort through regularly and if something has not been used in a long while pass it on.

  48. Fiona says:

    I have just organised my work station. I put projects in large/medium/small zipped lock bags with labels on then saying what they are and what needs to be completed, these are all packed into an archieve box so it doesn’t look messy. All my buttons and other bits and pieces are in small plastic jars but I would love to have shelves to display them. My fabrics are in large plastic boxes with wheels on the bottom for easy moving around. I love being organised.

  49. Eve says:

    I store most of my stuff in the closet – hang and stack fabrics and have some of those rubbermaid drawers. We also were getting rid of our kitchen butcher block stand and so I moved it to the craft room – it works well for storage and is movable since it is on wheels.

  50. Cyndie says:

    I thought my space was organized until I saw some other spaces. I guess I need help getting organized! I have no clever way to store multiple bags without smashing all of them. (projects after all the construction has been done). I also have all my stamping, and scrapbooking supplies in the same room – so its not just sewing.

  51. shannon says:

    I like to use ziplock bags to organize fabric scraps. During a quilting or sewing project I throw all the usable size scraps in to bags organized by colors. I keep stacks of them in a drawer and then when I have a project that calls for small pieces of fabric I can look at the bags quickly to see which colors I want to use. Other than that, my sewing table is usually quite messy, I try to clean up before I begin a new project.

  52. Jocelyn says:

    I have a big three drawer plastic storage thing…not very attractive but I stack the fabric so I can see it through the drawers and then divide projects accoring to the drawer. 1- cloth diapers, 2- baby stuff, 3- bag stuff. Now this barely holds my current projects for deeper storage I have these awesome colapsable fabric zipper boxes that hold a ton of folded fabric…down side: it’s a deep dungeon and who knows whats at the bottom. Then I have the standard old rubbermaid containers I haven’t opened in years holding fabric I’ll probably never use and should probably just get rid of. (But who can get rid of fabric?)
    PS- I’m getting kicked out of my craft room soon (too many kids) and need advise on how to make a sewing space in HIGHLY visable areas of your house. Please help me out with this one…I dont want to be stuck in a corner.

  53. Kathy says:

    Here is a great motivator for everyone – lots of great rooms:
    http://www.younge.com/sewing%20rooms.htm

  54. Ana says:

    organization? well, I seem to have just outgrown the closet that was holding my fabric and yarn stashes, and I’m dangerously close to outgrowing the closet that holds my sewing machine and drawers full of tools and notions. Maybe if they all take up permanent residence on the dining room table, my wonderful husband will get on board with the “let’s move to a bigger house” plan. In the meantime, a pegboard sounds like a fantastic idea!

  55. stacy says:

    I keep all the tools I need and use frequently (scissors, marking pens, seam rippers, slide ruler, etc.) in a bin on my sewing table. The rest of my tools and notions (tape measures, tapes, eyelets, elastics, etc.) in a rolling cart that is sectioned off according to what’s in it.

  56. Jennifer says:

    My sewing area is the entry foyer to my house — not a very big space, and very visible! Most of my fabric is folded on a bookcase I just bought, and the rest is in the closet. Right now I have scraps and notions in clear plastic containers, but I’m eyeing one of those Ikea mini drawer chests for trims and ribbon storage. I like the idea of clear glass jars, but I have small children and so would rather not have anything really breakable in the area. My only real storage dilemma at the moment is things like interfacing and other fusibles, and tracing paper.

  57. Mikki says:

    Oh wait. I’m supposed to be organized and sew at the same time. LOL. I working on it and DH would love to suggest some ideas he would love to see implemented. Like shelving material to keep it together. Clean up after each project and best of all… Keep it out of eyesight.. If he can’t see it.. I can sew as much as I want. LOL!!!

    Now to get my hands on some of that beautiful fabric… ;-)

    Love the new look to the blog!!

  58. Leslie says:

    Bookcase for fabric, any kind of container from jars to boxes for the rest. Not very organized at all!

  59. A friend collects fabrics, threads, patterns she wants to use in a project and kits them in a large ziploc bag. That way they’re easy to find and she’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Very organized!

  60. On top of peg board, and fabric folded to the same size for easy stacking that many people have mentioned, I found this rolling cabinet (Sonne) in the Ikea as-is department:
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90060136
    It is a few inches lower than my sewing machine table, so I keep a small cutting board on it so I can rotary cut small things without moving from the sewing machine. I also cn pull out a srawer from my desk that is situated 90 degrees from my sewing machine – I place a portable presssing board on this and I can iron without getting up as well – very helpful when I’m paper piecing. THe Sonne unit also keeps all bobbins, extra feet and needles for my sewing machine – I love it so!

  61. Dede says:

    I use tupperware, but I love to read all these great tips, because I need help in organization!

  62. Lynne S says:

    Ziplock now carries HUMUNGEOUS bags that can hold lots and lots of fabric.
    You may have seen the commercials (where the lady has the bag filled with
    soccer balls).
    I LOVE those bags.

  63. georgia says:

    Ugh–i barely have room on my desk for my serger and sewing machine, let alone organizational stuff! I am hoping to buy one unit of IKEA’s stand alone closets to hold all my stuff and keep it safe from curious hands since my sewing space is in the dining room. One tip I do have is I always have a small plastic bag hanging from my desk to put scrap thread and selveges cut by the serger. It makes clean up a breeze.

  64. Meghan says:

    Right now? Piles. All sorts of piles. And plastic bags–of fabric, yarn, needles… As a graduate student, I’m very transitory and my possessions are divided between four U.S. cities. I’m going to wait until I’m in one place for more than a year before I get too crazy with the organizing!

  65. Sandy says:

    My organization is quite far from being organized actually. I turned an extra bedroom into my craft room, but my fabric stash will not fit in there. I have about a dozen blue rubbermaid bins in the hallway that are clearly labeled with the type of material inside (cotton / flannel / home decor / etc). Smaller items I try and keep in clear smallish bins stacked on shelves in the craft room. But really everything is just put whereever it fits and I’m pretty good about being able to remember where things are. But it is always exciting to open up one of the rubbermaid bins and find a piece of fabric that I completely forgot I had…it’s a little like going shopping only without spending any money or adding to the stash.

  66. sarah says:

    I think supplies are pretty, so I’m a firm believer in glass jars. But I also have some trims in old cigar boxes, too. And sometimes, I just leave everything where I last put it down!

  67. kirsten says:

    hmmm…. the only good thing i do is keep a scrap box under my sewing table so that i can toss scraps in there as i sew (or at least they land near the box…)

  68. Elizabeth says:

    I use lots of clear plastic containers. Fabric is divided up by series/theme and each series/theme is stored in a separate container (e.g. Girlfriends, Bright Dots & Stripes, or 1930′s prints). I use double stick tape and cardstock to make labels, so I can read what’s in them when they’re on the shelves, but switch the labels out easily once I’ve used the fabric. I use large, open shelf baskets for current projects, so it’s easy to pile all parts of a “work in progress” back into them when it’s time to clean up. I also keep an open container (it’s one of those portable file cabinets with a snap-off lid, but sans the lid) on the floor next to my cutting table. This holds my rulers, triangles, rolls of fusible webbing, freezer paper, paper cutters and my light box. Despite the fact that it inevitably gets filled with little pieces of string, I love having that stuff within easy reach of my work tables!

  69. cj says:

    I use what other listed, plastic boxes of all sizes, rolling storage, ziploc bags, “nuts & bolts” drawers, lots of shelving, etc…….but I’m glad I have a seperate sewing room, I just close the door when I’m not crafting. It also keeps the cats from napping on my current projects….LOL

  70. Antonia says:

    Shelves. Every last bit of wall space in my sewing room is used. I’ve got those ugly aluminum kind that have slots for the brackets, rubbermaid garage shelving, and odd wood shelves from wherever. I can see everything without opening anything, except for an old hardware display, and those drawers seem to be all open anyway.

  71. Korie says:

    I roll my fabric. I have 4 different big bins of rolled fabric. One is for apparel fabric, one for bulky fabrics and the other two are my quilting/project fabrics, separated by season (one is spring/summer & one is fall/winter. I keep a (thoroughly scrubbed) Wal-Mart cotton candy bucket for things like my scissors, cutters, etc. I have the rest of my notions, etc., in smaller bins. I would love to get one big cabinet fhat I have been eyeing at IKEA. I clean up every night because I work on the family room table. I am definitely going to read through everyone’s ideas on this one, I could use some other ideas!

  72. sarah says:

    I use photo boxes to keep all of my various supplies organized. I have about 35 and they are labled and then put on a baker’s shelf. The boxes are about 3 dollars at target and are solid colors with black lids. It looks nice and keeps me organized!

  73. dianne says:

    Ugh . . the mess. There is always a mess, just sometimes it’s less of a mess than others. I bought a metal paper organizer at Costco a long time ago to keep track of all my scrap stuff and finally took paper out and fabric in. It is great to have everything folded the same size and kind of sorted by color, and because the rack is wire I can actually put fabric behind fabric and see what’s back there.

  74. ANDREA says:

    A BIG WALL/STORAGE UNIT FROM IKEA WITH LOTS OF SPACES TO PUT THINGS….STILL NOT ENOUGH FOR ME THO’!

  75. Zoe says:

    I DON’T KNOW IF MY SPACE IS AS ORGANIZED AS I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE!! I SHARE MY DESK SPACE WITH MY LAPTOP RIGHT NOW SO I AM ALWAYS INTERCHANGING MY LAPTOP WITH MY SEWING MACHINE!! lol! I DO HAVE A TACKLE BOX OF SORTS FOR MY SEWING SUPPLIES AND A BASKET THAT I USE FOR FABRIC SCRAPS. THESE AREN’T GENIUS, BUT THEY HELP ME GET BY!! :)

  76. Tara Holt says:

    My husband bought me some great craft cubicles to help me get organized, but things are still a mess. I look forward to tips!

  77. Rachel says:

    I’m a believer in baskets for my fabric 1/2 yard or less. I try to use shallow baskets so my fabric isn’t stacked on top of other fabric. For small things like buttons, I use glass jars.

  78. Jessi says:

    I cut scraps of matboard to fold my fabric around and then keep the “bolts” in file boxes. It’s not high tech , but it allows me to sort the fabrics and see the prints and colors together.

  79. I have a closed cupboard that I keep all of my fabric in and I try to keep that fairly organized. (Although it does tend to get a bit messy at times….) I like that I can just close the doors though when it gets really messy. Besides that I have a bookshelf where I keep books and magazines, and a shelf on the wall where I kept notions and other supplies in containers (although not very organized…). It isn’t as organized as it could be, but it works for me usually.

  80. Lori says:

    Ok, so I’m really not as organized as i should be! but I do use a 3 drawer cart (wide) from Sterilite with couple of baskets in the top drawer for little stuff. The bottom two drawers are for fabric and scraps! I use a file box for my pattern stash.

  81. Ellen says:

    I’m really interested to read how others organise their fabrics/spaces as my fabrics are currently stacked in a bookshelf (and kind of sorted by colour-way and/or designer but not really) but it’s really not working for me. Scraps and notions are in labelled photo boxes and I use a toolbox to store and carry my current project and the “everyday requirements” – thread, scissors/cutter, zips and velcro, ribbon, quick-unpick and the like. My sewing space is reasonably tidy but that’s because it’s small – I set my machine up on a table in the dining room (next to the iron) so that I can take advantage of the dining room table for cutting and laying out.

  82. Kristin says:

    Maybe everyone does this already, but my organizational tip is that I store my patterns in gallon zipper bags. It is such a relief to me not to try to refold the pattern pieces just so, and stuff them back into the envelope. I keep the pattern cover on top so I can see what it is.

  83. Lisa says:

    My method of organization has been to go on a stash busting diet of sewing. Sew, sew, sew. Then I can buy, buy, buy. Not the greatest, but it does let me “shop” in my own store!

  84. Bethany says:

    I forgot to mention, vintage locker baskets are great to use on a bookshelf for fabric since you can still see what’s inside!

  85. Katie says:

    The only tip I have is to use clear jars (recyled jelly jars are what I use) for store buttons, ribbons, rick-rac, etc. and to use clear totes to store fabric. It really helps to be able to see what you have without digging though it!

  86. Bethany says:

    I always feel like a little creative chaos is a good thing in my work space…then when I do a quick clean-up I find “new” old supplies & that seems to inspire me to use them! :) I like open shelves with baskets in my craft room or even just the fabrics neatly folded in stacks – they’re so pretty & easily accessible. And I too use a lot of jars for buttons & other bits – items are contained, but still in view.

  87. Emily says:

    My stash is small (for now… I’m a beginner, but I can see how my stash could grow quite rapidly with all the fabulous fabric that’s out there!), so I manage by keeping everything tucked away in a large coffee table with a lifting lid (think large chest, basically). I keep my pretty fabrics neatly folded and displayed in a shallow basket on top to keep me inspired.

  88. Katie B says:

    I just picked up some great organizers from IKEA. They’ve been helping keep things neat for the most part (blogged http://seekatiesew.blogspot.com/2007/07/i-heart-ikea.html). I also have my fabric folded in neat bins from target, but that doesn’t always stay organized. At least it’s a start.

  89. Jill says:

    Just a quick, belated thank you for the beautiful fabric I won two Fridays ago. I love it and it is beautiful. Now, where am I going to put it? Oh, that’s right. In a box until we move. Or maybe…I can eek out a project before then. Who needs to sleep? ;)

  90. Ginger says:

    love to organize my fabric. all those colours. all those patterns. if only i had more time!

  91. Janice says:

    Thread racks to hold your spools of thread make a huge difference! Also, the spindle needs to be long enough that you can put the coordinating bobbin on it with the thread. Clear glass containers to keep your trims and buttons in view and contained are helpful too. Also, an inspiration board…I love this…it keeps all those little bits and ends organized and in view for inspirations. I also agree with the use of pegboards to hang things and keep them within easy reach. Beyond that, just having a place to put each item will keep your area neat and tidy.

  92. jessi says:

    This is something I am definitely still working on! I can’t wait to have my own little sewing room and do it up right. In the meantime, my biggest tip is to try to get rid of what you don’t need! Clearing out things you won’t use clears your mind and make you feel better so the creative process can flow!

  93. Chris says:

    I use rolling Iris Carts to hold my yarn and rubber stamping supplies. I use an old family cedar chest to hold my farbic. My threads are in an old Telephone Table. The majority of my yarns are in a tall former TV cabinet. http://chrisknits.blog-city.com/man_am_i_beat.htm This post shows my craft room turned dining room (boo hoo, sob sob!). Down the page is my daughter’s closet, OK, so there are things in there not related to her or clothing!

  94. Natalie says:

    Wow! So many great ideas to keep organized…if only I had the space. I live in a small apartment, but I try to keep things neat or else it gets harder to move around. I keep my fabric stash in clear plastic containers. Notions, threads etc. are also keep in small clear containers. I have no closet space for the large containers, so they’re stacked on top of each other, against a wall. Not pretty, but pragmatic nevertheless.

    I keep the sewing machine on the floor, right by the dinning room table. It’s an old and heavy machine and I get a good workout lifting it onto the dinning table when I do my sewing.

  95. sarah says:

    Organized?!?! My skill is sewing not organization, just ask my hubby. Currently I’m sewing in my sunroom, when my youngest is older I’ll move back downstairs to my sewing room, I have stuff everywhere no matter where I sew, it’s just me… I’ve tried to organize stuff, but in order to stay organized you have to put things back where you got them from, big problem for me.

  96. Kim C says:

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas! We are closing in an attic area so I can have a small sewing room (losing my extra/unorganized bedroom for a growing family) and love all the links with pictures – can’t wait to organize! Definately want to get a pegboard…
    Kim C.

  97. Janin says:

    I don’t have a dedicated craft space since I still live at home and my room is pretty small. But to organize atleast part of my fabric stash I got a little shelf and put it into my closet. I also got a basket to put in smaller amounts of fabric(FQs and such). You can have a look at it here: http://orangmerajut.blogspot.com/2007/04/half-empty-girl.html
    It has been really helpfull and most of my cotton fabrics fit into it…not my whole stash though ;-)

  98. angie norman says:

    Yes, right now the floor is covered with fifty different fabrics. When I get through with a project or finishing up to go out of town, etc. I do fold all my fabric and place in my antique linen press. and I love to see fabrics folded neatly bu t I seem to always need it!

  99. Kristine says:

    One drawer of my dresser is dedicated to “fabric w/ a purpose but the project has yet to begin”. In the corner of my cluttered room, I have 2 boxes of fabric I’ve used and now is just waiting for a new purpose. I have a shoebox for my patterns, a binder for tutorials I’ve printed out. And I have the dining room table that we never eat on.

    I have a smaller sewing box for toting things like my scissors, chalk pencils, etc. And I think the best thing I have is this big block of styrofoam maybe 15-18″ by 10″ by 1″ wrapped in fabric that I have a TON of pins on.

  100. Sarah says:

    There are some great tips here!! My crafting area is a mess and stuff is spread everywhere. I need to purge and then organize. I love the idea of rolling the fabric or else folding it all so it’s the same size and easily stackable. My problem is I can never find anything. I also need to put things away after each project instead of letting things pile up on the floor.

    I feel like my notions and threads are well organized. I have little plastic drawers that I keep next to my sewing machine. Very handy and easy to find things.

  101. anna says:

    In the past month I have been trying to organize my sewing space, which right now is part of the kitchen table,part of the floor in my room. I have all of my fabric folded neatly in clear rubbermaid bins and I just ordered a folding banquet table that will be used as a crafting/sewing table. When I’m not working on a project, I can fold it away. Plus we can have our eating space in the kitchen back.

  102. Geri says:

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL I have a studio of my own where i work…sometimes. Sometimes it’s too messy or too clean,sometimes I just need a change. I do all handwork(which I have a 2 foot pile of) in my chair in the Living room, where I’m currently sewing. My grown daughters know to call if they are bringing anyone here because you never know where mom’s working or what kind of mess she has. I have 2 six foot tall shelves full of fabric,3 six foot tall shelves of OTHER craft stuff and countless drawers,bins,baskets,cups and boxes everywhere! So sorry, no organization here.

  103. Karie says:

    I usually keep all my things in a storage shelf and in rubbermaid containers… but it does get messy at times, I have to go thorough it about once a month or so to make sure everything is put back into place. I really like to keep my sewing stuff organized most of the time, I loose things if they aren’t but away in their homes.

  104. Jen says:

    I have boxes and bins of all sizes – it’s not pretty, but I know where everything is!

  105. I like to use Ziplocks and Crates for organizing. I posted a picture on my blog here… http://practicalcreations.blogspot.com/2007/07/purse.html . I notice in Heather Bailey’s studio pics that she uses a shelf with a rod to hold her ribbons. I love this idea.

  106. Amy says:

    After 14 years of piles, this past Spring I finally organized my fabric on two cheap white bookshelves, by color (basic prints), category (girly prints for my daughter, Amy Butler prints for fondling, etc.), and type (flannel, felt, corduroy, home-dec weight, so on). The result is glorious. I’ve also stashed buttons in jars, WIPs in baskets, ribbons in inexpensive wicker picnic baskets, and favorite magazines chronologicaly. When I need a breather from my day job, I spend a few moments standing in my sewing room just gazing at those shelves full of goodies.

  107. Valerie says:

    Shelves, baskets, and jars. There are some great candy looking jars with stainless lids at Walmart — they can either sit upright or with the lid at an angle, just like the old ones in the candy shops. I use those to sort my thread, sewing notions, buttons, and all my ribbons sorted by color. All the different hues look really nice along the wall as well!

  108. Keri says:

    Shelves and plastic containers. And the top of the dining room table. You’re not supposed to actually EAT on it, are you?

  109. melissa says:

    I just found some adorable stackable containers at the dollar spot at Target.
    They are perfect for holding small items like snaps, buttons, pins, etc.
    Love this blog so much!

  110. Shelly says:

    My sewing space is in our bedroom. I have a six foot long table with my sewing machine on. I can cut and prepare projects on the other half. I also have the ironing board stored nearby for easy pull out and use. A small dresser holds most of my fabric. I have a bin underneath the table with scraps and current projects in plastic bags.

    I have a large walk in closet, and have stashed a filing cabinet in there that holds my patterns and some fleece/chenille. Two shelves in my closet have interfacing, batting, and clothing that I have (or am going to) cut up to use in projects. Some random sewing stuff is also stored in there.

    The neatest thing I have found as of late is using an old spool storage bin (probabaly about 5 x7 in size) on my sewing table to put bobbins in. I stack them on the pegs and also use a few pegs to store commonly used thread spools. It works so great. Maybe I’ll post a pic on my blog over the weekend.

    I also use a seamstress apron when I sew. Sometimes, I just leave it lie on the sewing table and use the items out of it as I’m working. Great time saver!

  111. Nada Jones says:

    I have a collection of vintage samsonite suitcases, slowly amassed from the thrift store. they hold all of my fabric, yarn, and supplies…. I even managed to use them for sorting, i.e. one suitcase holds all of the relevant fabric for a queen size quilt, another for kids wardrobe stash,a nother for my own, etc….

    I’d love to have shelves or cabinets to display my stash instead, but space and storage is a major issue for us, since we’re currently a family of three living in a 300 sq ft yurt:)

    I can’t wait to build our dream house, w/ my very own studio….

  112. Judi says:

    I have no system of organization. My sewing/scrapbook/knitting supplies are out of hand. I.need.help. (ha ha)

  113. robin says:

    I’m not sure if my last post came through (I don’t think this is my first time posting but I could be wrong…) so I’m trying again. (Sorry to duplicate if it did go through and is being held for moderation.)

    I wish I could claim all of the ideas I used in my studio as my own but when deciding I needed to get organized, I scoured blogs, flickr and magazines and collected a bunch of ideas. You can see my studio (complete with before and after shots) here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jigabugbaby/sets/72157600245024568/

    A few notes:

    1. I used a kitchen cabinet as my cutting station. In addition to being the right height for cutting and the perfect size for my mat, I can store fabric (folded and wrapped around comic book cardboards http://www.bcwsupplies.com/prod-BBCUR.htm) in the drawers.

    2. A wooden dowel underneath shelves is a perfect (and very pretty) way to store ribbon – just pull off what you need and cut. Also, the shelves are great storage for books, patterns, etc.

    3. I used a magnetic strip (commonly used for knives in the kitchen) for my scissors and other frequently-used notions. It’s one of my favorite features – just grab the scissors when you need them and stick them back when you’re done. Perfect.

    4. I would love to have enough room for a scrap bin for each color family but instead I have two: one for warm and one for cool. When they’re full it’s time to use the scraps.

    5. I keep my rulers on a nail next to my cutting table – they’re out of the way but accessible (much like my scissors and other notions on the magnetic strip).

    I was hesitant to spend the money to organize my space (which, thanks to Ikea was much less than I anticipated spending) but I’m so, so glad I did. Sewing in my new space is amazing – no more searching for fabric or notions and trying to find places for things. Until I did this, I didn’t realize how much time I spent getting ready to sew – now I can find things and go.

  114. Kacy says:

    Ok, I’m a newbie sewer, but I hung up some basic shadowbox-type shelves and they are GREAT for storing my little stuff that I need often–seam ripper, marking pencils, pin cusion, etc. Also on the shelves, I keep my bobbins and threads in old baby food jars with labels on them!

  115. Thimbleanna says:

    Clear. Plastic. Totes.

  116. Sandy says:

    W/ a small nyc apt, craft space is tiny table that is cleaned up frequently. Tools kept in a artbin that has take out trays that I fill up w/ notions (frequency of use dictates which tray things are kept). Stash fabric is folded and organized by color in rubbermaid tugs by color or designer. Works in progress are stored in clear bags w/ its corresponding supplies (thread, wound bobbins, extra fabric, batting) and kept near craft area. Rulers are hung up.

  117. Kathleen says:

    There is never enough space to keep everything organized the way I’d like it but I do have a special cabinet dedicated to thread storage. You can see it at:http://kateyz.blogspot.com/2007/02/moment-youve-all-been-waiting-for.html
    Also here is my craft closet, not nearly as fancy or beautiful as some, but it fills the need!
    http://kateyz.blogspot.com/2007/02/this-is-interesting-to-me-so-im-posting.html

  118. andrea says:

    I wish I could say I had an unbeleivable crafting area but since I do most of my sewing at my shop I have to keep things pretty tidy for when customers are shopping. What I am most pleased with is rolling carts. I have a large table which I sew on but underneath I have numerous rolling carts – one for ribbon, one for buckles and other hardware, and a large one for material, thread and other misc. This way when someone comes into the store I just push the cart/carts back under the table and push in my chair. I would love a suggestion on storing bobbins. Right now I am embarassed to say I am using ice cube trays! The bulk of my material is kept in large bins in the stockroom of the store. Although it seems somewhat disorganized, it works. I am currently cleaning out the backroom to add an ironing board and cutting table. Would love more advise :)

  119. cici says:

    organized? ha! the only thing i’m somewhat organized with is notions. i have a plastic drawer thing from the hardware store for small items. i use glass jars for buttons, trim, snaps, etc. the fabric? help!

  120. Sarah says:

    I just recently got pegboard, and I love it! There are so many different hooks and holders that hood onto the board that are really useful. I can hang all my scissors and rotary cutters on hooks, I have a little drawer-type thing for my bobbins, and a little cup holder for my pens, pencils, sewing gauge and other tools. I also use wide-mouthed jam jars for buttons and other notions and cookie jars for zippers and loose ribbon.

  121. Celeste says:

    Wow–there are so many great ideas here! Considering that my sewing machine’s permanent place is the floor by my bed, I’m not sure I have much to share…

  122. Shelley says:

    I have no sewing space! I currently share the dining room with my family, with fabric in bins close by and in the garage. When my baby is 2 I’ll move her in with her big sister and take over her room all for myself. Until then, I patiently wait, sewing happily at the dining room table.

  123. Mrs.Pear says:

    Sigh, well, in our new home, seeing as we have only lived here for just over a month, everything is crammed into the guest closet which I am so blessed and thrilled to say is a walk in (be still my heart!)

    But, in an ideal world, (translates int: when I get that closet organized, hopefully very soon) my organization looks like this:

    Sewing project in a deep tray that is just deep enough to keep it from falling out, and gives me a place to dump stuff.

    Quilt in process in a deep basket so I can cart it around the house, and have everything together.

    Knitting in process in a canvas bag. I add balls of yarn to the bag from the closet as I need them. That way Miss Pear cannot tangle them all!

    I have plastic stacking drawers that I keep everything else in, and use plastic bags within to keep fabric for specific projects together.

    Not fancy, but it works for me.

  124. Wendy says:

    Shelves, plastic bins for fabric, Ziploc bags for all my little notions. I feel like I would be more organized if I actually had a sewing space. As it is everything has to be in my closet or little sewing cabinet and I’m digging out a couple boxes every time I want to sew.

  125. Autum says:

    Wow, lots of great ideas. I agree with Dawn, a pegboard is GREAT for keeping things visible and handy. I have one on the wall behind my sewing machine. I couldn’t afford one of those great sewing machine tables with all the drawers for organization, so made one out of a shelving board and 2 rubbermaid drawer units.
    http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2007/05/evolution.html

    Having a uniform method for folding fabric makes a huge difference, not just in the way it looks, but it also saves space. I learned how to fold mine http://www.flickr.com/photos/autumhall/410396520/in/set-72157600328162181/ from Monica’s wonderful tutorial, http://thehappyzombie.com/blog/?p=124

  126. joyce says:

    “A place for everything and everything in it’s place” has to be the mantra for being organized. I can’t manage it most of the time though.

  127. Kristen says:

    I like to keep all of my fabric in those heavy plastic bags with zippers that new sheets and comforters come in. I’ve made a habit of keeping those (and stealing from friends). I can organize them by color and keep everything neatly together on a shelf, rack or bin. If I need a hint of blue, I grab the blue bad and I’m good to go.

  128. erin says:

    I like having all my supplies close by, ready to grab. I use large, clear glass jars to store my ribbons, trims and buttons. I group these and my fabrics by color – it is much easier for me to see what I have this way. I also use a pegboard to hold my scissors, rulers and other little tools. You can see it all here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/70788325@N00/sets/72157600167922311/

  129. Mindy says:

    I use photo boxes and label them. That way like things are usually in the same box. But right now, it looks like my craft room exploded.

  130. Beth says:

    I agree with Kate that it’s important to clean up each day or at least after each project is completed. My sewing room was such a wreck that my creativity was being stifled. After I cleaned it, I was able to create several new projects and that felt great! Since I don’t want to go back to the way it was, cleaning it up each day hasn’t been a problem.

    http://watersedge.typepad.com/felt_like_knitting/2007/06/clearing-ones-m.html

    Now I also know more about what supplies I already have so I can use them up. Making myself use what I have has caused me to be more creative, too.

  131. mamafitz says:

    i roll my fabric. 45″ fabric gets folded into thirds, then rolled, 60″ fabric gets folded into fourths, then rolled. you can see before and after pictures of my fabric storage here:
    http://mamafitzz.tripod.com/fabricstorage.html
    i TRY to clean up after each project, but that doesn’t always happen.

    i bought a plastic drawer thing at the hardware store, i think it’s supposed to be used to sort and store nails and screws. i use it to store bobbins, presser feet, marking tools, tape measures, labels, etc. i keep a wicker laundry basket next to my ironing board with rolls of STP, a bolt of muslin and a bolt of canvas, and some pattern-ease. i keep a basket under my ironing board with my sleeve board, press cloths, and tailor’s ham.

    i organize patterns like this:
    http://www.thousandhobbies.com/hobbies/Sewing/organize2.html
    except i use my brown envelopes the other way. the actual patterns are in the attic, but my binders are on a shelf in my sewing room.

    right now my room looks like a hurricane went through.

  132. Stefanie says:

    I love the “garage sorters” the ones that “manly men” use in their garges to sort nuts and bolts! They work great for buttons and spools of thread. It helps me keep everything color sorted.

  133. Jessica says:

    I think I sew best in a mess…

    I bought a shoe holder that hangs in the closet…it has 8 little “cubby holes” that are the perfect size to hold a pattern and the fabric/notions for a single project. It helps me keep the stuff for a project all organized and gives me a place to store projects while they are in the works.

  134. KarenV says:

    I’m lucky enough to have my own stitching/crafting room, with a built-in wardrobe for my stash. I use acrylic and PP drawers for threads and fabric, which keep everything clean and organised. I’ve just invested in a small bookcase for quilting fabric, with tubs for scraps (organised by colour) and I’ve done what Anita suggested and piled my fat quarters on the shelves by colour, so they’re easier to get to. IKEA is great for lots of mini drawers, tubs and jars – that’s where most of my storage is from ;) I also have some of those drawers on wheels under my desk for storage.

    No pictures of the new fabric arrangement because I’m camera-less at the minute, but there’s pictures of my room on Picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/Kazzav/MyStitchingRoom

  135. D says:

    I use those big plastic bin with lids. And I lable them! I have shoe box size ones for my notions and other crafty things and then I have a few big tubs for my machine and my fabrics.

  136. kayla_d says:

    I’m with everybody else on the baskets and shelves. I even bought some more bookshelves to put in the closet for craft supplies. And Anita is right about folding and organizing fabric. It’s looks so great and it’s really convenient to pull fabric out for new projects, I never thought I could keep it looking so good, but I have!
    Here are some photos of my room:
    http://justlikesewkayla.blogspot.com/2007/03/transformation-of-room.html

  137. Elle says:

    I keep “fabric to be used later,” scraps and tools in a rolling 3 drawer rubbermaid container. I keep fabric for a specific quilt project I work on in one drawer of a dresser. Remaining projects are individually bagged in Ziplocs and put into a big (Huggies) box. Of course my office is also my craft room so I have no where to keep the Huggies box and there are projects pouring out of it.

  138. dawn says:

    My biggest tip would be to buy a pegboard. It’s easier to grab scissors and rulers off a pegboard than to root around in a drawer. I also keep pin cushions, tape dispenser, tape measures, tracing wheels and paper, and other tools on my pegboard, which hangs at the end of my cutting table. There’s a picture on my blog at this address:
    http://www.mysecretpocket.com/2007/03/working-at-home.html
    The best thing about the pegboard is that you can rearrange the pegs and types of pegs as needed. You can even put shelves on it.

  139. Donna says:

    I’m fortunate to have my own sewing room in our new house. With two young children, keeping the rest of the house tidy is a challenge, but in the sewing room all the mess is my own which somehow makes it easier for me. I have a large basket to keep projects in, another for small scraps of fabric. There is a large shelf for new fabric purchases (so I can see what I have) and other craft supplies and an old child’s wardrobe for other fabric. I also have a large closet to keep bins in. I like to tidy things up before I began working, although it often looks as though the contents of everything has exploded!

  140. Anita says:

    Fold your fabric all the same size and organize by color. The book “Create Your Perfect Quilting Space” by Lois Hallock talks about this. It really does work! It saves space and it creates a more inspirational space.

  141. Jeannine says:

    Yeah, neat and tidy are not two words that correspond to me. I have fabric in rolling Rubbermaid bins and I have notions in other Rubbermaid drawers. Other things are in various bags that I’ve made.

    Although, my “sewing area” is one half of my dining room table. When company comes the whole kit ‘n caboodle need to be rolled away.

  142. Kate says:

    I also have lots of shelves and baskets. But the only way to really keep it clean and organized is to tidy up every day after I finish working. Of course, I never actually do this…

  143. Melissa says:

    I don’t have any magic bullets — my organization is far from perfect — but I did notice that my crafting time went up dramatically when I undertook a reorganization recently and got ALL my crafting supplies in ONE easily-accessible place and organized them by function (sewing, paper crafting, felting, etc.). There’s a great book by Julie Morgenstern called “Organizing from the Inside Out” that talks about getting your stuff sorted BEFORE you go out and buy containers or an organization system so you know exactly what you need, and I really took that to heart.

  144. Fanny says:

    Keep your space small! My craft area is a bay window (and adjacent radiator) in my kids’ playroom. I’ve used a console table as my Sewing table. Supplies are kept in rolling multi-compartment bins. The radiator serves as a shelf. I’ve asked for more space, but my Dear Husband says I’ll just fill it (which I would) so I just work with what I have and it’s not half-bad!! I’ll add pictures to my flickr page this weekend.

  145. liz elayne says:

    i use jars – everything from large candy jars for old wooden spools to small spice jars for vintage buttons. this way i can see things as i am more likely to use things if i can see them.

    i can’t wait to read the other tips though as i am looking for any and all suggestions for how to wrangle my every-growing fabric stash…

  146. beki says:

    Lots of shelves and baskets of all sorts for sorting. But even with that, things are still a mess.

  147. mj says:

    I finally had to give in and buy a big clear rubbermaid for the fabric piling up by my sewing machine that I pull out of the fabric closet because I think it’s going to be sewn up in the very near future.

  148. capello says:

    i’m suppose to see my floor?

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