sewing studio spring clean patchwork posse
Organize organize sewing room Becky  

Sewing Studio {Spring Clean- Organize Fabric}

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Last week for the Sewing Studio Spring Clean we talked about Thread.  This week our sewing room ideas– Organize fabric.

I am pretty sure that we are all kind of in the same boat together.  We LOVE fabric!  We love to touch it, sew it, cut it…and of course the best- store it!

There is fabric everywhere in the Sewing Studio!

Because fabric is so random– sometimes you collect it in groups, colorways, lines and sometimes you are like me and you just pick up whatever you think is ‘awesome’.   As you can see below, I collect whatever.  There is seriosly no rhyme or reason to my collection.

sewing studio spring clean patchwork posse

There are some wonderful tutorials out there on how to fold fabric for your sewing studio, and here too.   As you can see the collection I have on display is not folded any kind of special way. It is placed where it can fit.  I don’t color code here— I just grab, use, fold and stuff it where it can fit again.   I am far from being OCD with my fabric.  How about you? Are you a folder or a stuffer?

This shelf is for all the bigger kind of fabric pieces.  They are larger than a half yard.  The honey had to secure the shelf {or actually it’s a bakers rack} to the top of the wall because it was having a leaning issue.

I have another smaller shelf that I use to store fabric…but it is organized by projects.  They are in clear zipper top bags so I can see inside.  Sometimes there are collections of fabric there along with the pattern I would like to sew with it.

Drawers to organize your fabric in your Sewing Studio

This is where I keep the smaller than half yard pieces.  They are all color coded drawers.  I have matched up yellow and purple and pink and red {I obviously don’t purchase these very often, so thier colletion is a little smaller}

I did go back a little bit ago and re-folded all the fabric in there {mainly because they wouldn’t close anymore}.  That left a drawer empty– but I quickly filled it with solid colored fabric.  I also have one drawer full of lost blocks or UFO Quilt Blocks and another for wool {that will be changing because later you will see the wool bucket}.  I also have one drawer that is dedicated to weird fabric.

You know the kind- fire, bunnies, space ships, buttons….whatever is printed and doesn’t really fit into the realm of quilting fabric per say lives there together.

sewing studio spring clean patchwork posse

There are more drawers for fabric that aren’t shown….I think 4 more. So don’t think this is all!

I do love to store my fabric in these drawers.  They can easily contain little bits of fabric, you can decide how to organize each drawer, and when I move my room around and their order is off, I can still see in the front because they are clear what is inside.  They are also the locking or stacking drawers, so I can re-order them when ever I want easily.  And, let’s face it, they are big enough to hold a lot of fabric!  If your scraps are tiny- here is another great way to organize them.

Big Buckets to store fabric in your Sewing Studio

Let’s face it.  There comes a point in time when you have more fabric that you know what to do with!  There is seasonal fabric that you don’t need all the time out in the front shelf.  There are end bolts that you purchased because it was too good of a deal!  Now what?!  You put it in moster sized big buckets with lids!

sewing studio spring clean patchwork posse

As you can see- I went with the clear containers.  That way you can sort of peak through and see the contents.  Besides super big pieces of fabric, or supplies {yarn is in one bucket}, I store finished projects {can you spot the doll leg?}, and I have one that holds my Vintage Tablecloths collection.

Occasionally- ok. fine. all the time. I no longer can close the lid. Usually though it’s because it is a bucket that I use often.  The larger buckets I keep under my cutting table have no lids.  They contain the felt and fleece and batting bits that I usually am useing for the projects that I am working on all the time. It became a pain to open the lid. Now, they are open…I slide them out, grab what i need and continue working.  They are literally right at my finger tips. I love them there.

sewing studio spring clean patchwork posse

How do you keep your fabric organized in your Sewing Studio?

What method works best for you?

I forgot to mention that I have one extra large clear bag { a bed in a bag from the store bag} full of little bits. This is how I keep my smaller scraps.  It is a mess and right now is brimming to the top! I am thinking it might be time to drag it out and actually start using it!


24 thoughts on “Sewing Studio {Spring Clean- Organize Fabric}


    OH, my I don’t feel so bad. Doesn’t it make you want to do some folding and purging?

  2. BettyGee

    I started out being very organized with my stash, folded and put in theme order, That was five years ago and now I’m fortunate to find a place to put new fabric. I have STABLE syndrome, but darn those designers for making more fantastic fabrics. So I know where things are and I can go to exactly what I want in my sewing room, that’s good enough for me.

  3. whosies

    it totally looks better when it is all folded nicely and sometimes I do feel a little overwhelmed. but only when i can’t find what i need!

  4. whosies

    I hear ya betty! it doesn’t take long to get into a mess….. this is what I look like for most of the time now.

  5. SusanB

    I used to fold my fabric and use the ruler system but I didn’t like it when I wanted to see a piece that was at the bottom of the stack. Then I moved my sewing room and changed to the “wrap your fabric around magazine boards” system and I love that! Now I can pull out fabric like a book off a shelf and it stays nice and neat. It really didn’t take long to wrap the fabric either.

  6. Linda

    I’m so new, I still have it all on one 3-shelf stand. Can’t WAIT to have enuf to need a blog about ‘organization’. 😉

  7. Robin (RsIslandCrafts)

    I wrap my fabric around a board like SusanB does. Saves me time and money when I am looking for a specific fabric. Plus, it makes my fabric shelves look like a quilt shop and that makes me smile.

  8. Paula Z

    I have my fabrics stored in clear Sterilite bins that I’ve taken out of their units and store them in my beautiful cabinets. I have them organized by color, kids prints, holiday fabrics, etc. yardage and bolts are on the bottom, and kits are stored on separate shelves. My GF and fellow quilter always gives me a hard time, yes I am OCD and I guess it shows … LOL

    I love being able to walk over, open the doors and find what I need, if only by color 😀

  9. Jean Nolting

    I keep my fab neat-except when I am searching. I use a shoe cubby for all my 5in. Squares. I am addicted to those little bundles.

  10. Abby

    I just bought 6 more plastic bins today! I used to sort my stash folded neatly on shelves, but I’m switching to bins to handle a much larger stash. Clear bins to see through, and plastic shelves to store them on will be the core of my system. The cubes I bought last year will go back to holding shoebox sized project boxes. I have some plastic drawers that house scraps and FQs. I would love to have a wire-mesh drawer system but for the storage space I need I can’t afford it. I’d rather buy more fabric than expensive storage, lol.

  11. Cheryl in PA

    Hee hee, this is a good thread. I fold and organize by color…at first. Christmas gets its own drawer. Then when I start on a project and pull fabric out the whole system goes to POT!!! LOL!!! Then, I cannot find anything easily. The easiest storage bins to keep sorted are the clear ones. I have a few of those drawer type organizers from Staples for the smaller stuff. The bigger stuff gets put on top, beside, and where ever. Yikes! It’s about time to organize again!

  12. Maureen

    I use the method as Susan B, but mine are cut from cardboard boxes at about 10″ x 10″ size. I have 3 – 5 shelf units for most of those. Then I use the boards that came with the Bolts I buy, and they’re stored under my ironing/craft table. Of course my sewing studio is upstairs that has a closet, and a bathroom that isn’t used. So… the closet is full, the top and front of the sink is full, and yes… even the bathtub has fabric half way up the wall. I Am the woman in the photo examples! Not Really, but I think I have become that. I need intervention.

  13. Susan

    Gosh, what a lot of fabric and storage! I use large bins atm. I used to have about 30 Sterlite drawers, deeper, but not as wide as your drawers, that stacked and I had them stacked 5 tall. Actually, I still have them – in storage in CA. Here, I just use the bins. Projects go in labeled shoeboxes in closet stacks, though. I need to do something about putting shelves in the closet, but at least boxes on the floor can’t fall over! And then there are the kleenex boxes of small scraps, but we won’t go there.

  14. variadee

    Mine are arranged by color and style except for the batiks. Batiks are all together. Style means animals, Christmas, stripes, etc. Even at that it can be frustrating due to space limitations. LOL
    Need to reorganize again.

    Do have UFOs in their own individual clear boxes or hanging on my design wall. Can see them so they “talk” to me as to who comes next. ggg Am serious about this year being finishing my UFOs. Sure makes one feel good as they become something to share. Give most of them away. Have very little for us.

  15. Joan

    I moved to a house this year, so I actually turned the second bedroom into my sewing room! It had a closet system, so I’m in the process of adding more shelves. I’m folding smaller cuts, sorting by color and putting them in clear bins on the shelves. Anything larger than a yard is hung on hangers in the closet. I have a long way to go before it is organized to my liking. Then, I have to start on organizing all my counted cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting stuff. Arghhhh!

  16. whosies

    lucky girl joan! now is the time to get it all under control- then you’ll have more time sewing!

  17. whosies

    I have a shelf full of ziploc baggies that have the ufo projects in them. they still get lost though. I have one drawer of ufo quilt blocks. just singles with no friends.

  18. whosies

    kleenex boxes of scraps?! that might help me with the jumbo pile in the monster bag. hmmmm

  19. Rose :: Fine Craft Guild

    Beckie!!! Just how much fabric do you have??!!!!!!!! That’s enough to make 5000$ at 5 fairs!!! Oh, may. Well, I have to confess, btw, that I’m not that neat either. Years ago, one January, I posted a ‘top 10 projects to do in the new year’, and one of them was giving my craft cabinet a makeover… Well, we never made it quite to the ‘After’ picture… just yet.. ha ha

  20. Carolina

    My sewing studio is a disaster right now! My hope is to get it cleaned out this summer… or next summer… or maybe the summer after… 😉

  21. Chantal

    In need of space, it helps a bit; I put my fabric in those tranparent plastic zippered bag the bedding sheets and blankets comes in and slide them under my bed.

  22. Becky

    Chantal– that is so smart! I use those bags to keep projects in, but hiding them under beds is brilliant! That would be fun to do with batting, since that doesn’t get used as often, but is a pain to store because it’s so big!

  23. Carla

    I’m so glad we are one in the same with projects and the space they need!
    You have taught me the terminology: UFO.
    I rather call them old friends; the collection of Great,-Yet Unfinished, Attempts (GYUA’s). I run into my GYUAs on occasion and think of the original passion behind the project. Sometimes I go back and work on it, other times it’s saved for later or it gets passed on to donation.
    I have given up on color sorting fabrics, except for the fat quarters and small quilting cottons. I have a love for all types of fabrics! I have a clear plastic box for each type in my collection- denim, corduroy, linen/silk/fancy, flannel, knits plain, and printed and so on- even one box called “I think it’s cotton”. This system has worked fairly well to locate fabrics….even those oddballs with snorkeling cats and wonder woman prints…
    I guess I’m in pretty good shape, but when I’m 104, I’ll spread all my fabric out and encircle the globe!

    How do I advise my colleague who is transitioning to quilting and sewing, yet she already has a shed full of paper crafting supplies…?

  24. Mea Cadwell

    In my armoire are the long lengths of fabric hanging off of “s” shaped pants hangers, several fabrics per hanger because they can handle the weight and the bulk. On two matching shelving units I have matching fabric containers, with drawstring dust covers, for shorter lengths – each container holds a different type: cotton, knits, fleece, etc. I fold the fabric so the largest fold stands upright – easy to see what I have by pulling back the dust cover and looking into the bin. The smallest fabric pieces are in inexpensive plastic 3-drawer stands. They are put together by type: prints, solids, etc. I have to keep my small sewing area organized otherwise I wouldn’t have room to use it.

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