Fabric Organization

Until recently, I had a shelf in our ‘study’ closet that stored my quilting fabric. (Our study is the extra bedroom in our house that has our desks, Eddie’s piano, and all my crafting stuffs. I love that it has a bedroom-sized closet where I get to keep my unnecessary quantity of crafty things). It was all folded in different sizes and haphazardly squished into the shelf. I didn’t realize it, but it had gotten to where I didn’t even know all the fabrics I had anymore. Last weekend, I brought some shallow shelves up from my parents’ house and helped Eddie mount them on a wall in our study.

fabric shelves organization
I folded each of my fabrics into roughly 5.5″ squares using some cardboard, then loaded them up onto my shelves. I love being able to see all my fabrics, and easily pull out a few at a time to see what goes together. Being able to see all my favorite fabrics at once really inspires me to want to make things with them! Its also made it very clear that my fabric color palette is severely weighted towards a few colors. And now that I can see how much and which fabrics I have so easily, maybe I won’t feel as inclined to buy as much fabric. That’s what my husband suggested, anyways 🙂

UPDATE: Since I’ve gotten a few questions, I thought I’d talk some about how I sorted my fabric. I spent a long time thinking about how I wanted to organize my fabrics, and ended up deciding  that color (instead of designer, fabric type, etc.) would work best for me. I’m a visual person, so that’s ultimately how I pair fabrics, anyways. I also found it really helped to discriminate between colors – for example, the blues aren’t just all mixed in, there are a couple stacks for navys, for bright aqua-type blues, for pale baby blues, and for dusty blues (apparently I have a thing for blue fabric!) I did similar things for the greens and reds as well. For fabrics with several colors – I either folded up the square and decided which color it ‘read’ – which color seemed to dominate – and put it there. If you look closely, you can tell I also have a stack of red & green fabrics on their own (love Christmas fabrics!) and there’s one stack on the middle shelf that is just fabrics which are mostly white with random colors thrown in.

See those cute little penguins up there on my red shelf? They were one of the many many projects I made for our wedding. Here’s a closer look.

Penguin Cake Topper Fabric Red
To make them, I spray painted a small wooden plaque red and wrote on our names.  I shaped the penguins out of polymer clay, and added a tie for the Eddie penguin and a bouquet and hair piece for the Julia penguin (the veil is some leftover tulle from making my actual veil and is hot glued on). They’d been in our kitchen for a while, but I think they’re much happier here. I love having pieces of our wedding scattered around our house for us to enjoy 🙂 Here’s one last picture of them, this time from their main event, our wedding.

Red Penguin Wedding Cake Topper

22 thoughts on “Fabric Organization

  1. This is great organization. I just got a building in the backyard to use as my studio, so I am looking for great ways to organize. Thanks for the tip using cardboard to fold the fabric on.
    Melissa
    craftymeldesigns.com

  2. i so need to do this- it looks great! maybe you need to buy more fabrics in the areas you are short of to even it up a bit?!?!

    1. Fantastic idea! I always end up tnohwirg my fabric back into the cabinet and maybe a couple of days later I refold them. This saves a lot of time and looks a heck of a lot better than my bad idea, ha ha!Gabby

  3. All that cool, colorful fabric is making me giddy! I can’t wait to see what you make from it. (I found your blog from The Girl Creative). The penguins are precious too. You are so ambitious adding homemade elements to your wedding. Congrats!

  4. I’ll be featuring YOU tonight at {wow me} wednesday! You were one of the top ten most viewed links from last week’s party! Wahoo! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing.

    Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com

  5. To a fellow penguin lover, I have my fabrics sorted in the same manner as you, but I would like to give you a little tip that I learned the hard way. If your fabrics are constantly exposed to the light from a window, even a shady one, or bright overhead light for a lot of the day, cover the front of your shelving. Over time (in my case, only a couple of months) the edges of your fabric will fade and when you unfold them, there will be a line where the color is discolored. I had some fabric stored in a clear plastic container under the end of a bed for a summer. When I went to take the fabric out to use it, all of the pieces on the side of the box that were facing out, were noticibly faded. The same thing happened to some lovely Christmas pieces that I had in a glass-front cabinet in my sewing room. It’s nice to be able to see all of our fabric treasures, but the things that make them visible are also prone to be problems. I would never presume to tell anyone what to do with their stash, but I lost a lot of beautiful, quality fabric that had to be used for smaller projects when the faded areas made them unusable as a large single-cut piece. Now they are stored in a cabinet on shelves, and when I need to use them, they are freh as the day that I bought them.

    1. So sorry to hear about your fabric! These shelves are conveniently never directly exposed to a window, and rarely to an overhead light. I’ll make sure to check for fading though to make sure I catch it early if it does happen!

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