Tuesday, October 30, 2007


One of the things I did last week - when it felt like I didn't accomplish much - was organize my fabric stash.

It began, of course, with a trip to IKEA, a mecca for people who like to figure out how to turn cheap flat boxes full of laminated boards and little metal parts into things that will hold other things. I am one of those people.

I am also one of those people who really likes to be organized in my own deliciously chaotic way. Anyone who has ever taken a class with me can attest to the appearance of many plastic drawers full of collage papers, art supplies and found objects, all clearly labeled using a label making machine. The labels provide information as to the contents, using categories like "Cardstocks and Solids," "Critters," "Feathers - Pale," and "Pearls, Pom Poms, Eyes, Odd Bits, Shiny!"

I had been trying to organize my fabrics in similar bins, except that most of them simply read "Quilting." Which is misleading, as I have never actually made a quilt, per se. I have done a lot of fiber art and applique and piecework, but have never actually finished a top and put a layer in the middle and then put on a backing and actually quilted it. They were also so stuffed that I couldn't find anything.

Obviously, time to update the system. I decided it would be easier to use all the fabrics labeled "Quilting" if they were actually visible, and the Ikea Expedit bookshelf, 5 feet by 5 feet of lovely cubbies, looked perfect! I put it together in an evening, then spent a large part of the next day organizing the fabrics. Most of which . . . I did not remember buying. At all. And not all of them would fit on the shelf. I still have tubs of "Fleece" (left over from the Christmas when I was going to make everyone a hat) and "Felted Sweaters" (left over from the Christmas when I was going to make everyone fingerless gloves and matching purses). It goes on.

Yet, I am very proud that most of the cottons are now easily visible - which means I'll actually use them in my upcoming projects instead of just hoarding them like a fiber-addicted dragon. And it will be easy to find "Purple Fabrics," "Upholstery Samples From SCRAP," "Bright Patterns on Black," and "Fabric with Vegetables and Fruits on it."



gl. said...

boy, i -really- need to do something like this for my fabric basket and stash of fabric in one of the cabinets that i never want to open because it's such a mess...

Bridget Benton said...

Yes, I know that feeling!! The bins had gotten to the point that I could barely open them to put more stuff IN, much less find anything to take OUT . . . let me know what solution you come up with!