Friday, April 19, 2019

Fabric Storage

Now that both kids are gone from the house, very little of their stuff remains - woohoo! To not wade through clothes, shoes, and other stuff scattered on the floor and chairs throughout two rooms is heaven!

And in the process of cleaning out, several under bed boxes were freed up, one of which I quickly laid claim to for a growing stash of gray fabrics.

gray fabric bin

What is this particular box? It's a clear Sterilite under bed box, 6 1/2" tall, with square corners and a latching lid system. These are found where storage supplies are sold, for around $8.

Steirlite under bed box

The other boxes had curved ends, no locking handles, and where a bit smaller, not good candidates for fabric storage.

So, why do I like these boxes so much? For me, they are the perfect way to store fabric! Here's 7 reasons why these under bed boxes are great for fabric:

1.  clear, so you can see what's in it

2.  keeps fabric organized, by theme or color

3.  big enough to store several yards of fabric, but won't become so heavy that it's impossible to lift or move

4.  allows fabric to be stored out of sunlight, which can cause huge damage to a stash

5.  latching covers cuts down on dust collection

6.  easily stacks - I have 4 groups stacked with 3 or more

7.  when properly folded, fabric is stored on edge, meaning it doesn't get crushed by the weight of other pieces on top. This also makes each piece easily visible, like going through a file folder. 

So, just what is properly folded fabric? Fabric that is folded to have a 6" dimension on one edge. Since I buy mostly 1 yard cuts, I'll show that one first, followed by larger cuts.

Fold the 1 yard in half, fold to fold, and selvage to selvage.

1 yard of fabric folded in half

As the fold lines show, fold on a third,

1 yard of fabric folded in one third

then a third again.

1 yard of fabric folded on a second third

Fold in the opposite direction by a third,

1 yard of fabric folded on a third in opposite direction

and once again, which is the final fold.

1 yard of fabric folded on a second third

This piece measures approximately 8" wide by up to 6" tall, a perfect height for the box.

A 2 yard (or more) cut is handled a bit differently, just because there's so much fabric to fold. Start again by folding the 2 yards into a piece approximately a half yard tall.

2 plus yards folded to a half yard size

Instead of thirds, fold it in half,

2 plus yards folded in half again

then in half again in the opposite direction.

2 plus yards folded in half again in the opposite direction

And fold once more, in the opposite direction, which is the final fold.

2 plus yards folded in half again in the opposite direction

This piece is a bit wider, around 10", but the height comes in around 6", again a perfect height for the box. Here's the two pieces, end to end, showing they're equal in height for the box.

1 yard and 2 yard fabric cuts folded for a six inch edge

And now they go into the box, on edge, easily seen, accessible, dust-free, not crushed by weight, etc, etc. The two pieces folded for the demo can be seen at the white arrows.

1 yard and 2 yard fabric cuts placed in the box

Now, not only am I happy with a de-cluttered house, but all of my grays are together, not in several shoe boxes, a drawer, or mixed in with the black/whites - hooray! Hmm, looks like I have a bit more room in this one, don't you think??

Happy Quilting this weekend!

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  1. I use a similar folding system for my smaller cuts. I have my yardage folded onto comic boards and displayed on a shelf. I'm finding that being able to see the fabric has really helped me actually use it. Duh. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Sorry, Susan, but I just had to laugh because your demonstration of fabric folding reminded me of Marie Kondo showing how to fold t-shirts so you can store them in dresser drawers standing up. I have some of my stash stored like yours, although not always folded so uniformly. It depends upon the type/size container I'm using (I have too many different kinds). What I do know is that I have too much stored and need to get more of it into quilts!

  3. Those containers are so nice for fabrics. Although I use the smaller size, they do keep folded fabrics beautifully.

  4. I am very lucky to have the Studio where in one room is a LOT of fabrics stored on 2 storage fills with 8 shelves full of flats! I keep a large plastic sheet (the ones you can purchase in JoAnn's) that is draped over all of the fabrics to keep the dust out. Then I have a book shelf where more is stored and the plastic covering. In the house I have had to take over another room but it has sound soak (carpeting) on the walls so dust is not an issue. I will NEVER use all of this fabric up, but I love each piece! You have a great system and I also use plastic storage bins. I have the Elfa system in one of the rooms in the Studio, but I know that the fabric dust from sewing is around. So far so good! Happy for you to have all the new space! Happy Easter!

  5. It's so great to have a nice and tidy sewing place! Your cleanup is perfect!


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