The Quilter’s Stash (and Maintenance)

We quilter’s love (LOVE!) to collect fabric. For each new piece added to our stash there is a limitless list of possibilities and endeavors. Fabric is a quilter’s passion – well, next to quilting.

Every few years I cull through my insanely large stash and refold and reorganize. Since I have recently returned from vacation, I have discovered that my stash is in dire need of this activity and it took me weeks to accomplish!

The need for reorganizing is easy to understand. A properly organized stash allows you to quickly find that perfect color match for your next quilt without digging through countless yardages of fabric. (Unless you prefer to spending hours searching and petting fabric rather than sewing – to each their own!) I’m a little OCD, so, I need my stash to be organized by the color wheel. In other words all the blues are together – lightest to darkest. Same for my reds and blue-reds (a.k.a. purples). (I took a color theory class eons ago and my husband is adamant that it has ruined my color perception. I disagree of course because there are some “purples” that are more red than others and putting them in the class of just purple seems just wrong so they are my red-violets!) There should be fabric that fits into each color on the color wheel for your stash to be complete and functional. Also, organizing by the color wheel helps you realize that, when your favorite color is blue, there’s never enough blues in your stash (and never enough space for the blues)!

The reason for refolding is the same reason heirloom quilts are refolded – to reduce creasing and wear along fold line. I do this because … warning I’m about to confess to something quite profound … there are some pieces of fabric I haven’t found a use for in 12 years!!!! I blame these purchases on temporary chemical imbalances in my system at the time of purchase (hormones…evil hormones). However, I am an optimist – one day they will be used in a quilt! Also, you know how all fabric purchased is folded in half on the bolt and that nasty crease line through your beautiful 42” wide fabric? Yea, that crease line. The longer it’s there the more ironing and Best Press it takes to remove it. (BTW, Best Press is awesome!)

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Now that I’ve explained why I do this chore. I saw a Pinterest Pin on fabric storage that peaked my interest. Like most everyone, I have been disillusioned on the actual realistic functionality of most Pinterest pins. (My cucumber trellis fell over 3x one year – the trellis idea came from Pinterest.) I figured I would try this particular idea. It involved magazine backer boards. You know, it worked AND it wasn’t expensive! Below are the before and after for half my blues (yea, I really do love blue).

The blues are organized by how much red or green they have then by value. I might tweak over the next few months – or maybe actually use my fabric in a quilt (shocker!!!) so that it’s not taking up all the space available in my sew room.

It was a huge chore, but it was so worth it for my little sew room!

Have fun sewing (or organizing fabric)!

Nelum