Friday, April 3, 2015

On the shelves

Oh! It feels a bit embarrassed to show you this post! It is for sure not a bragging post, but to share how I organized the cloth on the shelves. I must admitted I am quiet happy about this arrangement since we moved in! Of course, there's always a long wish list and want is always more than need! Between 2009-2013, all my fabrics are storage in the plastic bins. It was great that I get to protect them and seeing them from the outside of the plastic bins. Oh, I never really want to touch them because they are so well organized! At the time, every so often I'd needed to run to store and get a few more bins, because they fill up pretty quick at the time ( The truth is they actually never stop filling up the space).

When we moved in our home. The upstair loft is a perfect space for all what I need, a space to sew and work! The space is really small 5'x9'. To work around the space, I took a trip to Ikea and purchased a {Bill Book Case} and a CD case.  The Bill book case gives 6 nice shelves space. If you work around with the fabric folding direction. It would fit 5 set of fabrics, BUT the bookcase is heavy! The first time, I mounted the book case to the wall and stashed all the fabrics in; it didn't held up 24 hours. Everything came off from the wall, so I went to the hardware store and got a sturdy L shape mounting part and it has been working nicely ever since!

The CD case, is so perfect for all the fat quarters! If you are a fat quarter buyer, for sure check the CD case out ( I am not able to find the link via Ikea site), but it is in the section when you find the Billy Book case in the store. I would buy a second one if I have extra space in the wall space! Mine is full! I organized these in the colors. They are likely imperfect cuts and so easy to pull out when I have a small project going on. I never feel sorry for being clutter with them! Simply full the stashes out and set them back! I constantly add a few fat quarters or small cut pieces in them as I go along.

Here, I break down a few category for organize fabrics:

-By themes ( Holiday, animals, etc)
-By designers
-By companies
-By colors     ( red, blue, green, yellow, etc)
-By values    ( Low values, dark values)
-By Designs ( Dots, stripes, floral, fruits, text, etc)

I definitely am a person who organized mainly by Designers. I have hard time to break a full collection apart. I think mainly I love to see the designers collections together and seeing their changes from season to season. As you know, I am a DS fan! I have set all the DS fabric on two shelves and it is so much easy for me to pull fabric out! I did a little color arrangement within each collection, but not serious sorted by values.

For the low values prints: I break them into two sets! The one on the left is with simple printed design  with colors and the other set would mainly be black, gray, and white. I just finished this arranged a few months back and it works great for me. I know what I am looking when work on a project or when I go fabric shopping I could recall what stash or print is a more "need" than want!

A little collection of the Cotton and Steel fabric. I have hard time to shop with this collection because I really love to own every piece, but I know I need to pick and choose. I have the full collection for the basic and some from their second collection. This is the only collection that I organized as a company! Since their fabrics work so well together!

This is a crazy spot of the shelve. I can't tell you what I was trying to do here! I have some prints that just received lately and haven't been able to find a place for them.  I have small selection of dots together then the unsuccessful brown stash.  It is the most challenging part for me! Any prints that purchase as a single print like being organized by the color. It is so much easier try to find a home for them.

The most cute and sweet prints that I have been collected over the year from Atsuko Matsuyama, a Japanese designer. Her fabrics have very similar values and colors, so within this designer I sorted the fabrics by colors. This collection is still in the plastic bin and just not being use much.

A little bit of Kumiko Fujita fabric! I love all the text prints that KF designs, but I need to be so honest that I am always late for purchasing them when they are in the shop. I hardly use any of them because I feel if I use them they will be long gone!

Some of these fabrics were for my shop in the past, but now I have stopped selling them. I keep the remaining fabric in this bin and also store some yardage fabric in here.

I keep the feedsack in the plastic bin, mainly some of them are aged and the fabric colors are discolored. I try to protect them away from the sunshine. Since some of the prints are gifted from friends I really try to use them wisely.

All the Suzuko Koseki's fabrics are in the bins as well!  Oh! no secrete! I really just admire the colors, the design, the texture of the fabrics! My hope is making a Spiral Feathered Star Quilt soon!

A bin of Kona solid is a must! I think it helps to break down all the saturate and busy designs. A fat quarter would go along way for me as I like work on small patchwork.

 The most gorgeous 30's reproduction fabric! I was very lucky to start the collection early and slowly purchase them over the years and also was able to purchased a few through friend's destash. I foun, not everyone likes 30's reproduction fabrics, but the true is they are quiet similar to the feedsack; a few things different would probably be the colors, texture and the originality. I used this for Fifi's birthday quilt, which was a perfect collection for her!

So, This is my scrap bin. Very small! I have another small box! Whenever I have scraps I try to cut them down to 1.5"x1.5" and store them in my stamp quilt box. It is a ongoing project and hope someday I'll have stamp quilt to show and tell.  I don't really sort the scraps into colors as I try to go through them after a few projects. I don't have bins after bins of scraps!

If I never have a chance to redo the studio. I look forward {a book case with doors} and possible space under the book case. It would be nice to protect them from the light and dust. I love seeing them as I walk to the space, but yet my concern is the colors might fade as it is over expose throughout the days/ years. I also fancy a cutting table in the future; even a small one!

What's your shelves look like?



  1. a very neat arrangement , I will never get bored look at your collections .. thank you for sharing your collections , everything is gorgeous Chase ..

  2. Hi Chase! Hope DSM is treating you well! I had to tell you that I have my very very small fabric collection stored in a bookcase with glass doors, called a lawyer's bookcase. Have you ever heard of them? They are quite common in antique shops in the Midwest. I bought mine for under $200, although that was probably 7 years ago. I will tag you in a picture on Instagram tomorrow. Your stash is so well organized & beautiful! You have such a nice variety too! I love everything you make!

  3. Wow, such variety! I try and be strict and sell stuff I that I haven't used as I have a limited space and sometimes I find the odd print hard to use of I've tired of it

  4. Oh my. I do just love looking at fabric--yours and mine. I have most of my fabric in our clothes closet, as it is dust and light free. If course, my husband complains there is little room left for our clothes.
    I recently gave A LOT of my fabric away. It went to a friend--the only stipulation was that she use it, donate it, also give it away--but not sell it.
    I have my fabric arranged by color--I like to mix up the designers. I also have it separated by one color with white, and then a whole section of multi-colored fabric--mainly by color. I find these are less useful.
    The only fabrics I have separated are Kaffe Fassett, Liberty, some of my graphic Japanese, and linen and line blends. In some rare cases I have a collection together--mainly Japanese.
    I got tired of waiting for the ideal self--and now store my solids in my sewing room. I use cardboard document boxes, on their side like a shelf, and have the fabrics vertically, like a bookshelf. I have about 9 of these stacked. They sag a bit, but will eventually be replaced with something more permanent.
    I also store a whole bunch of other fabrics (organic fleece, double gauze, thick organic, etc.) in the shower in my second bedroom--stacked to the ceiling. Obviously we no longer use this shower!
    As for the light, dust, with the solid fabric in the cardboard boxes--I have another piece of cardboard cut to fit that I place in front of the fabric so it will not be exposed to sunlight in my very bright sewing room. I would suggest that you hang an old sheet from the top shelf (tuck it behind the fabric at the top) cut to size, and remove it occasionally to admire and select your fabrics. You may be very sorry if you don't do this.
    Also, I used to store my scraps in very small bins from Ikea but found that when they were closed for a while they gave off fumes which I did not like. The large bins you use I have also had and they don't seem to do the same thing.
    I have seen bins at Target (Rubbermaid) that open from the side so they might work as substitutes for my cardboard boxes. But Target has closed in Canada. The bins were $19.95 here, so that was expensive.
    Love your blog. More please.

  5. What do my shelves look like? Hmmmm.... Empty compared to yours!!!

  6. Awesome! It sounds great. Much obliged for sharing.. Attorney Lakeland Fl


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