Taking Care of the Small Stuff

Carrying on with the theme of all my posts lately, I'm going to talk some more about reorganizing my fabric collection.  As I've already written in another post, I'm thrilled with the outcome of putting my bigger cuts of fabric onto bolts and putting them on shelves, just like in a fabric store.  So after getting those bits into order I turned my focus to my fat quarters and smaller cuts of fabric (under 80cm lengths).

I thought long and hard how to organize them as well.  At first I considered putting them on smaller bolts to make them a mini version of my shelved fabric.  But after some thought I decided against that.  Number one, what a tedious project to have to cut boards to such a small size and two, once I had them on boards where would I put them?  On a mini shelf or Heaven forbid, back into a box.  No.  I needed to think of something else.  I thought of just folding them neatly and stacking them.  But I've tried this before and I eventually get frustrated when I want to pull something from the bottom of the pile because inevitably the entire stack gets messed up.  No, I wanted organized but easy to shuffle about without messing up a lot of things.

I came up with rolls.

Rolling my fat quarters solved a lot of problems.  I could store them in multiple ways - on end or piled on top of each other in a pretty basket and I could easily sort through all of them without messing up all the tedious folding of piles of fat quarters stacked on top of each other.  They look neat and tidy and they're so easy to just unroll and use.  If I decide I don't want to use that fat quarter all I have to do is re-roll and throw it back into the pile.  Easy!

To keep the rolled fabric from unrolling I used a simple printed strip that is held together with tape on the end. 

I tried to keep the rolls uniform in size but I wasn't annal about it.  Also I rolled not just fat quarters but also large scraps and fabric cuts smaller than 80cm (in other words not big enough for bolts).  Initially I wrote in the square box on the strip how much fabric was in the roll but after a while I stopped.  I can pretty much tell how much fabric is on a roll just by it's size.  Large - more than a fat quarter, medium - a fat quarter and small, scrap.  Again, easy.

I really like that I can literally spill all the rolls out onto the table to sort through and pick out what I want without making a mess. 

Overall I have to say my fabric reorganization project has been a real success.  I'm almost ready to start digging into all this visible stash to make something.


  1. Those rolls are an excellent idea McKenna, easy to store, and even easier to sort through when you are looking for something. I see a bit of fabric rolling in my future. What sort of paper did you use for your printed strips?

    1. Hi Pip - I used plain ol' printer paper. Nothing fancy. And because it's nothing fancy I can easily print more to keep in reserve for when I unroll, look, and then want to put back. I love easy!

  2. I love your reorganized fabric collection. I just recently did this myself. I'm wondering if you have a solution for those "layer cake" collections: the 10" square packs? I have several and don't really want to fold them, don't really want to forget about them, either. So far, they're just laying flat on a shelf, taking up way too much space. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Toohey, I don't have many layer cakes or per-packaged cuts. But for the ones I do have I've put them in ziplock bags and store them in the hanging shoe rack that is in between my fabric shelves. The small pockets that should store shoes works really well for small packages of fabric as well as rolls of velum, interfaces etc.


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