Too much fabric or too little space??

Some days, it's almost hard to tell the difference ... aw, shucks, I'm kidding - there's NEVER any such thing as "too much fabric!" Though as your cabinets bulge, your shelves groan, and you lose small notions (and QIs), I'm sure it can SEEM that way!

Sew since throwing away that "extra" fabric is out of the question ('cause you ARE eventually going to use that novelty fabric that you bought 10 years ago, right?) and you can't exactly ask your hubby to sleep in the closet and give you the bedroom for fabric storage (I can think of no better way for a hubby to "prove his love," can you? LOL) we have to come up with clever ways to economize space AND try to keep your space an inspiring sanctuary - rather than a creativity constipator!

Closet case:
If you're lucky enough to have a closet in your sewing space (if not, you can use your side of the closet in your bedroom - who needs clothes when you can have fabric, right?), invest in a closet organizer. These are usually meant for storing sweaters, shoes, extra sheets, etc, made of canvas, and hang from your closet rod. Stack your fabric (the fold of the fabric facing "out" of course!) in these "cubbies" and keep the stacks neat by inserting cardboard (the backs of writing pads work extremely well - thick enough to be sturdy, but not so thick that you sacrifice space) between the stacks.

Get artsy with your project storage:
Invest in a (fairly) cheap taboret (the kind artists use to flat file store their work or keep supplies close at hand) ... Target (NAYY) sells a nice quality one for $30. They have "flat file" drawers that close and lock (much like a pencil case). You can store your fabrics, templates, pattern, thread, etc, in one "case" and take it with you into the next room, into the car, or just to protect your supplies until you're ready to work!

Or if you've not got a quilt plan or project in mind, but want to keep your fabric choices together, you can put your coordinated fabrics into one case for safekeeping (and to prevent you from using one of those fabrics in another quilt!).

Avoid being driven batty:
I don't know about you, but when my LQS or JoAnn's has a sale on batts, I go crazy and stock up! Nothin's worse than gettin' the itch to quilt and not having any batts on hand!

So I don't end up neck deep in batts, I use some "extra" fabric and make neckrolls ... instead of using a pillow form for the rolls, I just use unwrapped batts for the inserts. It makes your bed look pretty (I have about 6 on there, now) and it means more space in your sewin' room! Since you don't actually sleep on the "neck roll" pillows, the plastic isn't uncomfy.

Get a handle on your jellies:
Jelly rolls, a fairly new way your LQS sells "charm packs," can quickly get out of hand (especially if you're ME!). In order to keep some order in the chaos that I call my sewin' room, I use a vertical paper towel holder to store my jellies (the rolls, not the doughnuts or jams!). Find the center of the "swirl" and gently poke your finger through the hole. Once you've done that, you can slip the center of the "hole" over the center of the vertical paper towel holder! Once paper towel holder will hold about 6 ... Or if you have one of those ribbon holders that's never as filled a you thought it'd be when you bought it, you can slip the jelly "hole" over that and store more!

Windows to the soul:
Now this is where ya'll might think I'm a loon! I make curtains out of my long cuts! I'll take about 5 fabrics out of a line, put a casing in the top on each, a hem on the sides and bottom, and hang them up as curtains! I end up with pretty "multicolor" curtains that later, when I get the itchin', I can pull the hems and use the fabric in a quilt! Meanwhile, I have those pretty curtains, and MORE space for bought fabric!

Told you that you'd think I was a certified loon! :)

Nuts 'n' bolts
I saw a fabric shop do this and did it myself at home! When you buy fabric in a bolt, take the bolts and stand them up in a bushel basket! I bought about 4 of these a few years back, and every one of them is filled with bolts of fabric stood on end. It looks awfully pretty and frees up space for ... you guessed it! More fabric!

Alrighty, that's about it for now. I hope to have a few more tips on the subject tomorrow, so I sure do hope ya'll still stay tuned! :)

Tomorrow: More tips on organizing your space!