Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIWOW- July 27, 2011

Hi everyone:

Warning: this is a lengthy post!

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I've just returned from vacation in Montana. I managed to visit 3 quilt shops, thanks to suggestions from Facebook.  Not bad for being away for only 6 days! Of course I did manage to pick up some items - translation - too much! Now I have to find somewhere to house my new purchases. If you read my post yesterday, you know that I'm rearranging the storage in my quilt studio so that it will be better organized and will make it, hopefully, easier for me to find the items I need when I need them.

So, today what I'm working on is storage and organization. I always hesitate to rearrange my studio since I usually know where things are and, even if it isn't the most organized solution, it seems to work for me. Recently, however, I've been reading some organizational books, such as "Unstuff Your Life" by Andrew J. Mellen (thanks to Mark Lipinski's Creative Mojo radio show), where he suggests that everything should have a place and like should be with like. Okay, so I guess storing threads in four different places isn't really the most efficient storage solution.  I'm going to try to follow Mr. Mellen's suggestions - to the best of my ability - and rearrange my studio in the hopes that I won't spend hours looking for that fabric that I know is in here somewhere.

I first purchased some storage towers and plastic boxes from Wal-Mart. I then moved out the boxes and bags of fabric in my sauna/fabric storage room to see what I had - a lot! Once I saw what I actually had, I could make some decisions as to where the fabric should be stored. I also gathered all my thread together to decide where it could be stored more efficiently. I managed to get the thread in one storage tower under my long-arm frame. That was quite easy. The fabric was another matter. 
Thread now in one storage tower - and labelled!

Smaller spools of thread sorted into separate containers by thread type 
I'll admit that I don't fold my fabric so it fits very well in my cupboards (see the photo below). It was getting to the point where I couldn't tell what I had and it wasn't fitting very well in the cupboards. I've decided to start folding my fabric so it's all the same size width and length and this will help me to see what I actually have in my stash. While it may take me awhile to fold my existing stash, I vow to fold all new purchases before they are put away. So far, I have been able to keep this promise. (Guess I didn't buy as much as I thought I had!). It will take me some time to fold my existing stash, but I think I can accomplish this while watching tv at night.
These definitely need tidying up.
Notice the fabric inspector to the right.
These fabrics will be going in the storage towers in the sauna.
I put the two new plastic storage towers in the sauna (an existing smaller tower contains my fat quarters and Christmas fabrics) and put some kits in the bottom two drawers. Daiwabo fabrics are in another drawer and I will be putting my novelty fabrics in the remaining drawers. I'm not sure if I'll have room left for any of my other fabrics, but this will free up some cupboards in my quilting studio area, which will be great. I still have some kits in boxes and plastic storage bins, but these are marked, so that's not a problem. 
Here's what I've accomplished so far. I think things are looking better already and I love how the fabric looks when it is all folded up. It certainly makes it easier to see what I have. 

And after! Kits are in the 2 drawers to the left and folded fabric is in the middle drawer on the right. Still have to sort out some of the fabric in the bottom right drawer. Lots of room left for novelty fabrics.
There's even visible floor space!

No more thread and lots of room for some notions.
The only problem I still have is with the thread storage. I need a way to keep the large cones upright, rather than rolling around in the drawer. Perhaps one of the thread storage stands with pegs on them that you usually hang on the wall might work in the drawer to keep these cones upright. 

A lot of "drunken" thread cones!

If you have a suggestion as to how I can store my thread cones in this drawer, I would love to hear it - as well as any other storage tips.


Cathy Tomm said...

Large Thread I have two stands on a table top type. I have a cloth cover over them to keep dust and sun off them. Works well for me. Small one in drawers with brands having a box each. I have two sulky cases for rayons. I have an old pattern draw set with thread stands on top and top two drawers are thread in boxes, some large spools upright but these are the brands I do not like any more. Should consider selling them.

Vicki B said...

Wow! looking good! actually looking like you don't have enough fabric - lol. I have recently moved, have a great space to sew in but haven't started organizing yet so am waiting to read comments on your site. It is fun revisiting all our stuff though isn't it?!

MoeWest said...

The first question that comes to mind about your thread: why don't you use a thread rack on your wall? I don't think a thread rack would work in a drawer since the dowels are angled. An alternative would be easy to make. You need a 1" X 2" length of wood to fit the depth of your drawer. Drill holes for your dowels spaced appropriately apart to accomodate your thread. Cut pieces of 1/4" dowel and stick them in there with a little wood glue. Make as many of these as you can fit side by side in the drawer. You could attach them all by attaching a parallel piece of wood at the top and bottom. Voila, you made a drawer rack! I hate to say the W-word, but you need to free up that sauna before the cold weather returns.

Cathy Keevill said...

Wonderfil Threads makes a plastic insert that fits into the bottom of drawers to hold large cones upright. They work quite well and are reasonably priced.

Your studio is coming together nicely. You must have worked like crazy after you left here yesterday.

By the way, thanks for the help with the borders on that quilt. Still not sure which way I am going, but maybe tonight I can make a decision.

Lee D said...

I wonder if you could fit a couple of shoe boxes in the drawer to help keep them upright and sorted. :)

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, ladies. My wall space is just about non-existent, hence why I don't have any thread holders hanging on my walls - plus I don't want them to get dusty, faded or covered in cat hair. I'd like to have some holders for in the drawers (like Cathy suggested). I also found these suggestions on line. Check out:
Fabric folding is almost complete, and while time consuming, I can't believe how much less space my stash now takes up. Maybe I'll even have room for more fabric acquisitions:)