Professional Organizer Fact: When one of your sweetest, most loyal clients calls you up to organize her quilting studio, you jump on that job like a duck on a June bug!
Whenever we begin a project like this, the first question we ask our client is about their goals. What functions do you want the space to perform? What actions do you want to achieve when using the space? Who will have access to it?
This client’s goal was to create an organization system for storing her fabric “stash”. As an avid quilter, she needed visual access to all of her inventory including fabric, scraps and supplies.
We came up with multiple ideas for how to organize her fabric, but in the end, it was the client who had the cleverest and most functional plan for the space. As an expert in her medium, she was able to put her finger on exactly the best way to store her fabric: visually and vertically.
The client had about 8 plastic ten gallon bins of fabric in her stash. While the bins kept the fabric preserved, they were not user-friendly since she had to search through each bin to find what she needed (the result of which was just going to the store and buying new fabric rather than using her current stash).
First, decide where the fabric will be stored
Shelving was purchased to line one wall of the studio, opposite to her sewing table. The client chose narrow shelving to keep clean lines and minimize excess shelf waste.
Two Ikea bookshelves were purchased to store bolts of fabric and another smaller bookcase for storing fat quarters (small fabric remnants). The shelves were then anchored to the wall.
Second, determine how the fabric will be visible
Next, we wrapped the fabric in cardstock to provide rigidity and allow each bolt to stand up vertically in the shelf. We used comic book cardstock, which is the perfect size (6 3/4 X 10 ½) to wrap anything more than a half yard. You can find them here. After wrapping the fabric, pin on the top and bottom using straight or quilting pins.
Third, organize the fabric by color
Once we had the fabric wrapped, we organized it by color, using tall bookends to keep each section upright. Fat quarters were folded into squares and stored in the smaller bookcase.
A clear, over the door shoe organizer was used to organize fabric scraps by color. You can purchase one here.
Organize the project lists visually
Finally, we hung a series of 9 clipboards to the adjacent wall. This allows the client to have a visual reminder of each project she is working on, including those still in the planning stages.
Swatches of fabric, pattern drafts and inspirational ideas can be clipped onto each board and accessed quickly and easily.
As you can see, the end result is a visual factory, where our client spends very little time searching for supplies, and more time doing what she loves: creating art and memories for her friends and family.