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2017 Resolutions : Organize the Quilt Closet

NOTE: I've had to republish this post.  I apparently did not hit the "save" button the first time! Lesson learned!

Four weeks into the new year and I have completed one of my resolutions!  To recap you can find them here. I completely organized my fabric closet and oh man was it a doozy!  I had planned on giving myself an entire weekend for the task, but it ended up taking me four days!  It could have gone faster, but M broke her finger and Goose caught the flu and with the demands of a 2 month old it's amazing I got dinner on the table let alone finished organizing this mess.  But I'm pretty excited with how things turned out!

I had a set of wall mounted shelves from Ikea that used to be in the laundry room of our old apartment.  Handsomepants mounted them for me, or should I say remounted the shelves.  Apparently a 1/2" tilt was too much for his analytic brain to handle after I mounted them first, but really do appreciate that he thinks anything less than the best is a felony.  

Probably the one and only time the shelves will be this tidy. 

Probably the one and only time the shelves will be this tidy. 

The boxes on the upper right shelf hold a bunch of my scraps, each box with different sizes.  The pink accordion folder is where I put templates for applique or EPP.  I tend to save the little cardboard rectangles that sometimes come with fat quarters and I create a master pattern out of them.  When I want to use that pattern, I then trace the shape onto freezer paper.  This helps my patterns and shapes remain consistent throughout a project.

 I lined up all of my pattern books, and I found a small LP holder that I'm now using to organize my loose and printed patterns.  The Tazo tea canisters hold a bazzillion buttons I let the girls play with when I want to keep them entertained.  The tupper ware tower to the left of the drawer has my small quilting supplies like scissors, rotary cutters, pins, pencils, and chapstick.  The lower tubs have more scraps and some bulk yardage of random fabrics.  To the right of the dresser I leaned tall quilting supplies, like freezer paper and bulk yardage that I wrapped around wrapping paper tubes.

Rulers and cutting mats. 

Rulers and cutting mats. 

My new ruler wall!   I used nails to hand my rulers and cutting mats on, the nails are longer than other mounting tools and I can hang multiple things on a single nail without compromising the wall.  I prefer this method of organization over ruler racks because I can immediately see what I have.  I'm also convinced that I don't have enough rulers.  There is definitely room for improvement when it comes to expanding my collection. I have my eye on some specialized rulers for dresdens and rounded corners.  It's too bad I've put myself on such a tight budget this year.

The  bottom nail is also high enough for me to hang my large cutting mat on as well.  In general I leave my large cutting mat on my quilting desk, but when I do want to completely pack away all of my quilting things there's enough space on the wall. 

The pink cutting mat in the picture is my traveling mat.  It's a nice medium-small size that makes it easy to take places, and it's old enough that I wouldn't be shattered if I forgot it someplace.  I also let Goose use it when she wants to "cut things when I quilt, meaning she gets some paper, scraps, and safety sicssors.  

Fat quarters and smaller cuts of fabric.

Fat quarters and smaller cuts of fabric.

When we moved we somehow ended up with an extra dresser.  I'm not sure how we managed to fit clothes for three kids into two dressers, but instead of donating this brown beauty, I decided to use it to organize the majority of my fabrics.  

The top drawer is where I put all of my fat quarters and fat eighths.  I took the time to arrange them by color, because rainbows are pretty! I also have a quick visual that lets me know if I'm using up one color more than others and if I need to restock.  

Precuts plus some semi finished projects that need to be pieced.

Precuts plus some semi finished projects that need to be pieced.

The second drawer has my precuts, frivols, and some WIPs.  The WIPs are those projects whose blocks are pieced, but nothing more.  Some of the projects I have wrapped up in the fabric I bought for backing, that way I can kind of keep the projects together.  

I usually like to keep projects in a zip lock bag or those plastic "envelopes" that sheet sets come in.  The bags help me keep all of my blocks, fabrics, and cut pieces together without forgetting what goes where or with what project.  But since these blocks are already finished, I didn't bother with the bags.  I simply stacked the blocks from left to right in their rows, and then slightly skewed each stack to signify a new row.

Fabrics that measure more than a yard plus a set of bed sheets because I'm on a budget!

Fabrics that measure more than a yard plus a set of bed sheets because I'm on a budget!

The two bottom drawers are full of fabrics that measure a yard or more.  I have oodles of fabric like this , but I have to admit that I'm not super crazy about some of the prints.  Some of the fabrics are old... really old... older than me old.  But beggars can't be choosers right?  And some Orvus made the fabrics feel like new, I just need to find the right projects for them. I'm thinking the the backings of wall hangings will be perfect because no one will have to look at them. 

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Farther into the closet I've hung up the WIPs that need to be basted, quilted, or have their bindings finished.  I'm hoping this year to seriously cut down on the number of these projects which is why I set a New Year's resolution of finishing 10 WIPs.  

The broke, black filing cabinet has random things in it, like our degree certificates and a Knight's Templar bronze seal.  Don't ask me where I got it from, but as someone with a bachelors in Medieval history, it's pretty cool.  

The tupper ware tower is full of yarn, because I totally knit... or not.  The blue bag I made and entered into an AGF sewing competition and was thoroughly stomped by the other ladies who competed.  I now use the bag to keep all of my EPP projects in.  It's nice and easy for travel so I can sew in the car or when I go to my Tuesday night quilt circle and don't feel like lugging my machine around.  Underneath the bag is a plastic case that my old comforter came in.  I use it to hold all of my batting that's large enough to use on regular sized quilts, the small stuff was put into my scrap stash.

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In between the dresser and my hanging WIPs is a little space of wall where I mounted my spool holder and quilting and embroidery hoops.  Handsomepants made my spool holder for me because he loves me and he's a good man.  I honestly have never used the hoops, but I keep telling my self that I'm going to start hand quilting, so they might stop collecting dust this year!  

It's such a breath of fresh air to have all of my quilting stuff organized.  I know exactly what and where things are when I need them.  I didn't realize how much of a neat freak I was until we moved into this house and I could organize from the ground up!

What's the state of your quilting space?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Quilting!

- Rita