Ah, the new year. White sales abound and people like to get organized and spend time shopping in home improvement stores. In an effort to organize our fabric purchases we try to come up with many solutions to the storage space problem. Do you classify them by color, type (Japanese or Batik?), project, or date purchased (Vacation: July 5th,1997 – yikes!)? It is the pain we all feel as quilters. I don’t hear painters discussing this particular problem, or cross stitchers, or stamp collectors. But quilters talk about this all the time. We have such guilt about our stash. Here are some of the ways we attempt to organize and get a handle on the problem. What storage solutions do you go for? What’s Your Storage Personality?
The Boxer: You have tons of semi-clear plastic boxes from big-box hardware stores, discount warehouses, and national-chain drugstores. Unfortunately none of them match each other, and you have large, small, and somewhere in between. These were purchased with the idea of finally getting organized, and you swore your sewing room would always look neat with the addition of these boxes. However, once the lid comes off and you dive in to find the perfect batik, no wait, the blue floral in the other box, the lids may never find their way back to their perfect match and your lids, when put back, will sit askew forevermore.
The Mine Field: Thank God the door to your sewing room closes because the floor is a mine field of piles of fabrics, and patterns, and boxes of assorted threads, yarns and buttons. You know where everything is, and can do a nice foxtrot from the door over to your sewing machine without stepping directly on any pile and burning 30 calories at the same time. You just didn’t get out to get those plastic storage boxes, or if you did, you spent too much money on other sundries or fabric and couldn’t justify the $7.95 – $16.95 for a box for goodness sake! Maybe when they go on sale…
The Squirrel: What fabric stash? You hardly have any fabric. What you do have is neatly stored away – – in the attic, under the boy’s beds, in the old laundry basket in the back closet, and in Aunt Edith’s armoire you stored in the garage last year. Really, it’s not that much. It’s only enough to make that bull’s eye quilt for Billy if, or rather when he graduates, two crib-size baby quilts, because someone is always having a baby, that cute Christmas tree skirt kit that you just had to have, and the batiks from when that quilt store closed (on sale – how could you pass that up?) Now if you could just remember where you stored the sewing machine.
The Shelver: You are the annoying quilter who has all your neatly-folded fabric arranged on shelves. It looks like a store display. Come on – that can’t be all of it. And how do all the bundles fold to the same size and stay color-coordinated? You love to invite others into your sewing room because it is just too good to be true. And it is too good to be true. We know that somewhere you have pillow-cases full of scraps, chipped rulers, and a bunch of UFO’s because you are so busy being neat and making the rest of us look bad, that you can’t possibly finish any projects. Let go and ease up. Leave your next purchase in the bag, then forget where you put it when you need it. It will make the rest of us feel that you are actually human!
Can you identify yourself from the list above? I know I can. Send a picture of how you organize – the messier the better. It makes the rest of us feel so good!