Monday, September 05, 2011

stash re-design; a labor of love . . .

Not so much happening on my design wall, so to speak, but that's not to say that I haven't been busy in the sewing room!

I recently came to the conclusion that I had too much stash and that it wasn't organized in such a manner that I could utilize it. In fact I had this tub--and the subsequent two boxes--filled with fabric and stored in the back bathroom. The door to said bathroom is behind my sewing/project table, so it's not convenient. In fact, it's so inconvenient that I was buying new fabric instead of checking what I already had, which resulted in me purchasing new fabric that I already had.

Something had to be done.

Tub of fabric and other cloth.

Below is a box full of leftovers from prior projects.


This box was filled with nothing but Christmas fabrics:


Yes. Something definitely needed to be done. First, I needed to get my stash organized and into storage that was accessible. So I dumped out the giant rubbermaid tub of fabric and sorted it into smaller containers.

Because we are in the RV, lidded containers are important to me. Mainly because if we have to pick up and go, I know they'll travel better with lids!

Sorting my stash into manageable containers was a solution to only part of the dilemma. And it was the easy part. I still needed somewhere accessible to store the smaller containers. This was going to take a little more work and I knew that things would get worse, long before they got better. This is always a challenge for me in our RV living!


And I was right. I emptied all the stuff I had stored on top of my rubbermaid drawer sets as well as emptying the drawers themselves. Those drawers were filled with all kinds of kits that I'd purchased somewhere along the way that one day I *will* get to.

Anyway, at one point it looked like an explosion at a fabric warehouse. Luckily Todd was on shift on the day I chose for this project. I had my space *and* his space completely covered in stuff!

I decided to use one of the empty drawers for my Christmas fabrics. One is craft supplies (hot glue gun, yarn, floss, ribbons, floral wire and tape, beads, etc.) One is nothing but quilting notions and stabilizers. One is all my patterns (quilting and sewing) and quilting templates. One is filled with projects that I might will work on/complete within the next year. And the last one got filled with fabrics that I had in significant yardage.


Then the small containers of my newly sorted fabric stash fit perfectly into the empty space on top of my drawers. (The skinny set of drawers in my two quilting drawers is filled with office supplies, note/greeting cards, and tissue paper and bows. Just in case you were curious.)

And everything had a place -- and trust me -- every place had a thing.

I like being in my sewing space so much more when it's tidy and organized! I set aside two of the small containers and used them for my current projects. That way whatever I'm working on is all together and contained. I used a third container to fill with smallish pieces of batting, for small projects like quilted postcards and table toppers.

All I had left to deal with was the huge pile of kits and that big, empty tub. Eureka!

I used those big, vacuum sealed bags, filled them with my kits, sucked the air out of them with the vacuum hose, and stowed the compressed bags in the tub. But not before making a list of every kit I had. Do you know there were things I'd completely forgotten I had?!? No more. There's a list on my computer so I know exactly what's where. Then I put the tub back into that back bathroom. Whew.

The freedom of being able to get into my fabric stash will be wonderful -- I know I'll use so much more of it since I'll be able to easily play with colors and patterns. I'm so glad I spent a day and just DID it!

Now I'm going to head over to Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times and see what everyone else is playing with on this Design Wall Monday!

Happy Labor (or labor-less, as the case may be) Day!

:)

18 left a comment . . .:

Nina-Marie said...

OMG what a challenge - its always hard to keep your stash and sewing stuff organized but add to that doing it in a RV - wow! congrats on finding a solution!! I've reorganized my sewing hole and stash several times over 20 years - always trying to find the best way. I still haven't found the best way and I'm in a 14 room victorian LOL!

Judy D in WA said...

I guess I should never complain about my sewing space again. Having spent lots of time in an RV, I know how limited space is. Good job getting all of your things into their places. You now have a very happy work space. :)

Kate said...

You were very courageous to start such a task, then very dedicated to finish it. I need to do the same, but cringe when I think about it. Enjoy your new organized space.

Julie Kaye from KS said...

WOW, I'm impressed. You get a lot of stuff in your space.

Pat said...

Great job...I do that kind of job periodically and really need to do it again soon...but not today! LOL

Barbara F. said...

Denise, you really are my "idol", a "craft/sewing" room, beautifully organized, in an RV........all I can say is wow. xo,

Cathy said...

Woohoo for you. Great job!! Now, all you have to do is start a new project to use it up, or play with one of your kits.

LuAnn said...

It looks like you've got a good handle on things, but I understand how sometimes it is easier to go buy more instead of digging for what we have. Your organization is beautiful...and I envy you having that RV. My daughter lived in Huntsville a couple of years, and I enjoyed visiting Alabama.

Debbie said...

I'm completely amazed...you are in an RV? Your organization skills are wonderful. Bet it was a little fun to reacquaint yourself with all those wonderful kits. Hope it got you excited to tackle those projects!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Grin....I made my DH look at your stash. I have way too much as well, but isn't it fun.

Eden said...

wow, what a great accomplishment getting it all out, sorted and back into good order! I am totally jealous. I am also revamping my space, but it is taking very much longer than yours did!

Michelle said...

I can't imagine keeping all of my stsh (let alone the rest of my life) organized in an RV. You are *so* impressive!

Quilter Kathy said...

Wow! Great organizational tips! How fabulous to have a list of every kit you have!

Editfolt said...

This wonderful collection of material. A very nice study.

Sarah said...

Denise - I think you have quite the impressive stash and a very organized studio. Hopefully the smaller boxes will allow you to use what you already have.

Mary said...

You really put a lot of thought into this project. I know you will be happier now that it's done, and taking your work on the road will be easier and more fun too!

Anne said...

Great Job! My stash is downstairs and I don't even want to think about going through it. Maybe this idea will rub off on me, at least I'm sure my husband hopes it will!

Love Bears All Things said...

I like a neat space, too. Unfortunately the only time mine looks like that is when I'm between projects.
Mama Bear