The Big Dig: Part III: Dump, sort, fold.


We've made progress here. There used to be countless trash bags of fabric piled in our basement workstation.

In our free seminar on January 8th, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Organizing Your Sewing Room, we gave out lots of ideas on how to get organized. Well, the next day we used Karen’s good advice and started to sort my fabric so we could start bringing my stash home.

We started by grouping like-sized fabric together into five groups:
• fat quarters
• yardage (selvage to selvage) that is more than 9″ and less than 18″
• yardage ½ yard to 3 yards
• yardage over 3 yards
• scraps that are odd shapes and sizes

Since all my fabric is in large garbage bags, we sorted one bag at a time. Dumped the bag, sorted the fabric, folded the fabric.


Here's some fabric we dumped into laundry baskets. Ready for sorting and folding!

Folding Fabric
• Fat quarters are folded by bringing the long edges to meet in the middle, folded in half again lengthwise, then by bringing both short ends to the middle and folding in half. Stack in a pile.
• Yardage between 9” and 18” are grouped by color. We trim these fabrics to 12” x width of fabric. The scrap goes into the scraps pile. We pick six fabrics, open each fabric and layer it with the narrowest on top then roll the fabric into a 12” roll and put a rubber band around it to hold it together.
• Yardage that is ½ yard to 3 yards are folded on to a 5″ or 6″ long ruler, slip the ruler out and fold in half. Stack in a pile


Aha! All folded. Here's our neat piles of folded fat quarters and yardage. Doesn't it look pretty?! I just wish Karen would let me take it home now...

After five hours of dumping, sorting and folding, we only made a small dent in my stash, but the finished product looks so nice, neat and pretty. Now we just have to keep working away at the mess in Karen’s basement. Can’t wait to bring it all home. I walk past my empty sewing room and just dream about how beautiful it will be. It’s hard to be patient, but it’s well worth the wait.

— Posted by Della


6 responses to “The Big Dig: Part III: Dump, sort, fold.

  1. Oh wow! I DREAM of having garbage bags full of fabric! That’s probably not healthy…

  2. I have only just found this website and would love to see the finished room,
    Where are the photo’s for it please?

  3. Sarah Rothwell

    I have a question about the 9″-18″ strips. Did you cut all the 12+ down to 12, and leave everything smaller as is? I have got to get more organized, ASAP, and this fabric sorting method looks much better than what I’m using right now. And if it isn’t mentioned in the newer posts (I’m reading in order), how did yall organize everything smaller than a FQ? Thanks for all the tips. I’m going to start moving everything out of my sewing room this week.

  4. Hi Sarah, To answer both of your questions – yes, I have maintained my organized room, however, I have moved to a new house. My new sewing room is a little bigger than the old one, and it resulted in a few new challenges.
    Yes, I cut the strips down to about 12″ and then rolled them. I really like doing it this way, because it made those pieces usable and easy to find. My least favorite item is little scraps – wow these can get out of control fast. I have been cutting 10″ and 5″ squares – my granddaughters love to design with these. I have also been cutting a lot of strips ( 1 1/2″ and 1 3/4″) – I have a ruler (zig zag) that makes great scrap quilts. So when I cut squares, I also cut strips. I put them into a box labeled light or dark, then when I have a few minutes I can sew small strips together to use with this ruler. You can see a picture of the quilt I made using my stash – it is on our Facebook page under Quilt Expressions Staff photos. Good luck with your organizing project.

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