Between the piles of fabric, bobbins of thread, and countless tools that you use to craft a quilt (you know — the rulers, scissors, pins, seam rippers, etc.), a quilt workspace can get messy real fast without some serious organization. And because quilts take so much precision and accuracy, you don’t want pieces or much-needed supplies getting lost in the shuffle.
And sure, it’s going to get messy while you’re putting together a quilt — but keeping these tips and tricks in mind can help manage the confusion a bit!
- Location, location, location
Think strategically about where to put your stuff when organizing — specifically, placing the supplies right near where you’ll be using them, so you’re more likely to return them to their specific spot. Plus, it’ll save you time to have your supplies close by and not across the room.
- Think outside the box (or container) when it comes to storage
There’s nothing wrong with buying stacks of plastic containers from the store to stay organized — but don’t forget about items you might already have around the house. Some clever About.com readers offered suggestions like using a bookshelf to organize fabric, a spice rack to organize tiny things like pins and needles, or flower pots to hold supplies like scissors and seam rippers. HGTV also has lots of these — unused pizza boxes for storing quilt blocks, egg cartons for thread, and even a pants hanger for holding up your pattern book so you can see it! Not only will this find new uses for old stuff sitting around the house, but it’ll add something unique to your workspace!
- Utilize your wall space
Whether it’s a design wall so you can see your work more clearly, or a bulletin board or magnetic memo board where you can tack fabric swatches, a wall is prime real estate for organizing your stuff. Containers and cabinets are essential, but if they’re too big, you risk important stuff getting buried at the bottom — which is why the wall should be kept in mind when you’re looking to organize.
- Store similar items together
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to store similar items next to each other so they are easy to find. What practically makes sense to be near each other? What tools are you always using together or before/after one another in the quilting process? If you have a lot of one item — e.g. rulers — store them all in the same place so they aren’t scattered around and more difficult to find.
- Get rid of the clutter
Go through all your supplies and identify items that are worn out, broken, or just not being used. Do you need five of the same thing, or could you donate some of them to fellow quilters or a thrift store? Finding items you haven’t used in years — or some things that you’ve never used at all? Getting rid of the stuff that you simply aren’t using or can’t use will make room for the supplies that you really do need — and make your storage spaces more open and clear.
When you focus less of your time on tracking down and running around the room for supplies, you’ll have more time to focus on actually designing and crafting your quilt. Plus, brainstorming creative storage solutions is another fun way to tap into your artsy side!
What tips do you have for organizing your quilting supplies?