Organizing Backing Fabric

I needed a better system for organizing my quilt backings.  I had folded the fabrics that I had purchased for future quilt backings on my bookcase shelves.  However, when I would go looking for the perfect backing I would pull out backings from the pile and measure the yardage only to find out the piece I had selected wasn’t suitable in quantity for the quilt I was wanting to quilt.  After doing that a few times, I would have a mess on the shelf from pulling fabrics out of the middle or bottom of the pile and the fabrics that weren’t selected would then accumulate on the floor.  Although having fabrics nicely stacked on shelves may look neat, it doesn’t seem that this is a practical way for me to store and manage my backing fabrics.

I went to IKEA with a friend this week to see what they might have as a storage solution for my quilt backings.  I came home with two large Kuggis boxes.  (14.25″ W x 21.25″ D x 8.25″ H) I measured the yardage I had for each backing and recorded the number of inches, number of yards, and number of meters as well as a description of the print into a spreadsheet.  (Once I had the number of inches, I used formulas to convert to yards and meters since I was using Excel.) I folded my fabric lengthwise twice so I could use my 6″ x 12″ Omnigrip ruler to roll the fabric to a uniform size.  My fabric ended up in a nice neat rectangular shape that fit perfectly into the Kuggis box. rn12-omnigrip-1I added a hard copy of the spreadsheet to the box. Because the fabric is stored on its end using the KonMari Method of folding, I can easily see all backings at a glance and I can pick the backing that best suits my quilt top.  By referring to the spreadsheet, I can easily determine if there is sufficient yardage without having to pull the fabric out and measure it. DSC_0674

 BACKINGS – Box #1

In Inches      In Yards      In Meters         Description

182               5.1                4.6                   Construction
206               5.7                5.2                   Cacti
124               3.4                3.1                   Blue alphabet
206               5.7                5.2                   Gray & black chevron
202               5.6                5.1                   Green with pine branches & pinecones
174               4.8              4.4                    Black with cars
300               8.3                7.5                   Fall with red, green, & yellow leaves
144               4.0                3.6                   Red with brown lizards
336               9.3                8.4                   Blue daisies
170               4.7                4.3                  Blue roosters on grass
135               3.8                3.4                   Brown with bears & deer
206               5.7                5.2                   Blue with houses
168               4.7                4.2                   Grey background with black cats

DSC_0673 BACKINGS – Box #2

In Inches      In Yards      In Meters      Description

216                6.0               5.4                 Snowman with cacti
196                5.4               4.9                 Blue with glitter / winter
230                6.4               5.8                 Red with gold Christmas trees
240                6.7               6.0                 Green with black cats
346                9.6               8.7                 Brown with daisies
254                7.1               6.4                 Black with gold flowers
250                6.9               6.3                 Desert with cacti / Monument Valley
324                9.0               8.1                 Palm trees
152                4.2               3.8                 Turquoise with Kokopelli
71                 2.0               1.8                 Blue with pink flamingos – first piece
98                 2.7               2.5                 Blue with pink flamingos – second piece


In the photo of the closed boxes on the shelves you will see that I have some pieces of fabric stored on top of the boxes.  These fabric pieces are wide backings.  I haven’t measured these as I only buy wide backings in sufficient yardage to back large queen size quilts.

I still have more backing fabric to organize, but I will need to purchase more boxes.  Just a warning though;  these boxes are heavy once they are full of fabric so do not store them on high shelves as you may end up dropping a full box of fabric on yourself when you go to remove the box from the shelf!

Addition of the Quilting Annex

Our son bought his own place and moved out on his own in April. When he was living at home, his bedroom was the room just off my studio. Once the space was vacated, I seized the opportunity to occupy the additional real estate and my Quilting Annex was born!

My husband and I got busy and painted the walls in the new space and made a trip to IKEA to buy some more cabinets to add much needed storage. These are pictures of the new space.
This is the view you see as you enter my longarm studio. To the right is the door to my new Quilting Annex.

This is the view from across the room looking back towards the door into my longarm studio.

This is the view from the side of the longarm studio. The picture was taken while standing in the doorway of the Annex.

This is the view of the opposite side of the room looking into the Annex.

This is a picture taken from inside the Quilting Annex. Storage surrounds my worktable.

The bottom half of the shelving units houses my stash. Fabrics in my stash are organized in colour groupings. The top sections of the shelving units are open and house UFO’s and fabrics that have been committed to projects not yet started.

The white boxes in this picture house UFO’s. The clear totes to the right of the white boxes house strips and squares organized in various size groupings. These boxes are used to make the scrap quilts that I love so much.

I have room for all my quilting books and magazines within reach of my worktable.

And here I am working on my Scrap Chevron Log Cabin blocks. You can see my laptop on my work surface. My laptop allows me to quilt and chat with my quilting friends living in Alabama, Oregon, and Wisconsin via Messenger.

A tour of my studio would not be complete without checking in with Joey. This is Joey’s favorite spot to sit in my studio–the windowsill. From this vantage point Joey can keep an eye on everything that moves through the yard and down the street.
This picture is for Linda. Our rhubarb seems to be enjoying the rainy weather we have had this spring. Those large leaves are so suited to trapping the rain. Rhubarb grows like a weed here. I wish I could send you some, Linda!