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How To Store Fabric In Your Quilting Room

One question we get asked all the time here at The Quilting Room is how do I store fabric.  It's no secret amongst long-time readers that I love fabric and have just as much fabric as I do sewing machines.  I also don't live in a huge house though I'm blessed to have a basement.  I'm going to walk you through how I organize my fabric and feel free to pick and choose the methods that work best for you.

Get ideas to get your quilt fabric stash organized

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How To Store Fabric in Your Quilting Room

Depending on where you live you might need to make a few adjustments to my methods.  I live in a very rural area with dirt roads so dust is a major issue that I have to battle.  If you don't have to battle dust you might not need as much enclosed storage.  Also you will need to adjust your fabric storage based on your budget and last but not least, you might need to adjust how you store fabric in your quilting room based on if you have to share your space.  Shelves full of fabric in the dining room might not work for everyone.

Before we get into storing our fabric stash away if you do more than quilting you'll want to keep each type of fabric separated.  I don't do a lot of garment sewing but since I do a lot of craft sewing and a lot of quilting I want to keep those two fabrics separated.  If you want to know more about the difference in cotton fabrics check out my post about fabric quality. 

Supplies To Store Fabric

Some of these things you might already have and some might be new ideas and some might not work at all for you.

A lot of these things can be purchased second hand and paint does wonders if what you find second hand doesn't fit your decor but it does fit your budget.  Another option that could work for you is kitchen cabinets.  They don't work for everyone because of space and budget.  I was lucky enough to find a set of used cabinets that were super cheap, I could paint them, and Paul could install them.  

Using The Supplies to Store Fabric

Once we have the supplies it's time to get to organizing the fabric.  Depending on your stash you might want to start tackling one area at a time.

Large Plastic Bags

I use this for kitting.  Normally when I talk about quilt kits people assume I'm talking about the kits that are available for purchase at our favorite local quilt shop but I'm not.  They are similar but we are making our own.  If I've purchased fabric for a specific project, I put the fabric and the pattern in the bag together.  I also use the bags to put cut fabric in so things don't go missing, cats seem to steal pieces of fabric in my house. 


I keep two of these beside my cutting table.  One is trash that I can easily dump into a bigger trashcan and the other is for scraps I will keep.  When my scrap basket is full then I spend the time breaking it down and storing it away where it goes.  The baskets I linked aren't huge so I'm not going to end up with days and days of work breaking down scraps.  

Plastic Shoe Boxes, Shelves, Bookcases

Since I need to battle dust and cats I use the shoe boxes to store fabric, neither can get in there.  Plus they are clear so I can see what is in the box.  The boxes also fit nicely on the shelves.  If you don't need to worry about dust or cats ruining your fabric you can just use the shelves.  Our fabrics are gorgeous and bring a lot of color to a room.  Of course, shelves and bookcases work the best if you have a dedicated space.

Dressers and Filing Cabinets, Comic Book Boards

If you need to "hide away" your fabric dressers and filing cabinets are great way to do that.  The comic book boards are great to wrap fabric on and they are archival grade so they aren't going to leach chemicals into our fabric.  I use the comic book boards for yardage since half-yard and fat quarters fold and hold themselves without the support.  I use the comic book boards for yardage on shelves as well.  When storing fabric in dressers or filing cabinets I store on edge and not stacked.  On edge let's me see everything in the drawer without digging through layers and layers of fabric.

Final Thoughts on How to Store Fabric

No matter what you use from my list or how you take these ideas to work in your quilting room there is one more decision you will need to make.  Once you figure out where or what you are going to use to store your fabric you'll need to figure out how you are going to organize your fabric.  Are you going to group everything by color, by manufacturer, by size, or by theme?  This is truly up to you and how you quilt.  

How to store fabric in your quilting room not matter what size of room you have or even if it isn't a dedicated space.

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