Tuesday Tip featuring Expo Faculty Jean Ann Wright

A quilter’s fabric stash is a palette of color for making a quilt…be it traditional or modern. For years my stash was piled haphazardly in teetering stacks that threatened to collapse in a chaotic pile when I tried to search through a stack for a particular color or print I knew was there…somewhere! I thrive in the chaos, I am most creative when I have everything everywhere, but I don’t want to waste hours and hours of time on the hunt for the fabric I need to make a quilt. When I get a new idea for a quilt I want to start sewing right now! I don’t want to waste time looking everywhere for the fabric I need. I want to be at the sewing machine.

Then I attended a presentation by Anita Hallock on organizing and storing fabrics. Her system was so simple I couldn’t believe it. Simply take a length of yardage folded over as it comes off the bolt, wrap it around your 8″ x 24″ Creative GridsĀ® ruler, slip the ruler out, fold the fabric in half from folded side to selvedge side and wella! You have neatly folded fabric. As you wrap more and more of your yardage into individual “folds” you will love the way they all come out the same size and stack ever so neatly on any bookshelf.

I spent one summer folding my huge fabric stash. Every evening I would sit on the sofa and fold fabric as I watched TV. Surprisingly this was a very soothing activity that settled me down at the end of a busy day and put me in a calm frame of mind before going to bed. Folding is a repetitive activity that brings peace of mind and what could be better than stroking all that lovely fabric!



Here is what my newly organized stash looks like. You can see that I chose to store my fabric by color family in the bookcase with fewer storage shelves. I can now find any piece of fabric I need at a moment’s notice saving hours of time when I am ready to start a new quilt.

In the taller bookshelf I stored specific fabric collections from the fabric companies that I have designed quilts for using those collections. The empty space is for new fabrics I may buy in the future. The long folds in the three shelves adjacent and below are at least five yard cuts that I buy on sale for quilt backings. By the number of backings I have stashed it looks like I have lots of quilts to make in my future.



Check out more from Jean Ann Wright:




And, of course, come see her at the Expo at any of the first 3 locations teaching a variety of classes including:

See the entire list of classes and workshops online at sewingexpo.com!

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip featuring Expo Faculty Jean Ann Wright

  1. If I cannot see my fabric, I cannot use my fabric.
    I store all my fabric in the open so I can see how much I have of each color.
    I fold mine around comic book cardboards. I use different sizes for yardage.
    I find it easy to wash and fold my fabric when I bring it in from the store.

  2. I know this is slightly off topic but I don”t know where else to post the comment. I wish that the organizers of the show could somehow make the different teaching classes into webinar type classes. For a fee, those who couldn”t make it to the seminar could still learn new techniques. And it would be great for those who did make it to the seminar but couldn”t manage to schedule all the classes they wanted to take. Just my opinion!

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