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 Fabric organisation by Ruthann

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Number of posts : 297
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PostSubject: Fabric organisation by Ruthann   Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:18 pm

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Title: Fabric Organization
Post by: Ruthann on June 05, 2008, 05:40:19 AM
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How does everyone organize their stash? By theme? By color? By upcoming projects?

I'm hoping to tackle that area of my sewing area and was thinking of grouping themes together then grouping the rest by color, this way I know exactly what I have to work with. I'm intimidated, I think mainly because I'm a "messy" by nature and the thought of rearranging terrifies me for some reason. I'm thinking also of doing it in the afternoon after my pedicure so I can relax and perhaps have a Malibu Bay Breeze cocktail while I work (or two). :whistling:

Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you.


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: TxMaryQuilts on June 05, 2008, 06:51:27 AM
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I have mine mostly by color with the other stuff by theme, like multi colored florals etc.

Some stuff I never know where to put like when I buy some in every color, do I leave them together or put them in their respective color group? Undesided I never know and I am never happy with what I have done and keep re-doing. doh


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: finisher on June 05, 2008, 07:39:38 AM
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Mainly I organize mine on shelves according to color..EXCEPT I have 21gal bins I put 30's repros, Civil War repros, indigos/creams, blacks/creams, brights, and novelty. I keep those separated because I use those together. I also have very large plastic bags (that bedding came in) that I put fabrics in that I'm gathering for a project. Sometimes it takes quite a while to find all the fabrics I want for a particular project and they have to be gathered over time. I always put the pattern I'm going to use in the project bag too..so I don't forget where it is..or what I was collecting fabrics for. :1087:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 05, 2008, 07:56:08 AM
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My fabric is in the closet, in those wire cubes that you can get at Target (and many other places). It's mostly separated by color. Just yesterday, after years of having it this way and moving more than once, I realized that the colors are in close-to-colorwheel order. Go figure!

The exceptions to the color "filing" is that I have one section that's for specialty FQ - custom hand-dyes, cotton lame' etc. Two cubes hold only fabrics that I've bought specifically for backings. The last exception is one cube that's full of fabric from the Quiltmaker's Gift line. I went overboard, you see... and it's so hard to cut it, knowing it's not being made any more!
:1087:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: betweens on June 05, 2008, 08:13:03 AM
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Ruthann when I get home I will post some pics I just finished rearranging.. you can see some of the space on my webshots just click on the link below my siggy.

Deb


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: jessie s on June 05, 2008, 10:28:53 AM
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I just roll my material and put on the shelves until I decide what to do with it. Have a separate shelf for larger pieces to use for backing. Have 2 baskets hanging, both for panelled quilts, one is for baby quilts and other for single bed quilts. Have a unit under sewing machine table that is panels for pillows. Then have a small shelf called MY NEXT PROJECT. And any material that I have decided what to do with is there with the pattern. This is stuff that am going to work on next. jessie s


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: quilton on June 05, 2008, 12:03:05 PM
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I use plastic tubs and store by colour. I keep all my batiks in one tub though as they are my "special" fabrics!
once I start a project I keep everything for that project one 12" square plastic box. The pattern, and the fabric.....something like block of the month and of course, the other 5 projects on the go.
My DH drilled holes in the tops of my containers to allow the fabric to breathe in the plastic.


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Luv2sew on June 05, 2008, 12:59:19 PM
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Well, my space is a mess right now and the more I read about how everyone is organized the more guilty I feel. It WAS organized -- I have no idea what happened!! LOL! :1087:

I'm dying to see your new space, Deb. I'll check in a bit later and hopefully you will have posted some pics.


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: QBee - Mary Ann on June 05, 2008, 02:26:04 PM
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Ruthann - I think you've come up with a good plan. I think I have the same cubes Fiberbabble uses. My sewing room was a bedroom, so I have a wide closet in there with bi-fold doors. We took the doors down and stored them away, so there's much easier access to the closet.

I have four sets of four wire cubes. There's a few inches of open space between the top of the cubes and the closet pole, so I stack my in process stuff there, keeping a pile together if I purchased it for a certain quilt. The cubes hold stacks of fabric sorted by color, multi-colors, and novelties.

Just a couple weeks ago I got the niftiest set of storage drawers - the drawers are more like plastic baskets about 2 1/2" deep, and each slides in on its own groove. I keep lots of small scraps for applique, so now I have my small pieces in drawers sorted by color, too!

Well - how's this for a long answer?!? Have fun organizing! Mary Ann


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 05, 2008, 02:49:10 PM
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Quote from: QueenBee on June 05, 2008, 02:26:04 PM
Just a couple weeks ago I got the niftiest set of storage drawers - the drawers are more like plastic baskets about 2 1/2" deep, and each slides in on its own groove....

MaryAnn, I have that type of drawer set, too. Does yours have wheels? I store my thread in mine (separated by color, of course).


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: gimpy cat on June 05, 2008, 05:43:25 PM
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I keep all my precious flannel together. I also keep my civil war/reproduction fabrics together. The rest I sort by colour and I always have a stack of novelty style that could go anywhere but is kept in its own group. I get hold of the cardboard fabric bolt insert things from the quilt stores and places like Joannes, I wrap (my flannel) fabric onto them and note in pencil on the top how much yardage there is, if I have collected a few pieces of the same fabric I roll them all onto the cardboard and then note each length.

Projects, well I keep pretty gift bags and boxes and use them to 'kit up' my projects. Like Finisher I can take 2-4yrs to collect everything for a quilt I want to make, I just keep adding to the bag as I find pieces. I keep the pattern with the bag or recently I have started to use the plain brown paper bags from the quilt stores, the ones with the handles and I put a project in there with a printed copy of hte pattern/project glued to the front. I often 'kit up' as I call it projects, doesnt bother me how long they sit waiting their turn but at least I know they are there, organised and at any time I can get down a bag and start a project. Just the other night I got one down, its a quilt for laura, applique, aussie animals. I bought the pattern when I was pregnant with her, Bob chose it. I spent 2yrs collecting the fabrics for it and now 2yrs later on again its out and I have made a start on it.

Hope we are some help, oh and I keep my fabric on shelves, the wire baskets just dont like me ;-)


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: jessie s on June 06, 2008, 05:10:32 AM
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I save those small boxes that clementines come in, then I use them to collect whatever I need for a project. Once I have everthing then it is put on My Next Project Shelf. I have one of the boxes holding the material to use for the BOMs, then when ready to do one have the colours I need and just have to choose which ones to use that month. jessie s


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 06, 2008, 08:53:13 AM
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Quote from: jessie s on June 06, 2008, 05:10:32 AM
I save those small boxes that clementines come in, then I use them to collect whatever I need for a project. Once I have everthing then it is put on My Next Project Shelf. I have one of the boxes holding the material to use for the BOMs, then when ready to do one have the colours I need and just have to choose which ones to use that month. jessie s


I'm not sure what clementines are, but I use corn dog boxes - they're the perfect size for most non-bed-sized projects. The problem, of course, is that 'all corn dogs look the same', so when I'm looking for something in particular, it's kindof like a treasure hunt. Cheesy

Oh, and they're not neatly stacked/stored. They're wherever I have a flat space... and since they're flat, sometimes they get buried!

Oh, wait! This thread is about organizing fabric, not about admitting the depth (literally) of your sewing room mess, right? Sorry... moving on....
doh
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PostSubject: Re: Fabric organisation by Ruthann   Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:18 pm

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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: TxMaryQuilts on June 06, 2008, 09:17:53 AM
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Quote from: FiberBabble on June 06, 2008, 08:53:13 AM
The problem, of course, is that 'all corn dogs look the same',

LOL Tracy I get such a kick out of your posts. I am so glad you joined our merry little band.

BTW, a 3x5 card with the name of the project taped to the end of the box might help. :wink:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Merry Bee on June 06, 2008, 09:40:51 AM
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My DH is a corndogger, too! He stores things in them in the garage, probably old bank statements. Brilliant minds...................... :1245:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: QBee - Mary Ann on June 06, 2008, 10:28:54 AM
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Corn dog boxes?? :shocked: Are corn dogs what I think they are? Hot dogs covered with cornbread, then deep fried? Where does one get all these corn dog boxes? :huh: Oh please enlighten me! QBee


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 06, 2008, 11:17:24 AM
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Quote from: QueenBee on June 06, 2008, 10:28:54 AM
Corn dog boxes?? :shocked: Are corn dogs what I think they are? Hot dogs covered with cornbread, then deep fried? Where does one get all these corn dog boxes? :huh: Oh please enlighten me! QBee


LOLOL! Yes, almost like you get at the State Fair (but not quite as good, of course). Frozen section of the grocer's; in my store it's over by the flash-frozen boneless bits o'chicken (strips, wings, breasts, etc). Be careful that you don't get the ones with cheese in them - a nastier thing you have never tasted (IMO) !!!

2 corn dogs. 1 plate. 1 microwave. 45 seconds. 1 squeezy bottle of neon-yellow mustard. Bliss.



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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: jessie s on June 06, 2008, 01:45:48 PM
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Clementines are like a small orange. We get them in Ontario around Christmas and into February. Come in wooden boxes about 11 inches by 7 inches and 3 inches deep. Do some painting and store my paints in them too. Have some hung on the wall with baby food jars tipped sideways with different size of eyes, pom poms, etc. Sort my scraps by colour in them and stack. Use them for a lot of craft stuff. The wood is soft and thin so not heavy. jessie s


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Merry Bee on June 07, 2008, 09:17:44 AM
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Do you buy he clemtines by the case, or just get the grocer to same the boxes for you?




:shocked: Or do you sneak into the produce section and tump the little clemies out and take their little boxes!




DH is a frozen corndog specialist and a real frozen pizza chef. I like them, but always feel guilty when I eat one. Why is that?


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: quilton on June 07, 2008, 11:04:04 AM
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Clementines come by the case or loose. They are easy-peel oranges. Deeeeelicious!!!


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Luv2sew on June 07, 2008, 12:44:42 PM
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Oh, I just love those oranges. I'm not a huge fruit fan, but those oranges are the best! Here in Manitoba we don't have Clementines, but we have the mandarins or most people here just call them Christmas oranges, as that's when they appear in the supermarket. Yum!


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Ruthann on June 08, 2008, 07:13:25 AM
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I rearranged my stash and guess what? I NEED MORE FABRIC!!! (don't we all?).

I was so happy to get it all organized and showed Paul (we're the "Odd Couple", he's Felix and I'm Oscar- :whistling:) and he's like, "where'd all the fabric go?"

I guess I'll need to get some more? I'm taking a Viking Class Tuesday night and since this is my birthday month I take 1/2 off my age in discounts so I'll more than likely purchase some fat quarters which for me work wonderfully...I can get lots of different fabrics for scrappy quilts and worry about yardage for backings later.

So, now I have a large bag of scraps and in a few minutes I'm going to cut them into 2 1/2" squares and keep them in a box from a Pampered Chef Party and later (after the clothes are done) figure out which project to start for a quilting/sewing bee on Tuesday morning.

Also, Friday and yesterday I went through all my magazines and cut out patterns, inspiration pictures, tips and fabric collection ideas and placed them all in sheet protectors in a 2" binder so I kept only what I wanted/needed and got rid of a lot of magazines.


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: jessie s on June 08, 2008, 07:31:35 AM
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Visited oldest son yesterday and came away with another set of a shelving unit. They are 5 shelves with plastic legs so the shelves just snap together. Already got 4 sets from them before which is what I use in sewing room to store fabric, wool and craft supplies. So going to use them to have higher shelving. Too bad that have enough fabric to fill them otherwise would be like Ruthann and have to get more. What a dilemma she has. jessie s


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Ruthann on June 08, 2008, 08:04:16 AM
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Hi Jessie, I have the same type of shelving unit you described you got and it seems I need another...

Oh no!!!! I just found five large bags of scraps!!! I'm overwhelmed (in a good way) about how to cut and organize them...Paul just said, "where'd all that fabric come from" as he looked at our kitchen counter :knuppel2: and that was just one bag of scraps...he's going to have a cow when he sees me come downstairs with more. Some men don't understand that when one quilts one will have scraps. LOL

Oh, a friend of ours told us last night at a fundraiser dinner that she's having a boy and he's due November 3rd so I now I know what to work on in regards to finding/designing a pattern!


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: QBee - Mary Ann on June 08, 2008, 08:17:24 AM
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Fiberbabble - thanks for the corn dogs picture! I can't imagine DH and I eating enough corndogs to get a good sized collection of boxes. . . maybe I'll serve the kids and grands corn dogs every time they come home!! Evil or Very Mad

Ruthann - I'm tired out reading about all your organizing! I may have a nap today in your honor. :wink: I hope you learned a lesson - don't bring out those bags of scraps when Paul can see them. Tom and I have been happily married for nearly 38 years, a marriage built on honesty and trust . . . but still, there are some things he doesn't need to know in detail!! Evil or Very Mad Mary Ann



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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Ruthann on June 08, 2008, 09:22:44 AM
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QueenBee - please take a nap for me; I've started drinking a wine cooler so not much will get done today, I'm already feeling a little loopy with the heat and humidity kicking in.


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Luv2sew on June 09, 2008, 09:22:22 AM
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Oh QB, you make me laugh! We've been married 34 years and I always tell my kids that it too is based on honesty and trust, but dad doesn't need to know what's in my sewing room! LOL! :2funny:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: gimpy cat on June 10, 2008, 03:31:55 PM
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Ruthann thank you - you just gave me the answer to a condundrum I have been thinking over! Magazines, I have a large collection, a hip high bookcase full to be exact. Most of them are around 7-10yrs old, back from the days when I was bed ridden (& magazines were only a couple of bucks each, ot $10-20 a pop!) I havent packed them yet, I keep thinking about them, looking at them, standing before them and trying to decide what to do. I havent looked at them in about 3yrs, I think I shouldnt move them yet I have such guilt about getting rid of them and I have fear - what if there is a really cool must do project or 10 in them. So I have left the bookcase sitting there, undecided. Well you just gave me the answer, I have empty ring binder folders from when hubby was in uni doing his last degree, I will go through them and save any projects I love. My quilting tastes have changed so much in 10yrs its mainly why I dont use them anymore. I have a collection of treasured often read mags, american ones acutally that are already packed and waiting to move. I now have a huge job ahead of me but I feel at ease, yup, thanks for giving me the answer :smiley:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 10, 2008, 03:52:04 PM
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Gimpy, I had magazine anxiety, too, once upon a time. Then I decided to get out my scanner and SCAN the patterns I thought I couldn't live without. I was able to give my un-ripped-up magazines to a local senior center and I got all of the patterns I wanted/needed onto ONE cd! MUCH easier packing one cd than magazines or binders!

...and on a side note, it's amazing that NONE of the patterns that I scanned as "have to keep" have been used. I look at them occasionally, but there's always something newer and more exciting (ooohh, shiny) to do instead....


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: gimpy cat on June 10, 2008, 04:09:22 PM
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LMAO Tracey, I had just started to think - "Oh but I cant tear up magazine that someone else might love to have and use. Now what will I do" thought of copying them but the amount of ink was daunting, scanning, ah yes will take some time but certainly doable and I prefer the idea of storing some cds than the folders. Im a 'less is more' kinda gal, I hate too much clutter and stuff, I am ruthless every couple of years go thru stuff and think 'well its not been looked at in 2yrs so off with its head and out it goes' LOL

Thanks for your idea - wowee, now, any ideas on how to magically sort through all these magazines? doh LOL I need a genie! (No dont say do it at night while sitting watching tv, I dont really do that, one night a week I used to watch House but its over now LOL.) :yahoo:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: betweens on June 10, 2008, 11:47:50 PM
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:1087: I have most of the room moved and organized just a few things as you can see to put away..whew!!
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PostSubject: Re: Fabric organisation by Ruthann   Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:19 pm

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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: betweens on June 10, 2008, 11:51:45 PM
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I have a wall of cupboards that is now my design wall. 2 sided tape and batting cut to the size of the cupboards so that I can still open my doors.. see I even utilize the top of the cupboards and you can also see that the kids are curious about the new layout.. you should see them they love the change!!

I like my room better now I can get into the cupboards without moving the ironing board!! and my fabric I have revisited and know what i have again.. oh there is a huge cupboard in my bedroom that is for linen and stuff that is full as well.. even buying another cupboard has not let me empty that cupboard out yet...I was very inventive in putting my towels and sheets in another place that I can still get at!! LOL

Deb


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: jennQT1 on June 11, 2008, 07:08:03 AM
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Wow Deb....I want your stash! :smiley:


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: FiberBabble on June 11, 2008, 09:12:25 AM
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Quote from: gimpy cat on June 10, 2008, 04:09:22 PM
LMAO Tracey, I had just started to think - "Oh but I cant tear up magazine that someone else might love to have and use. Now what will I do" thought of copying them but the amount of ink was daunting, scanning, ah yes will take some time but certainly doable and I prefer the idea of storing some cds than the folders. Im a 'less is more' kinda gal, I hate too much clutter and stuff, I am ruthless every couple of years go thru stuff and think 'well its not been looked at in 2yrs so off with its head and out it goes' LOL

Thanks for your idea - wowee, now, any ideas on how to magically sort through all these magazines? doh LOL I need a genie! (No dont say do it at night while sitting watching tv, I dont really do that, one night a week I used to watch House but its over now LOL.) :yahoo:
<snicker> I am sooooo gratified that you are into this idea. I can't count the number of times I've proudly shared this brilliant plan and been met with less-than-stellar acceptance... :grin:

As for going through the magazines? I think it took me 2 weeks and a bunch of yellow sitcky notes. I'd start with a stack of 10-15 magazines and flip through them, putting a sticky at the edge of the page when I found something I really liked. I did all of the stacks, then started over again at the beginning (it was about a week later), removing stickies. I gave up on using whole stickies, and just cut or tore them into narrow-ish strips, each with a bit o'stick on them.

To determine if I really liked a pattern, I'd be really honest with myself: Seriously, how many patterns for 9patch quilts did I need? Did I just need one pattern, then keep pictures of other layouts/shading ideas? How many NYB patterns did I need? If they are all paper-piecing patterns, why scan all the words, when I just needed the pp foundations? Another thing I needed to watch for was choosing a pattern based on the COLORS in the picture only. Sure, that jewel-toned quilt is gorgeous, but am I really going to make all of those curved templates and sew them into a 36-piece block? (I don't THINK so!)

Then, when I started scanning? It is NOT a quick process! It's amazing how many MORE stickies came off when I had to choose whether to scan the pattern or just move onto the next one. :whistling:

As to the actual scanning, my scanner software allows me to scan multi-page pdf docs, in addition to pictures, etc. I'd scan a decent-quality picture first, then a separate pdf doc with all of the instructions/templates/etc. That way, when I'm "flipping through my magazines", I can look at the pretty pictures without having to open a document each time.

Oh, one last thing: There are some magazines, that even after the sticky/backup sticky process, still had so many "markings" that it made more sense to just keep the whole thing - but I got it down to less than 20 magazines total, rather than the shelves-ful that I had. Interestingly enough, almost all of the "keeper" magazines were non-U.S. publications, my magazines from Australia and Japan.

A side benefit of doing this? It's amazing how drastically my purchases of magazines dropped - after going through the time-suck of choosing, culling and scanning, I sure thought twice about bringing NEW magazines into the house!


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Litup100 on June 11, 2008, 02:31:10 PM
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I buy foam poster board. cut it in 4 x 6 rectangles and 8 x 12 rectangles. Then I wrap the fabric around it and use 1 pin. I know...it's not acid free, but decided I didn't care. I got tired of the fabric all over the place. Then I bought shelves that were on sale at Target. They were something like $25 or maybe $29 each. I was going post a picture, but just realized that I'm on the laptop and the pictures are on the hard drive of the regular computer. If I think of it I'll post later.



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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: gimpy cat on June 11, 2008, 04:01:08 PM
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Tracey Im pretty ruthless (have to do some things when hubby isnt around or he will be wanting me to keep it just in case LOL) I will have to test the pattern templates scan to right size though. I wont be spending too much time scanning, I know myself too well and will get mighty bored waiting for it LOL so will be hard on myself when choosing stuff. I dont buy many mags now, funnily enough I only get the odd american one, the traditional quilt styles are what I love, guess living here in australia I can see the other stuff all the time. The american ones are up around $15-20 each now so it would have to have multiple projects I think I cant live without for me to buy. I dont actually many patterns either, reckon for 8yrs of quilting I have about 12 books (most were gifts) and maybe 30 patterns.

Dont know why people think your idea isnt a great one - talk about reduce space and be smart and economical, you have me thinking about recipe pages now, you should see my recipe note book, its bulging at the seams and a cd sounds much smarter for many of the seasonal or holiday recipes not used often :-) Hmmmm wonder if I could scan family onto one too, get em out, plug into computer and visit with them like that? LOL

Thanks for sharing, I think I will do a stack each morning over coffee and one each night, Im running out of time to give to it so will be harsh, harsh, harsh (besides, I reckon I have grown out of a lot I liked 10yrs ago)


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Title: Re: Fabric Organization
Post by: Merry Bee on June 17, 2008, 12:31:35 PM
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I was keeping lots of magazines until the roof blew off my garage and they all got wet, except for the ones in a file cabinet and the ones in the house. I am amazed the things cost as much as they do, and usually there aren't more than one or two things I like to read or make in each one. So I seldom buy one. I subscribed to one last year, but will not renew it. They are totally unreasonable there in Australia, IMHO. The editors need to make an end of year edition with the high points in it, so people can just buy that in stead.
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