This time I’m finally gonna do it! I’m gonna get my wretched sewing room into usable order!

Usable is the key word.

Order has appeared before–and quickly disappeared, unless I closed the door and stayed out of the room! I have long needed a system that will help me find fit fabrics for the next patchwork project without turning the room into the kind of chaos that inspired a son’s childhood poem to chant, “Where, oh where, is Mom? Drowning in a sea of cloth…” You get the idea.

Well, I happened upon this great post about how to fold fabric uniformly for neat and handy shelf display, and I thought, “Why not?”


Do I mean this fabric folding is actually fun? Yes, I think so.

I enjoy not only the results, but also the process. Handling each fabric, considering its colors, hues, and patterns, gets my creative juices going. And stacking them in such visible and accessible order invites me to consider this one with that, without even removing them from the shelf. The prospect of being able to take out and line up candidates, then return them in the same neat condition, removes the dread of a resulting mess that has inhibited me in the past.

Not Fun:

What’s not been fun is dealing with small scraps. Too many, in too much disorder! Up till now, I just threw them together into baskets or boxes. Over time, the accumulating clutter only got more chaotic and unusable. Finding particular fabrics or colors required dog-like digging and pawing. Big, frustrating time waster!

I think I’ve solved the problem by borrowing a page from my dear, long-deceased mother:

After any sewing project. she used to roll up the leftover fabric in a neat bundle and tie it with a strip of cloth. I’m in the process of copying her–although I have two sizes of scraps. The larger pieces that I can fold into neat rectangles I park at the end of a clear plastic shoe box, and stand the larger rolls in the rest of the box. I can see all at a glance!

The small rolls wouldn’t be worth the bother if I didn’t do piecing and have a darlin’ granddaughter to make the kind of miniature things kids love. Since I seriously think I will use them, I’ve packed them into smaller see-through containers.

The not-fun part? The sheer tediousness (and extent!) of the rolling-up project: lots of sorting–and pawing–for matching material tidbits! I almost quit in the middle, but now I’m nearing the end. And I realize that if I’d just bundle away all extra fabric as soon as I finish a project, this might not feel like work at all!

From Here On…

So, onward and upward! I realize the key action from here on is “clean up after yourself!”

Hm. A general principle here for keeping physical (and spiritual?) order? Could be!

Ask me in six months–or six weeks!–how I’m doing.

2 thoughts on “Fabric Folding Fun?

  1. Thanks for some much needed inspiration here! I have my craft projects/tools/materials/ all over the house! Eve lent me a few copies of \Studios\ from cloth paper scissors magazine and as soon as Ben gives the ok and probably after Mariah’s wedding–I think I am turning his room into my new studio…Ben just got an apartment, but lots of things are still in his room…patience and stamina…maybe I will be starting in 6 months …

    1. Sounds like a great plan! When the nest empties out, new adventures are just the thing to re-spark the old motor, and make an “ending” a new beginning. And suddenly we have room! More room than we can wisely manage (I speak for myself). I’d like to take a peek at Studios myself. I hope they show studios-on-a-shoestring! lol

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