Monday, January 16, 2023

Cleaning FINALLY

At the beginning of last week, I printed out my patterns for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project and walked into my sewing room to start sewing them and looked around at the mess. And I'm not sure what happened, but I FINALLY started cleaning up. I didn't take any photos, alas, but it was a huge mess. I had piles in front of the design wall, I had piles in front of my fabric shelves, and I had piles on every horizontal surface which I'm not actively using on a regular basis. So many piles everywhere. 

A lot of it was my fabric binges throughout the last couple of years during the pandemic. I scored a couple of old-lady-retiring-from-sewing piles of fabric and I was still regularly visiting Hancock's of Paducah's clearance section. (You can get some amazing deals there on recent designs as they go out of production.)

This was the largest of my three fabric scores as it gives some indication of how much fabric I was dealing with.

When I sifted those big piles and started washing them, that was the start of the piles. And then, astonishingly, I kept shopping. Anyway, I have now spent the last 5 days ironing fabrics. This was most of Sunday's iron pile. 

I am trying to get my stash under control. I am sifting out fabrics that need to find a new home. And I am trying to find room to store the fabrics I am keeping so I can actually see them. 

Before my current effort, when I looked for a particular fabric, it could take me an hour as I dug through boxes and piles and I still might not find it. So, hopefully, I have come up with a workable solution. I ordered eight large Sterilite tubs and I plan to store the fabric overflow like this. Then, in theory, I can pull out the tub and look in the side and see what is in there. It will still take several minutes as I pull out each tub, but at least I'll be able to see how much and what I already have.

I also will store my current set of UFOs in my husband's old closet.

At the moment, these are mostly just fabrics I've ironed.
Once I get the tubs, I'll shift some of these fabrics into them
and organize my UFOs on these shelves.

I've gotten my fat quarters rounded up and sorted into one set of ArtBin Super Satchel project tubs. These may not be their final destination, but I had these bins handy and they all fit. And I made another bin for the half-yard pieces (not pictured).

I also bought a set of Sterilite drawers where I will start storing my scraps. (They just fit under my long-arm table!) My plan is to adopt some sort of scrap-saving system like Bonnie Hunter recommends, where you precut strips and pieces.

Right now I am focusing on sorting and organizing fabrics piled around everywhere. Next month I will likely start sifting and organizing my scrap bins. I'm hoping to alternate days of ironing/organizing with days of actually making forward progress on my sewing goals.

For this coming week, I would like to change gears and get to work on finishing my One Monthly Goal to finish those Arlington Square quilts. And I really would like to start working on my blue Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks

And one last parting thought because it is obviously true about me:

Linking up with:
Sew & Tell
Monday This & That
Monday Musings
Tuesday ToDo


  1. There is nothing more pleasurable than sewing in a newly cleaned sewing space! Happy organizing and happy stitching!

  2. Sounds like you made really good progress. I started a similar effort on Sunday. I'm going to make Sunday my clean up the sewing room day as I have piles like you do and very desperately need to organize my fabrics. You've got a great start on getting your stash usable. Good luck with your to do list for the week.

  3. I felt much the same way as you last year. I was overwhelmed with my overflowing stash bin and decided to separate by color... but rather than fold and store by color I purged them by making an appeal to take them off my hands. those interested needed to only cover the postage to mail them. It was very freeing! <3 Thanks for joining Sew & Tell. :)

  4. I just love seeing all that fabric nicely ironed and stacked - sooo pretty! Great job on all that work, and I also love that quote - so true! Hope you're having a lovely week and thank you for joining in on Monday This and That! xx

  5. Oh my goodness! What a joy it must be to see all of those lovely stacks of ironed fabrics all neat and sorted! What a great goal for the week (or two or three). Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday and setting us such a good example. Good luck this week and do try to save some of your time to have fun sewing! 😉 Carol

  6. Sharon, you are getting so organized! That is a lot of ironing, but it looks sew pretty!!! I hope you had a good week! My website is having difficulties, but hopefully will be up later today or tomorrow! Thanks for linking up last week!