Organizing Your Sewing Room Part 2: Fabric

Organizing your sewing room

Have you ever looked around your sewing area and thought, “There has to be a better way!” Personally, I’ve been struggling with a bit of fabric disorganization as of late. I’m always so busy finishing a quilt or cutting out the next project that I often start piling up fabric on the side of my cutting table. Well today I thought, “Enough is enough!”! I am going to find some sure fire ways to stay organized and neat even while I am in process of creating my next quilt.

It did not take me long to figure out where to go; I went directly to my computer and Googled “sewing room organization.” I was amazed at all the ideas that showed up that I have actually used myself. Many of the ideas were similar but effective nonetheless.

storage cube editedMy absolute favorite idea is pictured here and is surprisingly easy to make yourself – a cube-shaped cutting table supported by a series of cubby shelves for maximum storage options. You’ll need four of these cubby shelves, which are fairly inexpensive and readily available at stores like Ikea and Target, and then simply attach them with mending brackets in a square. Then you fasten your cutting surface to the top. You could even make your table dual-purpose by adding a pad to one side for pressing.

cubby resized Fabric can be organized by color or pattern in the cubbies, and you could get some storage bins (typically sold in the same place you’d find the shelf) for smaller scrap or tool storage. Not only does this system free up space, but it is very professional-looking and super practical for the sewing room. Thanks to Suzy from Georgia Peachez for this great idea!

fabric hanger edited Now that we’ve figured out what to do with larger cuts of fabric, let’s look at ideas for far quarters and smaller pieces. I like to hang some of my fabrics on pant hangers, especially my more specialty types such as hand-dyes. The reason for this is that it allows me to view all the fabrics at once while they each hang at graduated angles because of the different levels on a pant hanger. File hangers work great too!

fat quarters edited When it comes to fat quarters, we’ve all come up with our own clever ways to stash them. One of the most popular is the plastic container that you can often purchased at any discount department store. They stack well and you can see the color through the clear sides of the container. My favorite way to store is by fabric type: cottons, batiks, hand dye, flannels, and so on. Once I’ve organized them by type than I start color organization.

These containers stack neatly on bookshelves or shelving systems and you can even stack bolts of fabric in wire containers on top of bookshelves or at the sides. If you don’t have designated bookshelves for your sewing area, why not invest in a few? You can find inexpensive assembly-yourself shelving systems at any of those discount department stores, or you can always find used ones at garage sales. Remember you can always paint to match your décor!

before after resized Not only will these ideas leave your sewing room looking neat and tidy, they will also help you create an aesthetically pleasing space to let your creativity flow freely. After all, an uncluttered sewing room leads to a more uncluttered mind, which means more room for quilting ideas!

Do you have any ideas for fabric organization? What about a sewing room organization success story? Tell us about it in the comments or share with us on Facebook.

Happy quilting!

More in this Series:
Organizing Your Sewing Room Part 1: Thread & Bobbins Organizing Your Sewing Room Part 3: Quilting Tools Organizing Your Sewing Room Part 4: Kits & Projects

Related Videos:

How to Choose a Quilting Fabric

How to Store Quilting Supplies

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14 Responses to “Organizing Your Sewing Room Part 2: Fabric”

  1. Barbara Winkler

    I sort my cottons by color and size (1/4 yd, FQ, then 1/2 yard, 1, 2, 3 yard and backings) I do keep the flannels and batiks separate as well as my patriotics that I use for Quilts of Valor. This way if I need a certain amount of a color, I can go to the appropriate size and not be disappointed when I find the 'perfect' fabric only to discover there isn't enough. And, I know 1/2 yard will bind a quilt or make a 3" border, so this works for me!

  2. Tammy sprayberry

    For storing all my fabric I purchased 4-2 draw legal file cabinets. My fabric is wrapped on legal hanging file folders and I have it organized by color prints and have a full drawer for my solids and one for my batik s. When I am working on a quilt project, I have a rolling cart made for holding the hanging folders so I can pull all the fabrics I plan on using which helps to keep me organized and fabric off my sewing table. For my scrap pieces, I have 4 bins that I organize as, blacks and gray, whites, solid fabrics, and last is all my print scraps.

  3. Marsha Ransom

    My husband graduated to a gun safe for his rifles & shotguns which left his little glass-front gun cabinet. He took out the innards and added shelves, painted it inside & out and I store my precuts in it.

  4. Barb

    I don’t know if you should organize by type and color. Or if organize by scraps and others by color. What do people do with their small pieces you might use later?

  5. Pam

    Just finished organizing my fabric-again. I’ve used see thru containers w/lids-stackable but seemed like I always need something from the bottom. Then, I went to wrapping fabric around cardboard-like in fabric shop...I actually lost a lot of space-even though it looked good. Finally, I sorted by colored & folde to fit space on shelve- I’m loving this. I’ve only been sewing, crafting and quilting for 40 years. Hope you find your happy place. Pam

  6. Susan

    Old cd book shelves work perfect for fat quarters. Sometimes you can find them at yardsales and 2nd hand stores!


    I purchased bookshelves with adjustable shelving at a garage sale. Books on some shelves with fabric on others. Fabric is folded in half lengthwise and then wrapped around cardboard cut 6" x 11". Stand up nicely just like the fabric shops.

  8. Mary

    All I have for fabric storage is one bookshelf, thank goodness it is fairly large. I go to my local Joann's store and get the cardboard fabric bolts, after they empty one they are thrown away and I can get as many as I need. I cut the two flaps off and also cut the long solid piece into two parts it gives me four pieces to wrap fabric on. Just measure and cut fit your shelves. I then fold the fabric lengthwise one more time and can roll on the cards just as it was on the bolt. They fit perfectly on the shelves allowing me to see them plainly and I get much more stored away and it looks neat.

  9. Rhonda

    I bought plastic crates put them on their sides my husband zip tied them together and mounted them to the wall. I stack my fabric in them and can see what I have , to use.

  10. Gina M Pace

    I probably own 1000+ unopened spools of thread, plus the ones actually put into service. I use an over-the-door style shoe organizer with clear plastic pouches to keep them handy, color-coded, and compact. For fabric, bolts are stored in floor to ceiling backless bookshelves that form an arch between my living and dining areas. I use the clear shoe box method for cut pieces.