Hello, my name is Sue and I have a sewing problem. I just don't have enough room to store everything! I've tried not keeping scraps – but that's just wrong – so I keep scraps. I've tried to use up my stash, the only problem is I keep buying more. I've tried not buying more fabric, unless it was for the project I was working on at the time, but there's always the next project in my mind. When you see that perfect fabric, well, you know... no fabric left behind!
So now I'm trying to store my stash and keep everything organized and accessible. That's the key for me. I can work in utter chaos, but it's nicer and calmer to work in an open space, not having to push one or more half-made projects out of the way to start the next five projects! So, this is what I've done: I've got project boxes for each different project. Some are started, some are just planned (there are a lot more of these than I anticipated). I have a file box of patterns I cannot wait to try out. I have a box, well, two really large boxes of "unspoken for" fabrics. You know the type of thing that's just too beautiful not to own! I have a little set of drawers for notions and things – yes, occasionally I make other things, not just quilts. I have all of my thread organized by color and fiber; I have a box of cottons for my quilting, another of polyester thread for other projects, a box of rayons and fancy threads, and a box of JUNK thread – and I don't know why I'm keeping that (oh, yes, I can use that on my serger).
I also keep my basic threads, plus my current project threads on a rack by my machine. As table space is always at a premium, I wall-mounted the thread rack with those 3M removable tapes. On the thread rack, I put my bobbin (I have quite a few bobbins) and matching thread on the same spindle. On the rare occasion I have a spare bobbin, I have a spindle for those as well. I also separate my threads; top line is polyester in basic colors, black, white, cream (I used to make wedding gowns) navy and gray. Then the next layer is quilting threads, basic colors, sand, cream, gray, etc. All with their matching bobbins ready to sew at a moment's notice.
Finding spare time these days is such a challenge so having everything ready to go at any time is fabulous. However, it does mean I have to pick-up and pack-up at the end of each sewing frenzy. It's worth it though!
How do you stay on top of the chaos that a sewing room or area can quickly become?