Tuesday, July 21, 2009

like sorting buttons

There's a down side to having a great year of thrifting. Somehow it all needs to find a place to live once you get it home.
I returned home from vacation two weeks ago to piles and piles of things I've acquired over the past few months. Most had no place to go. Even with all the studio moves and reconfigurations I've gone through this year (which is why I've yet to post pictures), there just wasn't much room or a good system in place for new things. It seems I'd carve out enough space for what I had in the stash and then when I brought home new fabric I was back in the same boat.
Two things have happened over the past month. First, the kids have lost more space in the basement to my crafting. I really did feel some guilt over it at first. When they saw the pile of toys I was thinking of selling or donating though, not one of them flinched. Ellie and Glenn flat out told me to get rid of them. I then discovered that when I moved things out to make more room for crafting, they actually wanted to be down there with me a lot more. Amazing what a little room to breathe will do for a space.

Second, I purged my own toys, I mean fabric. Ruthlessly. Two large laundry baskets of fabric and a few other odds and ends have made their way to my quilting group for others to use. (One quilter's trash...) It seemed only fair to bring what I didn't need to the place where I've gotten so much.
That's left a lot of room for what I'll really use and some room to grow. Now that I think about it, that's where last week went - my basement - weeding, sorting, putting away.

That part of the process took a lot longer than I anticipated. How do you sort your stash? By fabric type, color, potential uses, amount of yardage? It starts out innocently enough, but there's always a pile that doesn't seem to fit into any particular category nicely. I've gone mostly with color, but even that threw me when I got to the odd greens - or are they more blue - or aqua? And what about this lavendar/periwinkle one? Do I put the solids in their own pile away from the prints? I think I've got something that will work for me in the end. More importantly, there's room at the top of each pile so I can get fabric out and put the pile back neatly. The key to keeping it organized isn't about shoving it away, it's about ease of retrieval.

The buttons are from the garage sale. Luckily, I already have a pretty good system in place for storing those. They're where they belong now.
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