Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Ultimate Craft Room"?

It's been so long since I've posted, I'm almost embarrassed!  But since my last post I've put my house on the market, relocated, unpacked (2/3 of the way), found a job, and am now trying to figure out how to organize my quilting studio.

Someone sent me this link to some great craft room organization ideas from Lowe's:

I love some of the ideas, especially the WAGI Sundries Bar.  And this redesigned space might be great for a scrapbooker or someone who does other small crafts .... but I'm pretty sure it was not a QUILTER who designed the space.  Two huge things jumped out at me immediately:  the sewing machine is facing the wall (yuck!) and there's certainly not enough room to put a quilt top together, let alone quilt the finished piece.  And where is the fabric storage space?!?  There's certainly not enough, and what storage space there is doesn't allow you to see what you have at a glance. 

I like the closet organizer, with space to hang finished tops awaiting their final quilting.  But many of my quilting sisters are like me and need to be able to SEE what they have to work with; otherwise, it's off to the quilt shop to buy supplies for the current project, and months or years later, discover you already had that stuff but just couldn't SEE it.

My solution to this is to use see-through plastic bins, but those can only be used on shelving that does not allow you to stack bins on each other.  (Stacking bins is a sure-fire way to ensure you never again open the bins underneath the top bins -- they're just too heavy to move once they're filled with fabric.)  My favorite solution are those plastic "drawer" systems by Sterilite, like these:  My favorite is #2930.  I've got most of my fabric in these drawer caddies, generally sorted by color or type (batiks and flannels get their own drawers, as do multi-yardage pieces for backings).

The tricky part is finding these units.  Wal-Mart used to carry the larger drawer units like the 2930, but now they only carry puny ones -- a different brand, even -- that are not nearly large enough, and not nearly as sturdy.

All this leads to the question of the day:  how do you store your fabric?