My first poll has ended and the results are in. The majority of voters sort their fabric stash by color. I have to admit I'm not really surprised by that. I suppose that makes the most sense.
I don't really feel like I have that big of a stash yet. It surely doesn't even begin to compare to some I've seen pictured on the internet. My stash is growing slowly thanks to some amazingly generous friends I've made through e-mail groups. It is wonderful the way these women have sent me boxes and packages of their "cast-off" fabric. I can't even put into words how much I appreciate that. And the funny thing is that they always tell me that I am doing them a favor by helping them to bust some of their stash! It is so fun to get the packages in the mail & to know that these same fabrics have probably been used in different quilts all throughout the world. So neat!!
Right now I have two ways of sorting my fabric. First, any pieces that are a fat quarter or bigger I fold and put on a bookshelf in my sewing room/computer room/WAHM area. I use the technique that I learned about wrapping the fabric around my ruler and folding it in half. The edges line up so neatly and I can see just what I have by scanning the bookshelf. All of the folded fabrics are going to be sorted by color. They were before we bought this house but in the move they got put on the shelf in random order. I hate to admit it but we have lived here for about 9 1/2 months and I still haven't gotten around to sorting them by color! That is the plan though!!!!
The second way I sort my fabric is by size. Some of the fabric that people have so generously given me have been scraps and strings. I especially love getting these packages!!!! It is so much fun to play with all the scraps! Whenever I receive anything in the mail I work on getting it divided up into the correct tub. I have one tub each for 3.5 inch strips, 2.5 inch strips, strings & crumbs. Then I also have a container that I'm storing my 2.5 inch squares in as I accumulate them. If I can cut any of the scraps into squares or strips then I do that first. After that they get cut into random sized strings for the string blocks. Finally anything else gets put into the crumb tub. My goal is to keep up the cutting and sorting with each set of scraps that I come across.
As far as using my stash I try to use the fabric in the tubs first and go to the shelf after that. Of course sometimes there are pieces on the shelf that I just have to use. And then of course I have to admit that sometimes I can talk Tom into letting me buy some new fabric! I love, love, love the Quiltville site because there are so many easy patterns on there to use my strips with. I'm also hoping to use them up with my new Eleanor Burns book I got for Christmas. The strings I always use for my string blocks that I'm making for the Heartstring quilts (I promise to post some pictures of them soon for all of you that don't know what they are!). Then the crumbs they will come in handy for so many different things. Of course, I can use them in corners for the string blocks. I also want to give some of the techniques I've heard about a try. Like the crumb blocks that Bonnie talks about on her site & also the mile a minute blocks. I'm not real sure on how to do them but hopefully I can learn!
The hardest thing for me in sorting my stash and even quilting is learning about value. It is very, very hard for me to figure out about "lights", "mediums" and "darks". I think I have it figured out and then when I add another scrap to the pile it seems to change everything. I get so confused and then I get frustrated! Since I really love scrap quilts so much I know that I need to learn about color value. From what I have heard on shows like "Simply Quilts" it is what really makes the pattern stand out on a quilt. I just don't know how to get the different values down pat though.
I could go on and on talking about sorting and storing fabric. Tom & Ashley both think I'm crazy but I can't help it! I'm addicted!! :) Bye for now!