Friday, November 18, 2016

The Life Cycle of a Fabric Bundle (in my sewing room)


I love fat quarter and fat eighth bundles. I've been known to purchase a few. These are a few of the bundles that have come home with me from market, sample spree and local quilt shops. I like a variety of colors and textures because I love scrap quilts and these blend well with scraps. They also become lovely scraps themselves.

I'm no expert on organization but I do have a system that works fairly well for me. I store my pretty bundles on shelves so that I can admire them. I feel no need to cut into them immediately. I am happy to just let them sit there and look pretty for a while.


Once they've been cut into, I separate them into colors. 

I have drawers that are designated for this. I have a drawer for each color. These are my go to source for most of my fabrics. Remember, I'm a scrap quilter, so I DON'T want my fabric lines together, but if you do, you could always keep them together I suppose.


Once the fabrics are smaller than a fat eighth, an odd shape, or less than 6" wide, I throw them into the basket near my table. This basket is not terribly large so it forces me to keep this system up to date. This is the holding basket until it fills up. Once it starts to fill up, I tackle it!


I cut those scraps into strips or squares. I trim down the odd sizes into usable sizes. I cut them into 2 1/2" strips, 2" strips, 1 1/2" strips and then smaller 'bits'.

The strips are stored in these containers by size. I also use these container for projects in progress. Having the strips organized this way allows me to go to the bin I need and choose from strips that are already cut before I need to head to my stash. Most of my projects start with the strips or scraps and then I pull from the stash if I don't have enough of what I need.


The trimmings from the strips and larger pieces become 'bits'. These are very small pieces that can be used for small patchwork play, string piecing and foundation piecing. I keep only one small bin of these. I enjoy sewing these into larger units, so these can get used up fairly quickly. If I have more than will fit into this one bin, I either use them or share them.

And that is basically the life cycle of a fabric bundle once it's in my sewing room. I have been using this system for years now and it works for me. I am always on the look out for other ways folks maintain and cultivate their scraps and stashes. I love learning new and better ways of doing things. I hope that this is helpful to you.

Enjoy every stitch!


  1. Ha! I'll have to come back and read the comments for new ideas - because I treat my fabrics the same way you do! I love having bins of pre-cut strips and squares - it makes scrappy block construction much easier!

  2. I like your system! It's very similar to mine.

  3. Any tips for the actual process of trimming to certain sizes? Are you rotary cutting, using a system like Accuquilt, ....

  4. OMG ...when I look at your bundles, I just want to dive in my computer...!
    Great and fun post Diane ! Your system is very very clever. My fabrics are just cleaned up by colors and I don't pre-cut strips or squares ! But why not ?

  5. It's great to hear how you sort your fabrics. You're so organised. I'm pretty basic with my sorting. I have cupboards with shelves sorted into colours, I even put small pieces of fabric on these shelves. I have 1 scrap bin with small odd bits in it.

  6. How fun to read about the life cycle of a fabric bundles. Sounds like the title if a new book!

  7. Interesting to read all about your storage ideas. I have a large sheving unit with lots of baskets sorted into colour too, but I do keep a select few fabric collections together until I cut into them! I've often considered narrowing things down even more, like into precut strips and squares, just haven't got around to that yet.

  8. I love bundles too !! It's very interesting Diane!!! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. fun post. I sort by color in a big closet and then I have a "active" bin of all size scraps and then 2 tubs with light and dark mostly strips.

  10. Mine is pretty similar, but yours looks way more organized!


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