How To Organize And Store Your Quilt Fabric?

Maybe 2021 is the year to get the entire stash of fabric organized. Maybe.

How To Organize Quilt Fabric?

If it is, here are some tips for storing long lengths of fabric. Most quilters store their fabric by color — reds together, yellows together, etc.

When it comes to prints, it becomes a little more difficult. Many of us look at a print and pick out the main color and keep it in that group. Others keep all of their prints together.

I keep my prints mixed in with the colors, and separate my batiks and flannels. Within the batik, wool and flannel piles, the fabric is organized by color. That makes it easier to sort the fabric for a flannel or wool quilt. And when working with batiks, I usually begin with that fabric, and then go to my cotton stash to fill in the remainder of the quilt.

Here are some general tips for organizing:

  • Hang your fabric on pants hangers — fold the fabric in half selvedge to selvedge. Then fold it either accordion-style or as if it were coming off of the bolt in the fabric store so it is the width of the clamps on the hanger. Clamp the selvedge edges on the hanger.
  • Roll your fabric on cardboard mailing tubes
  • Fold it neatly on shelves with the folded side facing out. If your shelves are open, you can use roll-up window blinds to cover it and prevent the fabric from fading.
  • Fold the fabric so it is approximately 8″ by 11″ and then place it, fold side up, in drawers in a filing cabinet, like you can buy at an office supply store. (This one is especially nice for making your quilting look like a business. Keep the cabinet locked and everyone will think you have a ton of important papers!)
  • Fold the fabric and stack it in plastic see-through boxes or other plastic tubs. If you use boxes that you can’t see into, be sure to label the contents.

How To Hide Fabric Stash?

Clever Fabric Hideaways- Here are some creative storage spots designed to hide fabric from anyone who doesn’t understand why you need it at all!

  • A box labeled “Christmas ornaments” or “baby clothes”
  • In the freezer wrapped in butcher paper and labeled “meat loaf”
  • Go shopping with a friend, trade bags before you get home, then declare “This isn’t mine, I’m just holding it for a friend”
  • The trunk of your car
  • A wire hanger covered by a dress or blouse — this is good for about 2 yards
  • In plain sight — on an open shelf, neatly folded and color coordinated to your room décor

It’s all in fun! Although I will admit to spreading my fabric in various places all around the house, somehow, if it’s a little in a bunch of different spots, it doesn’t look like you have “that much.”

How To Sort Quilt Fabrics?

Let’s continue the journey through quiltmaking in the 1890s with quilting tips published by Household Discoveries, by Sidney Morse, published in 1890.

Sidney suggests that you sort your fabric pieces, ‘putting goods of the same general character, as ginghams, woolens, calicoes, silks, and the like, in separate lots.’ He suggests that quilts made of similar fabrics are ‘generally more satisfactory than if various kinds of goods are mingled together, and may be used for different purposes. Silk quilts may be used for couches and sofas, woolen quilts for the guest chambers, gingham and calico quilts for everyday wear, and quilts from old stockings for summer quilts, porches, and hammocks.’

How different making quilts is in the 21st Century!

By Penny Halgren of

Recent Posts