This past week … Armed with a labelling machine, oodles of card and the amazing enthusiasm of Tracy… We have been sorting, clearing, cleaning and tidying the studio and the GillyMac stash. This activity has been precipitated by an increasing need to declutter the studio space, the obvious need to understand what we have (to stop me buying more) and the arrival of my Long Arm Quilting Machine.


As with most tidying, it is necessary to create a mess to sort things out and with this task, that was definitely the most hideous part! We started on Monday morning and by that lunchtime I was completely overwhelmed by the scale of the task ahead. However, made of strong stuff, box by box we pressed on …

I love a list and this task definitely called for one!  I created a list of all the categories of items GillyMac owned  e.g. fabrics , haberdashery, paints, beads and ribbons, everyday threads , couching threads, wadding, Vilene, felt, wool, Accuquilt dies .. and the list went on. I then highlighted those categories that were in frequent use. Other than fabric, frequent use categories would stay downstairs in the studio, the rest would be stored in the bedroom I have taken over upstairs. Simply because of the volume of fabric I own, this had to be stored upstairs… But it has to be stored better that it was currently, in large plastic tubs, sorted by colour.

Our plan on fabric storage was built from Pinterest research and common sense. Now I have it I want to share it as I believe it is a good one. It is as follows:-

  1. Fabric bought less that 6 months ago or gathered for a special purpose stay stored in “collections” e.g my Cotton & Steel Christmas material, my Natural History Fat Quarter Collection, my Aussie stash for Annie’s Uni Quilt and bundle of fabrics for a quilt waiting to be made for my friend’s son.
  2. Everything else gets sorted first by fabric type e.g dressmaking, upholstery, quilting cotton, and then by colour following the rules below.
  • Fabric lengths of >3m are wound back on a bolt, (empty bolts are sourced from a local shop that discard them after use.)
  • Fabric lengths of <90cm are put to one side to create fat quarters and 1/2m lengths.
  • Fabric lengths of between 90cm and 3m get measured, folded down the length of the piece and wound around A4 card, secured with masking tape, on which the length is recorded.



I am pleased to report this approach really works… I have maximised the amount of useable pieces and created a huge stash for my Young Quilters (Guild) and Duke of Edinburgh volunteer work.

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The rooms both upstairs and the studio downstairs are not quite finished (there is still slot of folding) to take place which has turn into a community activity, with friends popping by and offering me an hour here and there to help me get through it ! I am now working towards the GillyMac Super Sale on Bank Holiday Monday at 10am .. Where all fabric will be £4 or less per metre and fat quarters will all be £1. Bargain!!image3

image1Part 2 to follow …..