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The ‘I spy’ swap!

I am taking part in my first online swap! I couldn’t resist a swap hosted by Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts.

5 inch squares of 55 different novelty prints such as these are heading my way.

Here is my offering.

These green apples have been in my family forever! I had a beach cover-up in this print when I was about 5! I really thought that this was the end of it (with a bit of sorrow, actually…) but I found a heap more as I continue to fold my fabric around cardboard!

Speaking of fabric and cardboard – I have the photos ready for a post and just need to get it written. Soon, I promise!


The evolution of my stash… and how I organize it

When I first started quilting, I was not a new hobbyist. I had already been through another major craft cycle – scrap-booking – and all that is entails. That means I thought about scrap-booking, I shopped for it, I attended classes, and conferences and accumulated a stash like you wouldn’t believe.

I remember sitting at a common table, eating lunch, during a ‘sewing expo’ in San Mateo, CA, and having a nice lady ask me if I had a big fabric stash.

My response went something like this:

“Oh no, I only buy fabric for a particular project.  I have enough stuff from scrap-booking and I have learned my lesson – don’t buy unless you know what you are using it for!’

I know at least a half dozen people spitting coffee out of their nose right now because that is not exactly what happened…

It started quite innocently. I would buy several charm packs and think ‘such a good price, and they are small‘. Or the Fat Quarter sale at the LQS ‘ these are pretty small, too….’

And so to organize it in an already bulging craft room.

I had (and still have, because they are fantastic boxes) clear 12*12 boxes from the scrapbook store that I stored the fabric in by color and they fit neatly on some shelves. Need pink? Grab the pink box. {note: I will find out where to get the boxes if anyone requests!)

Need Black? Blue? Wow 2 boxes of browns!

Then I heard about Japanese Fabric. The adorable, cute (but not cutesy), and even nostalgic fabric that I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT. (I am currently resisting the urge to see if sonatine is still an ebay seller – so I will not provide a link – and if they are – I don’t need to know!)

So we need an additional organization system because they simply could not be ‘mixed in with the colors!’ and I had to SEE THEM. (this need of seeing will continue as the stash evolves…)

I heard about (read about) these fabulous mini bolts that you wrap your fabric around. Awesome! The answer!

And so I wrapped. I wrapped the Japanese Fabric. And the Denyse Schmidt Fabric. And the Joel Dewberry. And the Heather Bailey. And the Amy Butler.

I added the cutest little hang tags with each collection and designer labelled on them! So cute!

Do you see what is happening here? I already know designers names. And the names of their collections. I am in big trouble now. Well on my way to the stash.

Now I do like the idea of wrapping fabric (I really do) but the problem with this idea is that I always need the fabric IN THE MIDDLE of the mini bolt. I would have to unwrap the whole thing – pull out the fabric I needed. Re-wrap it. And then open it up again to put the fabric away.

When I was disciplined and cleaned up after myself – it was just time-consuming. When I was not disciplined – it was a mess – fast!

Then we moved!

Bye Bye tiny craft room in the Bay – Hello Studio in Ohio!

By now – you can see that I am no longer pretending that I do not stash fabric.  I am a certified stasher and I have some fuglies to prove it!

It a long time to get from this pile of fabric

To this.

I used a lot of kitchen ware to add extra shelving for the precisely folded, glorious piles a reds, blues, yellow, greens (who knew I had so many greens?), and all of their color-wheel friends.

I had smaller pieces, just as precisely folded, tucked inside drawers absconded from Ikea organizing bits and bobs.

I used the ‘tried and true’ ruler-folding method for all of this fabric. But with a twist. Instead of using just the 6.5″ width of the ruler, I made plastic templates for the smaller sizes, such as these drawers, so that everything would be uniform.

Not sure what the ruler method is? I have a tutorial post on it. {edited to add – the link works now}

And then…

We moved again. Bye Bye custom built studio in Ohio and hello 800 square foot basement in North Carolina.

I have a whole slew of the ‘before’ pictures if you care to see them.

And now the available storage has changed again.

I no longer have built ins. I have pre-fab shelves from ‘insert big box x’ store.

{{side note: the built-ins in Ohio, while custom built – were not the right size. I had them built thinking about the 12*12 inch clear boxes that I had been using in the Bay. That is – 12 inches deep and 25 inches wide – and tall enough to fit 5 boxes….

I didn’t think about how I would store the fabric ‘currently’ which is always a consideration. }}

Pre-fab shelves can be hacked, though. I will show you how I added many more shelves than came with the unit in a future post.

But now – instead of using a ruler, a template, and a lot of time spent getting it smooth, and fitting it to the ‘T’ – I am using the comic book board method instead.

Of course, I still have the lovely Japanese fabrics set aside.

And the solids, as seen above.

But mostly I am sorting my color. It’s how my mind works. I realized long ago that I don’t always want to use a collection all together. I am digging the color matching or mis-matching, if you will between designers, collections, and even manufacturers.

Lest you think I am all finished with the comic book board re-fold empire – take note of the pile below. This is a spit in the proverbial stash.

I have already used 1,800 comic book boards at the time this post is written.

I wonder how many I will need!

I will link you to the original post where I learned of this myself as well as a few other crafters that have taken the plunge!

Smashed Peas and Carrots

The Ornament Girl

Feathered Fibers

That Girl That Quilt.

But I will be back with the details on my latest organizing fabric frenzy. I have been working with what is already folded and so I have a little insight into the ‘working’ side of the organizing equation. I mean, pretty and organized is great, but can it stay that way if you actually sew?

I will also be back on what to do with the scraps…. This picture below is a bit anal,  even for me!

And so I say ‘go forth and fold’.

Get your fabric out where you can see it, if that’s possible. I will add that my shelves are on the far back wall of the room – as far from direct sunlight as possible.

And the boards are acid-free and archival so they won’t eat my fabric. (heaven forbid!).

You can find comic book boards on Amazon – but I highly recommend googling your own town for comic book stores. The prices are much better!

And you thought I wasn’t going to post any tone on tone fabrics…

Otherwise known as ‘Blender’ Fabric – These are great for borders/change of color value/and well, I guess whatever it is we ‘blend’…. 🙂

If you are interested in this – or any other bundle of fabric – please go here and have a look and then shoot me an email

mail <at> withinaquarterinch <dot> com


And now for the shabby chic portion of the de-stash…

Still working through it all – there are BOXES worth of fabric that I have no room for:(

If you are interested in this – or any other bundle of fabric – please go here and have a look and then shoot me an email

mail <at> withinaquarterinch <dot> com


Civil War Era Bundle added to the de-stash list!

Slowly but surely; I am putting together cute little bundles of fabric that I believehope,  no believe go together in terms of ‘type’.

You know like, Civil War, Shabby Chic, Tone on Tone, and Neutrals… And of course, plenty more color based combinations to come…

For now – a new Civil War Bundle has been added….scroll down to see more photos on that page. Here is a sample!

The de-stash. I think I might cry a little.


When you have oodles and doodles of stash storage you really don’t need to cull; you covet.

When you have NO stash storage space you really can’t covet but must cull.

Alas – I have done a ‘once through’ of the fabric and realized that 3 boxes (of 10 or so that were moved) can be parted with. Something I swore I wouldn’t do because it is all mine and I love it is now something I must do.

I will be posting photos and prices of pre-bundled (by color and/or style) fabric goodies on the blog over the next decade or so. But we can start today:)

All prices do NOT include shipping – to be determined by buyer’s location, no. of bundles purchased, type of shipping wanted, domestic vs. international etc. To give you an idea – figure that domestic shipping is around 5 bucks.

Edited to add:  If you are interested – please send me an email to

mail <at> withinaquarterinch <dot> com

These RED bundles contain TWENTY FIVE pieces of fabric ranging in size from about 4*10 inches up to a fat quarter less a smidge.


RED #1:

PRICE OF RED #1 IS $18.00 plus shipping

RED #2:

PRICE OF RED #2 IS $18.00 plus shipping.

Red Bundle #3:

PRICE OF RED #3 IS $18.00 plus shipping. SOLD!!!

Red Bundle #4:

PRICE OF RED #4 IS $18.00 plus shipping

Black Bundle #1:

(I didn’t count the no. of individual pieces…)

PRICE OF BLACK BUNDLE #1 $15.00 plus shipping

Nicey Jane at $4.50 a yard???

Had to share!

Nicey Jane – no affiliation.