Q&A with Oda May: MBS 411 & Stash Management

Join Oda May today as she answers reader questions! 

Dear Oda May,

I’m new to the Moda Bake Shop, and I’m a bit confused. Are you a store? What are you baking?

Flummoxed in Fort Worth

Dear Flummoxed,

Welcome! The Moda Bake Shop is a division of Moda Fabrics, a multi-line fabric distributor selling to the trade. Imagine that your local quilt shop is a car dealership. Moda made the cars and the Moda Bake Shop is where you go to find out how to soup up your engine. The Moda Bake Shop is not a shop, but a place to come for tutorials that will help you make the most of your Moda pre-cuts – jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs, fat quarter and fat eight bundles, etc. (to see all of the different pre-cut varieties, take a look at our {Bakery} page). We named it the Bake Shop because our pre-cuts are little packages of sweet & yummy fabric goodness.

With Fabric Love,

Dear Oda May,

Like most quilters, I have become obsessed with fabric. I have so much that I don’t even know where to start when I finally make time to sew. I need some inspiration for getting my sewing space in shape. Any ideas?

Floundering in Fabric in Phoenix

Dear Floundering,

A tidy stash is the sign of an uncommitted quilter, my dear, so welcome to the club! However, I do sympathize with your plight. It can be daunting to work on a project when your space is a mess. Start to tidy it up by grouping like cuts of fabric: one yard pieces in one spot (fold them all the same way), half yards in another, and so on. Be sure to save a spot on a shelf for your Moda pre-cuts. I find them very inspiring to look at while I sew. I sometimes even take a jelly roll or two off the shelf just to run my fingertips along the perfectly pinked edges. Very inspiring indeed.

If you need more inspiration, check out our mini studio tours from some of the Moda Bake Shop Chefs:

Jo's Country Junction Studio Tour
Patchwork Posse Studio Tour
Vintage Modern Quilts Studio Tour
Aunt Polly's Porch Studio Tour
Happy Quilting Studio Tour
Cut to Pieces Studio Tour

Readers, do you have clever stash management tips? Let me know! Email me at modabakeshop{at}unitednotions{dot}com.

With a Well-Managed Stash,


nhlady said...

My stash is sorted by color. I find it easier to find what I may be looking for. Within colors, I sort by cottons and flannels and always separate the checks and stripes.

Hope this makes sense!

JessiBerry said...

I sort my stash by color too. But my cuts from other projects are sorted by size of strip. Those are in clear tubs and organized by color order. I find it so easy to just see what I have in the size I need. :)

Heidi said...

I use comic book cardboards to wrap my stash around and make mini "bolts". These fit nicely on my shelf and then I group them by color and use (baby themed vs anything else)

SewBlinkey.blogspot.com said...

I have wrapped the majority of my fabric on the magazine boards. I fold the fat quarters neatly into the larger pieces, like the backing, and then rolled them onto the boards. Some small bundles remain in plastic bags for now because I need more boards. My storage room looks nice after 5 days of organizing.

Quiltsmiles said...

I love your idea of keeping a shelf open to see your Moda Pre cuts, Wonderful idea! Now why didn't I think of that. I'll have to sew myself off one shelf and that way I can set my precuts onto that shelf for inspiration and nice eye candy, Thanks! Jane

Kathy said...

Whenever I receive something in a cardboard shipping box, I cut the flaps off and wrap my fabric around those. Depending on the size of the box, I can sometimes cut the whole thing up in to bolt boards. No extra money spent :)

Unknown said...

I sort my stash by color and by holidays/seasons. I also collect stripes for bindings, and have different size strip collections in labeled shoe boxes. Smaller UFOs are put in soda can cardboard flats - they stack nicely. Or I get those scrapbooking plastic bins with handles. They come in different colors, and you can get them at Joann's, often with coupon.

Rosa said...

I sort my stahs by color in a drawer and the scraps by color in clear plastics bags.

The Patchsmith said...

I have a CD rack from floor to (nearly) ceiling, with compartments, by the side of my sewing desk. My FQs are stored in this - one colour per compartment. It works a treat.

teachpany said...

Inexpensive shelving units can be found in late August in the Big Box stores. Invest in a size that fits. Fold and sort fabrics by color and theme: Christmas, Batiks, novelty, baby, tone on tones, etc. I also have some zipper bags that I put collections for a project in. Quilt In A Day sells nice ones. You can fit the charms and yardage and pattern in one, so the yardage that matches your precuts (for borders and binding!!) is with them, and doesn't get adopted into another quilt because you just love the colors and didn't read the selvage! (Ask me how I know.) FQs are either by collection on a shelf, or in a basket. You need to figure out what works best for you.