A sunny sewing room + folding fabrics to size

folding fabrics to size

It’s a new year, a new start and a new sewing room! Here’s a little peek around at what I’ve been doing during my 2 month blogging hiatus. Folding fabrics and getting organized! I’ll show you how I spent a couple afternoons folding fabrics to fit inside 4 different sized cubbies and crates while watching documentaries on Hulu. In my pajamas. (Sigh.) What a wonderful way to spend the day. :)

But first, have a peek around my new sewing room. There are more pictures below, after the quick folding how-to.

Sunny Sewing Room with how to on folding fabric


folding fabric - decide your width

Grab a piece of cardboard and scissors, because you will be making a template similar to the one in the photo above.

First, determine the width you want your fabric stacks, then subtract about 1/2″ from this to allow about 1/4″ leeway on both sides.  It’s impossible to fold these fabric stacks exactly to size, so you will want to give yourself a little wiggle room.


folding fabric - decide your depth

Determine how deep your storage is, then subtract at least an inch or two to determine the size you will cut your cardboard.

The smaller quantities of fabric will be narrower in depth.  The larger quantities of fabric will get thicker with each roll, so they will be wider in depth.

This extra inch or two of depth allows the front edges of all the fabrics to be aligned.

So now, cut out your cardboard template and label the width and depth.


folding fabric straight off the bolt

Lay out your fabric as it comes off the bolt

How to fold fabric step 1

with selvages at the bottom and the fold at the top.


folding fabric step 2

Fold your selvages up to your desired width.


folding fabric step 4

Fold the opposite edge of the fabric down towards the fold just made.

**Don’t worry if it doesn’t meet exactly in thirds like it does in the picture.  I used this system for 4 different sized cubbies and was worried that if it didn’t overlap exactly, the stacks would wobble.  But they don’t.

Lay your cardboard on the short edge of the fabric and begin to roll.

If your fabric is really long, stick a chair with a high back at the end of the table to help hold the rest of the fabric.


folding fabric step 5

Keep the cardboard inside and continue to roll the fabric – keeping the outer folded edges aligned as you roll.

folding fabric step 6

Keep rolling to the end.

folding fabric step 7

When you come to the end, pull out the cardboard.

folding fabric step 8

Fold under the extra fabric and make sure this loose end of the fabric is facing the back of your storage.

wood cubbies full of fabrics

Here is a better picture showing the 4 different sized crates and cubbies I used to store fabric.

I purchased the large rectangular crates about 12 years ago, but I can’t remember the name of the company now. (Sorry!) I have seen these same crates at Home Depot in the past few years, but usually only around back-to-school time.  The smaller maple cubbies were from Darice and I purchased those about 12 years ago too, I think from Michaels.

If anyone is interested in seeing a how-to video for folding fabrics, please leave a comment.  If there is enough interest, I just might figure out how to use the video setting on my camera!

a Sunny Sewing Room

And here are a few more pictures of my sewing/craft room.  One rule I set for myself after closing my store was that I was to buy NOTHING NEW.  With a store full of fixtures and displays to get rid of, there was no way I was going to purchase something new just for home.  So if you were a customer of Urban Arts + Crafts in Kansas City, some of these displays may look very familiar to you!

The white hutch on the above right was a Kolo photo display.  My husband made the table in the center.  The top is a french door with a piece of glass over the door for the top. The sewing and computer counter on the left was a 30″ wide door we special ordered from Home Depot, painted and added legs to.  The drawers on the left we purchased from Scandinavian Designs about 15 years ago and help support the counter top.

Books threads fabric and other stuff storage hutch



French door craft table

paper cutter

My favorite tool in the room. Burke and James vintage paper cutter. No safety latches. No plastic finger protectors. But man does this baby cut.

jewelry studio

Our house is a tudor style brick home built in 1932. One of its unusual features is this little room. The larger sewing room was actually the master bedroom and this little room is connected to the master bedroom with a doorway to serve as a nursery.  The room is very narrow, but works great for an office or baby room.  So this room holds my jewelry making, knitting and collage supplies.

collage cut and paste

knitting needles and crochet hooks

jewelry supplies in craft room

Sewing Studio

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  Happy sewing or should I say…happy folding!



  1. Carol Rickard says:

    Wowzar! Wonderful room….I was only at Urban Arts and Crafts once as I live in Ohio, but loved your store ! Wishing we had one like it here.

    • Thank you Carol! It was a lot of work..but fun work ‘ya know? :) Thanks again, K

    • Room is amazing great tips. I actually fold my fabric a certain way too. From experience go to lowes or home depot and get a gallon of polyurethane or paint and seal your wood crates. There is something in wood natural that makes our nice bright fabrics turn yellowish brown where the fabric and wood meet and leaves a yucky stain.

      • Yikes, this hasn’t happened yet, so thank you for the tip! I hand sanded mine pretty vigorously and haven’t had any troubles yet, and I’ve had them for 15 years. I wonder if different companies construct them out of different woods? Anyway still a good point to make – thank you!!

      • MaryLou Netzer says:

        I love the room. Just wish mine was that big!! Any ideas for small rooms…10x11ft??
        I don’t have crates but speaking of wood stains, my cedar chest did that to some saved baby things from my daughters!!

  2. WOW!! Amazing!! Just like I knew it would be!! Looks just like HOME!! Can’t wait to see what comes out of those fabulous sunny rooms!! And thanks for the pic of Anni!! She looks totally content and all settled in.

    • Thank you Chrissy. I don’t know if Anni is totally settled in yet, but she does seem a little more at ease! Of course she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be photographed! Did you see how my other cat Ren photobombed one of the pictures? Pretty funny! :)

  3. I’m going to take a hard look at my sewing room now. Yours looks so inviting. Will you ever leave???

  4. Yes! Had to look for Ren…..sneaky! 😉

  5. I love your new space, my friend. Always an inspiration!

  6. Tessa pulido says:

    Love it so nice neat and pretty. Home depot currently has there storage setup that includes crates similar to yours .oh love the table and height.

  7. so inspiring! Do you still have some of the furniture from the shop that is not sold? If you do, email me at theconnieob@hotmail.com thank you…you have kick started my day!

  8. Karen, those rooms look great! I love all the sunlight and color! The fabric looks inviting and inspiring! Enjoy.

  9. Looks wonderful. I’m sure you will enjoy!

  10. Sarah Steel says:

    This makes me very envious, if only I had a spare room that I could use for crafting and sewing. Your room is just beautiful! Maybe I should stop having visitors and turn the guest bedroom into something more useful?!

    • Haha! Yes! There was a brief moment when I thought to myself, oh well, guests can just sleep on my cutting table! (I’m terrible!)

    • I had the same issue with my guest room. I’m putting a Murphy bed with a drop down table on it, I should have plenty of storage and room for my machine plus I can put twin air mattresses on the floor for those times when the queen bed isn’t needed.

      • rebecca huffington says:

        Bookcases in bedrooms are normal, fill with folded fabric “books”. Desk has 1 normal drawer, pens pencils and paper. The rest get sewing supplies. Decorate as want. Display shelves on walls hold sewing knik knaks.

  11. Thanks for sharing your fab organization tips, it all looks wonderful!

  12. What an inspiring space! Now, if you could only help make my studio look so great.

  13. I just wanna live here for the rest of my life! It’s so organized and pretty!

  14. That’s a great sewing room, and good info. on how to fold fabric. As far as the sunny sewing room goes, though, I have a question. Do you have trouble with the fabric fading on the folded edges that are being exposed to light? I had a very bright and sunny sewing room once and I had problems with fabric that I left out (as opposed to being put away in large drawers out of the light). I had some fabric that I bought recently online from a fabric shop that came with light damage as well – at least that what I took it to be. I see a lot of people putting their fabric out like this online and I keep wondering how that works out. I keep my sewing room darkened when I’m not in it because of the trouble I had with that in the past, but I’d love to have a light airy space like this.

    • Yes and yes. The fabrics will fade. I keep my blinds closed tight when I am not in the room. The wall of fabric also has no direct exposure, however even some daylight can and will fade the fabrics. I just made the choice that I wanted to display my fabrics so I could see and appreciate them and will deal with the fading. (Not a good solution to fading, but I want to see all my fabrics!) Thank you for the comments! Karen

    • I want to emphasis what Mary Stevens said about fading. And I appreciate your comment that you keep your blinds closed tight, Karen, when the room is not in use, but it isn’t in the article. I have been very frustrated by the many (lovely) pictures I have been seeing lately of beautifully staged rooms with fabrics in open shelves. I can’t imagine too many ordinary quilters can afford to have so much of their fabric faded (and it can fade fast!). I realize it looks great and it is terrific to organize a room like these for a photo shoot, but the not-so-subtle message to those who don’t realize just how much danger their fabric is in is not good modeling of how to care for fabric. Even if it doesn’t fade right away, the fabric is getting weakened by constant exposure to direct or, even, indirect sun.

      • Robin, I appreciate your comments and can tell you are passionate about this subject. I have made the conscious decision to display my fabric in this manner and I think the average quilter/sewist is aware that fabric will eventually fade. I close the blinds when I’m not inside and yes, there will be fading. Yes, I may have to cut around the damaged areas. Yes, it will be weakened. I sew because I enjoy it and I love the fabrics and I want to see them. So I will deal with the consequences. It sounds like your frustration is with the article and that it does not point out the dangers of the sun. But the article is about my sunny sewing room and how I organized it. I want to surround myself with what I love and beauty and I don’t want to sew in the dark. And I will never, ever get to all of that fabric. So I want to enjoy it and have it around me. What I do want to say is that I appreciate the time you took to respond to the article. If someone does want to keep their fabrics as safe as possible, you have given then a wealth of valuable information. And yes, there are a ton of pictures on pinterest showing fabric stored in the open. Perhaps a disclaimer should be added? I don’t know. But it is nice to know there are people out there as passionate as yourself about fabric! Thank you again, Karen.

        • I just saw the pictures of your sewing room on Pinterest and have read several of the comments about the concern of fabrics fading when exposed to sunlight. I have most of my fabrics behind glass doors in my sewing room. Sunlight does shine in my room. What I have found to be most amazing is that of all my fabrics that are exposed, only one dark navy fabric (designed by Harriet Hargrave) was affected by sunlight on the fold line. I discovered it about 3 or 4 years ago and nothing else since then has had any fade lines. I do reorganize my fabrics a couple of times a year, because of the natural disorder that occurs when you are starting a new project. I don’t recall who the manufacturer of Harriet’s fabric was.

        • Karen,

          I enjoyed your sewing/craft room very much. I’ve made a diagram of the cardboard for your folding technique. I will follow you from here on out. I have 5 years before retirement, and recently converted my small office into my sewing/craft room. As I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I realized I have always loved crafting!

          My oldest son has his own online clothing business (superfreshclothes.com), and he is taking sewing classes with me to further his business.

          It is so exciting to discover so many people enjoy sewing/crafting.

          Thank you for sharing.

          BTW: I have reviewed hundreds of sites, this is the first time I really wanted to say THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!

          • Thank you so much for all the kind words! It’s wonderful to find/discover new things about ourselves isn’t it! Sewing can stick with you for life and it’s wonderful that you have found something so special to do with your son. BTW his T-Shirts made me laugh out loud! “Did you say donuts?” Love it. Retirement will be here before you know it! Karen

  15. I have learned over the years its best to fold and store fabrics wrong side out. This is most important in a sunny room. It doesn’t take long for sunlight to cause a fade line on exposed folds. What an amazing room!!

    • Yes, I know. I’ve decided that I will run that risk because I want to see the fabrics and keep them out. I keep the drapes and mini-blinds closed when I’m not in the room. But I realize that yes, some fading will probably occur. Thank you for the tip!

  16. LOVE the center table and folded fabrics! I am a knitter, as well, and loved seeing your yarn and needles.

    • Thanks Kelly! I love working on that table, and am grateful that I have a handy husband! :) k

      • Gorgeous room. Love all the display of fabrics! One questuon, are the crates mounted or just stacked on top of each other?

        • We used a wood glue on all the flat surfaces that touched to help stabilize them together. At the top of the crates there is a 3M stick pad against the wall to help them stay vertical. They don’t tip on their own, but the base board makes the entire unit stick out a bit, so we put the 3M on just for added peace of mind. Hope this helps! k

  17. Inspiring Space Karen! makes me want to get more organized!

  18. Thank you for the folding method info. I have been looking for a way to store fabric nicely, when your fabric stash is NOT made up of all 1 yard pieces of patchwork cotton, but of fabrics of all types and lengths.
    Thank you :-)

  19. How would this work with thicker fabrics like fleece and polar fleece. I am from Australia so hope the names are familiar to you

    • I think it just depends on how wide you want your stacks to be and how long the original piece of fleece is. I’ve used this on heavy denim and “minki” so it should work. Can’t hurt to give it a try! :) Good Luck!

  20. Susan L. says:

    Just stopped by to read this more thoroughly! It looks like you set it up for two ppl to give sewing lessons! Just sayin.

  21. Sharon Jackson says:

    Love your space. What is your cats name?

    • Thank you Sharon! Her name is Anni, and there is a great story that goes along with her name. On the day of the first year anniversary of my arts + crafts store in Kansas City (which is now closed) I pulled up to the back door of the store. From around the building corner peeked this tiny, dirty, fiesty black and white kitten. It was fate. We caught her, cleaned her up and named her “Anniversary” – Anni for short!

  22. Where did you get the Kolo white display cabinet? I have a new fabric/quilting shop and that is exactly what I have been searching for to go in a special space.

  23. I really love it! Your room is wonderfull!
    I’m goin to organize my own place!

  24. It was hard to concentrate on the rest of the room with all that Tula Pink fabric pulling my eyes towards it, lol! Looks like your retirement is secured, haha. Beautiful room! LOVE the table. We live in an older home and when we replaced the floor to ceiling, double hung windows, I had planned just such a table…one day. But SOMEONE (ahem…hubby..) gave away / sold all the large ones…I could’ve cried!

  25. Looks fab! I’m with you: deal with the fading down the track! My question: how do you fold large lengths of fabric. I have everything from organiser, fur, cotton, fleece blah blah, and ranging from sizes scraps to 10+ meters. I’ve just painted my sewing room and about to move in, my stash is currently in tubs and I really want it just like yours (or as close as possibly aesthetically) so… How do I fold the massively large ones using your system? Fingers crossed its possible.

    • Hey Tracy, Yes! It’s possible and not that hard. I used the very long table in the middle of the room, then found 2 chairs with backs which were about the same height as the table top to drape and hold the rest of the fabric at the opposite end of the table. I would start at the end of the table near the fabric crates (in the picture) fold the fabric around the cardboard until I reached the end of the table, then I would slide the cardboard along with the rest of the unfolded fabric back up to the top of the table, get it all straight and aligned and then folded the fabric around the cardboard. On some of my fabric chunks I had to do this 2-3 times. If you go slow, and keep everything aligned it’s not hard at all! Good luck with your room! K

  26. Great fabric folding tips… seems so easy this way. Love your studio too. Hope you are enjoying it.

  27. I stumbled on your blog thru Facebook about how to fold fabric. Then at the end I read that you owned Urban Arts and Crafts in KC. I’m sad to hear it’s closed. I haven’t been to KC in a while but every time I went to visit family I stopped in your store. I loved it! A lot of my stash is from your store. I just couldn’t pass up all the awesome prints :)

    • Hi Kris! It’s a small world isn’t it! It was a hard decision, but after 12 years of retail I needed a change. But as you can see on Facebook, I brought a chunk of my store home with me! :) Thank you for your kind words and patronage at Urban Arts and Crafts. I miss it too. Karen

  28. Well done! I did it in a similar way…usinf an 8×12 ruler.

  29. Janice Hamman says:

    You room is so well thought out. My husband bought some upper cabinets and stacked them three high to fit an area between the door into the room and the corner. I can’t reach the top cabinet unless I climb on a ladder or have him climb and show me what’s up there. About two years ago, he suggested doing the same thing on a long wall. I said I’d rather have base cabinets on that wall with a counter top for my large cutting mat and some sewing machines. Every cabinet is full. I have an index card in each drawer and on the inside of the doors so I know what is in each section. I still have plastic boxes of supplies, fabrics, and partially done projects under my cutting table. My mail problem is that I have several times as much stuff and space. But, I love all my storage and have plenty of room to sew/quilt.

    • Hey Janice, Your room sounds fantastic! And it’s great that your husband is so willing to help out with organizing it. I will admit, I love having the extra work area so I would agree on wanting the extra base cabinets. Happy fabric organizing, sewing and quilting! Karen

  30. Lorna Fothergill says:

    I have serious sewing room envy! This is just what I was looking for as I am moving into my first flat with my partner and I needed some tips and tricks on how to store all of my fabrics and this is everything I was looking for, as the spare bedroom is being turned into my sewing room! Thank you for sharing!

    • Glad the tips were helpful! For me, organizing is half the fun. Enjoy your new sewing room and your many new sewing projects to come!

      • Mary Stevens says:

        This is so true!! Organizing, re sorting, brings peace to my mind and inspires me to start something new, or pull out that half done project I found in the back of a stack!
        Sometimes pulling out a lopsided stack and ironing and then folding again is my therapy for the blues. Of course the best therapy is snuggling a new baby…but they aren’t always available. :)

        • My favorite comment yet – thank you for reading! <3 k

          • Joyce de la Rosa says:

            Thank you for sharing your beautiful sewing room. I am relocating my sewing/craft room and after perusing hundreds of sewing rooms, I like yours the best. I will be going from a low sun. lit room to a very sunlit room. I think that I’ll keep my fabric on the east wall, next to the window. That way it shouldn’t get any direct sun light. I noticed your dress form in the corner. How did you put jeans on it without putting a hole in them? Or are they for decoration only and does have a hole? Inquiry minds want to know.

          • Oh that is so funny – because you are not the first to ask! The form and the base stand are two separate pieces, so I take it off to dress her. The base stand is running up one leg of the jeans, which looks really funny on the ground, but not so obvious up higher. Have a blast with your new room, I had so much fun organizing mine – and I love my windows. Don’t care who cares – sunshine makes me happier!

  31. Carole Taylor says:

    Wow, I love your site, and your studio. I hope that this is not a redundant question, but I am struggling with not the folding of my fabric, but with separating it into piles. At first I thought I would like it by maker, but I don’t quilt-design by the quilt line. So, now I’m resorting, by solids, and then different novalty groups. How did you know what would work best for you? And what is it?

    • That is the ultimate question isn’t it! I too struggled with this, and finally decided to break the fabrics up the way I use them. By color. I too, combine patterns and colors, and rarely stick with the line of a single designer. So that’s how I organized it, with a little overlap here and there. I hope this helps. For me part of the fun is organizing, so I hope you can have fun with that part too! :)

  32. Lynda Eggleton says:

    Wow, that’s one great workroom!!

  33. Michelle Petersen says:

    Love your room, but I love your fabric even more!

    • Thank you Michelle…so do I! :)

      • My sewing/storage area is the window end of my bedroom since I live in a small condo. Very limited. After the end of a project I put small scraps by colour in a plastic bin, reusable pieces are kept in a zip plastic bag by project, 1-2 metre pieces are folded/stacked in a tall bookcase, and large pieces are refolded onto fabric store cardboard and stored under my sewing table. The tall bookcase is covered with a long piece of black fuzzy fabric that is nailed to the top of the bookcase – and thrown up to rest on the top of the bookcase when I need to select for a project.

  34. I really like your use of jars to store your threads, crochet hooks, knitting needles, etc. I use jars for buttons but had not considered all the other uses which add color and shine to your room. I think I will borrow this storage method.

  35. Rean Seekins says:

    I am fairly new to quilting so don’t have much “stash”. What I have is a mess. Would love to see a video of this process. I learn much quicker if I can SEE how to do it rather than reading.

  36. Sue Klejeski says:

    Love this room! Did you anchor the wooden crates to each other or to the wall at all, or do they just stay in place?

    • Thanks Sue! We hot glued the crates together, then used 3M strips on the highest crates to help secure them to the wall. We attached 4 adjustable feet to a board that all the crates sit on. That way the crates sit above the baseboard and can fit tighter to the wall. The feet also let us adjust the height, which we needed because our floors were a little unlevel.

  37. Love your sewing room, especially that table! Wonderful ideas, thanks

  38. Linda Liberty says:

    Love your room and folding method. May I suggest when you put your folded fabric onto the shelf, do just the opposit of your instructions. Place the last bit of folded fabric towards the front. Then if any fading occurs, it will be close to the end of the piece. Therefore, less waste, Thanks so much for posting.

  39. stitchjunkie says:

    What do you use the paper cutter for? Fabric, too?

  40. Really beautiful. I have a large IKEA chest of drawer that has fabric in it. I love to open the drawers and look at my perfect folded fabrics, standing on their sides. My problem is I never clean up until I can’t work in the mess. I need to be better about it.

  41. Vicki Swan says:

    Thank you so much for your help in figuring how to ‘organize’, I am currently in the process of planning a brand new sewing room built and am trying to make wise choices so that I won’t need to make changes…at least for a long while!

  42. Hi, I saw this on pinterest, and was so inspired by the method you are using to fold your fabric….My husband made me storage shelves where I can see all my fabric also, but mine looks very messy….Can this method be used with my fat quarters too?

    • This is almost embarrassing to admit, but I don’t use fat quarters. :/ At least not yet anyway…I’m working on my second quilt but it is a jelly roll quilt. My suggestion would be to go to a couple of your favorite quilt stores that sell fat quarters and see how they have them folded and displayed. Good luck with your sewing room – it’s so fun to get everything organized!!

  43. Kara Reno says:

    Love this room! Serious envy here. I was wondering what you use the paper cutter for? Such a great visionary piece just to have.

  44. Catherine Smart says:

    What an inspiring room. To emulate even a fraction of what you have done would make me very pleased. Thank you for sharing.

  45. Fabulous ideas and pics. Just moved into my LAST home and am setting up my dream sewing craft room. Bought a bunch of crates for fabric and now know how to fold!!!!

  46. Your sewing space is so lovely! (Stumbled upon it on Pinterest). What a wonderful place to spend time creating.

    Love the name of your site, too. :)

    Thanks for brightening my day.

  47. Jeanne Reinisch says:

    Ditto what Anne Butera said…wonderful space to create. So wish I had room for a work island, yours is great! Congrats and thanks Pinterest for too many hours stumbling around.

  48. Sandy Lynn says:

    Thanks, this folding method and the crate storage are exactly what I need and after the holidays I will be doing! I’m very excited I can afford the crates thanks so much and Merry Christmas!!

  49. Your room is beautiful. You have done an amazing job. congrats! I have been turning my spare room into my sewing craft room. It is lots of work but fun. I put in a chandelier with a dimmer switch I feel like a princess in my room now. Funny how the little things can make you feel !

  50. Would this folding method work for fabric that is odd shapes ? What do you do about those ? Some are 1/8 yard , some are several yards ?

    An idea for an island table , mine is an old dresser , that my husband added a 3×6 piece of plywood, and attached it with hinges , so I could open out for more table space for projects. Then it folds out of the way when done ! Does that make sense ?

    • Love, love, love the island dresser table idea! Isn’t it great to have handy husbands! :) And I don’t have any great suggestions for odd shapes. I throw my odd shapes into a tin bucket on the shelf, which isn’t exactly efficient. I have seen fabrics arranged in file type folders though. Not sure if that helps! k

  51. thanks so much!loveyour room/cats!thanks for fabric folding am doing it now!!!!

  52. Thank you for the detailed tutorial on folding fabric. I’m moving my sewing room to another area of the house and just ordered 10 large storage cabinets for my fabric and was wondering how to get my fabric to look nice on the shelves. I will be using your idea of the cardboard template. Thank you

  53. I loved the tour, thanks for sharing. I would love to see a video on folding fabric.

  54. Absolutely delightful site. I love your sewing room and all the information/tutorials on organizing everything.

  55. I use new, empty paint metal gallon containers from the hardware store. Mouse-proof.

  56. Hi There! Found your blog via pinterest and blogged about you today.
    Have a look if you wish http://www.sanddollardesignstudio.blogspot.com

    one day I’ll be as organized as you are :-)

  57. Eileen McNeil says:

    I enjoyed your sewing room immensely! Your methods of folding and storing make so much sense and are beautiful. I am reorganizing my sewing room and am rethinking the use of my IKEA shelving. Perhaps if I use your folding techniques, it will improve the look. Wish me luck. Today I will re fold the fabric I had just folded.

  58. This room is amazing! I would love to have my own nook in the house for myself :)
    – Krys

  59. I love it!!!! What size is your table top? I’m going to have my husband make me a table. Is glass practicle?

  60. Caroline says:

    I love this room. Am just starting to make my own sewing room so getting ideas! I love all your fabric – don’t think there is one I wouldn’t have – may I ask where you got it from or probably better which designers?? (as I live in England). Many thanks xx

    • Thank you! The bulk of the fabric is from my 2 favorite designers Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner. There is a little from Tula Pink (who I also adore, I just don’t have as much of her fabric.) Most of this is from their older collections, but I still love them!

  61. Love this! My single concern is the possibility of wood oils to leach into the fabrics which are stored in the unfinished storage spaces. What do you think? Thanks!

  62. Judith Palmisano says:

    Omgosh thank you a million times for posting this! I am fortunately very lucky to have 2 sewing rooms. I have enough fabric to open up a shop. I can’t tell you how many times I have rearranged my fabrics. I already started with one stack of fabric & I can’t wait to get it all folded with your brilliant idea. Thanks again! I live for organization. Lol

  63. Ohmy… I am a collector of vintage cutting boards/paper cutters. LOVE yours. :):) Great blog.. just discovered it. Ali

  64. love this idea…did you make a video of it…it looks beautiful


    • It is nice to walk into a room and see all the beautiful colors! Keep in mind about fading – I close my curtains when I am not using the room – but when I am in it – bring on the sunshine!! The crates are lightweight and inexpensive, so they have served me well over the years. Enjoy creating your special space – I know you will love it!! Karen

  66. I am going to try this. I have all my fabric in 12 plastic bins. I find myself buying the same fabric again because I can not see it. Thank you .

  67. I love, love, love your Sewing, crafting, etc. rooms. If only mine looked so Amazing! One day for sure. Thank you so much for all the great ideas. I was wondering…when you cut your fabric-do you cut directly on the glass table or do you use a cutting mat? I want to put glass on my table also, what is the thickness of your glass on top of your table? Thanks so much for showing your Beautiful Rooms! You have truly inspired me.

    • I always use a mat. Partly because I want to follow the lines on the mat and partly because I want to protect the glass. Plus, the sound of the metal dragging on the glass would make me crazy! 😉 Good luck organizing your room, you will enjoy it I’m sure!! Karen

      • And the THICKNESS of your glass? Are the edges of the glass beveled?
        And a third question, please: I have no art / color education. How did you arranged the fabric so that the colors are not so careless and cluttered-looking? Do you use a color-wheel or something like that? Thanks so much! JJ

        • The glass is 1/4″ thick and yes, the edges are beveled. And as far as arranging the fabrics, I sort of used the rainbow ROYGBV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet) order of colors starting in the upper left and working down to the lower right. I wouldn’t stress about it too much if I were you because so many of the fabrics are multi-colored anyway. Separate the solidish fabrics out first, then find the fabrics that blend 2 colors together (reds and oranges) and put those between the solid reds and the solid oranges. Hope this helps, but again don’t stress about it too much -you will be digging in your piles and moving the fabrics around anyway! Good luck! :)

  68. Heidi Salb says:

    What a delight to finally seriously look at your photos & read all the comments. I have been in the process of creating my “creative space” for some time now. I am all about trying to reuse old furniture & doors for my workspaces & love going to thrift stores for ideas on storage. So much of what you have done seems to match my ideas & I am especially thankful for the ideas with the crates & the folding techniques. I have been exploring ways to use the crates I already have & this may be what I’ve been searching for. Some of the fabric storage ideas I’ve seen look a bit messy & I had just about decided to keep all of my fabric behind cabinets or drawers, because I know mine would get messy quickly, but your idea is very doable & I think I would like to see some of the fabric. I might put a drop down cover over the crates to prevent fading, since my room will not have total blackout treatments. Crates can now be found at most fabric & hobby stores & can often be found on sale (or use those coupons). I am a little overwhelmed at the moment with trying to figure out how to relocate everything back into my space, but one step at a time (in my limited time), & it will all come together. I am sure I would have loved visiting your store!

    • That’s wonderful that you are working on your new space! As I’ve said before, I think organizing and designing is half the fun. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never get through all of my fabric so I might as well enjoy looking at it. Over the past year I thought it might get a little messy, but if I keep the stacks tightly folded, I haven’t had problems with them tumbling over or falling over. I think that’s the trick. To get them to fit inside the crate tight-ish. I was really picky and organized them by color for the pictures but honestly it doesn’t really matter as much as I thought it might, so I haven’t been as careful putting them back and it still looks good. Good luck with your sewing room, I’m sure you will enjoy it for years to come! Karen

  69. Your sewing and crafting rooms are beautiful. They are every sewist’s dream room. I would love to have a video of the folding technique. I would be able to play it over and over until I master the fold process.

  70. Marianne Holder says:

    Really love your sewing room. My husband and I have divided our double garage – half office for him and half sewing/craft room for me. No natural light so have installed LED lights – at least my fabric won’t fade. Got lots of inspiration from your space. I like your use of glass jars for storing, threads etc. By the way our car now lives on the driveway after all why waste all that lovely space!

  71. Wow this room is everyone’s dream. Enjoy X X

  72. Tammie Bivins says:

    I know I am only repeating what everyone else is saying but WOW!!! Your place is amazing !! If only!!!i love your door made into a table!!! I’ve wanted to do that for so long!!!! Girl you are like our fairy angel we get to dream about and talk to!! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us ! I look so forward to your post !! So don’t ever stop!! Well you can but like you did you have to come back!! I know I speak for a ton of sisters!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!

    • Oh my gosh, you are so sweet!! Thank you for all the kind words, I do appreciate it. And I have to give props to my hubby who made that table for me. And yes, I am grateful and blessed to have this little chunk of the world. :)

  73. Wow! Funny how you run across people through blog links! I moved from Kansas City about 16 years ago, but return frequently to visit family and friends. I was disappointed when I saw you were gone! So nice to see your beautiful studio and love your folding article! I look forward to seeing more from you!

  74. I am not a “gusher” but today I am going to gush! Your sewing studio is probably the most perfect one I have ever seen. Well organized, incredibly great light and just lovely to view. I have seen bigger and “jazzier” but this one is both realistic and, well, perfect!

  75. Thanks for the cardboard template folding method. We are currently organizing our fabric stash so this is perfect timing. We will certainly use your method. I love your sunny room and you vintage door table!

  76. Love your crafty room! Thank you so much for the tute. Someone in my quilt guild showed how she folded her fabric on a precut board. I like your idea of measuring your shelves, which are really cool in their alternating stacking! And that floral pressed glass jar! Adorable! I’m reorganizing my sewing room, again, and this will help a lot!

    • I’m so glad this was helpful for you! And that jar was an antique from my Mother-in-law so I was grateful to find something to show it off. Thank you again for reading and taking the time to comment…I really enjoy hearing that it has inspired or helped on any way. Happy sewing! K

  77. Colleen McLaughlin says:

    I’d love to do this with my fabric, but am afraid the exposed side will get dusty or fade from the sun. How do you avoid this happening?

    • Well, I don’t worry about it. I have made the conscious decision to display what I love to see and if it fades it fades. I will cut around it. I love the color and pattern way too much to hide it away. So I will live with the consequences. Do I ever think I will use all this fabric? Nope. Will I enjoy looking at it everyday? Yep. So, I guess it’s all about my priorities. Happy Sewing!! Karen

  78. Jacquie Semiens says:


    I love your craft room! Great fabrics, great light. I would never leave either. I use my second bedroom as my creative space because my fabric and my machines deserve their own room! I actually have a comfortable daybed in there for guests, but when the guests come, I give them my bedroom and I sleep in the sewing room. That room is indeed my “Happy Place” Nope. Don’t want to share. I actually took the time to fold my fabrics and it is amazing how much less space it takes up. Also, you can see and enjoy what you have. Besides, the fabric is like works of art. I don’t have the sun issue but even if I did, I am like you I love seeing my fabrics.

    Happy Sewing to you too!


  79. softfuzzygunddog says:

    I love your vintage paper cutter! Mine is modern and doesn’t look anywhere near as cool. I often wonder if it can be used to cut fabric … but I haven’t bothered to try yet.

  80. Love the folding tips! I’ll be storing my folded fabric in a closet. Just not enough room to stire them in the open.
    Love the mannequin! Where did you get it?

  81. Do you ever cut fabric with your cutter?

  82. Carol Gostkowski says:

    Wow, a dream come true. I have redone my sewing room several times but it doesn’t even come close to yours. I too have a handy hubby who is always willing to make me happy. I just showed him the pics of your room and he rolled his eyes and said “here we go again”. Do you happen to know the dimensions of the sewing room? I see a new room in my near future. Thank you Karen for sharing this room and the folding with us. Quilters are givers.

    • Lol! That’s really funny! The dimensions were approximately 12 feet x 15 feet, 18 feet if you include the end closets. Good luck with your new room and be sure to give your husband high fives for his awesomeness!!!

  83. So nice of you to share. .it really is beautiful!

  84. Donna Burkle says:

    Amazing room! Wish I had that much room. Love the kitty too, he looks like he is wearing a toupee.

  85. Linda Fielding says:

    I really enjoyed your “creative” space and am now lucky enough to have a large sewing studio with a walk-in fabric closet. But prior to this I lived in a loft and only had a guest bedroom for my sewing area. To solve the guest bed dilemma, I installed a murphy bed which folded up against the wall when not in use and the bottom side became a great design wall for quilts while in the “up” position. So much more comfortable than a sofa bed. I also removed the sliding closet doors, installed a full-width counter in the closet and mounted cabinets and shelves above this for my stitching area. I managed to reroute some wiring to have outlets. Guests now had to live out of their duffle bags, ha. I lined one long wall with IKEA bookshelves for fabric storage, some with glass doors. My biggest challenge was what to do for a cutting area. I bought a cutting table that had drop-down leaves but opened up to a whopping 40″ by 72″. Collapsed it was about 40″ by 20″. As it was on wheels, I made a full size cover for it and used it as a serving table in the adjoining dining room when guests were present. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, I guess. Hope this inspires some readers with limited space. My attitude was that guests come and go, but sewing is a daily activity and deserves a great space. So many of my friends sew on a dining table, yet have a mostly unused guest bedroom. I found a solution.

    • BRILLIANT!!!Thank you for sharing this. A number of great ideas and solutions. And I agree, the cutting dilemma is always a problem – sounds like you found a wonderful solution. Cheers to you! k

      • Julie M. says:

        reading your cutting dilemma and finding out your husband is handy why not try to get a pattern by Terry Hires and make a sewing table (appx, 76 1/4wide x 48d). I found this plan thru Keepsake Quilting and this plan can be adjusted to your needs. When I am not sewing I can take my sewing machine off and use it as a cutting table and vice versa. I am using a very small bedroom for my creative space too as well as an office space. Yes bordering on being a hoarder. My hubby calls it a crap room (sorry) not a craft room. So that’s how I got him talked into that sewing table plan. When not in use the one side is the office desk too.

  86. Janet Owens says:

    Your sewing room is awesome. I’m going to try the folding method. I can only dream of having a room with that much light and room. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  87. Vici Fallin says:

    wonderful!!! an inspiration to redo this first few days of 2017. I too was worried about raw wood on fabric but these may be conditioned by now.

  88. Denise Nash says:

    Simple but ingenious folding method. I wish I had an open cabinet to display my fabrics.

  89. Okay, I’m in love with your craft room. This is a level of organized that I will probably never achieve. Bravo!

  90. Just love the glass covered French Door Center table!

  91. thank you for that wonderful tip on how to store fabrics. At the moment mine are stored in a large chest of drawers but one on top of the other so that I have to rummage.

    Typically, I always manage to need the one that is at the bottom of the stack. This means that I then have to re-fold by which time I have lost the will.

    However, now I shall put your system into practice and maybe it will help me to be more productive; instead of seeing the prospect as a chore.

    Thanks again

  92. Darla Collins says:

    I love your craft room! The only problem I would have with that wall of fabric would be my cat! I have my fabric in a TV hutch and every time I open the doors, she makes it her mission to see how fast she can jump in before I catch her getting on my fabric. How do you keep your fabric free of dust and/or cat hair?

    • Hahahaha! So very true! I have a cat that is not pictured that gets into everything. I put up with it because I love him so much. Anni is older and though curious, doesn’t get into things as much. All in the day of a cat owner I guess! :0)

  93. I am in the middle of decluttering my bedroom but you have completely inspired me to start on my material and stop just keeping it in bags. Now if I can get my father out of my conservatory/sewing room I will get something done

  94. Thank you for this. The ladies in my quilt group think I am crazy because I fold all my fabric to measure 7″ wide and then selvedge to fold for length. I can get three rows side by side and have them double deep. I have them in floor to ceiling kitchen pantry cupboards. Now I can show them I am not alone! Your room looks fantastic!

  95. Victoria Davis says:

    Thank you so much! What a wonderful explanation and a what an incredible sewing room! Very inspirational!

  96. Karen, I too loved your idea and know from all the posts that everyone has their thoughts on the “fading”issue. I too had a store but mine was a fabric one and I’m sad to say that because of my Father passing away and not having any help to open and close it I had to close it permanently close it but I still have all of the display units,racks, and the FABRIC ! It is a small town and I didn’t want to sell it at a major loss ($1. per yd. etc.) so could you or would you share with me how you sold yours off?
    I also have a special room and it’s full of MY fabrics that I couldn’t pass up and had to buy. Congrats on the beautiful space you have made for your hobbies now.

    • Hi Lizzie,

      I’m so sorry about your Father. I’m sure that was incredibly hard to lose your Father and your store in a short amount of time. I will agree, finding a home for that much fabric is difficult. Don’t be afraid to contact another store to see if they will purchase it at a cut of off wholesale. That’s better than $1/yd. I certainly tried to sell as much of it as I could. I tried to ebay and craigslist some of it, but I was too impatient and listing everything became a chore, especially when nothing was selling. Eventually it was more cost effective to donate it rather than sell it. I donated about 10 bolts to a locale high school that had a thriving Home Ec department. The home ec teacher was thrilled, because some of her students didn’t have enough money to spend on fabric, so this was a great solution. I donated a few bolts to my mother’s church quilting group. I donated a few bolts to a program that delivers clothing and small home goods to a small town in Mexico. The man who delivered them wasn’t too sure they would want the fabric, but he said it was the most excited he had ever seen the women. They were talking about if they could make dresses at home to sell while they watched the children for extra income. The man no longer runs that program, or I would give you his name.

      I hope this helps, but yes – some of my favorite fabrics I couldn’t pass up as well. Good luck to you, k

  97. I think that is the most beautiful room I have ever seen!

  98. I am jealous, what a great room! You must smile every time you walk through the door. I would absolutely love a video on how to fold fabric. Hope you receive enough requests to make a video. Thanks for sharing a great room, you have motivated me to get off my butt and get to work

  99. Thais Flores says:

    Very nice sewing room!
    Im organizing mine as well, I do not have as much space as you do, but Im doing my best :)

    I was wondering why did you close your store? I have wanted to open a little sewing studio/fabric shop but I am afraid of how profitable this business is, I do not want to become rich with it, but just to be happy making a living doing what I love. I used to be a professional dancer and got injured, since then I cannot dance anymore, so I am looking to follow my other passions to fulfill my heart.

    • I had the store for 12 years and due to some personal health issues and a changing market (amazone, internet, yelp, craftsy, etc.) I became tired of retail and dealing with all the responsibilities of a small business owner. I had a good run and enjoyed it very much. But you are correct, you probably will not become rich with it. It did pay the bills and came with some pretty fun perks as well. Best, xox k

  100. After sewing on the dining room table for the past 5 years, I, too, have a sewing room now! It’s not completely finished, so I am very interested to see what other sewists have done with their spaces! Yours is beautiful and functional, too! Thanks for sharing!

  101. Jan Dudley says:

    Thank you for the tour of your sewing room. I will definitely use your folding tips. I retired 9 months ago and have been trying to get a plan in place to organize my fabric and sewing room. My plastic storage bins are hard to access and therefore the fabric already in them gets overlooked and money is spent unnecessarily to finish projects. Sometimes the project is overwhelming…. Wish me luck! Jan

  102. Linda Mattson says:

    I would like to see a video on this method of folding your fabric. Love your room!!

  103. Annette Holbrook says:

    I’m going to be moving soon and I’ve decided I MUST have a table similar to yours to do all my cutting and basting. (I can’t get on the floor to do my basting, so I use clips and my table. It works great!) I also plan to re-fold all my fabrics when I unpack. Your little tutorial will be of great assistance in that endeavor. Thanks for sharing your sunny and fabulous space with us! <3

  104. Thank you for sharing. I need to reorganise my fabric so this sounds a smart idea to me.

  105. Pandy Gibson says:

    Beautiful room! Kids, adopted kids and foster kids all grown up now! I have the master bedroom for a sewing/craft room. I have been looking for a way to organize my room and yours is the best I have come across! Thanks for sharing!

  106. Thank you for sharing your new sewing room. I am seriously jealous. I’m going to try the fabric folding. Great idea!

  107. Darlene Taylor says:

    Thanks so much for sharing… I have a terrible time organizing my Craft/Sewing/Office. I’t not small, nor big, but I have a lot of stuff in here, mainly three big entertainment/bookcase things that are my husbands from before we got married, would like to get them out and just have straight up shelves, would be so much more space. Anyway, wanted to ask… how do you store small pieces and scrapes of material… also ODD shaped material. I am constantly changing and rearranging, haven’t found what suits me best yet. I have lots of Patterns, Fabric, Paints, Ribbon, Lace, Embroidery thread, etc, etc (I LOVE to craft… everything) and I even have stuff I’ve never tried to use yet, like Sculpy…My husband swears I’m a hoarder, but I say I am a pack-rat, clutter-bug… but am NOT a hoarder!!! (I get rid of stuff!!!)
    Any ideas you can share of store the small pieces of fabric would be greatly appreciated, I hate to throw even a small piece away… might need it to make Barbie Doll clothes :-)

    • My Mother made Barbie Doll clothes out of scraps from many of my dresses – I treasure them! So I love that you keep your scraps. Myself, I am very lazy about scraps and throw the keepers into the silver buckets you see on the white wood shelves. I also reuse the hard plastic bags saved from sheets/comforters – the nice ones with zippers that are clear, to put my scraps in. Usually they have a pocket containing printed information – which I toss out. Then I shove the scraps in there and can see just about everything without getting inside of the bag.

      I agree.. NOT a hoarder, but a crafting girl-scout…you gotta save that stuff just in case you need it! K :)

      • Julie M. says:

        I hear you Darlene, I think I can use it in something but later forget what I wanted to do with it. I specifically bought a plastic storage container for mine/

  108. Christina says:

    Thanks for the tip of folding fabric stash! I am going to put it to use soon. My fabric shelves are a mess (that’s really an understatement). Beautiful sewing room, one that leaves me a bit green with envy!

  109. OMG, I love, love, love your space. Thinking about kicking my daughter out so that I can turn her room into my sewing space. LOL. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  110. Laura Reffett says:

    Love your sewing/crafting space. I moved from a very large space to a very small space recently and had to sort it all out and part with half. What a project. I do not have enough space to have all my fabrics so lusciously at hand! But what a thought. My storage is in my basement (in semi-transparent tubs) and takes up 1/4 of the space. I sew in what was the dining room. I am about to re-arrange the space and you’ve given me some ideas. I have also collected interesting work surfaces … I have two slate-topped oak science tables from a school (one is my desk and the other holds my sewing machine & serger). My shelving is getting re-organized (ribbons, patterns, craft supplies, oh my). Thanks for sharing your space!

    • Slate topped oak science tables – oh my gosh those sound beautiful! I’m jealous! Purging a craft room is a lot of work. But maybe it helped you see what pieces truly were your favorites? Still, it’s never easy letting go of goodies. Thank you for the sweet comment and I hope you have a wonderful time setting up your space! Karen

  111. You have REALLY done a great job with your beautiful sewing/craft room. Your folding for fabric is simple,easy and VERY inspiring to all of use. I fold my fabric with my ruler so it fits my bins. I really wish I could leave them in the open but my crafting space is over our 3 car garage which can be dusty. Your ideas are very inspiring! Thanks, AGAIN

  112. Frances Claassens says:

    Thank you for brightening up my day. I loved your cardboard use to determine what size to fold fabric. It looks like a lot of love was spent folding and putting away the fabric. You inspire me. Now I just have to stop buying so I can arrange and display my fabric the same way.

    • LOL – buying and collecting is half the fun, right?!? The fabric still carries all the promises of what it can be. Enjoy the folding and arranging. It can be part of the fun too! Happy Organizing! K

      • I agree! I just started this year hunting for & buying vintage fabrics to make aprons. At first the hunt was a necessity but now I consider it half the fun and imagining all the beautiful types of aprons the material will make.
        Thank you for the inspirationable informative blog and all the pictures of your beautiful room!!!
        Time for me to get busy organizing!


  113. OMG your room is stunning… and thank you so so much…. now i really can make it work i am living overseas and space is tight so keeping everything neat and compact is very important…. i know what i will be doing for the next couple of days….. and finally my son may have some of his closet back

  114. SewingHoarder says:

    Thank you! I pinned this awhile ago and finally start organizing my fabric. Amazing how much space is saved by organizing. I had hoped to finish but found a couple of “bags of fabric” that I had bought that I forgot about. teeheehee. After reading all the comments and also lacking a lot of space, I decided to organize into plastic bins and will line the translucent bins so get less light penetration.

  115. I love this room!! Thank you for sharing it and how to fold the fabrics. I have a wall for my workspace, a room is something I need and one day will have. For now I am just saving ideas and yours is THE BEST.
    Happy Crafting

  116. Hello, I really appreciated the pictures. Unfortunately I am going through a separation and had to move to an apartment. The good news though is that there is a large Master BD here which I’m just starting to organize for my sewing room/classroom. Thanks! Happy New Year!

  117. Vivian Oaks says:

    I enjoyed reading about your pursuits and managing everything in your life. It’s a good thing when you can step back and take a long, hard look at your life and realize that you’re not Superwoman and you need to set limits. Some of us don’t learn that until our children are grown and moved out of the house….(not mentioning names or anything…) You seem to have a good head on your shoulders… You will go far!!

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