Organizing Your Fabric Samples

January always seems like the perfect time to organize and declutter.  And two weeks into the new year, I am finally starting to tidy up my sewing space.  Actually, I’m pretty excited about it!  We moved last Summer and our new home has a dedicated sewing room on the first floor, which I am (very) slowly decorating and designing into a cozy and functional studio.

One of my first projects was organizing the fabric swatches that come on the color cards of my favorite fabric manufacturers. Taking the fabric samples off the card, makes it much easier to mix and match colors to create a palette for your quilt.  In my old sewing space, I cut up my color cards and had them hanging on magnetic white boards.  This time I decide to organize them into binders.  

If you are unsure how to best organize your fabric samples, I am detailing the pros and cons of each method below (along with links to the supplies needed):

Organizing into Binders:

If you are like me and work best in a calm and clean space, then organizing cards into binders might be the best option.  I am the type of person that NEEDS to clean my sewing space between each project because too much clutter makes me feel overwhelmed and overstimulated.  So rather than having ALL the colors (seriously, like over 300 colors) hanging on my wall, I decided to neatly organize them into binders. 

First, I peeled each fabric sample off the card and tucked it into its own slot in these slide protectors.  These are actually created for photography slides, but I found they fit fabric swatches perfectly! Next, I used these labels to print the names of the fabrics. Then, I snapped the slide protectors into a 3-ring binder and my fabric swatches were ready to go!

Side Note: You will have lots of these labels left over, but they work great for labeling and organizing fabric. 

Organizing onto Magnetic Boards:

Sometimes an organized mess, or at least having a little more color on the wall helps to spark creativity.  If you are very visual (like most quilters!), having your fabric out in the open might actually help your creative process.  

In the past, I have used these magnetic boards to hold my fabric swatches. I first cut up the color card and placed a small piece of magnetic tape to the back of each sample.  My best tip is to make sure that you use a large enough magnet to prevent your swatches from falling and getting lost (if you are cutting up a Kona color card, I would suggest using two rolls of this tape).

Note: I have the older addition of the Kona Color Card which has the names printed under the fabric sample.  Newer color cards may require that you label your swatches before hanging them.  

If you are looking for color cards, my favorites are the Kona Color Card and the Art Gallery Fabric card because they are the solids that I sew with the most.  However, you can find fabric samples from almost every manufacturer at the Fat Quarter Shop.  I’d love hear what your favorite solids are and how you keep your color cards organized!

**Please note that some of these products contain affiliate links. However, all suggestions are my own 🙂  ***

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