We started by identifying all my UFOs and projects in the queue and putting them in an Excel Spreadsheet. For each item I added details about what stage the project is in and prioritized it so I know which ones to start with. You should have seen our dining room. It was like a bomb went off and my projects were everywhere. Warning: If you choose to ask your spouse to help you, be prepared to feel very vulnerable as he realized how much you actually have and don't be surprised when you see his eyes get bigger than you have ever seen them.
So after I identified how out of control things had gotten, we started to reorganize. I have a beautiful sewing center that my husband built for me, you can see it and read about it here. I had all my quilting and knitting books in some of the cabinets. They were two layers deep and hard to get to. So we bought a inexpensive shelf to put up in our bedroom that holds all my quilting books, knitting books, binders full of quilting magazines, and some of my reading books.
Now my books are easy to access and that freed up a lot of my cabinet space. I have all those wonderful drawers in my sewing cabinet to keep my projects that I am currently working on and a few UFOs. Unfortunately they aren't enough. So I put my additional UFOs in pizza boxes and stacked them in the cabinet of my sewing center. When I want to work on a project I can just pull out the pizza box and my project is all contained in that one place. I also labeled them so they can be easily identified at a glance.
We went to Costco to get me these great clear storage containers. I filled them with fabric that goes with a project in my queue and is ready whenever I am.
Ok, here is the bulk of my stash...
This is the lower half of my eight year old son's closet. Please, feel sorry for him. I do! These big totes are filled (some I can't close properly) with fabric. They are pretty organized within. Each tote contains two colors of fabric and smaller bags containing strips in those colors. This is where I sound a little mental...ready? I don't love all the fabric in these bins but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. I feel like I need to use it, make it into something.
I just recently read an article written by Bonnie Hunter in the latest Quiltmaker magazine. She talks about making your stash into something useful by cutting it up into pieces that are used often in scrap quilts. She has free patterns that tell you what size pieces you will need and they are often just two sizes. Anyways, she has totally inspired me to make my stash and especially my scraps into a useful system. And I love the idea of a Leaders and Enders quilt that you make over time while working on other projects.
So, to wrap it up... (trying to sound positive) 2009 is the year of the finished UFOs and the stash busting like you have never seen!! Wish me luck!