Ain’t It Funny: Comic Board Organisation

I seem to be doing more organisation than sewing lately, but I used to be a Boy (well, Cub) Scout, and we were always taught to “Be Prepared!” So I’m preparing for the quilting armageddon, and I’m assuming my fabric will have to be my missile defence system! So if you see me launching fabric grenades across enemy lines, you know I’m gonna need some backup from the Glitterati! Where am I leading with this? Well, when I was in Singapore, quilty friend Kate started speaking positively about the comic board fabric storage system.

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To help with my fabric defences, I picked up a pack of 100 comic boards at her suggestion. (Seriously, like I needed any further organisational or fabric distraction, but here we are). Since being back in Australia, I’ve found myself killing time by unfolding, re-ironing, then refolding my fabrics around said boards. Because you know there are those times when you’re totally in a quilting zone, but you don’t really want to sew? I find just being surrounded by my fabric, and reorganising it, scratches that itch.
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Kate told me all along that I’d need more than 100 boards, and now that I’m home, I’m realising I probably need like a 1,037 boards to fulfil the requirements of this type of system. No bother, as I’ve taken to some strategic folding. I started with all my large yardage pieces. You know the ones that you say are for quilt backings, but are really the ones that were on sale so you bought four five okay, six yards just in case! Then, I’ve moved to the slightly smaller yardage pieces, that I’ve committed to act as neutrals in as yet unforeseen projects.
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However, when I last cleaned up my fabric cupboard (like three weeks ago; the addiction is real, y’all) I set aside some of my designer collections. I originally tried interspersing the Alison Glass and Carolyn Friedlander throughout my rainbow spectrum, but they didn’t like that one bit. So I’ve had them sitting in their own buckets at the back of the cupboard. Sequestered against their will, in the back, in the dark? Jesus. They’re not prisoners of war! These fabrics need to see the light of the day. So I decided they’d be next on my list to wrap around the comic boards and jump ship to this newfangled organisational system.
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Now, let me tell you, I’m loving how this has worked with the yardage, all the way down to the half yards. There seems to be an ample amount of fabric in those type of cuts to wrap around the boards enough to see what is going on. I followed the folding direction of selvage to parallel edge, and then wrapped around the board, a miniature version of what you would find in your LQS.  But fat quarters y’all?! What the what? How am I even going to tackle those? Kate suggested I cut the boards in half, but then the boards are not all the same size—induce conniptions now!
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I also have to say that I’ve been using blue tape to fasten the fabric to the boards, and then tie it off at the end. This seems to work better on some fabrics than others. Embarrassingly, I commented to someone on Instagram that my blue tape always stuck to my fabrics, and well, I have to eat some humble pie, because I was wrong! I’m gonna have to find all the pins in my house and start using those, as I don’t use pins when sewing.
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Anyway, this is all just a bit of a mumbo jumbo ramble scramble to tell you about what my fabrics and I have been up to lately! If you’re following on Instagram, you’ll see I’m working on another bomb of a project, and this organisational craziness is my respite. If you have any further tips or links to amazing comic board utilisations with fabric, please share them in the comments below!

10 Responses

  1. Blue painter’s tape doesn’t seem to stick very long. I use a green tape for concrete that I found at my hardware store and even it will eventually lose its grip, although it is better than the blue tape. I think you are wise to use pins. I foresee a purchase of something suitably sparkly to fit the bill…

  2. Diana Alexander says:

    My daughter, bless her heart, bought comic book boards for me a couple years ago for my Christmas present and organized all my fabric for me! I just have to put the damned bolts back in place once I pull them. I use fabric clips to secure them, and all in all I’m happy with it.

  3. Verria says:

    I tried the boards a few years ago. Did what you are doing now. It didn’t last long. The boards are all gone and now I simply wrap my fabric around my long 6 inch ruler, fold them fold to selvage. They fit nice and neat on the shelf and I can see each one from 1/2 yard to many yards. Fat quarters…now that is a different dilemma.

  4. Chris K. says:

    I find fat quarters work on comic book boards just fine. I even use them for large scraps. For fastening, Bolt Buddies from Pals Products are perfect, but kind of expensive. I haven’t tried this yet, but someone online suggested plastic shirt clips, which you can buy on Amazon (along with the comic book boards) for $9 for 1000. I don’t like using pins; they’ll either fall out or stick you.

  5. I really like using boards for my fabric, but only use it on fabric I have 1/2 to 2 yards of fabric of. Larger cuts of fabric are just folded or on bolts (I don’t have that many). I fold fat quarters and place them in tubs (the clear plastic tubs that salad comes in at Costco).

  6. DianeY says:

    If you have any type of humidity or salt air, I would not use pins for any prolonged time. I used to until I realized I was getting little rust spots where I did. Might be a Hawaii thing, but it’s worth considering

  7. Oh, that sounds really zen, actually. You can distract your mind with fabric folding so your sub-conscience can go to town. Very clever! I would love to have my fabric organised this way, but I know I’d be terrible at putting it all back again after use. Mine’s in (folded) stacks in a linen closet, which works for me as I’m a chronic rifler (as in always rifling through my stash).

  8. Trista says:

    I am so jealous of your fabric! I recently acquired quite a bit of fabric really cheap at an estate sale but it all smells like a basement. I think it may be time to wash and organize it so I can find what I want easily. I really have no idea what I got as I just went through tubs super fast and got colors that made me happy from what was in the stash.

  9. Denise says:

    First smile of the day, Molli as a Cub Scout! Luv it

  10. Nancy says:

    Oh my – patting fabric is just part of the process – and my Alison Glass get extra pats and yes it is stacked carefully all together.

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