Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Peek Into My Drawers (Or... How I Organize My Stash)

Hi, stitching friends!

Today, I want to give you a little peek into my drawers! OK, OK, get your mind out of the gutter. Not those drawers.

Over the past few months, I have come across YouTube videos and blog posts talking about how to organize all of our crap errr... treasured stash. I thought I would add my voice.

I am not an expert, but my system works for me. I have one bedroom that I use for an office/craft room, but you could use some of these storage methods even if all you have is part of a closet.

I have a large armoire that we used to have in the living room to house our old TV. When we ditched the old TV for a flat screen, I thought about giving the armoire away. But I imagined all the storage possibilities and moved it into the craft room.

In the above photo, on the left (looking inside the armoire), I have all sorts of storage bins I've collected over the years. They house everything from patterns to linen and fabric to buttons and embellishments. Ignore the miscellaneous junk I haven't organized yet.

On the top shelf on the left, you can see I have patterns stored in some 12x12 scrapbook bins. The orange bin holds patterns I have not stitched yet, and the purple bin below it holds the patterns I have stitched.

The photo on the right shows a bookshelf I have propped up against the armoire. It houses books, magazines, boxes of miscellaneous supplies and small, seasonal pieces.

I put printouts of freebies and charts I have downloaded from the internet in page protectors. These go into a binder with tab dividers for subjects such as Christmas, Halloween, autumn, patriotic, etc.

I mounted a shelf with hooks to the top of the armoire, and you can see my fancy flosses (overdyed threads) hanging from the hooks.

I put my overdyed threads in snack-size zipper bags, punch a hole in the corner and put a label in another corner where I write the brand and color. I put the bags on 3" jump rings and organize them by brand. For brands such as The Gentle Art or Weeks Dye Works, I organize the flosses alphabetically. For Colour & Cotton flosses, I organize them by color (because I'm usually using Colour & Cotton flosses as substitutions and I look for the floss by its color, not its name.)

When I work on a project, I pull the colors I need from the larger jump rings and put them on a small, 1-1/2" jump ring (see above photo). When I'm done with the project, I put them back where they belong.

I keep my DMC flosses wound on bobbins in four plastic bins. I also keep my Kreinik threads here. When I was in college and falling in love with cross stitch, a local department store had DMC on sale for 25 cents a skein, so I splurged and bought every color. My boyfriend (who is now my husband!) sat with me for hours, winding the floss onto those bobbins. I sort them numerically.

When I work on a project, I pull out the flosses I need and store them in a small, portable floss box. I also keep my scissors, needle threader and extra needles here. I dedicate one section for thread clippings. When I am done, I put the flosses back where they belong.

I've found that the most important step is the last one - put things back where they belong! If my desk gets piled high with new stash or things I didn't put away, I just cannot think straight. I feel stressed. When I put things where they belong, I feel inspired.

Because I like to have several projects going at once, I like to organize them in zippered bags. I found these on Amazon (click here for the link). They're more durable than a Ziploc bag, come in lots of colors and cost less than a dollar each. The size I linked here fits up to an 8x8 Q-snap, but the company sells larger bags on Amazon as well.

How do you organize your stash?

Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow Update

This weekend, I put the finishing touches on blocks six and seven of Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow. Just five more blocks to go! Woot woot!

I am NOT a fan of spiders, but I have to admit, the spiders in this gorgeous project are just so creepy and perfect. Once in a while I catch one of them in my peripheral vision and I jump a little bit.

Summer Schoolhouse SAL Update

I'm working hard to stay on track with RJ and Mary over at Stitching Friends Forever on our Summer Schoolhouse SAL. We stitch one hour each day... in theory. Sometimes I get caught up in another project and I procrastinate, but I manage to get caught up. This weekend, I found myself six hours behind! Eek. But I got caught up.

Here is pattern number one (A-B-C-D-E-F-G), all finished up. It took me 44 hours and 23 minutes!

This is my first SAL and until now I had never tracked time while stitching. I can't say I love tracking time, but it is interesting to find out just how long it takes to get something done!

Pattern number two (H-I-J-K) is quite a bit smaller than pattern one, so it is going much faster. I'm 14 hours in and I'm close to finishing! Don't you just love the colors in this series? I have to say, out of the hundreds of projects I've stitched over the years, this series is in my top five favorites. RJ and Mary have excellent taste in choosing patterns.

Until next time, dear friends. Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you sunshine and lots of time to stitch.


  1. Hi Meg! It was good to see your latest post. Thank you for sharing how you organize your stash. I love that armoire and glad you saved it when you went with a flat screen TV. Congratulations on getting part one finished of the SAL stitch! Part 2 is looking good. Happy May!

  2. Popping back to say well done on getting blocks 6 and 7 finished on your Halloween stitch! Woohoo!

  3. Very cool to see how you organize everything! The snack bag idea is very clever. It's always nice to see how other stitchers do things :D

  4. I had to laugh when I saw your large old TV armoire, Meg, because I have a similar one and it also houses many of my cross stitch supplies! My husband built shelves into the top, but my armoire has drawers in the bottom that I use to house my ribbons, small frame stash, fabrics and some older finishes. Don't know what I'd do without it and I'm so glad I kept mine, too. You are very organized!! My stuff is spread out over four different rooms, unfortunately. I do my finishing in my sunroom and my sewing machine is up in a guest room. My husband's den has a chest that houses odds and ends that I use for finishing. I could have everything up in a bedroom, but the light in my sunroom is so good that I like having my finishing supplies downstairs and nearby.

    Thank you for your tour! And great job on that giant block--I love the witches and,you're right--those spiders are so creepy looking! Great progress on your pretty SAL--I can't imagine tracking my hours. I would probably get very down as I am a slow stitcher :)

    Enjoy your week, Meg! ♥

  5. oh I love your craft room Meg. I just have a craft closet but it works ok. When the grands get older I might use their area upstairs for my craft storage. I had been looking for those bags on Amazon so thanks for the heads up. I just LOVE your Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow. It is perfection!! I love your SAL as well but I have learned I am just not a SAL GAL.lol Not a poet either..... I did a SAL two years ago and I enjoyed it but felt pressured to keep up with the other stitchers on Facebook.

  6. I love your little armoire. I keep my floss in snack bags too, but I have them in little shoe box type plastic bins that a snack bag fits perfectly in. When I am doing a project I pull them out too and try to put them right back when I complete a project. I had to smile about your husband helping. I have a picture of me sitting on the couch on a visit from my husband then boyfriend and I am stitching. He knew what he was getting into. I finished up two quarters ahead of him and taught about 45 minutes away in Columbus, Georgia.
    I love your little project box with a compartment for the thread clippings. I usually have a pile right next to my stitching chair that needs to be corralled.
    I love the schoolhouse series. Y'all are inspiring me to get back to it and try the one over one. IT really does look good and the Hawk Run is coming along too.
    Oh, I like how your patterns are stored. I just have them thrown in a tub and basket.
    Fun post!

  7. Wow. Impressive. "Put them back" is the key and my biggest failure.

  8. Gosh - you are so organised. I do have my threads organised because I couldn't just have a jumble - that would drive me mad!

  9. I love your stash organisation! It is really inspiring to see how the people do it. I don't have a spare room at all so all of my stash is in my bedroom tucked into draws, and under my bed too. x

  10. I like your stash organisation. You have stowed everything very neat and clear. All my stash are in cupboards.
    My DMC yarns are also wrapped on cards and stashed in boxes.
    Wonderful progress on your Halloween and Schoolhouse Lesson stitching.
    Hugs, Manuela

  11. Megan, I love how you have your stash stored. I'm not organized with my stash and am going to try your ideas. I'm going to do the ABC's but yikes 44 hours, now I'm having second thoughts. I new our Crest was a slow process but never realized how much time we spend. I definitely won't be keeping track of time.

  12. Meg, you are quickly becoming my organizational idol.....what a terrific set up!!! It is very well thought out and orderly. I like to think I'm organized but in a chaotic way..if that makes any sense. in other words, I know where things are right now, but if I straighten up, I forget where I've put them!!! :)
    I too have an old TV armoire and use it for needlework storage.I love how you attached the hooks to hang your threads and I'm going to steal that idea. I just bought a bar/hooks from Ikea and have been trying to decide where to hang it--problem solved!!!
    Your projects are looking great--thanks for sharing!

  13. Meg, love the new profile picture. I almost didn’t recognize you without the warm winter hat. It might be nice to bring that one back out in July 😂. I organize like you do — like with like. Much of my DMC is still bobbinated, but as I use it or buy more it's going on cards in precut lengths much like Gentle Arts threads. I put these in Flossaway bags and then on rings. I just saturated doing this with my current project, but eventually the bags will be sorted by number. My fancy floss is hung on modified hanging folders like Vonna’s tutorial except I only hang 5 per folder. Why did I not think of tabbing my three ring binder? Well, I guess that’s next. The rest of my stash is between the bottom of a linen closet and the bottom of a two drawer mule chest I had made for quilting and to specifically fit my 36” (40”) Millennium frame.

  14. Really enjoyed seeing how you organize and store your stash - it's always fun to see what other people do!

    Your Summer Schoolhouse pieces look wonderful! As you said, the colors are delightful on the series - the charts are in my stash and definitely on my to do list.

    Your boyfriend-now-husband helped you wind floss on bobbins? Wow, no wonder you married him! ;) Oh, DMC at 25 cents a skein, I remember that and collected a good portion of them that way.

  15. So neat and tidy, I wish I could say the same! Our organization is similar, but you are much better about putting things away. I was given an armoire years ago and it is perfect for crafting. I remember those 4/$1 days!
    I love the latest panel for Halloween, so tempting to get that one. Your SAL is coming along beautifully.

  16. Hi Meg,

    I've been on vacation and am just getting back to blogland. We had a great time in Texas with Mike and then on to Alabama to visit with good Air Force friends. But, I'm so happy to see your post. I LOVE how organized your cross stitch armoire is. You have inspired me to get better organized too. I have all my overdyed threads on rings but now I really want to put them in plastic bags too.

    What a sweet guy your husband is to help you put all of those threads on dmc holders. He definitely is a keeper.

    I'm so glad you enjoy working on the SAL. I'm enjoying it alot too. The colors are so soft and perfectly matched. It is so hot down here in Florida that I've been on a stitching marathon. I got alot done. Promise to write soon. RJ

  17. Meg, I love your bonnet top chest and it worked out perfectly for your storage. Everything is so neat and orderly and I bet you can find what you need at a moments notice. You have inspired me too!!! I love your HRH, you are making great progress and I have faith you will have it done for this upcoming Halloween!! I laughed over how you catch one of those spiders in the corner of your eye and jump!!

    I am so far behind on the SAL, I'm glad to hear the second one goes much fast than the first, I got the first one finished and hope to start the second one this weekend. I have not been on a stitching marathon like RJ has!!! The time we put into these stitches is truly a labor of love!! I want to know your top five favorite stitches of all time too!!! Mary


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