Stash Cataloging

How do you keep track of your fabric stash? I love to come up with elaborate systems of organizing my things - systems which are sometimes impractical for me to follow. Currently, I have three methods of cataloging my fabrics. The simplest is a few digital photographs of my fabric armoire, and cupboards with the doors open. I keep the pictures on my iPhone so I will have them available to review while I am out shopping. Next, I have a page on my blog with snapshots or downloaded images of fabrics. I can pull the blog page up on my iPhone any time I have cell service. My latest inspiration involves actual fabric swatches. After cutting apart my Vogue Fabrics Swatch sheets so I could play "mix and match" with them, I had a wonderful idea to cut swatches of my own fabrics - including those I have already used. I made a spreadsheet file in a program called Numbers. Numbers is like a very pared down version of excel which allows quick and easy creation of charts and tables. It works on Mac OS devices. I used my iPad while watching TV with my husband. The result was a quick template which has 8 rectangles and a few lines of text per rectangle. I cut the rectangles apart with a big paper cutter and stapled swatches of my fabrics to the little paper cards. Under each fabric swatch, I have listed the fiber content, width, design repeat, yardage or finished item, and any special notes. I use these fabric swatches to plan projects and coordinate fabrics. What do you do to keep track of your stash?


  1. Hi Debra. Thanks for stopping by. I used to (I need to get back to it) catalogue my stash by clipping a 2" x 2" swatch and gluing it into an artist 5"x7" sketchbook. I made notes about yardage, fiber content, etc. I even took the book with me when I fabric shopping so I could match colours. Then my stash got out of control. I am trying to regain some footing. That's one of the reasons for the mad sewing in the past week. Your idea sound great, but what about the sewing? When are we going to see your next creation?

  2. Nothing. My stash is organized, roughly, along purchase venues: retail purchases reside in actual furniture; Craig'sList/roadside rescues in either a plastic tote tray or cardboard box. I have no cataloging system, either paper- or computer-based. I tried once, and it was too much work.

    I wouldn't describe my stash as manageable exactly. It occupies 3 dressers, 1 blanket chest, 18 plastic tote trays and one liquor-case box. Excluding the upholstery fabrics.

    Since my work life always involved planning and detailed organization, I let my sewing life be somewhat random.