Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Whipping My Fabric Stash Back Into Shape | Review of Polar Notions + Giveaway

I've spent the past couple weeks organizing my house to get ready for a cross country move from the South to the Midwest at the end of this month. One of the things that needed the most attention was my craft room.

  Back in 2012, I came across an idea to use cardstock comic boards as mini fabric bolts and got my fabric stash all organized. In the beginning the comic boards were great, but over the years, they started to become a problem for me. 
Like I said, the day I wrapped all of my fabric around the nice new boards, things were awesome. They seemed sturdy enough as long as I wasn't wrapping more than two yards on them. Since I sew just about every day and am always "shopping" my stash before I head out fabric shopping, those boards were getting wrapped and unwrapped left and right. I started to notice that after I would unwrap/rewrap the fabric around the board a couple of times the boards started to tear, bend, and not look so neat. So I started throwing out the boards periodically as they got ugly and never bothered to replace them. Before I knew it, I was back to my original problem of having piles of fabric and not being able to find what I was looking for. 
I've been keeping my smaller cuts of fabrics in my Raskog Cart from Ikea. I try to keep things organized by colors and it's been mostly functional, but after a while it too started to fall into disarray.
 It's so full that each time I pull a cut of fabric out, the surrounding fabrics come out as well, and trying to put the fabric back without having to reorganize a whole row of fabric is tricky. 
I know some people swear by the comic boards, but after using them for 3 years I knew that I wanted something more permanent that I wouldn't have to always be replacing. Plus, my raskog cart system for smaller cuts just wasn't cutting it! ;) I am pulling fabrics on a weekly if not daily basis, so I needed to switch it up in the organization department. It was time to bring in the big guns.

I had the opportunity to test out some Polar Notion  fabric organizers last November and the difference was considerable! I started with just a handful of boards, but I got hooked and knew that I wanted to fully convert my stash and get rid of the comic boards all together. 


There are 3 reasons that I love Polar Notions so much:

1. They come in two sizes: the original size (11 3/4" x 7 1/2") and the fat quarter size (6 3/8" x 4")  
This will make more sense if you have used the comic boards, but the comic boards are smaller than the original polar notion boards and are an awkward size to wrap the fabric because I had to fold it in thirds to wrap it. They are just the right sizes that you just fold the fabric in half and it fits perfectly. 
(Here is a video that better explains how they work.)

2. They are made out of sturdy plastic and do not bend like the comic boards. They say you can wrap an entire bolt of fabric on one of the original sized polar notion boards. I don't quite have an entire bolt of fabric to test out that theory, but I did wrap 7 yards onto one and had no problem doing it. The fat quarter sized Polar Notion boards can fit up to a yard of fabric on them so they are perfect for quilters that buy small cuts of fabric. 

3. The Bolt Buddy Clips. They are an awesome way to secure your fabric to the boards. When I was using the comic boards, I used straight pins to secure my fabric to the boards. After a couple years of being in the fabric, a couple of my pins started to wear out and luckily I caught them in time and no fabric was ruined. I had no idea a straight pin would start rusting like that! (Both the clips and the boards are archival safe so no worries when using them to store your fabrics)



AFTER:

I have wrapped all of my fabric on both sizes of the Polar Notion boards and used the bolt buddy clips to secure them. I am so happy with the result! My stash is nice and neat again and a lot more manageable.

 The shelf that holds my yardage looks similar to when they were wrapped on the comic boards, but it is so much neater now. I love that they stand up straight and hold their shape no matter how many times you wrap or unwrap the fabric. 
The biggest change in my stash storage is my fat quarters (and smaller cuts of fabric- I have eighth yards, quarter yards, half yards on these too). I can't get over how much I love being able to see what I have now that it is neatly organized on a shelf. They are so cute and tiny! I just love them!


I searched high and low for the perfect shelf to organize my fat quarter Polar Notion boards and I found it! There were a couple more expensive options, but in the end budget won out, and Ikea saved the day. (And in all honestly, I like this Ikea option better the other two shelves I found that would have worked so the fact it was cheaper was just a plus. It's almost like this shelf was made for these!)

 I used this Besta Frame ($35) and bought 2 shelves ($3 per shelf), which made it just the right height to store 3 rows of mini fabric bolts. 
I bought two frames (with 2 shelves each) and I plan to hang them side by side on the wall in my new craft room. They will look like cabinets minus the doors. :)

So far I was only able to get just a couple shelves organized so I could take some pictures for my post, but like I mentioned above, we are in the process of moving so I had to start boxing up my freshly wrapped fabric and wasn't able to take pictures of it all completely set up. 
As soon as I get to my new place, and have all of my shelves up with fabric put on them, I will do a post with my entire craft room and pictures of the full makeover.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

BONUS:
Polar Notions is doing a giveaway and 4 lucky readers will receive 10 Polar Notion Organizer Boards (2 readers will receive the original size boards and 2 readers will receive the fat quarter size boards)
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment with your email so I can contact you and let me know which boards you would like to receive- the original or fat quarter sized boards. 
4 winners will be chosen at random and notified by email on Monday July 20, 2015.

Four winners were chosen at random, congrats to-
This sounds like something I really need; my fabric is out of control and impossible to look through. I'd be happy with either size but more so with the original size. 

These boards are great. I would use the larger size more than the smaller.
Good luck on your move. :)
What a great organizational shelf. I would love to win the fat quarter boards. Thanks for the tip and giveaway. 
So pretty!! I have such a soft spot for organized fabric in rainbow order! :) I would love to win the fat quarter size for sure! :)


Thanks for stopping by! Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley


{full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Polar Notions.  I was not compensated any money to write this post, but did receive the boards and bolt buddies to transform my stash. All views are my own.}

92 comments:

  1. Yay! I've been on the fence about this. Thanks for helping me with clarity!!! Would love any board size! But if I had to choose one I'd say the original size. Emmie at elineuponline .com

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  2. Hi! I've been wanting to organize my stash and I recently read about comic boards. But now I will read about the Polar Notions boards before I make my decision. Thank you for the opportunity to win something from Polar Notions. If I'm so lucky, I would like to try the original size. Debbie😊🌺👍🏼

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  3. Sorry don't know why the email didn't show up...its deblat71@gmail.com👍🏼

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  4. Wow--you're stash looks awesome! I so desperately need to get mine in shape and would love to try the FQ sized bolts. Thanks for the chance to win. (babydoxie at gmail dot com)

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  5. I would try either. I need organization for all fabric sizes. Thanks for the chance! Alibear167 at gmail

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  6. So pretty. I would love some FQ ones. kat-gray@hotmail.com

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  7. cool! I'd love to try the FQ ones

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  8. Very cool indeed! I think i could make good use of the original sizes. Awesome. Cydneegee@yahoo.com

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  9. These are so cool! My fabric stash is out of control! I'd love to try the fat quarter size!
    Kirstenandhenry @gmail . Com

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  10. I like this idea! Found your blog through Instagram. My email is lorilipsmackerz at g m a il

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  11. These look so neat! I think I would prefer the original size boards :)

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  12. This looks like the answer to my fabric problem. I would love the fat quarter size. I follow you on Instagram and love everything you make. Jkm44@hotmail.com

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  13. That is so nice to be able to see all of your fabric at once! It looks so pretty. I'd love to try the fat quarter size. Marissa.pidd@gmail.com

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  14. Your organization is making my organization look pretty sad. Ugh. I really, really need to work on making my room more functional just to save myself time. These boards look like a great answer to my problems...at least one of them! Either size would suit me, but would probably use more of the original size. Thanks for the review!

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  15. Looks like a mini fabric store in your home! Would love to help my mom organize her stash (she's been building it for years) and the original size would be a good start. waterspirit23 @yahoo .com

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  16. I really appreciated the comparison between the comic book boards and the polar notions boards! I would love the original size, orris.julie@gmail.com

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  17. Your fabric looks so pretty all lined up!! Miranda dot benfer at gmail dot com

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  18. I'd love to try the original size. Thanks for the chance to win! sarah123quilt AT gmail DOT com

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  19. I would love the fat-quarter size! kditta75@gmail.com

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  20. Love what you've done! I think I would choose the fat-quarter sized boards!
    satterfieldfamily at sbcglobal dot net

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  21. I would love the FQ size. Thanks for te giveaway. mrlskoningat gmaildotcom

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  22. I have my fabric on comic boards too (ähem - mostly...), but my fat quarters are all piled up.
    So I would love to win the fat quarter size.
    Good luck with your move!
    tina.schrader@gmx.de

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  23. Wow, how neat does your stash look! I would love the original size to try x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  24. These look fantastic, I will look to see if they are available in the UK. I really need the large size.

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  25. Such a great idea. I could use both sizes, lol!

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  26. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    I like the original!

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  27. I'm envious of both your stash and your organisation! I would love to win the fat quarter size :) a.lesisz3@gmail.com

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  28. The yardage size. Great Idea to organize as you pack up!

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  29. Fat quarter size would be awesome. I'm sick of the piles of fabric falling over.

    blue.crab.quilting(at)gmail.com

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  30. Fat quarter size would be perfect for my stash!

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  31. Fat quarter size would be perfect for my stash!

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  32. The bigger size would work for me. I'm thinking this would be a great solution. Thank you!

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  33. These sound wonderful - I would love the larger size.

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  34. I have several large drawers full of FQs. They barely close now, and you have to empty the entire drawer while looking for fabric.�� I'm in serious need of organization. Would love to win th FQ size. Thanks erikamwalden at yahoo dot com

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  35. I would love to win the original size! Right now I'm using foam board I cut myself and its holding up pretty well, would be anxious to see if these are worth the money. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  36. So pretty!! I have such a soft spot for organized fabric in rainbow order! :) I would love to win the fat quarter size for sure! :) sweetoctobershop@gmail.com

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  37. I really need a way to organize my FQs, and these look perfect! Thanks for the chance!

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  38. I've been thinking about trying them but just never got around to it. From the looks of your stash now they must be wonderful. Thanks for the chance. edrin1932@gmail.com

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  39. It looks so fantastic Ashley, and I'm so glad you wrote this post! I can see your stash already shine in your new studio! It would be an awesome start to get my fabrics out of the boxes, I would love to try them! Cross my fingers for your move!!! Alex xox

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  40. I am so glad you "found" these storage boards by Polar Notions. I found th em at quilt show in Pennsylvania a few years ago and just love them! However, I am in need of some more of the Original Boards...lol
    Looking at fabric on shelves in this neat and tidy way, makes me happy. :)
    ladybug_458@yahoo.com

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  41. Oh thanks for the review on these storage boards. I love this plan. I would totally like to win the either size of the boards. Thanks for such a fun giveaway! ssbrunsotr@gmail.com

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  42. I would like to try the original boards.
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  43. What a great organizational shelf. I would love to win the fat quarter boards. Thanks for the tip and giveaway. monteromel81@gmail.com

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  44. Thank you so much for bringing my attention to these boards. I would love to win a set and really either size would be fine. else49@gmail.com

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  45. your stash looks beautiful and well organized! :) I think if I got picked I'd like the larger size ;) maryeguad@gmail.com

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  46. Those are really nice. I would love to try the original size as I have a good system for my fat quarters already.

    lenelson@mail.com

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  47. I'm not gonna lie, I'm jealous of your stash!! That video was very clear. I'll have to look into these boards. Thanks for the opportunity to win! kakingsbury at verizon dot net

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  48. Wow - love those - the original size would be great for me

    kml7559@gmail.com

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  49. The fat quarter size would be awesome. Keeping organized in a tiny house with lots of people is so important!

    determineddebby at gmail dot com

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  50. I would love to try either size. Thanks for the opportunity. vlhill3459 at sbcglobal.net

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  51. Awesome! I think the fat quarter size would work better for my stash.
    pacountrycrafts at gmail dot com

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  52. When our youngest son moves out in two weeks I will finally have a sewing room to organize. I would love to try the fat quarter boards! Your stash is amazing!

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  53. I would LOVE to try either size!! :) Thank you!!! Your fabric stash is so beautiful!!! :)
    nandm1214 at gmail.com

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  54. Wow, how exciting. I would love the fat quarter size. Thank you.

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  55. This would be a dream prize! I would like the FQ size!

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  56. I definitely need something like this! My fabric seems to have a mind of its own and likes to take over whatever space it occupies. This would help control it a little more. leamariw@live.com

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  57. I have been using my sons comic book boards for ages! Ugh... Can't hold much! He is so eager for me to stop asap! I'm not even allowed to tell anyone they are his.... Too uncool! Lol! Would love to try these out! Save my son's "cool factor!" Lol!
    kristahynds@gmail.com ( full size!)

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  58. What a lovely giveaway! I would be interested in trying out the fat quarter boards if I win...thanks
    lindlori@isu.edu

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  59. I would love to try out the original size boards. They sound like the perfect organizing solution and I really need one. ebbtide45 at yahoo dot com

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  60. Hey there, I would be happy with either size :) I'm still building my first stash so it's messy and needs organising. Thanks for the chance to win. Lisahamann@hotmail.com

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  61. I would love to try the regular size. Thanks for thr giveaway. minkgirl60@hotmail.com

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  62. I would love the regular size. rstoman04@gmail.com

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  63. Love your stash ; ) so bright and fun

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  64. I think the original size would work for me, thanks for the chance to win! nancyinwyoming at yahoo dot com

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  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  66. These boards are great. I would use the larger size more than the smaller.
    Good luck on your move. :)
    mlhummy at yahoo dot com

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  67. Yowsers these are just the thing WE ALL NEED!!! Great review!!! amycav at hotmail dot com

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  68. I think the fat quarter size would be best, I soo need to get organised!
    doyleajackie AT gmail DOT com

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  69. I think I'm just going to buy a ton of fabric and put them on a bookshelf like that because it looks absolutely DREAMY!!! Mmmmm....fabric...swoon... ;)

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  70. Your stash looks beautiful! I so needs to organize mine and these boards look perfect. Thank you and Polar Notions for the chance to win. Good luck with the move and I can't wait to see photos of your new sewing space!

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  71. Looking great. Think I would like to try the fat quarter size. Good luck on your move. Having made 21 military moves in 23 years, I can attest that it is an adventure as well as a challenge. But, my stash always looks new and exciting in it's new home.

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  72. I am so excited to see this post, because I was just about to invest in comic boards, and this is so much better! Currently, my fabric is stored in tote bags, so I have to pull it all out whenever I start a project. But this will make the fabric so accessible! Thank you for posting it!

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  73. I hear you on the comic boards! They're not sturdy enough for my needs. I've gotten in the habit of cutting down cereal boxes to comic board size, but they're only a little sturdier. I'm thinking Polar Notions is the way to go.

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  74. Oh my goodness...looks like an awesome solution! I have mostly a smaller size stash and use a combination of items to organize them, but nothing works well! Thanks for the chamce to win! And for the IKEA tips!!

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  75. Love, love, love it. Fat quarter size would be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  76. Very cool! I'd love the chance to try these. Either size would be fabulous, though if pressed I think I'd do the fat quarter one.

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  77. These look great, hope they are available in Europe!

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  78. Your stash is so neat! Love these boards!
    I would like the smaller ones but love both!
    fredbisimail at gmail dot com

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  79. Your stash is so neat! Love these boards!
    I would like the smaller ones but love both!
    fredbisimail at gmail dot com

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  80. Your stash is so neat! Love these boards!
    I would like the smaller ones but love both!
    fredbisimail at gmail dot com

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  81. I would like to try the original size... thanks for the giveaway.

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  82. Not sure if my comment made it or not. Love the organization of your room!

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  83. This looks great! I think both sizes are fantastic, but if I had to pick...I would like to try the FQ size.

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  84. Your stash seems well organized! I'd pick either size.

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  85. I am not sure my first comment went thru. I would love either size. Just finished my sewing area and this would complete the look. Thanks for the opportunity! maria.heckman15@gmail.com

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  86. This sounds like something I really need; my fabric is out of control and impossible to look through. I'd be happy with either size but more so with the original size. littleellalu@gmail.com

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  87. I hope I am not too late for the giveaway. These Polar Notions sound just like what I need to organize my stash. I would prefer the smaller size to start with. Thanks for sharing and offering a giveaway. Good luck with the move.

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