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Iceblossom 12-19-2019 12:35 PM

Project Boxes
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I'm often collecting fabrics for years before I get enough to use for any particular project. Most of my stash is sorted into either color groups or themes, but I also make project boxes. For those that work on one project at a time, from start to completion this doesn't matter much, but for those of us who have various projects at various states of completion, it's a great help.

Since I made a new one today, figured I'd take some pictures. I'm lucky that my hubby works for a place that makes boxes and is in charge of inventory/waste so all I have to do is ask, but still, it's not so hard to find a source of boxes for you that work whatever sort of boxes you like. I like cardboard, it stacks nicely, keeps out the light, and the boxes like these that have the self folding flaps are lovely. I reuse the boxes until they start to fall apart, recycle them and start a new box.

Today's is "Modern Cat" a project that I have in mind and a layout and most of the fabrics collected but I don't see it being worked on in the next couple of years. So I went ahead and wrote the name on the box, it's going to be around long enough to do that. The picture shows what I've put into the box today, the 3 cat panels I got on my Alaskan cruise last year, some scraps from that line of fabric I got in a thrift store bag of scraps, a stack of Asian themed metallic embellished squares, and draped over the top of the box is a metallic border design that I've prepped to make Stack n Whack/One Block Wonders. There will probably only be 3 OBW completed. The rest of the quilt will be a lot of black space, and I think it will require sashiko quiting with gold thread when it's all said and done. I'll draw out a diagram and enclose it in the box. Then all that remains is buying some Kona black and actually working on the project...

Yes, I include notes to myself on what I'm doing, what I've done and then the next step to work on. It's saved me many confused moments :)

The other picture shows my Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt in progress. That one won't last long so I didn't write the name on the box. Each container is one week's finished clue, I'm not keeping the stack of fabrics in the box, I have more than would fit. Turns out, my counts were off because I had in my mind a particular number that had no real relation to the number I was supposed to make. I have just the right number of one step, too many of the next (correct count in the container and the extras in the bag). I will happily exchange some of the pieces I'm not so happy with the extras and then toss them in the bag. The final set was from this week, I have to make 12 more HST and then tuck them all away.

I try to keep things counted and orderly. I really don't like to press and I especially don't like to press things I've already done so I do keep things in bags and boxes.

These boxes are about 2" less tall than the ones I got last year, which is good in some ways and not enough space in another. These plastic dollar store containers don't stack well in the current size. Works well for the actual fabric/blocks but a little too small for collecting yardage for most projects.

The boxes are really nice to make projects portable, I have a weekly group that I need to have about 2 hours of work to bring with me. I do trimming and pinning and various things at group, the easiest is the hand stitching of binding. But even without needing portability, they really help me organize long-term projects as well as what ever I'm currently working on.

QuiltnNan 12-19-2019 01:02 PM

looks like a good arrangement

osewme 12-19-2019 02:24 PM

Oh, how I wish I was organized like you. I guess that's why I generally only work on one project at a time, get it finished & out the door & then start on another. :)

luvstoquilt 12-20-2019 04:12 AM

Iceblossom, I am impressed!❤️ I keep my projects separated in a similar manner but never thought of writing myself notes. I make notations on patterns and in books so if I use them again I have a sort of “heads up”. I will do notes now. Thank you so much. PS: your cat quilt is going to be fabulous!

Joset 12-20-2019 05:37 AM

fantastic great idea. i love the cats

Fizzle 12-20-2019 06:56 AM

Impressive. Right now i am using cardboard shoe boxes. My husband buys boots and higher top shoes so the boxes are pretty good sized. I plopped a sticker on the front and wrote the name of the on going project. Not fancy. But a little neater and much easier than trying to find the fabric i had already started using the the project.

what i really need is a professional sewing studio organizer!! I feel like it would be money well spent to get everything put in a good place and all fabrics accessible. I have a sister that wants to come help but we would spend more time creating new projects and laughing!!!

QuiltnNan 12-20-2019 09:33 AM

Originally Posted by Fizzle (Post 8342873)
... I have a sister that wants to come help but we would spend more time creating new projects and laughing!!!

True with my sis too LOL

Iceblossom 12-20-2019 09:49 AM

I should mention, that I was laughing at myself as I posted the first post. For those of you that buy kits, it's nothing special to have everything in one place! For those of us with lots of stash with this scattered over here, and that over there, we need a way to organize. Those cat blocks have been in my metallic group of fabric but were getting distorted and getting further and further away from the other designated fabrics.

Shoe boxes are great Fizzle, some of the sneakers my son got came in long narrow boxes that I used for my precut strips of roughly that size. I've seen men's boots in boxes like the ones I'm using where there is a self-flap. A lot of the boxes I use are from Amazon too, just the basic outside boxes. The thin premade boxes for Christmas presents are often a good size but flimsy and don't take well to years of storage with periodic handling. I think my oldest box is a collection of cat fabrics that will someday be made into a quilt for the Humane Society fund raiser, it's been at least 10 years since I put it on top of the cabinet and it's decidedly looking a bit squished by now even though I've taken good care of it. What I really like is a box made of heavy cardboard about 12" square and 6 inches high.

I think there is a market for sewing room organizers/quilting estate specialists. I can do a lot with stuff that isn't mine, the problem is dealing with my own stuff! But the way my mind works and organizes things seems to be a bit different than other people. Just remember, if it can be alphabetized, it should! (My CDs and Vinyl are all in order by Artist Name and then release date.)

A couple of years ago I bought a lot of stash from an estate sale, I think it was (two) 25 pound sets of fabric at $2 a pound. The gentleman was the son of the quilter and knew some about what she had. Lots of large pieces of yardage had already been given away, and what I was buying they considered small pieces, mostly under 3 yards. He said that this was most of the last of the fabric but now they had all sorts of UFOs and kits to deal with and had no idea how to price. I said I was willing to help with that, but for a non-biased appraisal (since I had already purchased things from him) I was sure his local quilt group had someone who would be able to help and I gave him the contact info for them.

I don't think a lot of heirs realize what they have, and we often have a lot!

Jordan 12-20-2019 10:07 AM

Iceblossom-great idea and you look so organized. I start out by thinking I will only work on one project at a time and about half way thru I see a quilt made up and just have to have the pattern and go fabric shopping and then start that quilt. This is probably why I have so many UFO's and I seem to be quite overwhelmed at times. What I to do is to stay off this quilt board but it is my enjoyment to sit and drink coffee and have toast and read all of the fun things here in the early morning.

tuckyquilter 12-20-2019 12:51 PM

I have several of these that I keep projects in. Clean, I can move them from machine to machine and have a piece of paper showing exactly what project is in what bin. Plus, when I go to my various sewing groups, I just pull the bin and I'm ready to go. I will often put a few tools in the bin and a small little cutting mat as well. Very handy and well worth the money. I put various pieces in baggies so they lay flat.

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