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Iceblossom 12-19-2019 12:35 PM

Project Boxes
 
2 Attachment(s)
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.

IRIS USA, Inc. 150815 IRIS 6-Case Scrapbook Cart, Black, White
by IRIS USA, Inc.

canmitch1971 12-20-2019 07:44 PM

I went and tried to buy some pizza boxes from a pizza place. They would not take money for them and they are perfect to keep a project.

jmoore 12-21-2019 03:44 AM

Thank you Iceblossom for sharing your organizational process...what a great idea about keeping notes on projects. I don’t usually have more than one or two quilts going on at a time but a project box would be perfect for keeping the pieces tidy and clean.

QuiltnNan 12-21-2019 04:37 AM


Originally Posted by canmitch1971 (Post 8343163)
I went and tried to buy some pizza boxes from a pizza place. They would not take money for them and they are perfect to keep a project.

I agree on the pizza boxes. My store wouldn't take money either.... and they get free advertising when I carry the boxes to sit n sew and show n tell LOL

Snooze2978 12-21-2019 06:42 AM

I found some plastic totes that you can stack on top of each other and connect using just 1 lid for all of them. When I'm working on a number of projects I tend to keep them in their own tote/container. If I have pieces cut for each block I'll put them in their own little bag to keep them separate from the rest. I'll add an alphabet pin inside so I know what block it goes to. I am the type that makes lots of notes adding an alphabet to each step/block to keep them organized. As I finish a step I'll mark it off so I don't double up on it. Same when I cut my sashings, borders and bindings so I don't cut twice.........which I've done in the past. I'll pin the type of blocks together so they keep organized and less wrinkled too. My projects I haven't started are on a top shelf with their fabrics, pattern and who its for. Sometimes during the year I might add a fabric I think might work well with that particular project, sometimes I'll change patterns altogether if I find one I like much better. But each project has its own particular spot on the shelf so they don't get mixed up.

RedGarnet222 12-31-2019 10:55 AM

I have plastic drawer towers in different sizes. They came from different places including Walmart and a rolling cart one from wayfair. Hubby transformed my closet into a shelving cubbies organizing closet with a system from Home depot that has divided shelving to hold cloth drawers and some with just stacked fabrics. I love being able to know where to look for each type of fabric or tool I need. I also have a wooden cabinetry piece that has a door with five shelves that I keep my separated patterns in. Also two bookshelves for my quilting books.
It all keeps me organized and sane. I could never be happy in a room where the clutter makes me uncomfortable.
The one habit I need to employ is to put away as I work. I tend to stack fabrics on my step stool until it is a foot high.

Vasilisa 01-02-2020 06:56 AM

I have found out that Ikea flat cardboard boxes make great project storage when cut and adjusted in size to something like a pizza box.

PatriceJ 01-04-2020 03:37 AM

i also store most of my fabrics and UFOs in stacks of transparent plastic drawers.
i can see what's in the drawers so searching is less stressful.
if i want to take a project with me to sew away from home i just pull out the drawer and it goes with me.

rryder 01-04-2020 05:16 AM

I also use the clear plastic drawer units for fabric very convenient and keeps the dust off. And I like being able to pull out a drawer full of fabric when auditioning borders or bindings on my design wall.

For UFOs I have those clear plastic 12 x 12 expanding envelopes from the scrapbooking section at Michaels- these get stood on end in a cardboard box and stashed under my cutting table. Cheap and easy to flip through when I want to work on a UFO.

Rob

Rhonda K 01-04-2020 05:49 AM

Love your idea and creativity to stay organized with projects.

juliasb 01-04-2020 06:58 AM

It is impressive! I don't even come close to this. I have seperated projects in canvas bags and fabric palettes for specific future quilts kept in a cedar chest. The stash is pretty organized too. I like the box idea for pieces that are cut out or to hold the entire project. I think this would work better than canvas bags everywhere.

Watson 01-04-2020 07:27 AM

I have made my own boxes using this video.

I love her videos.

Make your own boxes/drawers.

Watson

Onetomatoplant 02-23-2020 07:13 AM


Originally Posted by Watson (Post 8347401)
I have made my own boxes using this video.

I love her videos.

Make your own boxes/drawers.

Watson

Help! I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole! She’s awesome! Thanks for the introduction. I think. 😂😂

Onebyone 02-23-2020 07:30 AM

I'm not as organized as you are but i do use project boxes for all my UFO's and to hold fabric, pattern,special ruler and tools I need for a new project. I use clear project boxes that are big square with different dept. I get them at Hobby Lobby. I think they are Options brand. Pretty color snap closures. They fit perfectly on my book shelves.

scrappingfaye58 05-06-2020 02:37 AM

Boxes! I use a similar system, using the 12x12 plastic totes (although I like your recyclable, idea much better!

Karamarie 05-06-2020 04:00 AM

Good plan. I can see where that would be helpful. If you get tired of a certain project, it's easy to put it aside and pull it out when in the mood and it doesn't clutter up your sewing space when not being worked on. I am also one of those that finishes a project before starting another. Whatever works.

Snooze2978 05-06-2020 04:37 AM

I'm lucky enough to have a shelf unit along the long hallway down in my basement where my sewing room is located. It was built for my large collection of DVD/Bluray movies but I cleared off the top shelf and half of the next one below to keep my future projects. This way I can put a bolt on the shelf if needed. Right now I have 8 future projects sitting up there. If I find a pattern I think I might want to try for one of the project I lay it on that pile, same goes for the fabric I think might work with it. As to the started projects I found some connecting plastic containers at Walmart that are large enough to hold all my pieces of fabrics, the pattern, etc and I can just connect them on top of each other and then pullout the one I want to work on for that particular day. It keeps them from getting dusty and keeps my curious kitten out of them too. Nothing seems to be sacred to her at this stage of her young life.

craftiladi 05-07-2020 04:12 AM

Hi There Red :)
 

Originally Posted by RedGarnet222 (Post 8345624)
I have plastic drawer towers in different sizes. They came from different places including Walmart and a rolling cart one from wayfair. Hubby transformed my closet into a shelving cubbies organizing closet with a system from Home depot that has divided shelving to hold cloth drawers and some with just stacked fabrics. I love being able to know where to look for each type of fabric or tool I need. I also have a wooden cabinetry piece that has a door with five shelves that I keep my separated patterns in. Also two bookshelves for my quilting books.
It all keeps me organized and sane. I could never be happy in a room where the clutter makes me uncomfortable.
The one habit I need to employ is to put away as I work. I tend to stack fabrics on my step stool until it is a foot high.

Just wanted to pop in & say Hi There Red, Hope life is good for you,,,,,for some reason I don't get to this message board very often .Seeing your name was like seeing a old friend. I think I have gotten married since we last spoke, last name used to be Fox, Anyway I have my closet set up pretty much like you described, Just recently started with the project boxs. My issues is UFO's, that pile never seems to go away, I have a tote box that sits under my cutting table with the UFO's and I have slowly been working on them.

craftiladi 05-07-2020 04:26 AM


Originally Posted by Watson (Post 8347401)
I have made my own boxes using this video.

I love her videos.

Make your own boxes/drawers.

Watson

I love that lady. Her videos are always fun to watch and she has a great way of teaching.


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