Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Place For Everything....

And Everything In It's Place. Storage...I love it...bags, boxes, basket, bowls...I have them all, use them all and am always on the prowl for more.

Unfortunately, I live in a house of packrats. We all love our stuff, hate to get rid of it and usually have more than we know what to do with. Little by little, we are all improving, learning to rid ourselves of what we truly don't need or want anymore and finding ways to organize what is left.

I got the idea to talk about storage from Belvie, who found the cutest little containers for toting her handquilting supplies around. It got me to thinking about all the ways I store my 'stuff'.

These are my two favorite baskets. I have lots of them, all different shapes, sizes and styles. The one on the left was made for me by a friend, it holds my chocolate (which is fitting because this friend LOVES chocolate.) The basket on the right was given to me by a friend, she found it on a weekend trip, it was made by an 8 year old boy who was selling them with his Dad to help make money to support his family. It has a leather handle and I carry this one to quilting bees and when I go to my backyard to quilt.

To the right is a selection of bags...I have many more. The one with the tapestry looking designs holds my sewing machine, it has wheels and an extendable handle and lots of pockets. Great for when I spend a day sewing with a friend or the rare weekend away. To the right of that is a duffle style bag, good for holding yardage and I can even fit a small basket of supplies in there, if need be. To the left of the sewing case is a denim bag. This was made out of a denim skirt someone gave me. It didn't fit, so I sewed up the bottom, put webbing through the beltloops and it made a GREAT bag. It will hold a queen sized quilt and the pockets are just right for small supplies. In front of that is a quilted bag, we learned to make these at guild one night. The royal blue corduroy bag in front of the sewing case is my favorite. I went to the Houston quilt show many years ago with a group of 15 people. We stayed in a house on Galveston Beach and each had things we taught the others to do. One lady showed us how to make these bags. Hers was a normal sized bag, mine is made of corduroy, lined with upholstery fabric and is big enough to hold a small child. Literally. Not only will a 6 year old fit in it, it's strong enough to carry him around the room. When full, I can't even lift it. This bag is great when I need to transport something large or I can put several bags inside, making them easier to carry.

These are two of the wooden storage boxes I built for our bedroom. I moved a few of them down to my sewing room for fabric storage. To the left of these is batting, to the right I store bolts (if I have them...I try to keep a bolt of unbleached and a bolt of bleached muslin on hand.) At right is a view inside the boxes. They mostly have fabric folded in them, though a few other odds and ends have found their way in as well.

To the left are fabric 'baskets' that I made. The oval one in the rear holds my DVD's, I watch them on the computer while I quilt. The smaller bowl to the left is the 'scrap' bowl, I keep that within reach for thread snippets and fabric trimmings. The plate shaped one holds my hand quilting tools, it sits on or near my frame with those extra little things I need...a case of needles, a rubber finger to pull the needle through, a tiny crochet hook for pulling trapped threads through the top, etc.

I also have a pegboard, it holds a myriad of odds and ends. Everything from my hoops, to packages of notions, to patterns and stencils that haven't yet found their way back to their rightful place. The pegboard is an easy way to get them out of my way and yet keep them visible.

I also have some plastic storage drawers. During my recent re-organization, I separated my fabric by color. While the larger pieces are in the large wooden boxes, if I have a quick block or small project to make, pulling fabric is quick and easy. I bought a label maker so that I could label the fronts of the boxes with exactly what is in them. That has helped tremendously as some of the boxes hold several different tools and notions, I don't have to search through several boxes to find what I need.

And finally, one of my favorite 'takealong' bags. I made a whole bunch of these and gave away (or sold) most of them. I feel an urge to make a few more, it's really great to have one available for each handwork project in progress...and I have a few right now. These bags are also great for makeup, jewelry and other small craft projects. They are made with quart sized zipper bags, but I've made them larger with gallon bags for my kids to use for small books, coloring books and crayons, small toys and puzzles, etc, for trips and outings.
So there they are, some of my favorite storage pieces. I love to be organized and tend to be better at organizing my time than my possessions. It's all a learning process, though, and I find that as each area gets organized and that becomes the new normal, I find ways to improve on it some more.

So far today I've baked banana bread, mixed cookie dough and baked a couple of batches and soon it will be time to pre-fry my chicken tenders for chicken wraps. There won't be much time for quilting today, and tomorrow we're going on a day trip. Somehow, though, the needle will find it's way into my hand today for at least a little while, whether it be while the cookies are baking or later in the evening when the work of the day is done and I have a bit of time to rest and recoup.

And of course, there is the day trip tomorrow...time in the which project gets to make the trip...and what to I want to put it in.............


Belvie said...

Lots of good ideas here for when I finally get time to organize my stuff. I love those boxes you made!

Pieces From Me said...

Oh yeah...I need another baggie bag ;0)