Saturday, June 28, 2014

Patterns - Get Organized!

I must admit I've never given this issue a lot of thought because, frankly, I don't have a lot of patterns.  At least I didn't think about it until I came across this site.  If you have a disorganized box(es) or patterns, can never find the pattern when you need it, or patterns with no specific home and are needing a solution, follow the link.

I believe small cardboard 'pattern boxes' are available on the market.  These are a standardized size and a good solution.  I would probably search for plastic see-thru boxes in a size that would accommodate the patterns.  I am always in favor of clear storage for the obvious reason that you can readily see what you have available.  Labeling is also valuable when it comes to organizing.

If I buy a specific pattern along with materials, trims and supplies for an item I definitely plan to make in the near future, I would probably keep it all together in a bag or 'project box' so that I wouldn't have to gather everything together again.

I also might consider storing patterns in a notebook or notebooks, depending how many you have, keeping them in the plastic sheet protectors.  If you have a lot of patterns a file cabinet may be your best solution.

Keeping a tally/inventory as to what patterns you already own can be achieved through modern technology as addressed at the link above.

What method do you have for storing patterns?  How would/do you sort patterns?  I'm curious to know what you have found that works for you...or doesn't work?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Organizing Seed Beads

Those tiny seed beads can be a challenge, especially if you have a large selection in various quantities.  Fire Mountain Gems, one of my favorites, offers some suggestions here:

I have shared some of my solutions previously, but here is a refresher:

Shallow shelving with jars such as baby food, spice, glass vials, apothecary, etc.

The see-thru containers shown below which I purchased at Michael's and/or Hobby Lobby.  The lids screw on the individual round containers and they fit neatly inside a rectangular box with clear lid.

I love the look of apothecary jars and they come in so many sizes!

Here is a spice rack I reworked and repurposed.  This is where I keep my holeless beads.

The above photo shows some outdated tubes and rack from a blood clinic.  They were never used and apparently have a shelf life.  Below are cigar tubes from a friend who liked his cigars but threw the tubes out.

I've seen the round containers (below) in a variety of places.  They come in different sizes too and fit nicely on shallow shelving.

Below is another container sold at a craft store.  It has separate containers within that would work great for seed beads.  I actually have three of these that I use to store findings.  One for silver, one for gold and one for copper.

The tubes and jars below currently contain glitter but would work equally well for seed beads.

These little containers are from an office supply store but I am beginning to see them in other places now.  I like that the lids can be secured.  These come in a huge variety of sizes to fit your needs.  You can even find larger ones to keep the small ones contained.

I hope this gives you some ideas!  How do you currently store your seed beads and/or other small treasures?  Feel free to share here either with comment or links.  I would also be happy to share your photos if you wanted to send them to me.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fabric Organizing

Looking for ideas for storing fabrics?  I found this great link you may find helpful...

When you check out the link above, don't forget to explore their links which are noted under each photo!

There is even a free download here so you will have a handy reference for the fabrics you have...

My experience with fabric storage is that it is an ongoing challenge to keep whatever system you use orderly as you work on projects.  I am always looking for new ideas.  I think my favorite of the craft gossip group is the one used to organize scraps by color using separate jars/containers.  Being a crazy quilter I can see me using those leftover scraps!

What are some of your favorite ideas?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Round-Up Free Jewelry Making Tutorials and Jewelry Making News

Are you a beader, or just a bead collector?  Here is a video with some nice bead and bead supply storage solutions.  I would say these products would work just as well for any craft that uses small embellishments such as buttons, charms, brads etc.  The bead storage tray would work great for crazy quilt embellishments and/or paper crafting!  Do you have other ideas?

Round-Up Free Jewelry Making Tutorials and Jewelry Making News

Just for the record, I am not getting any compensation or credits for sharing this.  I just like to share ideas I find with others looking for solutions!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Office/Sewing Room

I was reminded recently I hadn't shown my storage used in the area where I do mostly crazy quilt projects.  I must admit storing everything one uses for crazy quilting can get, well, crazy.  Supplies multiply when you leave the room and you don't dare throw away any scraps (of anything), spare buttons, trinkets, leftover beads or even the tiny pieces of ribbon because if you do you will need them!

Below are photos from when I first set up my space.  It obviously is closing in on me.  The room is only 10' x 10' and is shared with office equipment and supplies.  I began by taking the doors off the closet and moving all office related items into the closet.  This worked out really well.

I originally had fabrics stored in tubs and on shelves in the closet but it was getting to be a problem keeping the stacks from spilling out and a nuisance pulling out tubs when what I needed was in the bottom tub.  I ended up using a couple of dressers I painted white to store fabrics and other needs.  I have to confess I still have a couple of tubs of heavier/bulkier fabrics in totes stored in the attic.  I also purged some fabrics so that I could get the rest in the six drawers of this dresser.  I have since placed a bookcase like the one to the left on top of the dresser for more storage.  The big giant paper shredder that you see was relocated elsewhere in the house.

Below is the second dresser with another bookcase on top.

The top drawer has misc. supplies such as fabric markers, rulers, snaps and other odds and ends.

The second drawer is full of lace waiting for their place in the world.

A friend gave me tons of embroidery floss and I have it separated by color family in gallon size zip lock bags.  These are stored in the third drawer down.  Easy to reach from my stitching rocker.

The bottom drawer holds rolls and bits and pieces of ribbons of all types.

On the bookcase on this dresser I have some plastic storage pieces containing my sewing threads.  The photo directly below shows six drawers divided into (1) silk/ribbon/fabric floral; (2) beaded flowers, jewelry pieces, trinkets etc.; (3) misc. sewing supplies such as tape measure, safety pins, extra scissors, extra needles, elastic etc.; (4) beaded trims and fringe; (5) cording, gimp and related trims; (6) other little things I couldn't possibly part with.  I also have a couple of containers on top of those that hold misc charms and cabochons.

Above the computer is a shelf I use for batting, interfacing, pillow forms, additional lace, silk flowers, and paper crafting supplies for a project I hope to work on 'one of these days'.


As I confessed said, more has been integrated into this space as I found more that I couldn't live without and it has filled up pretty much.  The wall next to the computer closet has an expandable sewing table which will fold down compactly when not in use.  Behind the entry door is my ironing board and some bags containing WIP (works in progress).  I also painted and added this towel shelf above my sewing machine.  The revolving spice jars on top have my smaller buttons stored by color, the dowels hold my shorter sections of lace (and it is now dripping in lace), and the hooks hold my tags with various stitch samples from TAST.

That pretty much covers everything.  I hope you were able to get some inspiration from this and that I didn't bore you to death.  The room is in total chaos right now because I have pulled out the UFOs (unfinished objects) and have them spread out so I am forced to work on them.  I guess I did forget to mention I store my UFOs and supplies I have used on them to date in some stacking plastic boxes shown on a previous post where Lorraine shared that she uses them for fabric scraps.  The real problem is that Chloe (my cat) has decided to lay claim to my stitching chair.  She is so funny.  We fight over favorite spots all the time and she usually wins.