Hello! And thanks for stopping by on the Love Your Creative Space Book Launch Blog Tour! Today is my turn to share what that I personally use in my studio space to try to keep the stacks of stuff from taking control.
It’s so exciting starting a new project. And then, suddenly, despite your best efforts, life takes over and the project shifts to being just another orphan hiding in the waste land, otherwise known as the closet, chest of drawers, or other place you hold things ‘for just a bit’. For many of us, organizing WIPs (Works in Progress) and UFO (Unfinished Objects) is a huge dilemma. Keeping track of all the bits and parts often turns into a very frustrating game of hide and seek.
I’d like to help you avoid unnecessary irritation down the road by sharing a few simple, time saving, inexpensive plan ahead tricks and storage options, that will help to keep everything related to your project together (and labeled) for when the time comes to pick it up again.
Whether your budget is small or large, it’s important to keep everything together, because items, like my Dachshunds, Gracie and Rex, tend to stray. There’s nothing more frustrating than being delighted with an afternoon of free time, only to discover that you cannot find that one critical item needed to continue.
The Benefits of Cataloging
Cataloging offers a fast and easy way for you to remember what you had in mind for that project; especially when it might be several weeks, months, or even years till you next lay eyes upon it.
Cataloging doesn’t need to be complex and shouldn’t take a great deal of time, so plan ahead by creating, and printing out a stack of your own easy to fill out project sheets (or electronic files). If you enjoy a variety of work, make a project sheet for each. Design your own or look for free downloadable options. When something new comes into view, completing the corresponding project sheet takes only a few minutes. Each sheet should include a place some basic information, but add what you feel is important to such as:
- The project name and image of the pattern
- Sewing patterns should include the front and back of a pattern
- The project size you are making
- A place for fabric/yarn samples
- Labels from yarn lots and color codes
- Adjustments you have made (i.e. increase shoulder width, extending quilt length, change in knitting needle/crochet hook size)
Three ring binders and hanging file folders are easy, inexpensive and don’t require much storage space. If your collection is large and varied, use dividers for easy reference, or dedicated binders for each category.
A baby quilt, embroidery or knitting project, for example, will require a much smaller storage bag, box, sleeve, etc., than a full-size quilt.
Smaller and less bulky projects can easily fit into large manila envelopes, mesh gift bags, clear zip style bags, scrapbook portable 12”x 12” project cases, unused pizza boxes. Don’t forget to include the project pattern, supplies and other necessary. Add a label or printed copy of the pattern for the outside, if you can’t see through the packaging.
When storing your knitting run an alternate yarn through project to avoid stretching. Can’t remember what size needles/hooks you used? Make your own stitch marker to help jog your memory.
And what are those finished quilt tops doing while you’ve been off working on something else? Where are they right now? Are Fido and fluffy using them as their new lounge pad? Or, are they stuffed in a drawer…never to see the light of day?
Tab lock and easy fold mailing boxes come in a variety of sizes and depths. They hold up well, stack easily on a shelf or in a cupboard and can store a fair number of projects. An alternative is to use clean cotton pillowcases. Add a tag for easy identification.
I'm an avid garment sewer, but often, I’m not able to complete the garment in one fell swoop. Pant and skirt hangers help keep all of the elements together. A clear zip-style bag includes any extra bits of fabric and a copy of the pattern front for easy reference.
If you like what you are seeing and reading, there's plenty more where that came from in my book. A big thank you to all of the hosts who are participating. Be sure to visit all of them. There's some fabulous information you don't want to miss.
Saturday, June 27:
Enter for your chance to win an e-copy (thanks to my wonderful publisher C&T Publishing), or two a personalized and signed copy of the book from me (I'm giving away two). Leave a comment. Tell me about your WIP/UFOs 'temporary storage' struggles.