Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Define "Contain"? I can...

Hi, Ya'll,
Frances, the Quiet Quilter here.
Contain? Yes...


There I was, just sewing along and planning to write on my blog (One More Quilt) about new uses for old stuff, when out of the blue, Madame Samm blows me away with an invitation to post.  Thank you, Samm, for giving me the chance to blab talk about some of my weird  ideas.

I retired several years ago and eventually morphed into a "Quilting Phase" to keep myself  busy.  When I realized it was not going away (Like.... Never!),  I immediately went on a shopping overkill for clear plastic containers.

roll around multi-drawers to hold fabric for projects

 sweater boxes for possible projects

  and just recently, shoe boxes

I splurged on a lovely rolling metal shelf I keep hidden in my closet. (I know, I know, I need to manicure my stash...)  Where did I get it?  From DH (he THOUGHT it was for his work area outside!). 

and a roll around cart,

which is temporarily out of service with my sewing machine being surrounded...

by my current project.

I also bought a chef's table...

(  !  !  A CHEF'S TABLE ? ?

Sure, why not.  At the time I thought it would be a good thing to have due to the fact that I could no longer crawl around on the floor to baste or lay out fabric.  Remember, this was when I had first started this glorious addiction. What did I know???

So I am stuck with this.. ( a roll around, again,,,,notice any trend here?).  I'm using the bottom to hold the blocks, backing, and batting for my current project....Underneath is my bin of to-be-sorted-and-cut- into-blocks-and-strips to be stored in the above shoe boxes .

These are some more tools/containers I am using or may use in the future.

A slat from a faux wood blind that was too long for our window - great for a long straight edge

Hanging container in closet - one type of a variety of possibilities

sewing basket made by my grandmother.

crochet basket with hole in top of handle for thread to go through.

3M hangers...

 for my templates on the wall

Magazine rack for large templates (or special quilting books).

NOTE: For a small $$ amount an office supply store cut the binding on the EQ6 manual ( none of the printing on the pages were compromised)  and added the spirals for me.  It is easier to read and can lay flat or be folded back.

When using my extender for my sewing machine, 
 this caddy slides underneath out of the way.

Here is one idea I have not tried yet, but sounds promising. 
An LED light under the extender turns it into a light box.  This one is small but bright. 

Odd shelves I happened to come across 
again from DH's work area...)

Baskets.... and a wooden box I just found... Have to decide
 where to put it...on the wall as a shelf or just 
on a flat surface. I love the sliding top.

Old shower caddy..Please excuse the picture quality.... 
DH wouldn't let me take this out of the shower...can't imagine why....

and while we're here, this is a little item that is handy if you
 need to wash that heavy quilt in the bathtub and not the
 washing machine. I have done that in the past because I
 have an old washing machine and I was afraid of the agitator....

Needless to say, I would highly recommend a new or dedicated plunger!

Sneaking into DHs work area (shhh)....

 PVC pipe of varying diameters and sizes can be used for things such as

...a temporary "clothes line" between two chairs or
 other supports for drying/airing out/displaying  quilts.  
I threaded the rope through the pipe, never
 know when you might need a certain PVC size....

Pipe is there, honest....    see?

 Part containers for electronics, etc could be borrowed/absconded and used for tools or attachments for each sewing machine.  Look at the goodies I could work with....DH says NOT!

 Old tool boxes, even the big ones with different size drawers. - for basics, scissors, tape,...yes, even your smaller templates. They (the tool boxes, not templates) could be painted with appropriate designs as a safeguard against having to return them. 

DH let me stage this,,,he did not want his tool box to disappear like his shelving....


Which I love to do, any time, any where... You can go to your local thrift stores...garage sales... flea markets.. church bazaars...other people's homes (just looking, honest!). 

Then you have the well known and obvious Salvation Army and Goodwill

I may be a latecomer, but I just found another place a few months ago...the Habitat for Humanity ReStore  a great place for bargins.  Its' inventory changes constantly as all items are donated. You can find containers of all kinds, as well as building supplies such as paint, plumbing, bookcases, cupboards, desks, hardware (drapery hooks, etc) old doors. I saw cabinet doors on sale for $1.00!  


Any container you have can be a container for something in your sewing room.  Use your imagination regarding the tools you use also.  The key is to surround yourself with what you are comfortable with and can use with some degree of ease.
Have fun looking around your house with new eyes......and thanks again to Madame Samm for this opportunity. 

 I thought I contained myself quite well, did you?

Frances (Quiet Quilter)


  1. Alrighty my dear Quiet Quilter...I did everything but "contain" myself while reading your tale about containers...YOU just crack me up...Ok, first let's talk about the "quilting phase" I think that is when we are sleeping right, dreaming about And can we talk about the shower caddy...HUH! lol. Ohh the plunger had me thinking..I better excuse myself to my powder room lol...From laughing so hard...I could barely contain myself by this time ...YOU are one funny lady and I am sew pleased I asked you to be a guest...I will always think of you in the future as the CONTAINER lady...I heart you, madame samm

  2. \informative and hilarious. I have to say, I didn't scroll far enough down, so could only see the handle. I wondered for a moment, what on earth you were doing with the toilet brush!

  3. These are such great ideas! I'm a new quilter and I am still trying to decide how to organize my area. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Great suggestions, but what stands out in my mind the most is that your DH must be a really good sport!

  5. I started with stacks of fabric, went to containers, then had to go to larger shelves. I wonder what i did with all my containers????

  6. Great post! My favorite idea is the LED light under the sewing extension table = light box! Genius :)

  7. Too Funny! Love the tool boxes!

  8. Thank you for adding many smiles to my morning here in Wisconsin. Frances you really had me chuckling, we all have been there. We probably purchase as many containers as we do stash.
    Great choice of Madame to choose you-it certainly is not quiet here this morning. God bless you,Anna

  9. My favorite storage item is a large lateral file cabinet. I have padded the top for an ironing area and have "files" for different blocks using the big, expandable, hanging files. One drawer has just a couple files at either end and is filled with batting. :-)) I have two tool boxes and one large tackle box that I also love!! Thanks for sharing, I love all your storage ideas!

  10. I could hardly contain the chuckles as I read your post. I defintely think your "Quilting Phase" is here to stay. :-)

  11. I think your DH should be very afraid of buying any shelf or container. LOL!!! He knows you could put it to good use somewhere other then his garage. LOL!! Love this post. It was great!

  12. Oh, aren't those chrome metal shelves just wonderful???? I don't have that nice rolling cart one, but I do have a set of three shelves for some of my fabric and books, plus a new smaller set of shelves that sit right in reach near my quilting area.

    AND I put PVC pipe thru all the sleeves on the quilts I hang....but I go one further than you. I use bailing twine that someone gave me to run thru the pipe to hang from hangers. Someone gave that to me used, and it still has some straw sticking to it. *L*

    Good JOB!!!!

  13. Funny! I see that you've organised DH too. Can you come over to my house and help me organize. I'll make supper........

  14. My DH cannot see this post. He's already given up his space in the laundry I've got my eyes on the garage, thanks to the quiet quilter!! =)

  15. PVC pipe hanger? Genius. Thanks for the tips (and the smiles).

  16. Great ideas, things with wheels on are just the best, so easy to move around and rearrange. Now I'm off to hubby's garage to see what I can "borrow".

  17. Wonderful idea's! It is true when we look around we can find things that work for us. I bought an Ikea kitchen cabinet put a old table top that I use to sew with and added heavy duty castor's and now I have a rolling cabinet which stores allot, and I can use the top for multiple things. I can roll it out of the way or when I am using as a cutting table I can walk around it. It is at a great height for cutting for me.
    I sadly can't use your idea of stealing from my hubby. His hobbies are reading and listening to music. Not very handy at all! lol But we love him!

  18. The metal units are a little too "clinical" for me - ooooo geebees. I love the rolling white/clear chest of drawers. I have some of them and handy to get to, move around and see what's in them. I just added an old potter's shelf to hold my containers (large snack barrels) of pre-cut squares, and button boxes. It reminds me of my gr.granies old hardware store display.

  19. I like the tool box idea on wheels. My hubby has like three of these and I think I deserve one of them. Of course, I'd like a brand new one, one without grease, tools, etc. in and on it. I might ask for one of these for Christmas. Anyway, I loved reading about all the containers, makes you think!! Thank you. I'm a new follower and I'm sure to keep coming back. You are fun!!

  20. One of my favorites is a stand up holder for files like you would have on a desk - have no idea what those are called but they have slots for several file folders. They work great for rulers. :) blessings, marlene

  21. Love your post. I definitely agree about having a dedicated plunger and not the one used for the, uh, other jobs! LOL!

  22. Love your post. Also nice to know I have found a fellow container fan. I have many, many plastic containers....all over the house. Maybe we could start a support group...Plastic Containers Anonymous where we could share our stash and ideas.

  23. I have also gone to the office store to have a spiral binding put on my EQ6 Book. I think it cost all of $3.00. I got the idea from an EQ class that I took. Definitely worth it for any book that you use often for reference.

  24. Your Grandma's sewing basket is A-MAZE-ING! What a treasure!! Thanks for sharing all your containment ideas. Lots of good ones. :)


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