Posts Tagged ‘boxes’


March 12, 2014

A friend of mine held an estate sale a few months ago. I helped out a little, and as one of the thank-you gifts she let me take what I fancied. Tucked away in the kitchen were some darling pink lunch box organizers, and a single pink tea cup with a saucer. I pounced on those like a cat on mice. This week, I made a container for them.


A little fabric, a little stiffener, a lot of zig-zagging

A little fabric, a little stiffener, a lot of zig-zagging


Since all the items are pink, I grabbed the top of my pink pile and made panels. The pink cord came from the local army surplus/camping gear store. You’d be amazed at the cool stuff for quilters you can find at those kinds of stores.


The box itself is simple to make – fabric on both sides of stiffener, zig-zag cording around the edges, zig-zag the panels together. I used the diameter of the plate to establish the size of the panels. I wanted the plate to slip in elastic straps on the outside.


Sew a tube, scrunch it, insert elastic.

Sew a tube, scrunch it, insert elastic.


The best part of the elastic straps is that I used a strip of non-roll waistband elastic that was too long to throw away but not long enough for most other projects.


Criss-cross straps for extra hold.

Criss-cross straps for extra hold.


Here are the treasures for my lunch box.


My treasures

My treasures


Here is the kit all packed and ready to go.


My lunch

My lunch


While I was making the box, my eye fell on a pile of solids cut in diamonds that I’ve been moving around the sewing room for years. They are so old I don’t remember how I acquired them, although I can guarantee I did not cut them out myself. The latest Challenge project is to represent Easter in fabric. “Self,” I said, “let’s think outside the box about the Easter project.”


Let the satin stitching begin!

Let the satin stitching begin!


Since I had been zig-zagging like a tipsy bumble bee, I brought out some Pellon Decor, arranged the diamonds on top of it, and dialed down the stitch length. Once that was finished, I dug out a novelty fabric from the back of a drawer.


And now to fussy-cut.

And now to fussy-cut.


The next step is to apply a fusible backing and cut out egg clusters to arrange artfully over the surface, but that’s a story for another blog.



Luck and wisdom!


Empty Boxes

January 30, 2013

For the first time since September, I have empty boxes. No, not here:

sewing room

The empty boxes are on my calendar.


Of course, that won’t last. Just yesterday I agreed to take the lead on writing a grant proposal. It’s due March 1. Nevertheless, I have no pressing deadlines this week.

The reason I have a few free days is that I am finished with the manuscript for When Chenille Is Not Enough, the sequel to Death By Chenille.

The manuscript is finished!

The manuscript is finished!

I vowed to have it finished by January so we could get it to the printers in time for its unveiling in April at theĀ SAQA conference in Santa Fe, which is the weekend before Art Quilt Santa Fe. Until my co-author Ann Anastasio gets back to me with her edits, I can focus on other things.

Yesterday, I focused on the sewing room. I cut kits, cut scraps, and put fabric away. This morning I consolidated two boxes, freeing up one whole cubby for embroidery projects. I’d sing about how great I feel, but I don’t want the efficiency gods to think I’m getting uppity. They can be so petty. Still, I’m going to relish the joy for as long as I can.

I might even have time to bake some cookies to celebrate Ground Hog Day.


Boxing Day

December 26, 2012

The week between Christmas and New Year holds such promise. When the kids were younger I always planned to do great, fun things on their vacation. When they got older I planned to do great, useful things around the house. But we all know about plans . . .

At any rate, I did manage to do some things in the sewing room. I started a free-form stuffed collection that I hoped would look like Christmas ornaments that I could pile in a decorative bowl.

Christmas puffs

I still like the concept, but I’m going to have to spend some time auditioning embellishments.

My daughter asked if I would make a name tag for her dog’s Christmas stocking. She asked on Christmas Eve. After dinner. Luckily, she liked what I did.

Christmas stocking name tag

The week between Christmas and New Year holds demands, too – specifically the demand to clean up the place. Given that I still have my Easter Egg collection out on the hutch, I’m not holding out much hope for getting the Christmas moose/reindeer collection back in storage any time soon.

Christmas centerpiece with reindeer

Still, it is Boxing Day today, and regardless of what it might mean in the U.K., at my house it is a reminder to get out the boxes and put things back where they belong.

The Miracle of Boxes

March 21, 2012

I believe in many things which aren’t true. For example, I cling to the five-second rule, particularly if what I’ve dropped is something I really want to eat. Since I also use my belief in the creed “Your immune system – use it or lose it” to justify not washing the floor, I know I’m playing Russian roulette with my digestive track. Nevertheless, if that last bit of brownie slips betwixt plate and lip I will pick it up and pop it in my mouth. That I haven’t spent a good part of my life battling food poisoning bolsters my belief in the five-second rule, and also in miracles.

This week my belief in miracles was enhanced with boxes. I can’t say I’ve always loved boxes, but certainly have since I became a quilter. There are almost as many patterns for boxes as there are for tote bags, so it was a natural progression for me: using boxes to collecting boxes to making boxes to hoarding boxes.

My latest organization scheme has been to use plastic boxes to store the fabric for my prison class. I can see that I will make progress – eventually. First, though, I have to make time to put the fabric in the boxes:

Collecting boxes, like collecting fabric, is a tight-rope walk between the good fairy of organization and the bad pixie of “ooh, shiny, I like it.”

As you can see, I’ve started sorting my embellishments in the plastic boxes. They are sturdy and stackable, and I can see what’s in them. The leather box with the silver trim is another matter. I told myself when I bought it that I would put Celtic-themed buttons in it, but the truth is the box is little and cute and I like it.

I also collect boxes to give as gifts, when I can bear to part with them:

This box actually will be sent off since I bought another one for me.

Some of the boxes I’ve made have been from fabric, some not. Here is a box I made from a Christmas card, which I used as a St. Patrick’s Day decoration this year:

The miracle of the week came when I was battling my monster of the week – clutter in the sewing room. I wanted to start machine-quilting two batik wall-hangings, but first I had to clear off my work space. I learned the hard way that pushing scraps out of the way isn’t enough when I inadvertently created back art while machine quilting. A couple of green scraps that in no way went with the gold backing got sucked in with the backdraft. By the time I discovered what I’d done my only choice was to pick out all the stitching and start again or trim around the green scraps as best I could and use the quilt as an object lesson. I chose the object lesson, and it served its purpose – I always clear off the space before quilting. Sadly, that often means I sweep everything to the floor. I didn’t want to do that this time, but I also didn’t have the energy to both declutter and quilt.

Then I looked around, and found a plain packing box. I had emptied it, but not put in back where it belonged. Yes! Hoarding to the rescue!

Of course, the real lesson to be learned here is that emptying boxes is good, and I will. Soon. I promise.