Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gotta keep 'em separated (the 2 inch squares for my Anchors Aweigh quilt, that is)

decided that I wanted to make Tula Pink's free Anchors Aweigh quilt as a birthday gift for my sister-in-law, so I have been working to find the 11 fabrics that I needed (9 prints and 2 solids). With the help of an amazing fellow Tula devotee who was willing to part with a 1/3yd piece of the last print that I was missing, my search was complete. Yay for that and extra yay for her. 

The majority of the quilt is made from 2" squares, and the pattern provides specific locations for each fabric based on a letter assigned to each print fabric. To keep the squares sorted, I knew that I would need to keep the squares from mingling.  I thought about using zip top baggies, but they aren't very durable.  I used to work for the best storage and organization store, so I knew there had to be a better solution.

I started hunting for some sort of acrylic box with 9 compartments that were large enough to hold the 2" squares. The hunt for a box wasn't as quick as I had hoped it would be.  I spent a couple of hours across a week trying to find something that would be practical for this project and easily re-purposed in the future.  Around the time that I was getting quite frustrated yesterday, I glanced over to my kitchen counter and saw one of the 1 Hour Baskets that I made a few weeks ago (it was the Meat fabric basket if you are curious). 

 1 Hour Baskets
Top Row - Meat and Hot Sauce fabrics from Kiss the Cook by Dear Stella
Bottom Row (L) - Cassettes from Timeless Treasures and Stitch Square from Michael Miller
Bottom Row (R) - Alice from Kokka and Garden Pindot from Michael Miller (interior not visible)

In that moment something just clicked, and I knew how to solve the problem. I had an empty one of the thin, clear 4" x 6" boxes used to hold photographs, so I decided to test to see if it was a viable option. For each of the 9 print fabrics, I would use a single photo box (the print with the highest quantity of squares was 108). Each box could be labeled with the letter designated in the pattern and the name of the print (I wrote the name of the print just in case some fabrics got mixed in together), and the boxes could be stored together in a 1 Hour Basket. This was a great option for me because I had an excuse to make another fabric basket (WIN!), and it was the closest solution to what I had envisioned that was both time and budget friendly (having a box custom fabricated was not ideal for either of those things). 

My labeled ArtBin 4" x 6" photo boxes
Just to make sure that I couldn't forget what was in that basket, I selected the coral version of two of the prints that will appear in the quilt.  With my frequent organizational binges, I had some blank Avery stick on labels in my drawer that I could use to mark the boxes for the duration of the project.  So, I stopped at the craft store nearest to my home this morning to pick up the boxes.  Fast forward a few hours, and I had the squares cut for the quilt and they were neatly packed away in their labeled boxes and tucked into the fabric basket.  Success!

I used labels on the interior and exterior of the lid so they are visible when open or closed and on the sides so I could see which box was which while in the basket

Here are a couple more pictures of the basket by itself for your viewing pleasure.

Tula Pink's Tortoise Shell fabric in coral from her 2012 Salt Water collection
Tula Pink's Submarines & Seaweed fabric in coral from her 2012 Salt Water Collection

I just have a few quick things to wrap up before I actually start the quilt, but this whole project really makes me excited to start!

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