Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Peek Into My Drawers (Or... How I Organize My Stash)

Hi, stitching friends!

Today, I want to give you a little peek into my drawers! OK, OK, get your mind out of the gutter. Not those drawers.

Over the past few months, I have come across YouTube videos and blog posts talking about how to organize all of our crap errr... treasured stash. I thought I would add my voice.

I am not an expert, but my system works for me. I have one bedroom that I use for an office/craft room, but you could use some of these storage methods even if all you have is part of a closet.

I have a large armoire that we used to have in the living room to house our old TV. When we ditched the old TV for a flat screen, I thought about giving the armoire away. But I imagined all the storage possibilities and moved it into the craft room.

In the above photo, on the left (looking inside the armoire), I have all sorts of storage bins I've collected over the years. They house everything from patterns to linen and fabric to buttons and embellishments. Ignore the miscellaneous junk I haven't organized yet.

On the top shelf on the left, you can see I have patterns stored in some 12x12 scrapbook bins. The orange bin holds patterns I have not stitched yet, and the purple bin below it holds the patterns I have stitched.

The photo on the right shows a bookshelf I have propped up against the armoire. It houses books, magazines, boxes of miscellaneous supplies and small, seasonal pieces.

I put printouts of freebies and charts I have downloaded from the internet in page protectors. These go into a binder with tab dividers for subjects such as Christmas, Halloween, autumn, patriotic, etc.

I mounted a shelf with hooks to the top of the armoire, and you can see my fancy flosses (overdyed threads) hanging from the hooks.

I put my overdyed threads in snack-size zipper bags, punch a hole in the corner and put a label in another corner where I write the brand and color. I put the bags on 3" jump rings and organize them by brand. For brands such as The Gentle Art or Weeks Dye Works, I organize the flosses alphabetically. For Colour & Cotton flosses, I organize them by color (because I'm usually using Colour & Cotton flosses as substitutions and I look for the floss by its color, not its name.)

When I work on a project, I pull the colors I need from the larger jump rings and put them on a small, 1-1/2" jump ring (see above photo). When I'm done with the project, I put them back where they belong.

I keep my DMC flosses wound on bobbins in four plastic bins. I also keep my Kreinik threads here. When I was in college and falling in love with cross stitch, a local department store had DMC on sale for 25 cents a skein, so I splurged and bought every color. My boyfriend (who is now my husband!) sat with me for hours, winding the floss onto those bobbins. I sort them numerically.

When I work on a project, I pull out the flosses I need and store them in a small, portable floss box. I also keep my scissors, needle threader and extra needles here. I dedicate one section for thread clippings. When I am done, I put the flosses back where they belong.

I've found that the most important step is the last one - put things back where they belong! If my desk gets piled high with new stash or things I didn't put away, I just cannot think straight. I feel stressed. When I put things where they belong, I feel inspired.

Because I like to have several projects going at once, I like to organize them in zippered bags. I found these on Amazon (click here for the link). They're more durable than a Ziploc bag, come in lots of colors and cost less than a dollar each. The size I linked here fits up to an 8x8 Q-snap, but the company sells larger bags on Amazon as well.

How do you organize your stash?

Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow Update

This weekend, I put the finishing touches on blocks six and seven of Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow. Just five more blocks to go! Woot woot!

I am NOT a fan of spiders, but I have to admit, the spiders in this gorgeous project are just so creepy and perfect. Once in a while I catch one of them in my peripheral vision and I jump a little bit.

Summer Schoolhouse SAL Update

I'm working hard to stay on track with RJ and Mary over at Stitching Friends Forever on our Summer Schoolhouse SAL. We stitch one hour each day... in theory. Sometimes I get caught up in another project and I procrastinate, but I manage to get caught up. This weekend, I found myself six hours behind! Eek. But I got caught up.

Here is pattern number one (A-B-C-D-E-F-G), all finished up. It took me 44 hours and 23 minutes!

This is my first SAL and until now I had never tracked time while stitching. I can't say I love tracking time, but it is interesting to find out just how long it takes to get something done!

Pattern number two (H-I-J-K) is quite a bit smaller than pattern one, so it is going much faster. I'm 14 hours in and I'm close to finishing! Don't you just love the colors in this series? I have to say, out of the hundreds of projects I've stitched over the years, this series is in my top five favorites. RJ and Mary have excellent taste in choosing patterns.

Until next time, dear friends. Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you sunshine and lots of time to stitch.