Tuesday, July 21, 2015

one hour basket organization

Let's talk about sewing space organization - the ever-elusive, never-quite-all-the-way-there, ungettable-get of my sewing life. Yeah, keeping the sewing room tidy has long been a challenge for me.

Sewing room disarray led me to check this book out of the local library recently and read it cover to cover one lazy weekend afternoon.  If you haven't yet read this book YOU SHOULD!  Written by a professional organizer, it is brimming with great advice specifically for us quilters and our fabric stashes, bins of UFOs, drawers of tools and gadgets, and teetering piles of magazines and books.  (Or is that just me?)

Long story short, it's going to take a multi-day, remove everything from the room, and start the organization from scratch episode to get my sewing room into shape.

Since that's not going to happen this summer when there is too much fun to be had, I decided to take a few baby steps using one of my favorite pieces of advice from Chapter 5: Project and UFO storage - use a system of bins or boxes to contain the fabrics and patterns for each project currently in progress (easy) and maintain the organization by putting away all the materials you've worked with at the end of each sewing session (not so easy for me).  For someone like me who jumps around from project to project, keeping project pieces together is crucial to maintain a sense of order.

I'm a "piler" by nature, so these project boxes need to be easy access for me to use them as intended.  No lids, clasps, etc to get in the way of just dumping the pieces in after time spent sewing.  The One Hour Basket to the rescue!

** Updated 11-16-2017 The pattern/tutorial by Hearts and Bees is no longer free, but you can purchase it for $1 here on Craftsy.

It truly is a one-hour basket - the first one I made took only one hour and four minutes!

I made four total for my sewing room from 2 half-yards of decorator weight fabric, 4 fat quarters of quilting weight cotton, 2 yards of fusible fleece, and about 1 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing (for the handles).

Each finished basket measures 10" wide x 7" tall x 5.5" deep - an excellent size to hold your pattern and fabrics for a project in progress or in queue.

I changed a few things in the pattern after making the first basket:
  • Step 1 - fuse the lightweight interfacing to the bag handle pieces - they'll be less floppy in the end.
  • Step 2 - fold and press the handle rectangles in half lengthwise, and then fold each raw edge into the center fold and press so the finished handle measures about 1.25" wide. The pattern tells you to fold and press so the handle finishes at 1.5" wide, but I think that's more trouble than necessary. 1.25" width is good enough for me.
  • Step 3 - leave a 4" opening in the bottom of your bag interior to make turning right side out at the end easier.
  • Step 8 - Press the interior and exterior corner seams in opposite directions to help your basket sit flat upon completion.

For the finishing touch, I fused and stitched an elsie's girl label to the front of each basket. Create your own fusible personalized labels with this tutorial from Lorrie at SewMod.

My four baskets are all filled with projects in progress, and now I've got a small system in place to keep them each separate and contained.

I even made two additional one hour baskets using these fun fabrics!

The teal lined basket was filled with goodies and given away as our guild's June door prize, and the purple lined version was my contribution to the June CLMQG fabric container swap.

Do you have any sewing room organization tips for corralling your works in progress?


  1. I Love the yellow one with the chair fabric! And the one I won of course!!

  2. Love the basket. The tutorial is no longer available on Craftsy. Dos she have a blog or anywhere else it migh be available? Thanks Doreen

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Doreen! I've updated the post above to include a new link to the pattern/tutorial - it's now available to purchase and download from Craftsy for $1. Happy sewing :)


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