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Organizing to Sew

Organizing to Sew

Written by: 
Carrie Nelson

This isn't about making a resolution - we're so not using that word.  

CT GOAL Graphic Branching Out

This is about making goals, and achieving them.     

While a resolution is a decision to change a behavior, goals are about taking the steps to achieve a desired outcome.  Call it a road-map, a strategy, or even a schedule, the difference is that a goal requires outlining the steps required to achieve a the desired outcome.  

Because this is about making time to sew, we're going to share a few ideas of how to break up tasks for a specific project, the Branching Out Tree A Week a few of us are doing.  

CT Branching Out - Susan

These are Susan Ache's blocks, she has two plans in mind for this year.  She's starting the year by making 8" finished blocks using a beautiful assortment of aqua and blue fabrics.  Then she has some kind of plan for green blocks... stay tuned.  Because of how she works, she's cutting a couple of blocks at a time, then piecing them.

Making a plan.  I know from personal experience, and everything I've ever read, the first step is to think about how you like to work.  Cut, stitch, complete one block at a time?  Or make parts while working on a couple of blocks at one time?  

That's me.

I will be making 98 blocks that finish at 6½". (Ack.)  The branches will be scrappy, and I will use between eight and ten different background prints. 

CT Branching Out Carrie

So I went through my scrap bin of Jen Kingwell Lollies and cut 1½" strips.  I also wrote up a "cheat sheet" for each row of branches, the two sizes I needed for each print.

CT Branching Out Carrie Cheat Sheet

This made it easy for me to then cut the strips into segments for each row of branches.

With the number of backgrounds I'm planning, I'll make between eight and twelve blocks with each.  So that was next - with four sizes of pieces, they went quickly.

CT Branching Out Getting Orgaznied

With the fabrics I'm using, there are very few duplicates in each stack of prints.  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to plan each block, or just piece a random assortment of prints and make it work.  (Stay tuned.)

Because I'll be working on this when I have "bits of time" to sew, keeping this sorted/organized/separate is the other key.

CT ArtBin Storage Box

ArtBin Essentials 12 x 12 Storage Box.  (I like these boxes because they're a good size, and they stack easily.)

Rushing out to buy new storage boxes isn't required, especially if you already have boxes/bins that are being used to corral other projects.  

I've been there, and I still find myself in that zip code regularly.  So another one of my goals is to keep only what I know I am going to use, what I am going to enjoy. To keep myself somewhat on track, I have a set number of storage boxes, and when they're all full, I go through each box and ask myself if I will ever finish the project.  If the answer is no, then I pass along the entire project, or break up the parts, re-purposing or donating them. 

Another favorite organization/storage "thing" are the clear, mesh zipper bags that Moda carries.  They come in three sizes - 11" x 15½", 9½" x 13½", and 4" x 8".  The use the middle size the most, it's a great project bag, and it's good for keeping a stack of finished blocks.  

So what kind of plan helps you get the most done with your sewing time?

Do you have any organization tips I should know about?

Be sure to check out #modabranchingout on social media to see what kind of trees folks are making.  Especially Susan.

If you missed the first post for this quilt-along - Branching Out - A Block A Week.

And if you only need the instructions to make the block - Branching Out.

Have a terrific weekend.

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