Monday, January 12, 2015

one step closer to organization

Over the weekend I worked on a prototype for some WIP (work in progress) bags. It occurred to me that I could spend the time finishing some projects instead of working on these, but lets face it...WIPs are a part of life. They might as well be pretty (and contained) while they sit around. Right?
They were made from supplies I had on hand in my craft room, including clear vinyl, thrifted zippers and of course, fabric. (Hurray for a well stocked craft room!) I'm very happy with how they turned out!
I made them in various shapes, sizes and colors (based on the zippers I had on hand).
One nice thing I discovered is that even though they don't lay completely flat when filled, they don't slip and slide around very much, because the vinyl isn't slick. That is a good thing!
I don't have a "before" photo, but here is the "after". I've been storing my WIPs in this vintage record cabinet that my aunt purchased in 1969. (The receipt was still in it!) I'm so glad it's in my possession for the moment (it's on loan from my sister) and I'm even more excited that my WIPs are contained in it and that the doors actually shut. There's even room for a few more! Ha!
 
One bit of reality...upon organizing them, I realized I have 22 (!!!) WIPs. Yikes! You can only be in denial for so long. If I were to place each of them in their own bag, I'd have to make 18 more WIP bags! I had better finish something! :)
These are the baskets/containers that were previously holding WIPs and are now empty. There is A LOT less bulk in the cupboard, and I can use these in other places. That is a good thing! I have lots more to organize.
 
How do you store your WIPs? If you have any good tips or a system that you love, I'd love to hear about it!
 
Happy Monday to you!

105 comments:

Sara said...

Wow what a great idea! I love that you can clearly see what's in each bag.

Di~ said...

Listen girl, if you weren't one of my favorite people, I'd think you were a hotshot! :) j.k. LOVE those bags! for wips. you are a rock star so ya, enjoy it! (I wish I were the comfortable w/ zippers, I know I should just practice them. )

Sigi G said...

A huge job - well done!!
I too am organizing, in my case my scraps - why oh why, do I keep them all, but there seems to be a little light at the end of this tunnel and it does feel good - and a huge pile of log cabin blocks are being formed. And.....maybe I'll free up a basket or two also :)!

Carie said...

Oh those are such a great idea! At the moment my projects live in bags hanging off the back of the chair which does stop me having too many WIPs or I'd topple over!

Lyndsey said...

Those bags are so much prettier than the large zip lock bags I use. I'm busy organising scraps at the moment but I must move on to WIP soon but I worried about the number I've got. Still it means you always have something you can work on -- right?

Svetlana said...

now these are absolutely the best zipper bags to store wips. What a fantastic idea, and they look amazing.

Jenny said...

Love those bags you made, and to be able to make them from things you already have must be a bonus.

Some of my WIPs are in tote bags hanging from a hat stand pole. Still others are in plastic bags hidden away in plastic crates.

A couple that I am actively working on are in a basket by my sewing machine.


I don't dare count them all!

Pamela said...

Are you going to do a pattern or tutorial for those bags? That is the exact thing I've been trying to figure out! The would come in very handy for packing for quikt retreats, projects I have laying around, so many ideas!

Adrienne said...

I don't have so many WIPs as piles of fabric that i have pulled and/or bought recently and I know what they want to become... future WIPs, you could say. Projects that are being actively planned. I finally got some shallow stacking drawers and cleaned out enough room in my fabric/yarn closet to put them, so for now I have a drawer for each potential project. I love your vinyl bags, though, and have a cabinet they would go nicely in if I cleaned out all the junk that's already in there. ;)

Terry McFarland said...

I keep mine in those plastic drawer containers (clear). I used to keep them in plastic bags (like from WalMart)but the clear is better I really like yours and I could have more WIPs (is that a good thing?!)

Christine said...

This is such a smart idea!! I have one bin that everything lives in… and that’s far from ideal.

Sew Stitching Cute said...

These are really crafty and awesome bags! Especially to make for traveling with your WIPs!!!

I store my wips underneath my cutting table island... I have one unit that has lots of shelves that are only about 2 inches apart and each WIP is in one, but mine is overflowing as well and there are several with two wips in a slot as well as some floating around on fabric shelves. The things that I am CURRENTLY working on though always go on the wall shelves in which I created a PROJECT CENTER... with all the paper work and fabric right there on the shelf all together... I have a total of 6 to allow for 6 projects. :)

MariQuilts said...

Lovely bags.....I have yet to find an ideal system but always trying.

Quilting Dee said...

Those are so pretty! I collect plastic zippered bags that housed new sheet sets, blankets etc Use these to keep WIP's UFO's etc. When collecting fabrics for a planned project, I place them in one of these bags etc. but your bags are stunning!!

Quilting Dee said...

Forgot to add- a friend keeps her UFO's in bags and hangs them in the wardrobe. Easy to find, and out of the way!

Michelle C. said...

The idea of sewing with vinyl is a little intimidating, but these are so darn cute that I might try my hand at some ...

Brenda said...

Great idea. I used those clear plastic zipper bags from sheets to corral my WIPs. Same principle as yours, although they don't lie as flat.

Terri Ann said...

What a brilliant storage solution. Most of my WIPs are quilt tops waiting ot be quilted so I'd need a big vinyl bag to contain that but maybe if I only made two I coud stop myself from accumulating too many WIP of that size...I love that you were torn about spending time making a way to contain your WIP when you could have been working on them. The struggle is real people! :)

Andrea R said...

I use extra large ziploc bags but these are prettier.

Pieces of Cotton said...

That's really similar to another idea I've seen, that of using the bags you use for delicates in the laundry. I currently have one of those cheapo plastic drawer things for mine, except I tend to put unquilted tops in a dresser drawer.

Beth said...

I like the bags. If it makes you feel any better, I would need way way more bags than you would neeed.

Sarah Goer said...

Cute bags! We don't need a WIP before pic... cause we've all lived the before. ;-)

Judy said...

My '20 year projects' live in a large tote which is about half full right now. I knit as well as quilt, so I have to be real careful about not indulging my startitis.

Colby said...

Oooh I need to make these. I love the ones Lisa made too. I need to find a tutorial on them or just make one myself and write a tutorial.

I currently store most of my WIPs in old shoe boxes, I label the end with a sticky note with the title and can stack many on one shelf and see them all at once. It's worked out well so far but these are just cute. :)

Melissa Corry said...

I love those bags!!! So awesome!!

Karen said...

I love your bags; pretty and functional! I use Ziploc bags for small projects and square plastic containers for larger ones. Your's would take up a lot less space...great idea!

Karen said...

I LOVE this idea!

bloominworkshop said...

Ok, now I don't feel quite so bad after taking stock of my own unfinished projects. :) Thanks for making me feel better. Ha!

Jennifer C. said...

If I get a good box with something (like a pair of boots or a fancy sweater) and I know I am going to be starting a project soon, I save the box. That way everything stays flat, especially if I am taking my project to a weekly class. I have a box that holds an intimidating project but that is safe on the top shelf of a wardrobe so I not reminded about all the money I spent on fabric for a project which may never happen. I also keep things in a chest of drawers in the spare room.

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Such a good idea! I keep my WIP's in large plastic bags or in one of those bags that comforters or sheet sets come in.

Jacque. said...

Splendid idea!!! You rock, Amanda Jean!

Linda said...

Great idea! I use an accumulation of the zippered plastic bags that department stores bedding and linens come in. They rarely fit my project and are pretty bulky. I have vinyl on hand, so I want to make some of those bags!

Lisa Kavanaugh said...

Your vinyl bags are adorable! The size is so much better than the larger baskets and bins that I also use.
Thank you for sharing your creative solution

Maria Harrits said...

Love this idea. I store my WIP's i boxes (big and small) from Ikea.

MareMare said...

Those are genius! I have my WIPS in photo boxes and always have to open them to figure out what the heck is in there! (I'm not smart enough to use the label on the outside of the box apparently...I always figure the WIP won't be in there long enough to make it worthwhile. snort.)

jane said...

What a great idea! So much prettier than the ziplock bags that I've been using.

Anne Wyn said...

Good idea! I miss placed right now in my apartment and I try to figure out how to organize my stuff

April said...

These are a great idea. My WIPs are in clear totes or in my recently organized sewing dresser drawer. I like how yours are easily visible and also only take up the space that they need to. Thank you for sharing about these!

Christina said...

You should do a tutorial on these.

Stacey said...

What a great idea - the boxes I use take up so much room - staring at me - taunting me with their WIP contained guilt!

jenni said...

i would love a tutorial! Fabulous idea. I really need more space.

Helen Bowie said...

Hi,
Congrats! I love what you have done. We all have WIP or UFO's and how much nicer and neater they look in those lovely bags.

Dawn Brown said...

Love, love, love these bags - going to have to break out my vinyl and swallow hard and try!

Beth Strand said...

I'd love to see a post on how you made yours...as for me, I've got about four times as many wips.... good thing I've got some vinyl handy! Lol

Ellomee said...

Love your new bags! I use those vinyl bags that sheet sets/blankets/curtains/etc. come in - they are handy and easy to see through. I also use clear totes for other WIPs (or many a WIP-to-be) if I'm just in the collecting fabric process.

Jani said...

I store my wips in clear Rubbermaid shoe boxes, or if the project is too big, I have some clear boxes a little larger than shoe box size. I stack them in shelves in my sewing room closet, and can easily see what's in each one, and I can stack them neatly. I'm OCD. I need to buy stock in Rubbermaid, since I use the boxes for all sorts of things - scraps, wips and all sorts of sewing paraphernalia! I do love your new wip bags tho!

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Great idea for storing WIP especially if you want to grab a project to sew at a Guild meeting or something. I usually store my WIP in one of those soft collapsible shelve things from IKEA - it hangs in the guest spare wardrobe ... out of sight ... out of mind ... dangerous!

hansundgrete said...

This idea is great. I think, I'll do the same with my scraps.
...and I have a lot of them!!!
Hugs from Germany,
Olga

Sara Fiedler said...

Amanda Jean YOU are sooo creative! I love those bags. What a wonderful idea for WIP's and they looks so nice. Keep those great ideas coming :).

Burgess said...

I keep mine in very similar containers I get at the dollar store. They are made of transparent textured vinyl, zippered on three sides and are about 10 x 12 x 1. They are amazingly sturdy and stand up very well on a bookshelf. I first saw them in use at my local public library. Yours are much cuter!

ParadiseBreeze Quilts said...

Amazing Amanda Jean - these are great! I also would love to see a post/tutorial on how to sew with vinyl! Cheers from Australia (we're melting down here!)

SilverCat said...

I just bought a bunch of Christmas gift boxes discounted after the sales. They're thicker than shoe boxes, much prettier and come in a bunch of different sizes. Each box has a WIP and then they're stacked on a bookshelf, they look great!

Frankie Carson said...

I used to have them everywhere but I just wasn't finishing anything! Only starting things! So me and my hubby made an agreement I can have one project per category! So k can switch if I'm having a blank but things actually get done ! So I have 1 knitting, 1 embroidery, 1 quilting, 1 dressmaking ! It keeps everything under control!
Www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk
Xx

Judy Zaspel said...

Very nice! They say timing is everything
and it's true in this case. I gave in
yesterday and bought two more plastic 12 inch
square boxes to put more projects in.
I think I will have to try your pretty bags.
Thanks for posting this.

Kay said...

This is such good idea because you can see them so easily and they are less likely to get forgotten. Mine get put in carrier bags and stuffed away in drawers where they linger for a long time. x

Kay said...

This is such good idea because you can see them so easily and they are less likely to get forgotten. Mine get put in carrier bags and stuffed away in drawers where they linger for a long time. x

ConGhin said...

I agree with the others who'd love some instructions on how to make these WIP bags, particularly about the vinyl used and putting in the zipper. Right now my projects are in store bags that get stuffed in a drawer, then everything needs to get ironed again before progress can be made. Can't wait for the big reveal of your organized space.

Mama Spark said...

These are awesome AJ! We need a pattern so we can make some too!! I think they would be just the thing to help all of us get more organized!

Mama Spark said...

I bet you could get one of those pants hangers with multiple clip type holders and store them in the closet hanging up too!

Eruth said...

I use the tubs or 'clamshellls' that salad greens come in. They come in various sizes. But I would love a tutorial on making the vinyl zippered pouches.

Linda said...

How do I stand on my WIPs? All I can do is LOL. It's a sad state of affairs, that's all I can say. :)

Laikabear said...

Wow, I love those project bags. I still have yet to learn how to insert a zipper. Someday! :) I only have 4 WIPs (I'm a relatively new quilter) and I store them in one of the cubbies in my sewing area shelving unit (Ikea Kallax).

Michelle said...

Good Morning! Love the bags! Did you design them on the go or did you use a pattern?

Sarah Fredette said...

MUCH cuter than the freezer bags I currently use! Also, instead of laying them flat, have you thought of using those magazine holders? You could probably fit a few WIP bags in each one, and then the whole stack wouldn't need to be moved just to grab the one on the bottom. :D

Sandra W said...

The bags are great. What a good idea.

sulu-design said...

Oooh! I love a good organization post, and these bags are really cute. Seeing the stack of baskets that's going elsewhere is so satisfying - nice job!

Thimbleanna said...

I'm smelling a pattern Ms. Crazy -- those are super cute bags. And so much nicer than baskets or tubs because of the space savings -- which is always needed! You're not only Crazy, you're a genius. A crazy genius LOL!

Jayne said...

Organizing is always an on going process! I usually find a plastic tote for my WIP's, but I adore those bags you made! Great idea! They are so pretty too!

Sheila said...

Amanda Jean, I love the quilt hanging in the background of the photo of your stack of baskets. Is there more information and/or a pattern available for it? Also, I've really enjoyed your blog ever since I came across it. Thanks so much for sharing your talent.

Carrie Wikander said...

I too am in the organizing mode. I only have two unfinished projects, but the problem is, I just can't make myself finish them for some reason. I admit also that I find that I have to reorganize on a fairly regular basis - things just get out of hand so quickly when one is creating...

rachlee said...

These are perfect!!! Do you have a pattern or instructions? I would love to try to make some of my own!
Thanks for your wonderful blog!
Rachel

Karin Hagemyer said...

I store my WIP in clear plastic shoe boxes and my finished quilt tops and backs on wooden hangers. It keeps them visible and neat

Carol said...

I use clear storage bins stacked on the shelving units I have in my sewing room. I then label the contents.

Kelly said...

How can bags be so beautiful!!?

Cyndi Frailing Nelson said...

What an awesome idea!!

Andrea said...

I'm so glad you admitted how many quilts you have in the works - most of my friends work on one quilt at a time and think I'm schizophrenic because I like having a variety of works going at the same time. I use a restaurant style bun rack with baking sheets to store my WIPs - it works perfectly!! I can easily pull out a tray anytime I wish to just take a look or work on it.

Laura said...

Love how you can see what's in each one. A possible idea for storing them in the cupboard to make it easier to see them. Could you put up one of those adjustable tension curtain rods and then use skirt/pant hangers to hang each of your WIP packets from it? Just a thought!

Karin Hagemyer said...

I keep my whip.s that I am actually working on beside the sewing machine on a cookie tray rack also on cookie sheets. I can pull one out and everything is there ready to make a couple of blocks. I also work on at least 3-4 projects at a time unless I have to have one done on a deadline. I get bored working on the same one only, Sometimes it takes me years to finish but eventually i hope to have the ones I am working on now done but there will always be more.

Quilt Fabric Pizazz said...

I love your new storage bags. I cannot make them however, because I store mine in a variety of sizes of zip lock bags that are visible from when I sit at my sewing machine. This way they taunt me to get my projects done. My system works.....if I were to make a lovely new "home" for them, I think my system would break down. LOL!

Liv Aagots Quilteblogg said...

What a great idea! I really like your bags in lovely colours!

tahoe34 said...

Tutorial pretty please??

RosieGma said...

Love those,,,tutorial soon I would hope...I can see me adding a hanging loop so that I can have them handy and not hiding......

Suzanne said...

Maybe you can reward a finish by making a new bag?? Then you know when you have 20 Wip bags, you need to rein yourself back in. Right?

Renae said...

Your bags are much prettier, but I use the XL Ziploc bags (for sweater storage) for the same reason -- I can see the project and containment.

Sarah said...

I really like your idea! The WIP could be put into zip lock bags but that's not nearly as fun and pretty and this project uses scraps!

Sarah Craig said...

I love your WIP bags! I do have a suggestion - I would put a tension rod at the top of the cabinet, then use pants hangers to hang those pretty bags up! (Can you tell I just uncovered a stash of pants hangers while cleaning and organizing my own space?)

Nanna said...

I love your blog & will most definatly have to come back with a big cup of coffee & savor over as many post as I can lol! I found you on Pinterest while looking for scrappy quilts when I came across your tiny little triangle strip quilt, oh how happy to see your blog was still acrive when I clicked that home button yes this is going to be a beautiful palce to spend my mornings lol!
Helen

Julie Beard said...

Hi Amandajean,
I just love, love your bags. So I checked out your site and golly gosh you do have a tutorial so that is what I will be making very soon. Going to check it all out and pay a visit to my trusty fabric store for some groovy fabrics asap, that's tomorrow for me.

As I too am in the process for sorting out my projects or should I say my UFO's. I made a new year resolution to finish all the important UFO projects before starting anything else this year and it just looks like I may just have to break it to make your stunning bags!!!! It's only the 14th January too!

Mind you so far I have not stitched anything, so I haven't broken my resolution yet! When I finish my bags I will send you an email showing the finish product. Thanks heap for the tutorial and it's a freebie too! I am very grateful to you Amandajean. Bye for now Julie Beard Adelaide South Australia.

Julie Beard said...

Ps Amandajean,

I will of course give all the glory to you too!!!! Julie Beard

Martha Cook said...

Impressed. My WIP's look like the before. Plus it is a good idea to label as well. Scratching my head why I go over some fabric in quantity.

Nicole Maroon said...

Great idea!
I don't have many WIPs, maybe 5? They are strewn about, in a slightly organized fashion. ;)
I may need a few of these, and I love how the vinyl doesn't slip!

Mama Urchin said...

I have an alex drawer unit from IKEA, it's essentially a flat file. All of my sewing WIPs are supposed to fit in there. Sometimes though a drawer has more than one WIP but it's nice because blocks can lay flat.

Deb Henricks said...

Love those bags! So creative. I can see making a few of those to use up some scraps.

I use plastic containers and store them in a fairly new closet system my husband installed.

https://flic.kr/p/6pySHM

Labels on each.

https://flic.kr/p/jku32z

Sara A. said...

I use freezer bags because I have them on hand and they hold up well. Gallons for big projects with rows of blocks or components stored in sandwich bags within. Quart bags for smaller projects. All my WIPs are in a basket.

Alynn Kluczynski said...

I use the plastic bags that pillow case and sheet sets come in.

The Hexy Ladies said...

This is not only practical but pretty! I've been storing in Ikea stackable clear plastic boxes but they take up so much room and are piled high (perhaps that is because I too have too many WIPs!). Can't wait for the tutorial (hint hint hint) as would love to make them for all the girls in our class as a welcome back new year present.

Elaine Randall said...

I used ziploc bags until one of my cats decided to snack on the them. Since then I've recycled the clear plastic containers that salad greens come in. Yours are. Lot more stylish. I'd love to give them a try.

Joy Manoleros said...

Theses are adorable! I actually had drafter something similar, then it became a WIP.... Ha!

I use those plastic bags with zippers that bedding and pillow cases come in. They come in all sizes for my various projects and most people throw them away - so they're willing to give them to me!

Darlene Fel....... said...

What a great idea. I use bins (they take up a lot of space) and the bags where bedding things come in and they work great but not nearly as pretty as what yours are. And they usually have a side gusset in them so unless it is a large size, they don't work the best either. I might have to make a few "pretty" ones:-)

Debbie said...

Okay, some of these have been put on the top of my "to do" list. I picked up some of the vinyl from the JoAnn remnant bin awhile back and now I have a use for it. I may make a few while at the retreat I am going to this weekend. Thanks for the idea!!

Amanda Young said...

What a great idea. I use bags like these at school for children to take their reading books home. Great to find a new use! Thanks

Busy Little Quilter said...

These would save so much space in my sewing room. Currently, I am keeping UFO's in boxes that I bought from Staples. They work great because I have shelving to hold them, but I have ALOT of them! I'm afraid to count them. lol

I did see in another post that you are trying to come up with a tutorial for these. Thank you! I would love to make some.

Kay Nelson said...

Amanda Jean, I love absolutely everything you do! And I truly look forward to your postings each week. Maybe you will inspire me to be more productive. I am working on beach totes for my grandkids for our family trip to Puerto Rico..

Denice said...

When I realized I loved sewing fabric rather than scrap booking with paper, out went the paper and in went the fabric. It all worked out quite well to put WIP blocks in the clear 12x12 containers origianlly meant for scrapbook paper. I love my brother label maker. The problem is too many projects, not enough bins. Lol. After cleaning and sorting my sewing room last fall, I unearthed 53 WIP's. 53!!!!!!!! Yikes!! At the end of this year I turn 50, so my goal for this year is 50 for 50. The problem is, I can't stop myself from starting new projects. So much fun in the creating part, I get bogged down and bored in the middle, then a big push near the end knowing I get to cross something off my todo list. You should know, Amanda Jean, you are to blame for this mess. When I found your blog 5 or sew years ago, you inspired me to revisit an old hobby, and I haven't given it a rest since! I LOVE these adorable bags!

Bearpawquilter said...

No system. that's the problem!