Thursday, June 3, 2010

Momentary slices of handwork - introducing the "magic box..."

Just when I think I'm nuts to work on hand-appliqued projects because someone once said that "handwork takes too long," I find that there are lots of small slices of free time in my life when I can do a few stitches at a time.  My problem seems to be finding bigger chunks of time to sit in front of my sewing machine, with the iron turned on and containers of fabric opened, spread out and ready for action.

At this point in my life, I seem to have more slices than chunks.

When I saw people working on these fun little baskets over the last year in blogland, I knew this kind of project would be perfect for my "magic box."  I spent a few slices of time cutting out freezer paper patterns and some background squares.  Then, in another few slices of time, I ironed the handle and basket patterns to some chunks of fabric and placed them in my magic box, a recycled, paper-covered gift box, along with some scissors (the box belonged to a family member, Betty, who passed away recently...I think of her when I open it to work).

As I went to meetings or while waiting in the car to pick up my daughter, I would open my box and in these stolen moments I would cut out the fabric/patterns.  Upon being at home again, I took the big scissors out of my box and added a small plexiglass ruler, a glue stick, and my stiletto.  Then in other stolen moments away from home, I would glue edges to get ready for applique.  I would peel off the freezer paper and save it to iron on the next set of fabric chunks at another time.  Then I would remove the glue stick, etc. from my magic box, then add the Roxanne's glue baste bottle.  The next time I had a slice of time, it was filled with glue basting little shapes to backgrounds

Then, the tools in the box shifted to thread, a needle, a thimble and small snips.  I think you are getting the picture.  My magic box is always ready to grab and run out of the door with the next step of the process ready when I get a second or two.  I find I can stitch a basket down in 10-15 minutes.  I usually can do one every morning while I drink my tea after my daughter leaves for the schoolbus at 7:00 AM.

I really believe in this concept, and because I also subscribe to the "multiple projects" view of quilting, I have many versions of the magic box.  This little box was "borrowed" (stolen) from my daughter.  It contains my little 3-inch spool project, filled with pieces, thread, needle and snips, ready to walk out the door with me.

This old decopaged purse of my Mom's contains a stitchery project that I am currently working on.

Make a magic box, put a project in it, and make a stitch or two every time you have a stolen moment.  Before you know it, stitch by stitch, you will have something very precious.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. thats like me, I also have many beautiful boxes for my handsewing projekts. so every little time I can sew little things and than are great things finished.
    wish you much fun with the filled boxes.
    much greetings elfriede

  2. I like your Magic Box idea. You are going to have a bunch of baskets appliqued in no time.

  3. I love those little slices of time for handwork also. Sometimes I seems so hard to get the sewing machine out and the project.
    I also have a decoupaged purse just like the one you have. I don't know where I picked it up, but I like storing little booties that I have knitted in it. I used to put cards in it. Your project idea is a good one also.

  4. I just love all your little boxes!! It really is amazing how much sewing you can get done in those stolen minutes :0)


  5. I love this. I have my Grandma's cookie tin that she kept her sewing things in. I am always keeping pretty boxes for my sewing things. Great post, they are magic boxes and little slices of time can alway be found.


  6. I too like the idea of multiple boxes or baskets of project, trouble is my thimble is never where I need it. I'm totally addicted to one.
    I love your little baskets.

  7. Love your magic boxes. You can just pick one for whatever mood you are in.

  8. I saw some cute tins which would be perfect for a magic box in a $2 shop yesterday. I'll be back there on Monday. Thank you for sharing the idea.


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