McQ&A: Organizing Multiple Quilting Projects

The month of February is all about scraps and stash busting in the name of finishing projects and studio organization. So, when we received the question below at McCall’s Quilting magazine for our McQ&A feature, we knew we needed to share these tidbits of organizational gold with you. Check it out!

McQ&A: Your Questions, Our Answers!

Do you have an interesting way to organize multiple quilting projects? We asked four of our editors to share their ideas!

Annette Falvo
Technical Editor
I really like using the square 14¼” plastic project boxes. They stack, they’re see-through, and they travel well if I want to take the project to a group sew. In each box I place the pattern, fabric, thread, etc, plus the original invoice(s) from the fabric purchase – that way I can easily identify the SKU’s if I need more fabric later on. I include a small notepad for jotting notes and ideas to be revisited later on. If I’m feeling really organized I label the box and all its components with the some small circle stickers (the kind used for garage sales) with the quilt name.


Lori Baker
Acquisitions Editor
Does “pile-them-in-heaps-on-the-cutting-table” work? Okay – if I’m honest, I have most of my PIGS in a box. Only the 3 or 4 I am actively working on are out and either on the cutting mat or hanging on the design wall.

Tracy Mooney
I have about 10 boxes, 6 quilt tops, and at least 6 fat quarter towers that are earmarked for quilts. Oh, and 2 Quilt Festival bags filled with UFO’s. As I was organizing it in my apartment after the move I decided that I am saving for my retirement. It’s my quilting nest egg!

Send questions for the staff to McCall’s Quilting, 500 Golden Ridge Rd., Golden, CO 80401, or email [email protected] If your question appears on this page, we’ll send you a charm pack of great fabric squares. Ask us…we’ll answer!

And if you’re looking for more creative ways to bust through your scraps make sure to check out our Best of Scrap Quilts Lookbook! Make sure that you’re squeezing every drop out of your quilting investment by using up your leftovers. We compiled 28 of our favorites from Bonnie Hunter, Nancy Mahoney, Diane Harris, Emily Bailey, and other experts in all things scrappy for one of our most popular lookbooks.

We’re also offering the Scrap Quilts with Bonnie Hunter Online Workshop! Put your scraps to better use by learning how to not only save them but use them to their full potential. This course focuses on block construction, with the final quilt being up to the imagination of the maker. Courses were inspired by Bonnie’s favorite blocks found in her Addicted to Scraps column with Quiltmaker magazine.

Join the conversation!

10 comments on “McQ&A: Organizing Multiple Quilting Projects

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Stash fabric” lengths one yard or longer, is wrapped around a hanging file folder. Labeled with the yardage and “filed” according to color in plastic totes designed for storing hanging files. I wish I had thought to include information on the fabric line etc and where it was purchased.
    Fabric that is purchased with a specific project in mind is stored in smaller square plastic box with photo copy of the quilt I had in mind along with a copy of the fabric
    requirements. A sticky note tells me which book/magazine etc I will find the pattern.
    Fabric lengths less than 1 yard are sorted according to length (3/4- under 1 yard, 1/2 -under 3/4. under 1/2 yard is usually put with fat quarters) Fat quarters not purchased for a specific project are stored by color OR collection.

  2. Jacquie juers says:

    I always have too many projects going, but every February (I call it Finishing February) I focus on a few projects that are close to complete, projects that need quilting and binding, bags that need handles and zippers things like that so I get some of my oldest projects off my list.

  3. Ellen Lewellen says:

    Projects don’t merit their own boxes until I’m actually cutting strips or pieces. Until then they are usually in a plastic grocery bag, optimally with the pattern I had in mind or at least my notes with a plan. Then when the quilt shop or web site has fabric on sale, I can quickly see which project needs backing fabric.

  4. Deby-NM says:

    I like to put in progress projects in those zippered plastic bags that throws, mattress pads, etc come in. Then put several in those giveaway shopping bags made out of that non-woven stuff. Careful though, some of those just disintegrate! Pick them up and all you have is a handle — what’s up with that?

  5. Pauletta says:

    I’m just now working on organizing my sewing/computer room. I’ve done some of the things that was described in the comments above, but learned some new ones. Also learned that I can work on more than one thing at a time (will have to try that).

    • Anonymous says:

      long ago I had way to many projects to count, so I went in to finish 2 before I started a new one…. took me a few years to get them done but I have it down to a manageable number so Im not bored but still can do something new.

  6. Maggie says:

    Now I do not feel so bad! I have an honest list of all my projects in my sewing room, it had 78 projects on it. They are all kitted out with everything to make them. They get rotated and worked on, even when unexpected new projects enter the fray, to be finished in between everything else. Shopping my stash is the way to go. Then I added the patterns that I always wanted to make. Some are in Rubbermaid tubs in my sewing room, some in individual project boxes, project bags. Everyday 30 minutes is dedicated to work on anyone aspect of a project, be it cutting, ironing fabric, or sewing and stitching. The amount of time dedicated to work on it on the daily basis gets the projects done in time. The blog ( I started keeps a visual diary, also a reference for future. Just incase, the same method is require to be used again for other project’s. It also helps the friend I am teaching how to sew and quilt, so she can go and check the process, without asking me to show her how to do it again and again. If she needs any more help, then she calls, so it works out well.