Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Applique Organizer Folders

Great for hand piecers too!

Organizing Small Fabric Pieces for Applique or Hand Piecing

Applique and hand piecing often require a lot of small fabric pieces. Here is an idea to keep all those little pieces organized and handy, especially when travelling.

You will need:

  • 1 Sturdy File Folder
  • Cotton Batting -- leftover strips at least 12 inches long -- after trimming the edges of a quilt for binding, we often have long strips of leftover cotton batting. Save them!
  • Rotary Cutter (straight blade, and pinking blade if you have one)
  • Rotary Cutting Mat and Ruler
  • Gluestick (not wet glue)

  1. After trimming the edges of a quilt for binding, we often have long strips of leftover batting. Save those long strips! I use Quilter's Dream Cotton, Request loft.
  2. Cut long edges of batting scraps with a rotary cutter. If you use a "pinking" rotary blade, the batting strips can nest together nicely. My folder is 11-3/4 inches tall so I made my batting pieces 12 inches long. A width of 8-1/2 inches would have been perfect for my folder, but narrower strips can be set side by side.
  3. Open the file folder and lay it flat. On the right-hand side of the center fold, rub gluestick to cover the area, all the way to the edges. (If your folder has a "tab" don't glue that.)
  4. Before the glue dries, carefully lay a strip of batting down onto the glue. The strips should be longer than the top and bottom of the folder.
  5. Smooth the batting flat. Make sure all the batting adheres nice and flat. If one strip is not wide enough, add more strips until the right-hand side of the folder is covered with batting, except the folder "tab."
  6. Let the glue dry. (Note: Don't use a wet glue, only gluestick. Wet glue will seep through batting, make it stiff and less "clingy," and will warp the folder.)
  7. Lay the folder on a cutting mat. Rotary cut with a straight rotary blade to trim the top and bottom of excess batting strips even with the folder.
  8. Arrange appliqué pieces on the batting in a logical order (by number, color, placement on the block, or however you like to work).
Fabric pieces will cling to the batting, flat and organized. Storing pieces this way avoids unnecessary handling, fray, and loss of little pieces.

You might want to store your paper pattern in the same folder. Oh, my! You could write a pattern name on the tab, and even file your folders and be really organized.
If you are like me, you will need a folder for each work in progress. Don't we all have more than one project at a time?

And here is my Applique Needle Organizer: Click here

Keep Stitching,
Barbara M. Burnham

(c) 2015 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.


  1. Genius! I will have to replace my baggies with folders now...good thing I only have 2 applique projects in progress (won't tell you how long, Thanks for sharing, Barbara!

  2. Ever since you showed this to me in Paducah, I have discarded my trusty zip-locking sandwich bags! Brilliant!

  3. I use a file folder and it works great. I also glued sand paper to the outside to use when marking.

  4. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it!

  5. What a great idea to use up file folders from the office. :) Thanks.

    1. Recycling used folders is better then trashing them, right?

  6. What a great idea! Threaded needles could probably be kept here as well. Thanks Barbara

    1. Yes, Glenda! I have one just for needles that I use for teaching applique. It sames a lot of time to have just the right thread already in the right needle to demo techniques, or for sewing in the car. It's challenging to thread a needle under pressure!

  7. Barbara,
    What a great post! Thank you for all of the inspiration that you give me with the sharing that you do on your blog.

  8. I'm retiring soon, work from home so I have a lot of folders that will be having a second life!! Thanks for the great idea!

  9. Great idea - thanks for sharing!

  10. This is one of those ah ha ideals ,thank you for it, it will be used alot.

  11. this is one o those great ideas that you know you will use over and over again thank you so much for this one.

  12. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Great idea! I/m going to make one this evening!!!!


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