I started making Piece Keepers years ago, when working on an
involved applique quilt, and had to put the project aside for moving state to state, and with life just getting in the way. I needed a way to pick up where I’d left off without losing the many small flower petals, leave, stems and centers. A Piece Keeper is simply a sheet of acid free card-stock, with four overlapping flaps. It opens wide, and stays closed with a pair of Velcro® dots. You should never, ever store fabric in a non-acid free environment.
Step 1: Assemble Materials and Supplies
1. Bristol card stock
2. See through ruler (C-Thru, or any other brand)
3. Mechanical pencil
4. Dry ballpoint pen, bamboo point turner, or any device that will dent the card stock without cutting it
5.Paper cutting scissors or craft knife
6. Hook and loop fastener dots (Velcro Dots can be found at fabric and office supply stores)
7. Fabric or scrapbook paper scraps for color coding the Keepers
Not shown are optional and additional tools: Tweezers (for scoring double lines in card stock; Circle cutter, for making a window in the Keeper; clear cellophane gift wrap, for covering the window opening; and glue
Step 2: Draw the Pattern on the Card Stock
1. Draw the pattern on the card stock
Along the long side measure in from edge 4-1/2 " and draw a line parallel to the edge. Repeat on the other side.
Along the short side measure in from edge 3-3/4" and draw a line parallel to the edge. Repeat on the other side.
At the eight points where the lines meet the paper edge, draw a dot at 1/2" inside the line, and connect the dot to the point the lines intersect. This makes the "flap" of the Keeper.
Step 3: Cut Out the Corners
Cut out corners of the Keeper with a scissor or craft knife. Using the cut keeper, draw a pattern on the next sheet in the pad so it is ready for cutting the next Keeper without all the measuring. I cut the entire pad at one time, using a craft knife and a lot of pressure on a cutting mat. I don’t remove the glued tablet end until cutting the last flap and clamped the other 3 sides with binder clips to keep it from shifting under the pressure.
Step 4: Score the Card Stock for Folding
Score the folding lines (dotted lines on the illustration) running your tool alongside a ruler: an empty ballpoint pen, or any pointed tool that will “dent” the paper without cutting it. If you expect your contents to be thicker than ¼” you may want to score two parallel lines on each flap with a tweezers – using your index finger to press down and keep the points from spreading further apart.
Step 5: Fold Flaps and Add Velcro Dots
Fold the sides of the Keeper to the inside, then fold the bottom up. Place a pair of self-adhesive hook and loop fasteners at the center of the bottom flap edge, and fold the top flap down, securing the one side of the fastener to the top flap. If you put the hook "dot" on the loop "dot" before fixing them to the Keeper, they will line up just right right.
Open the flaps and put your quilt pieces in the bottom. If you want to be able to view the contents of the Keepers when it is closed, use a circle cutter, and cellophane to make a window in the bottom of the Keeper. Or you may glue a fabric or paper scrap to the card stock to show the print or color of the contents.
Step 6: Keep Up With Your Piece Keepers
It depends on the project how you keep up with your Keepers. I have some glued into a hand made book, and others standing up in small baskets. For some designer fabrics, the scrap I used includes the selvedge in which the manufacturer's information is printed.
Step 7: A Basket Full of Keepers