Title:
Quilter's block box
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A transparent or semi-transparent container with an integrally molded carrying handle for storing and transporting pieces of fabric and fabric assemblies of various sizes and shapes known to makers of quilts, quilters and the quilting industry as Blocks or collections of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture Scrapbook Pages.

The container includes an internal clamping or securing device to securely hold the Blocks or Scrapbook Pages for storage or transport. Thus, if the container is stood on one end or side, the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages would be prevented from sliding or bunching at the lowest point thereby causing the Blocks or Scrapbook Pages to loose their shape or become wrinkled, creased or folded.




Inventors:
Morisset, Denise Marie (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/361427
Publication Date:
08/12/2004
Filing Date:
02/11/2003
Assignee:
MORISSET DENISE MARIE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/449
International Classes:
B42F7/14; B42F9/00; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mrs. Denise M. Morisset (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. A transparent or semi-transparent hand held crafter's universal storage container capable of securely accommodating pieces of fabric and assemblies of fabric materials of various sizes, shapes and dimensions known to makers of quilts, quilters and the quilting industry as Blocks or collections of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture Scrapbook Pages, said container comprising: a generally rectangular housing having top, bottom, and side wall panels; and a retaining means preferably attached to the said wall panel.

2. A crafter's universal storage container as in claim 1 wherein said container is formed of molded transparent or semi-transparent plastic material.

3. A crafter's universal storage container as in claim 1 wherein said container includes a carrying handle slightly offset so that when said container is closed, one surface of the carrying handle is parallel and on or near the same plane with the lid so that two crafter's universal storage containers may be carried in an arrangement whereby the outside surface of the lid of one crafter's universal storage container is in contact with the outside surface of the lid of a second crafter's universal storage container.

4. A universal crafter block storage container as in claim 1 wherein a retaining means is preferably formed of molded plastic material.

5. A crafter's universal storage container as in claim 1 wherein said container preferably includes an integral locking means.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a transparent or semi-transparent hand held storage container for professionals, crafter's and hobby enthusiasts who produce quilts, scrapbooks and participate in other craft activities. The subject invention can be used by quilters and quilt makers to store and hold pieces of fabric and assemblies of fabric materials of various designs, sizes, shapes and dimensions known to makers of quilts, quilters and the quilting industry as Blocks. The subject invention can also be used by hobby enthusiasts and professional makers of scrapbooks to store and hold collections of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture scrapbook Pages. The subject invention has many other potential uses to store craft projects in various stages of completion.

[0002] Manufacturing quilts of various designs, sizes and shapes utilizing the gamut of available fabrics is an industry and hobby for enthusiasts and professionals, and thus there is a need at present for a container capable of accommodating quilt Blocks for storage and transportation in a secure manner. At present there are no known manufacturers of rigid storage and transportation containers specifically designed to store and transport quilt Blocks.

[0003] Manufacturing pages to be included in a scrapbook holds the same requirements as described for manufacturing quilt Blocks. Preventing finished scrapbook page(s) from becoming wrinkled, creased, dog-eared or in some way damaged creates a need to protect the finished portions of a scrapbook project while the remainder of the project is work in progress. At present there are no known manufacturers of rigid storage and transportation containers specifically designed to store and transport Scrapbook Pages.

[0004] A typical quilt Block can be one piece of material or several pieces of material sewed together in an unlimited number of sizes and shapes that will subsequently be assembled and sewed together to become one side of a finished quilt. Examples of what has been utilized previously to store and transport quilt Blocks have been zip lock bags, plastic and paper sacks, small rectangular boxes similar to pizza boxes and other similar types of devices. These devices have certain shortcomings, as more particularly noted hereinafter.

[0005] Existing devices used for storing or transporting quilt Blocks such as a container similar to a zip lock bag, plastic and paper sacks are not of rigid construction and thus do not prevent the quilt Block(s) from becoming crushed, folded, creased, wrinkled, etc. Another type of container often utilized is a pizza box or box similar in shape and design to a pizza box offer some resistance to crushing, folding creasing, wrinkling, etc to the quilt Blocks, but do not secure the quilt Blocks, and thus, if the box is stood on an end or side, the unsecured quilt Blocks will fall to the lowest point. This shortcoming requires the container to be transported and stored with the bottom side down if the quilt Blocks are to remain as they were when placed into the container.

[0006] Examples of what is being used to store finished Scrapbook Pages is two pieces of cardboard cut to the same size or slightly larger as the scrapbook page(s). The finished pages are then sandwiched between the two pieces of cardboard. Another example would be the use of a clipboard that would hold the finished product in place. These devices have certain shortcomings, as more particularly noted hereinafter.

[0007] Existing devices used for storing or transporting Scrapbook Pages such as two pieces of cardboard are not of rigid construction and thus do not prevent the Scrapbook Pages from becoming crushed, folded, creased, wrinkled, etc. Another storage device often utilized is a clipboard. A clipboard will not prevent the Scrapbook Pages from becoming soiled, folded, creased, wrinkled, etc. or offer protection similar to the storage device by fully enclosing the Scrapbook Pages in rigidly constructed storage container.

[0008] Accordingly, it is the object of the subject invention to provide a convenient, portable, hand held storage container for crafter's and hobby enthusiasts that firmly secure pieces of fabric and assemblies of fabric materials of various designs, sizes, shapes and dimensions known to makers of quilts, quilters and the quilting industry as Blocks.

[0009] It is a further object of the subject invention to provide a convenient, portable, hand held storage container for crafter's, hobby enthusiasts and professionals that firmly secure collections of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture Scrapbook Pages.

[0010] It is a further object of the subject invention to provide a crafter's and hobby enthusiast a universal storage container that firmly grips the Blocks and Scrapbook Pages by a retaining means so as to positively secure the quilt Block(s) or Scrapbook Pages within the storage container to facilitate storage and transporting of the Block(s) or Scrapbook Pages.

[0011] It is a further object of the subject invention to provide a transparent or semi-transparent crafter's and hobby enthusiast universal storage container that firmly grips the Block(s) or Scrapbook Pages which by virtue of being transparent or semi-transparent enables the items stored inside to be readily identified.

[0012] It is a further object of the subject invention to provide a portable, hand held transparent or semi-transparent crafter's universal storage container which is easy to use, of rigid construction and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] In accordance with the above and further objects and advantages, the portable, hand held transparent or semi-transparent universal crafter's storage container—the block box of the subject invention is formed having spaced side, end, top and bottom walls forming a hollow enclosure for selectively containing different size and shaped quilt Blocks and Scrapbook Pages therein, with the means for positively engaging the storage container with the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages basically comprising a clamping device or devices attached to the inside bottom panel of the storage container. The portion of the clamping device or devices that will contact the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages for the purpose of securing said quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages within the container can be equipped with an edge with a variety of thicknesses or a flat section either and any of which will serve to securely clamp the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages into place.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The accompanying drawings further describe the invention:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of crafter's universal block storage container of the subject invention and including a stack of quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages shown in phantom lines preparatory to being mounted within the storage container:

[0016] FIG. 2 is a plan view of the storage container of the subject invention;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2, preparatory to the mounting of a stack of quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages into the storage container of the subject invention;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a side view of the storage container of the subject invention in the fully closed position

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] Referring to FIG. 1, the new crafter's universal storage container of the subject invention is generally designated by the number 10 and is designed to accommodate a varying number (stack) of quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages, designated by the number 12. The stack of quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 shown for reference only is of a square configuration, assembled to form a design. As noted above quilt Blocks 12 may also be cut from a single piece of fabric. The Blocks 12 may be of varying designs, sizes and shapes and when sewn together to form a Blocks 12, may contain one or more seams. Also noted above the Scrapbook Pages 12 may be a collection of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture Scrapbook Pages 12.

[0020] The crafter's universal storage container 10 is also of generally rectangular or square, box-shaped configuration and in its closed position forms a hollow enclosure for storage and transportation of quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12. Preferably the crafter's universal storage container 10 is formed from a molded plastic material, such as polypropylene but may be fabricated from other materials. The crafter's universal storage container 10 includes a rectangular-shaped flat wall panel 20 having upstanding parallel end walls 22 and 24, and a front wall, designated by the numeral 26. The upstanding walls 22, 24, and 26 are preferably formed integral with the wall panel 20 and are arranged in a generally U-shaped configuration to enclose three sides of the wall panel 20. Preferably, the walls 22, 24, and 26 are disposed slightly inwardly a short distance from the outer edges of wall 20 to form an outer, exposed U-shaped portion 28 extending about the periphery of wall 20. Formed on the inner surface of front wall 26 are preferably three pairs of tab receiving hollow members 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 that include top openings 32, 32, 32, 32, 32, 32 and which form a portion of the locking means for the crafter's universal storage container 10.

[0021] The wall 20 is hingedly connected by a double living-hinged panel assembly, indicated generally at 34 to a flat, rectangular-shaped lid 36. Lid 36 is similar in size and configuration to the wall panel 20, and has integrally formed therewith a U-shaped flange which projects upwardly from the inside surface of the lid 36. The U-shaped flange includes a pair of parallel end portions 38 and 40, and an outer connection front portion 42. The U-shaped flange 38-42 is spaced a short distance inwardly from the outer edges of the lid 36, similar to the inward spacing of the walls 22, 24, 26 on the bottom panel 20.

[0022] Formed on the front portion 42 of the U-shaped flange are preferably three pairs of spaced. tabs 44, 44, 44, 44, 44, 44 which are adapted to fixedly engage the tab-receiving members 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 when inserted through the openings 32, 32, 32, 32, 32, 32 in order to fixedly secure the lid 36 in the closed position. Preferably the tabs 44, 44, 44, 44, 44, 44 are molded integrally with the front portion 42.

[0023] The crafter's universal storage container 10 includes a generally rectangular shaped carrying handle 14 with an opening in the center providing sufficient space to insert a hand to precipitate transporting the storage container while held in one hand. Preferably the carrying handle 14 is molded integrally with the front wall 26. When viewed in FIG. 3, the carrying handle 14 preferably includes an offset so that when the crafter's universal storage container 10 is closed, the lid 36 is flush or nearly flush with the carrying handle 14. The carrying handle 14 is preferably offset from the horizontal centerline of front wall 26 so that when the crafter's universal storage container 10 is closed, the top of the carrying handle 14 is flush or nearly flush with the outside surface of the lid 36.

[0024] The double living-hinged panel assembly 34 comprises an elongated, rectangular-shaped panel 50 of a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the wall panel 20 and the lid 36, with panel 50 being connected to the inner edges of the wall 20 and lid 36 along respective hinge lines 52 and 54. Disposed at the opposite ends of the panel 50 are a pair of upstanding transversely extending flanges 56 and 58 which are respectively aligned with the flange portions 22, 38 and 24, 40 of the wall panel 20 and lid 36.

[0025] The crafter's universal storage container 10 of the subject invention preferably includes an internally mounted retaining means, designated by the numeral 70 for positively maintaining and securing the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 within the crafter's universal storage container 10. The retaining means 70 includes a securing device 71 to positively engage and secure the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 and maintain the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages within the crafter's universal storage container 10. More particularly, as illustrated in FIG. 1 through FIG. 4, the crafter's universal storage container 10 includes a retaining means 70 which is securely fastened to the crafter's universal storage container 10 preferably by rivets 72, 74 which penetrate the wall panel 20 in two places 76, 78. Preferably the two penetrations 76, 78 are formed integrally with the wall panel 20. Furthermore, the subject retaining means 70 is capable of accommodating the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 of various sizes and shapes.

[0026] After the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 are engaged and secured by the retaining means 70, the lid 36 and wall panel 20 may be rotated relative to each other for closing of the crafter's universal storage container 10 at which time the tabs 44, 44, 44, 44, 44, 44 engage tab receiving portions 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30.

[0027] To insert quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 into the subject crafter's universal storage container 10, the user would stack one or more quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 one on top of the other placing the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 beneath the securing device 71 of the retaining means 70. Pressure from the securing device 71 of the retaining means 70 would secure the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages within the crafter's universal storage container 10. To remove the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 from the crafter's universal storage container 10, the user would release the pressure of the securing device 71 of the securing means 70 and remove the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 from the crafter's universal storage container 10.

[0028] The benefits of the crafter's universal storage container 10 are its ability to provide a portable, hand held storage container for crafter's, hobby enthusiasts and professionals to firmly secure pieces of fabric and assemblies of fabric materials of various sizes, shapes and dimensions known as Blocks 12 or hold collections of paper, pictures, fabric, personal mementos and other items in various stages of assembly used to create and manufacture Scrapbook Pages 12 for transportation and or storage. The subject invention being fabricated from a transparent or semi-transparent material will also aid in identifying the contents stored within. The subject invention with its ability to firmly secure the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 and thus maintain a fixed location will aid in preventing the quilt Blocks or Scrapbook Pages 12 from becoming wrinkled, folded or otherwise assume a change in their intended shape or appearance.

[0029] Although the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is readily apparent that various modifications, alterations and changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example: in lieu of employing a single retaining means 70 attached to the wall panel 20 as illustrated in the drawings, two or more retaining means could be affixed to either the wall panel 20, the lid 36 or a vertical wall 26, or portions of the retaining means 70 could be made integral to the wall panel 20; or, fabricating all or a portion of the crafter's universal storage container 10 utilizing a material that is not transparent or semi-transparent and providing a labeling means whereby identification of the contents of the crafter's universal storage container is possible. Furthermore, modifications to the carrying handle 14, such as eliminating the offset location and thus the feature enabling two crafter's universal storage containers 10 to be carried lid 36 to lid 36 by placing the handle in a more centered position; or modifying or eliminating the. integrally located tabs 44, 44, 44, 44, 44, 44 and tab-receiving members 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 and replacing the means to fixedly secure the lid 36 in the closed position with an externally located device(s).