Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Here A Journal, There A Journal, Everywhere A Journal

I was straightening up my bedroom today and realized I have four different journals, all sitting within 5 feet of each other. Then I realized I have at least four other journals around the house. Of those eight journals two of them are devoted to my quilting. I also have two small notebooks that I use for writing my shopping lists when I go quilt shopping. Also, if that isn't enough place to write about quilting I have a Filemaker database and an Excel workbook I use for creating and tracking quilt projects.

I only use one journal all the time now. I bought this journal at Barnes & Noble a few years ago only because I love tulips. I didn't start using it until I started quilting and needed paper to jot some notes down. Now I use for nearly every project I work on. It's 8.5 x 11 and the paper is lined. All of my journals are lined. I refuse to buy unlined paper.

Here's a picture of one of my work pages. At the top of the page I put the name of the project, the date I started working on it, where I got the pattern or inspiration, what fabrics I used and my thoughts about the project - what worked, what didn't work, what I would a different way the next time. On later entries I started recording if the project was hand or machine pieced, hand or machine quilted and the date completed. I enjoy doing this work with pencil and paper, even doing the quilt math by hand.

I use my Excel workbook when I want to "draw" my quilt ideas. I'm not comfortable with colored pencils and graph paper, but put a laptop on my lap and I can design a quilt complete with fabric requirements in no time. I also started a spreadsheet earlier this month where I'm tracking my quilt expenditures and the amount of time I spend quilting. Call me a techie, that's OK.

I have a Debbie Field's Quilt Journal I've never used and never will. Would anyone like to trade some fabric or some quilting gadget for it? If you're interested, let me know.

I need to get off the computer and finish the binding on my Tulips quilt. I started it a week ago and haven't finished it yet. It won't take long to do, it's only 22" on each side, I just need to pick up the needle.


kjquilts said...

I keep a quilting journal too. I really like looking back through it and remembering when I was working on each quilt. I started writing down everything I buy for quilting too. Last year I bought over 250 yds. of fabric! Most of it was backings and fat quarter stacks. I enjoy your blog.

Libby said...

I have just kept it all in my head - dangerous, especiallly with my mind *s* I always buy lined paper -- keeps the world a neat and orderly place.

paula, the quilter said...

I use whatever blank journal I have at the moment. Currently it's a 5x6? sketchbook. I love the mead b/w comp books tho.

tami said...

I have never kept a quilting journal. I try to keep everything in my head. I have found that when I try to go back to some things I can't remember what I was doing. I'm thinking a journal is a great idea.

Gail said...

I have several things going too, and none consistently. I hope to make a scrap book of all finshed projects so someday I can look back at all I have done. For those that are ongoing, I have an Excel sheet of quilts and how far along they are, cut, blocks, rows, flimsy, quilted, etc. and there is always a little spiral by my workspace of working out some math or making a list.