Monday, June 23, 2014

Keeping track

How do you? Keep track that is.

When making a quilt or a tote or piece of clothing. Do you finish then jot stuff down? Or do you obsessively keep track while creating?
courtesy of google images

Do you sketch or use quilting software that helps you keep track?

 Do you put all the details in your quilt label? Do you label at all??

Are you always successful or do you shoot for getting most stuff recorded, but not sweating the details- just in case you don't?

I can honestly say I'm inconsistent. Some quilts, I start off keeping details of everything, thread, fabric, batting etc, etc,  but invariably get sidetracked designing, modifying etc. On others, I just back track. Most time, unless I have recently purchased the fabric, which fabric I used is lost; I just don't have a head for remembering fabric designers, so I've quit trying, except when I can say for sure.

I did recently create a  design form which has spaces to add details that I really should be recording when I'm creating. I should keep these on my cutting table. I should!  I made them a few months ago. I haven't used them yet. I resolve to do better, but always with the knowledge that does anyone (besides myself and perhaps the recipient) really care?

That being said, I'd love to know what you do- please share your secrets- good bad or otherwise. I'll pick one suggestion from the bunch and send you a little something for your idea. For everyone else,  I will  happily share my design form if you would like a copy. I'll just need a way to get it to you (so no reply bloggers will be out of luck). Perhaps you will be better at documenting your creations than I am!!

I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you. Perhaps what you do will motivate me to document-as-I-go. 


  1. I thought there was an app that helped collect all of that, but now I can't find it :)
    I only keep track if I know it will matter -- if I am writing a tutorial or pattern, if I'm going to blog the quilt, if it's for a commission...if I think others will really care! I don't!! I don't have the brain cells to remember for my own sake!! :-)

    1. If there is an app, I want it! If you find it let me know!

  2. I write little notes and draw sketches as I go - nothing fancy or complicated. Often I'll take those notes and go enter them into a blogpost draft, so the info is there when I get around to writing about it. I do have a bad habit of 1) writing down calculations but not labeling what project it's for - so I end up tossing details that probably would have been helpful, or 2) writing down stuff and putting it in a safe place that I can't remember. So those are why it's helpful to write that into a blog post draft for safe keeping...This will be an interesting discussion I'm sure...and I want that app too.

    I DO keep a 'note' on my phone (that IS an app) - where I list all my deadlines and/or projects I don't want to forget I need to do. That has really helped me - to check that every few days.

  3. I think I'm Debbies long lost twin! I too constantly write down calculations and don't write the name of the project and 2)put many notes in a "safe place" and then forget where that is! I know the laptop is always handy but I'm just not that organized. I also keep a notebook right on the sewing table and sometimes write the info there but I live in a small place, sew in one room, cut in another, keep fabric here and in paid storage (I must love that fabric, huh?) so more often than not, my notes end up on Post It's. Large Post It's, so they are not so easily lost? Right?? LOL! Cheers!

  4. Hi Stephanie! I'm afraid I'm a little disorganized as well. Swaps, bday gifts and bee blocks are kept in a little notebook where I jot down all the info. Pattern, fabric, likes and dislikes, when it's due and when it shipped. But as quilts are concerned... Completely different. Papers, little papers, post it notes all scattered around and very difficult to find. If you get hold of that app, I want it too! This is a very interesting topic!

  5. I use my blog to keep track, most of the time. I sketch out ideas and have an archive of those, both digitally and I keep a grid paper notebook in my nightstand when I need to jot down an idea before I forget. That seems to happen when all is quiet, either before bed or right when I wake up. I use Adobe Illustrator and have a grid I like to use where I can sketch to scale and calculate measurements. I keep inspiration images through Pinterest or download some to a folder. Recently I have made more of a point to label, even if it isn't a formal attached label. Often I just write onto the quilt back. I'm kind of all over the place and organized at the same time, if there is such a thing!

  6. I find my camera is my best friend when it comes to keeping track of my process and then blogging along the way. Besides that I track very little. I have multiple projects on the go but since most are improv I don't have too many calculations. Oh, I do have several note books kicking around that look like a dog's breakfast, in other words half the time I can't read my own writing. If that sounds fairly haphazard, trust me it is.

  7. I don't keep track of anything, except that when I blog about the quilts. I think it is time for me to use one of my notebooks for this type of thing, at least all the scribbles would be in one place and not tossed out. Did you make that quilt on the label and did I miss seeing it?

  8. I don't keep track with the right intention. I start doing calculations as needed, to put the quilt together ultimately. I don't keep track of specific fabrics because I have a fat quarter addiction, and usually can't remember which piece is from what line, etc. So, I find calculations in my notebook, and don't know what they are for, unless I spend a little time deciphering. I am definitely inspired by this conversation to do better!

  9. I'm either all or nothing. For projects/quilts that are full of steps and complicated to put together, I'll geek out and use a project spreadsheet to keep track of it. I list supplies - what I have on hand vs what I'll need to buy, manufactures/fabric designers, where purchased and price (just for giggles. or for shock. take your pick!) I'll also list out the major steps on the project sheet and try to see how long it will actually take me step by step; doing that ensures that I actually read through the instructions at least once before starting! I did blog post on my nerdy spreadsheet awhile back.

    I don't label; I know I should! I have been writing on the back of the quilt with a super fine sharpie or a micron pen.

  10. I have lots of good intentions but am not very good about sticking with them. I do have files for most all projects . . . both paper files and computer file folders. Would love to track the costs and time of each but usually don't. What I don't do enough of is photo document the process as I go so I can blog about it or write a tutorial.

  11. I never record anything, unfortunately. I try, but I'm so in the moment, I forget. The piece I'm working on currently I have blogged about, and so I've taken pictures. But otherwise, I'm really bad. You are inspiring me to take more care, though - at least to put labels on my pieces...


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