Friday, September 12, 2008

Do you document your finished quilts?

A stashbuster asked today how you document your quilts - looking for different methods to present to her guild. It got me thinking - of course, blogging is a good way to journal your finished projects. Almost everyone posts pictures when they finish something. But there are other ways too. Old-fashioned ways! Of course, there is the always popular "I'll do something about that when I get around to it!"

Back in the late '90s I thought I was losing my mind (okay, partially right!) and I wanted to document the quilts I'd made and could still remember. I started quilting in 1974 and never looked back! There was a pile of quilts! The little journals they were just starting to sell didn't thrill me. So I developed my own system.

First I took photos of all of the quilts I could get my hands on. With film - not digital! We always got double prints so I thought it would be a good idea to make a quilt journal for each of my two kids. I also dug out past pictures and had reprints made if I didn't have two prints. I got 3 ring binders.

I bought a ream of heavy stock paper and set up a word document. I put one quilt per page and after I got all the information typed in I printed it twice - once with the 1 inch margin and once with a 4 1/2 inch margin. Then I added the photos either below or above the write up. When I put the books together I staggered the pages so every other page had the photo on top. It made the book "thinner" too.

I wanted the book to remind me of the quilt and things happening while I made it. What discussions I had about it ... the fun stuff. Here's what I wrote:

Name of quilt - year finished
Size W x L
A paragraph telling about it. Silly things that happened. my thoughts, who helped me, what was happening ...

EXAMPLE - I made a small square spring wall quilt for my MIL and she nailed it to the outside door of her apartment! That door faced west - the little quilt fell apart from sun damage in very little time. She gave it back and asked me to 'fix it'! I was complaining to my mom about it and she went off on a tangent complaining about renters who nail things to the door!!!! "Mom, we're upset about the quilt NOT the door!" LOL!

Those were the type of memories that I was afraid of losing!

I enjoyed making the books, my kids and friends even enjoyed reading them! Now I'm behind in keeping them up - by about 8 years!!! However, I do keep a list of finished projects each year - so I could catch up during my retirement - if I actually get around to doing it!!!

I have a Excel spreadsheet of all my projects and project ideas. Every year I update the list - adding new ones and deleting old ones I've lost interest in. There are UFOs - Unfinished Objects; PIGS - Projects in Grocery Sacks; WHIMMS - what exists only in my mind-ish! The list is legend! How do you keep quilt records??


Sweet P said...

I keep my quilt journal in Excel too. All of the photos are in my IPhoto. Maybe someday I'll get around to printing out photos so I have a hard copy journal.

Scraphappy (Sharon M.) said...

Doni - Hi! Greetings from Nebraska! I started documenting every quilted project I had finished, after I got to #10 or so (now on #186!) All this before computers, and I've kept up the same method. I take a picture of each item - first it was film pics, now digital (and I print them off) and I use the photo sheets that hold 4 x 6 pics. I file them in a 3-ring binder. (I'm on binder #3). There are two pockets on each side of each sheet, and the pic goes in one, and a 4 x 5 index card in the other one, on which I've written the story behind the item - when I started it, where the pattern came from, when it was finished, any interesting little anecdotes about the making of it. It's such fun to go through these and when I recently looked through binder #1 I realized I'd given the same name to two quilts - oh, well!

swooze said...

What a fun idea. I am not consistent enough to do this. I do at least blog and photograph them.