Once a month I attend a long arm quilting club at my local quilt shop. A few months ago they asked if I would give a presentation at one of the meetings. At first my answer was "no." I didn't know what I could share with the ladies. Most of my quilting is done sitting down. I can count on two hands the number of quilts I have actually quilted on a long arm machine.
After that initial surprise, I got thinking about it and realized that maybe I did have something I could share. I am a very organized person and thought that I could share how I keep records of my quilts. So I went to the manager and told her my idea. She loved it! She was particularly interested in my quilting log. I have found my quilting log to be very helpful, and thought that it would be good to share on my blog as well.
My quilting log is kept in a journal one of my friends gave me. The kind that you put in a cupboard until you know what to do with it. I started using it when I purchased my Tiara and was so grateful for a cute journal I already had. I use it to keep track of all projects I quilt with my Tiara. I think I need to start another one for projects quilted on my domestic machine. I have already started one for my mother for projects quilted on her Fusion.
I keep my quilting log on the shelf underneath my Baby Lock Tiara. It is right there so I remember to write in it every time. In it I include this information:
- The project number (I have quilted 51 projects on my Tiara)
- The dates I quilted that project
- The name of the project
- The batting I used
- The size of the project
- The types of fabrics used (cotton, minky, flannel...)
- The thread used (type and color)
- The needle used
- The total number of stitches (I love the stitch counter on my Tiara)
- How many bobbins used
- How long it took to quilt the project
- Any special settings on my machine: stitches per inch, cruise speed, maximum speed... On a domestic machine your settings might include: stitch length, feed dogs up or down, tension setting, needle position...
- What designs I used (name, diagram, description...)
- Any notes or other things I want to remember
Here are a couple pictures showing pages from my quilting log.
I find this helpful for a number of reasons:
- I can review previous quilts of the same size and similar design to guess how many bobbins to fill. (I hate stopping in the middle of a project to wind more bobbins.)
- I can remember what needle worked best for which thread type.
- I can remember what kind of batting or thread I used in a quilt.
- I can remember any special settings for different types of thread or fabric.
- I can keep track of any challenges I need to overcome in the notes section. (I had a hard time with Omni thread in the bobbin at first and tried different things to solve that issue. Turns out a different bobbin case worked much better.)
- I can review designs I have already tried and what worked well.
- I love numbers, and find keeping track of the total number of stitches fascinating. I have 3.3 million stitches on my Tiara.
Do any of you keep a quilting log or do you have any suggestions for what to include?
I will be sharing more ideas I have for keeping records of your quilts in the future. In case you missed it, I have already blogged about my quilt photo albums/scrapbooks here.
P.S. I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar. Check them out for lots of quilty inspiration.