Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Keeping a Quilting Log


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.

XX,
Jasmine

P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for lots of quilty inspiration.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, Jasmine, that is fantastic. I keep a folder on my computer with photos of every quilt and occasionally it also has a file with pertinent information (hours spent piecing the top, hours spent binding, etc.), but a journal like you are proposing would be fantastic and very helpful. I really like this idea; it speaks to my detailed and organized nature. :)

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  2. Too organized...tch tch tch :-D
    I am limited to my blog and Pinterest. of course, I can always peep into your blog/journal ;-)

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  3. Fantastic idea!!! I use to be this organized and enjoyed it (not with my quilts but other things in life...I was a total scrapbooking when I was a young mom) Now....I just enjoy sewing.

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  4. Great idea, Jasmine. Even though I have quilted so much, I may start a journal of my quilting. It's never too late! Thank you for sharing. I'm gonna go see how many stitches I have on my handiquilter! :)

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  5. I tend to just use the blog to keep track of what I've made and how that has changed but I can see not all quilty decisions are captured this way. I love that you keep count of the stitches!

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  6. Great idea. I used to do this. I actually have a journal much like yours that I wrote in. Then I kind of got out of the habit, just took a photo and put it in the album with maybe a fast couple of notes about the quilt, mainly who it was for. When I started blogging, I figured this is my journal. I've told you, though, how I want a hard copy of my blog; I'd DIE if I lost it...need to make that a must-do. I really like the information you have noted; going to go in bloglovin' and save this post. :-) I've started keeping count of my stitches now thanks to you!

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  7. Thanks for sharing such a great idea. I just received a journal from a friend and now I know exactly what I'm going to use it for.

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