Friday, July 24, 2020

My Quilt Journal

One day last week DH asked me how many quilts I've made. I told him I don't know, I'd have to look in my book. He said, "You have a book of quilts you've made?" Yes, I keep a photo and the relevant notes, pattern, documentation, etc. for each quilt. I file them in a page-protector sleeve and keep them in three-ring binders. I'm currently starting the third book. 

I showed him Volume 2. He was blown away. 

In the photo below, Volume 2 is open to a page on the right showing the baby quilt I made for my hairstylist in colors to match her nursery decor. On the left is documentation related to my Dancing Plus quilt including the EQ layout and the demo block I made to show the girls in the bee how to achieve the dancing effect. 

Partially visible in the top photo is the Snake QOV that Cherie, Kevin, Dar and I made. The templates are in the sleeve; the one for the white portion is sticking up. Some of the sleeves have fabric swatches in them, if there was an inspiration fabric or something special about the fabric. I rarely use a commercial pattern, but when I did, the patterns or printed tutorials are in the relevant sleeves. For patterns I've written, all of my notes, cutting counts, yardage estimates, etc. are included. Some sleeves are fatter than others. 

For quilts that have been gifted I've often received thank you notes, and those are in the sleeve with the quilt photo as well. I've had a couple of show quilts appraised, and the appraisals also are in the sleeves. Donation quilts (and tops) have a note in the file where the quilt was donated and when, and sometimes an acknowledgment from the organization.  

It's just a handy place to keep all the stuff related to each quilt. Overkill? Maybe. I just keep them for my own personal records. I've given as gifts and donated a lot of quilts I've forgotten about so it's nice to see them again. 

DH wants to know if there's anywhere these books should be donated to after I'm gone. He thinks they're worth preserving. 

Oh, and DH's original question that prompted this post? According to my list, I'm up to about 170 lifetime quilts (and tops) now. I've been quilting since about 1995, although several of the very earliest quilts are not documented. 


  1. Oh, how I wish I would have documented all of my quilts. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine at age 17 when I made my first quilt that quilting would become a hobby and then a career for me. I think that someone will love owning the books in the far future.

  2. This is such a great idea. I love how detailed your records are. I agree with your husband, they should be donated, but unfortunately, I have not idea where.

  3. I have intended to document my quilts, but I'm usually on to the next one before I can record the earlier one. My mother used to say one should sign their work so that when they get famous, her earlier works can be differentiated from her later works. Sounds like you have taken that to another level!

  4. As far as donation, the first place I'd check is the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln NE (, especially since so much of your work is original design. Combined with any of the actual quilts and the provenance in your binders . . . and if they aren't interested, perhaps they can suggest other museums.

  5. This is just wonderful, and makes me wish I had done the same. I started my blog because I had never kept good documentation, and I figured I could at least have a record of what I had made for myself, and maybe someday, my family. At least I’ve been pretty good about taking photos, but I’ve had to rely on memory and random scraps of paper for many details. Even now, when I write a post about a new quilt, I have to scrounge around for bits of paper where I’ve jotted dimensions. Your way of keeping track makes so much more sense! Perhaps next year, I should at least invest in some kind of quilt planner. I figure this year is a lost cause in so many ways. Sigh.

  6. I document my quilts too but not so thoroughly. What an archive!!! I have one 3 ring binder with photographs and two ongoing lists on the computer. One list is a life time list of quilts with who currently owns them (sometimes that changes) and the other list is what quilts were made by year, what quilt tops are in the queue, and what all the unfinished quilting projects I have categorized by pieced, applique, and those needing borders. At the end of the 2nd list is all the fabric I have designated for a particular project. It's fun to keep track, isn't it?

  7. This is fascinating. I started something like this, but haven’t kept up with it. Thanks for the inspiration.