Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Take notes...

I mentioned in yesterdays post the importance of writing things down and taking notes on what you do. This was one of the most important pieces of advice I have ever received in quilting.  It is something I go back to again and again.
I try to write everything down.

I keep a quilting journal near my sewing machine and when I accomplish something I really like, I TRY to write it down.  Sometimes, I am so into what I am sewing I think I will do it later and then I don't.  (I regret this most every time) Other times, I stop in the moment and jot down my note to myself.  It can be a real time saver - especially when products are involved or machine settings.  AND I write the name of the quilt I am working on down above the note so later I can skim the journal pages looking for notes on that quilt (another big time saver later)

If there is a specific product you are using and you run out, having the name of it somewhere so you can remember exactly what it was is helpful later - after you have thrown the packaging away. I don't know how many times I have run into this. Now, I have my notes I can turn to.  I've even been known to staple or tape the packaging inside my journal.

I also write down ALL my ideas for quilts.  I'm not a very good sketch artist, so I simply write them down in words.  I figure if I can remember at least that, then I'm going to remember the overall idea.
If I come across a product or thread in my internet perusing, or my magazine reading I want to use, I write it down or tear the page from the magazine and put it in my journal.  This way, later, when I'm looking for ideas or techniques I can flip through my journal and be filled up with new things to try out.

Also, being into mythologies and archetypes if I come across a story I really like, I write down specific names so I can come back to those later and do more research and decide whether it is a topic and story I want to explore in fabric.

I love a good quote and quotes often help me name my quilts when finished.  No matter what I am reading if I come across a quote I really like, I write it down.  Sometimes, the simplest quote can be the greatest inspiration.

My advice?
Write it ALL down.

If you are thinking of starting a project, write down what you are thinking you want to do.  What colors do you want to use? What pattern are you going to use?  Where is the link or which book or magazine is it in?  Make a copy of the pattern and staple it in until you are ready for it.  You can even make notes on how you think you may want to quilt it and with what type of thread you want to use.  Think of how much more effective your shopping will be when you get there.  Hopefully, you will get home with everything you need.


I promise you won't regret it and the biggest bonus?  When you are feeling not so inspired, you have a place to go of your own ideas to reinspire you or at least get you thinking...

What do you to keep your creative thoughts organized?


  1. My biggest struggle is keeping ideas, etc. in a way which is later accessible, and not something I have to just spend hours looking through for what I need. Even my bookmarks on my computer are a jumbled mess.

    My nook has helped me a little with my reading stuff with regards to notes and quotes. It's been really nice to have all of that in one place.

    I wish I could sync that and then be all cyber-awesome--putting pictures and journal stuff in one place on my computer. And then have that whole thing be searchable. I should get Pat to write that program for me :D

  2. Today on the Quilting Blogger website, I saw a new, well new to me, idea called Evernote. I'm thinking of using the free service for a while to see how I like it. It's supposed to be very accessible and user-friendly.


  3. I do this too. There are so many ideas that I see in books and on blogs...things I want to try and my poor ole memory just can't keep track of all of them. Also there are time when I just make one block and having something written about it helps me.