For New Quilters (and even "Oldsters")

Over the last few weeks, I've taken some time here and there to update my quilting resume (if that's what you call it).  It's a list of publications I have either written or been included in, exhibits I have participated in, shows I have served as a judge for, where I have taught, etc.  Do you know how difficult that is to do many, many years after the fact?  Oh, I've kept some notes through the years, but it is really pitiful what I don't have a record of.  But I know this:

It's never to late to start keeping track!

Find a method of taking notes and adding pictures that works for you.  You might want to keep track electronically by storing information on your computer (also, please save to a cloud or a flash drive as a backup).  Create a separate folder on your computer that includes a list of dates, events, shows, etc.  Tell what happened when, and if you entered a contest, tell what you won.  Be very specific!  If you don't want to do this electronically, get yourself a good notebook that you can add to through the years, and dedicate it to your quilt record keeping. 
Treat each of your quilts as if it were a newborn infant.  Keep a “baby book” on every single one.  Include photos of the quilt, date of birth, size, dimensions, fabric lines if you know them, fabric content, batting, backing, and any pertinent details you'll want to remember 40 years from now.  Whenever you show your quilt, write it down.  When you exhibit for a juried event, write it down.  You can write this journal-style, or you can keep a more formal list.  It's up to you, but just please, DO IT.  It should be noted that there are specific software programs that will help you do this, and I've heard some are better than others.  If you have a good word processing program, that will also do the trick (Microsoft Word, Publisher, etc.).
If you are a quilter who takes classes or attends lectures (which I am hoping you will all do), keep a list of those as well.  Take good notes, jot down the date and highlight the most important tricks you walked away with. If you take a lot of classes, it can be difficult to remember who taught you which technique.
Years down the road, you will be SO glad you took the time to keep track of all these little details.  Trust me, I know!  Your carefully kept records will help you see your progress as a quilter, and it is amazing as you look back on your earlier work and see how much your tastes have changed!

At the bottom of this page there is a link to my quilting resume so you can see the pathetic list that I have pulled together.  Please keep your own quilting resume, and update it frequently. Perhaps a good rule of thumb to help you remember is each time you make a new quilt label for a finished project, you make sure your records for that quilt are wrapped up. You will be thankful that you did, and so will your children, and their children, and on and on.
What are you waiting for?
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5 thoughts on “For New Quilters (and even "Oldsters")

  1. This is a very good idea and I have to confess that I've been a real slacker in this area. I'm also one of those that doesn't always put a label on my quilts ! Yikes.

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  2. I'm not so good at keeping records – I do label my quilts though with some information on it, like what method used (hand quilting, hand pieced ect) washing instructions, the date and my name.
    I have never taken a quilting class in my life! I must be the odd one out on that. Purely self taught.
    Karen

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  3. I need to do this! I've been relying on pictures I take of everything, just labeling them with the date. Not good! Thanks Caron!

    BTW – LOVED your before and after pics – you are so amazing and you look gorgeous!

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  4. Actually, my paper diary is my record and, even though my son turned it into a blog, I still keep a printed picture and the details in that book. I have seen some scrapbooks designed to do what I have been doing that are much more beautiful (but also a lot bigger).

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