Monday, September 3, 2012

Keeping Records for Your Quilts

I wish I had started keeping records of my quilts early on, because more than once I've looked at one of my older quilts and wondered, "how did I do that?"  Or  "what batting is in this thing? Since I can't seem to remember anything longer than 15 minutes, I've found keeping a record of each quilt is useful for many reasons:
  • To be able to replicate a technique.
  • To remember what stitch length or thread I used in various places.
  • To remember what batting I used.
  • To track where the quilt has been shown, or who I gave it or sold it to.
  • To help me keep track of the brands of materials used, such as paints, fusibles, spray basting, threads, etc., with notes about what I liked/hated about the product.  Nothing irks me more than to use the same product I hated AGAIN, simply because I've forgotten which one was the offender.
  • To have information like quilt dimensions, and date finished at my fingertips when I'm filling out applications for quilt shows.
As I'm working on a quilt, I throw all sorts of things into a file folder.  This might include photos, the labels off materials I'm using or notes about what I might do differently next time, how various products work or react to heat or heavy stitching.  I include a samples of stitching with an explanation the stitch number, length and width.  Basically anything to do with the quilt that I might want to do again, or want to be sure NEVER to do again.

When I finish a quilt, I take a photo of it, glue the photo on the outside of the file folder, and label the folder with the quilt's name.   I also add a record sheet to the folder.  The record sheet has a place for the quilt's name, dimensions, date finished.  This information is really useful when filling out applications for quilt/art shows.  The record sheet has a table to record info about quilt shows with columns for date accepted/rejected, venue, shipping date, show dates, return date (the date the quilt is supposed to be returned to me) and a miscellaneous column where I record any prizes or accolades the quilt earned, or sales information.

When a quilt is accepted into a show, I keep a print out of the notification, all the information and receipts for shipping it in the folder.   I keep these records, even long after the quilt has been sold, though I don't really know why.  Do you keep records of your quilts?  If so, what do you keep?

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