Organizing Quilting Projects

As a quilter, I have way too many projects in the works at one time.

I get behind on deadlines. 

I get forgetful.

I over-commit my time, energy, and resources.

I’ve been trying to get all of my projects organized so that I can set it aside and take breaks, as needed.  I want to be able to pick up my project again remembering where I was at.

Am I the only one with that problem?

Probably not.

I have a slight obsession with Microsoft Publisher these days, and I use it to create all sorts of planner pages to organize myself, my home, and my ever growing to-do list.

I wondered why I’d never tried to use Publisher to create planner pages for organizing my quilting projects.

I solved my problem, okay, not the over-committing problem, but my project management problem by creating a notebook with a few key pages.


Master Project List

When I’ve got a project in mind, a special event coming up, I’ve joined a swap, or I’ve been asked to make a quilt, I add the project to my Master Project List right away.

Calendar

This is a must for me to keep my deadlines in sight!

Project-Specific Pages

I use these pages so that I can write down the fabric line, batting, thread types/needles, and other pertinent information for working on specific projects.

Pattern-Inspiration

I use this section to keep block ideas and jot down notes about patterns I’ve seen.  I might print out a picture I really love to jog my memory when I’m feelings stumped on a project.  Sure I could just go online, but then I can also get lost for hours browsing for ideas.  For me, this is both tactile, and a little self-limiting.

I like to keep this section filled with a few pieces of graph paper.  Alternately, I use an engineering notebook to keep track of larger projects and ideas.

Quilt Math

I do not have a math brain.  If I’ve done the math once and it might be handy for other projects, I go ahead and add it here.  Okay, so that should really read, “if my son has done the math once…

Anyhow, I jot down useful information like, “how many 5″ squares can I get out of a fat quarter?”

Shop Information

I keep the hours and contact information for my favorite shops (in my community and online), so that I can quickly make a call to get what I need.

References

If I stumble across a website, article, book, or blog that I’d like to come back to, I add it to my notebook.  I also keep track of information about batting, stabilizers, and other notions that I use.  It’s easier for me to have something to look back at.


For me, my notebook has become a lifesaver in helping me maintain my sanity while my project list grows and grows.  Over the next two weeks, I’ll share some free PDF files that have helped me organize my quilting projects.

I’d love to hear how you organize your quilt projects!

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    • I have a little basket that I haul around that has my fountain pens, planner, home binder, scrap paper, and I just keep everything together. That said, it gets heavy 🙂 When I post the PDFs of my project planner and master project list, I will try to remember to take a picture of how I store it. I am tempted to upgrade my little handled basket for a Steele canvas basket. Ah, a someday dream.