Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quilts In My Past - and Quilts In Your Past

Vicki posted a thank you for the UFO spreadsheet.  She also asked a lot of really great questions:

Have you taken photos of all those quilts/wallhangings? Did you record sizes, who quilted and how, who received the quilt, samples of fabrics used,notes on anything special going on at the time working on quilt etc?

I told her I had pictures of almost all of them, I know who quilted all of them,  I know who received most of the quilts, though I don't know which particular charities got which quilts.  I know which ones I sold, but not what I sold them for.  And I certainly didn't keep fabric samples or notes of anything going on while working on each quilt.

This got me thinking - why have I never kept a quilting journal?  I know many quilters do.  It would be such a great record of one's quilting progress year by year.  Looking back, I really wish I had.  I think that is the main reason I started blogging - so I would have a journal of quilting activities year by year.  And I think that's why I stopped for two years - I wasn't quilting.

How many of you have kept the kind of information and fabric samples Vicki talks about?  If you have, I'd love to hear about them and see pictures of journals.  

I'd also love to know what a true scrap quilter does - if anything - to keep samples of fabrics used.  This always mystifies me.  If I kept all the fabric samples, the journal entry would be almost as big as the quilt!

So I've decided to write a post each day about one or more of my quilts - including pictures.  It is mainly to expand my own record keeping, and I will enjoy the sharing also.

These two quilts, which I call "Around the Twist 1" and "Around the Twist 2", are from my Daisy Kingdom teaching days ( 1992-1994).  The one on top was the sample that hung in the store to advertise the class.  The second was the one I pieced while demonstrating as I taught the class.   If I remember correctly, I used a pattern handout from the Daisy Kingdom files.  This was the first class I ever taught for them.

Pieced in 1992, finished in December, 2005 - the first quilt I did freehand with my new longarm

Pieced in 1992, finished in January, 2006 - the second quilt I did freehand with my new longarm.

At the time I made these, I was still using a VERY limited number of fabrics in a quilt, because I was afraid to try more.  I picked a "theme" fabric, then chose a "go along with" fabric and a background fabric.  Picking fabrics to go together was still a big challenge.  I can't imagine piecing a quilt like this now - my tastes have changed and my courage to put fabrics together is hundreds of times stronger.

Both of these were given to charity, though I'm not sure which one.  I think they may have been sent to Hurricane Katrina victims.  Or I might have given them to the Northwest Medical Teams quilt auction committee.  I just can't remember - I wish I'd written it down.


Vicki said...

Love the second quilt-looks modern-like a simple statement. I also enjoy scrappy of course -split personality-what can I say?

knitnoid said...

I've managed to get pictures of most of my quilts. My quilt spreadsheet has a lot of information in it. There are also several spiral notebooks floating around with notes where I was working on designs, but it's my blog where the information is on my quilts. I'm trying to go back and add quilts that I did before I blogged, and have a few to go. The best journaling I've seen is done by Teresa who blogs at She did a post about her quilt journal on 2/18/2011. I typed in 'journal' in her search box and found the entry.

Dorothy said...

I started keeping a journal and it's needing a lot of work to make it into what it should be. I take a photo of a finished quilt, cut scraps of the main farics and 'place' them in the next page with only the year marked on the back of the photo. My journal is bulging and I really need to stick the photos and scraps down and write a bit about each one. Someday!

Dorothy said...

Oh! I meant to add your quilts are lovely but I really like the colours of the second one.

Kathie said...

sometimes I wish I would have kept a journal of all the quilts I have made, most I have donated to a charity (multiply charities) few I have given away.
I don't keep track of my fabric but I have a pretty good memory of fabrics I have when I am looking for a certain color or print (say I need a large scale print or a tiny print fabrics will come to mind and I go looking for them!)

Kathie said...

I love these two quilts btw, made me smile I remember the days of being afraid of using more then 3 to 5 fabrics, LOL! now I am not happy unless I use 30 to 50 or hundreds! the more the better!!!!

Vicki said...

Funny - reading these comments -I'm where you ladies were and hope to move from that position by the end of this year. Am somewhat limited by not enough scraps and not enough nerve but I do want to experience the freedom of scrappy. Am also daunted by the number of pieces in many of these quilts -cheesh, talk about sewing forever!

Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers said...

I don't keep a physical journal, per se, but I *do* have a website that I have which documents about 99% of the quilts I've ever made.

I think of it as my virtual scrapbook and is the place where I write down the stories behind the quilts, not so much of just the bare facts.

Now, I must confess that I didn't start the website when I made my first quilt ... some of the early quilts were documented decades later, so their stories are somewhat sparse.

But now, I don't consider a quilt "finished" until I get the webpage made. :-)

You can see my quilts at

sewkalico said...

I am way too disorganized to keep a journal, I do blog a finish and the process when I can. You constantly astound me with your wonderful quilts and your blogging frequency!