Sunday, October 10, 2010

During the Process Journaling/Notetaking

Way long time ago, I started capturing information and pictures of the quilts I made.  Before computers, this would have been done in a scrapbook of sorts.  I greatly admire physical scrapbooks and, indeed, have a LOT of resources and supplies to make scrapbook pages.  Have I done so?  Of course not.  :-)

What I *have* done is make website pages, Dread Pirate Rodgers, (i.e. virtual scrapbook pages) for almost every quilt and quilted thing that I've made.  Some of those pages have very skimpy information, as they were made (sometimes decades) after that fact.  I don't care WHO you are ... remembering specific details 25 years later is tough! :-)  (I also have pages for my sewn items .. not so many as I need dig the clothing out of the cedar chests.  My needlework projects is still on the List of Things To Do .... I have a lot of them, scattered all over.  It's going to be "interesting" rediscovering them.)

Those pages detail a LOT of the "why" did what I did and the process I went through, problems encountered & solutions arrived at, in the creation of the item.  Aside: I have to chuckle ... there is currently a movement in quilting Blogland to take the "Process Pledge", which is to talk about, well, the process you went through.  Heck, I was doing that even before there WAS a Process Pledge. :-)

I've always been more interested in where the inspiration came from, my thinking process during the creation of the item, what problems and solutions I went through and who the item was for and why it was important.  Much less important to me is is the "numbers": 57,000 square inch blocks, 1 million spools of thread, 98 thousand years  (yeah, a slight exaggeration, but you get my point).  Unless the quilt is ridiculously simple, EVERY quilt is involved.  We, as quilters, *get* that; what we don't know is the back story.  I think that is the important information to share, not the "numbers".

And that's why my webpages for my quilts are the way they are.

But, during the quilting process, I discovered that I needed to keep track of certain pieces of information. 

At a quilting retreat, one of our goodie bag items was a small notebook with attached pen.   I rarely carry a purse and initially thought "what a useless item for me", but I soon ate my words. :-) 

Thank you, my hostesses, for this WONDERFUL notebook!  :-)   Hugs and kisses to you!  :-)

I found that this small notebook, kept by my sewing machine was the IDEAL place to record the width & length of the quilt, so that I could then determine how much yardage I needed for binding.  I also added other information specific to that quilt that I might need later on for the "real" journal page on my website.

The drawback to this notebook is that the pages are tear-out.  And they do.  This notebook was never intended to be a permanent document, more of the sort of thing you toss into your purse, backpack, glove compartment whenever you need a small piece of paper to jot something down.  Over time, I discovered that as I was paging through it, the pages *were* coming out.  Just like they were supposed to.

Except that, many times, I wasn't READY for those pages to come out and be discarded!  I still needed the information.  Additionally, in the beginning, I wasn't as organized as I learned I wanted to be; I would put down the quilt information in any space that was available.  It was all very haphazard.  While I'm not always (OK ... usually never!) organized about many things, some things just drive me CRAZY when they are disorganized ... and quilting information is one of those things!

Eventually, I discovered that for each quilt I was working on, I really needed just a few numbers and memory joggers for posting the quilt. 

I printed out address labels for this small notebook so that all I needed to do was to write down the numbers.  Now each quilt that I would be working on would have it's own page.  No more Quilt A intruding on the real estate of Quilt B!  Everything was neat and tidy; my eyes were pleased.

(and then after I had printed out the labels, I realized I hadn't included check-off items for the posting!  aargghh!)

But this still didn't address the problem of the pages themselves becoming detached over time.  That is simply the nature of this kind of notebook.  So, I got to thinking what was it that I needed?

I liked the size; it was small.  Being small meant that it wouldn't take up a lot of space next to my sewing machine.  I wanted loose-leaf pages that I could replace.  A ringed binder would be fine ... but was a small binder that like available retail? 

Oh my, it was! :-)   At an office supply store, I found a 3"x5" ringed binder for which loose-leaf pages were available as refills.  Oh, hooray!

The green stickers you see on the inside cover are information to me for formatting the margins when I print out the pages and size information for certain types of quilts.

This particular notebook wouldn't be any good, however, unless I could put those small pages through my printer.  My printer is a Canon MX870.  It has a secondary, rear paper feed, which automatically centers the paper in the feeder. 

I use Word Perfect.  Go, Word Perfect!  :-) 

I formatted a 3"x5" page with the information I wanted and after a little tweaking for margins, I was able to successfully put those small 3"x5" pages through the rear feed AND all the printing came out exactly on the lines of the paper! 

Dang, am I clever or what?  :-)

So, now I have a notebook with the ability of have unlimited pages, pages that are "pre-printed" with labels for me to fill in.

Remember, this small notebook is not a proper journal ... it doesn't have the capability of putting pictures on the pages ... although I suppose I could print out a 3"x5" photo and place the photo in the appropriate spot.  Maybe I'll do that later.    This notebook is primarily for me, to be able to remember binding yardage requirements and did I really post the information to the places I want?  :-)

I haven't started using it yet but am eager to ... but first I gotta go get those tops quilted!  :-)

What memory joggers to you use to remind yourself of the information you need during the creation process?

1 comment:

  1. Computers are great and I wouldn't want to be without mine, but I do like to write notes to myself and doodle (have you ever tried doodling on a computer??).

    I use stenographer notebooks, the narrow ones with the spiral on the top. The pages are lined with a line in the middle so there are two columns. Perfect for me.