Take Note–The Quilt Notebook

The Quilt Notebook

Today we are going to start working on our Quilt Notebooks.  (For selecting a Quilt Notebook see HERE.)

 Important Reasons to Start a Quilt Notebook

  1. It will collect all the information about your quilts in one easy to find place.
  2. It will provide YOUR quilt history.
  3. It will demonstrate your growth as a quilter.
  4. It will help you set goals for developing your skills as a quilter.

First, let me clarify that The Quilt Notebook is distinct from a doodle/sketch book.  The Doodle/Sketch book is for drawing, doodling and sketching any idea that pops into your head.  Most of those ideas will never make it to a quilt… The Quilt Notebook is where we will collect EVERYTHING about our “Quilts in Progress”.  They can be in the  “idea only” stage…and they may never become a quilt…but they are more serious than doodles.

I want to emphasis that The Quilt Notebook will contain EVERYTHING about our Quilts in Progress and our Completed Quilts...No more scraps of paper with calculations, (that we can’t find later and need to re-calculate!).  If everything is in one place…we will always know where to reference it! (I’m lecturing myself, here–but maybe others can relate…)

So let’s get started

Write the name of a quilt on the top of a page in your notebook…leave at least two pages per quilt–we’re going to be adding more information and critiques later.

The Quilt Notebook


Add the following information to your Notebook:

  • Quilt Name-It’s nice to give every quilt a unique name for reference.  I am currently working on a quilt named “Boxes and Vines” as well as a quilt called “Claire and Andy’s Wedding Quilt“…Not very creative, but handy…
  • Date Started/Date Completed-I usually add date completed to my quilt labels, but I wish I had documented the start dates.  Some of my quilts “incubate” for years between the  start and completion dates!
  • Intended Purpose-This is important when making size, color and deadline decisions.
  • Pattern-Write down the official quilt pattern name.  Include where you found the pattern-book, pattern company, online source and your inspiration.
  • Size-If you are making a bed quilt, it is a good idea to take those measurements yourself.  Quilt sizes for beds are not all the same because the drop height differs.    Include mattress length, width and drop to floor.  For wall-hangings, and table-runners include the size of wall/table. Include the block size of your pattern for later calculations.
  • Fabric-Include as much information as possible here.  Manufacturer, where purchased, fiber, cost of fabric, special washing instructions.
  • Thread-Include manufacturer, weight, fiber, where purchased, price.
  • BattingThis is one of the most important things to include in your notebook.  (I include it on my quilt labels now.)  This will allow you to reference which battings hold up best over a long period of time.
  • Estimated Cost-It is often difficult to estimate quilt costs…we buy several yards of fabric, but we never use it all for any given project.  Additionally, we use fabric, thread,  and rotary cutters from our stash.  I still think it is interesting to estimate the cost of a quilt.  Your best guess now will be interesting to later generations.
  • Estimated Hours–Just write down 1,ooo,ooo!  Does anyone have any idea how long it takes them to make a quilt???
  • Notes-

The Quilt Notebook

It seems like a lot of work to use a Quilt Notebook, but it will only take minutes at a time.   It will save you hours of re-calculating, searching for patterns, and scouring the internet later if you chose to pick up an old project.  It will also be YOUR personal reference when making choices for future quilts.

Next week, we will add more to our quilt notebooks…

Happy (organized) Quilting,


PS…All information, tutorials and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog and pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  Please contact me for any other purpose!


44 thoughts on “Take Note–The Quilt Notebook

  1. I’d like to do this electronically, including pictures of the quilt. After a quilt is completed and there are no more notes to add to that document, it could be printed and inserted into a binder.

    I think you can add photos to a Microsoft Word document.

  2. I am going to do this too…good idea! My artsy fartsy brain (lately more fartsy than artsy!) never wants to do “paperwork” but it will be so happy not recalculating also!! There really is too much info to just remember! And it will be fun to have to look back on.

      • I don’t know what’s going on but sometimes I can’t remember from week to week what I was thinking! lol! I’m with you and Kat…trying hard to use what I have but I did this last year and somehow my stash almost doubled because I bought this and that to go with something I had…oops! LOL! It’s exhausting trying to keep up with all the new fabrics!!

  3. This is a good way to start the new year. I have a sons’ wedding quilt to make, and a long habit of casual disorder. My goal is to use my huge stash of fabrics for most of this, and all other projects this year.

      • Hi I am new to all of you. Something I did was cut tiny little scraps of fabric and glue them onto my work book page. Did a large quilt of family history of my family, with photos for each of my grandparents ten children. I incorporaqted the log cabin design around them each had four blocks to pout their photos on. It is displayed every two years when we have our reunion. One of the great neices was so impressed she took it to show on a local television in her area. I think my grandparents would have loved it as they raised all of their ten children in a log cabin.

  4. Thanks Lori! I’m printing this to put in the front of my Quilt Notebook. Since I’ve only been quilting a couple of years and made 12 quilts….most of which went to happy homes….I’m going to play ‘catch up w photos and notes I’ve kept. Happy to be getting this organized…I KNOW it will be a benefit in yrs to come.

  5. Re: incubation. YES! 😀 I am so guilty here. I usually make a bunch of tops, then quilt a bunch.

    My oldest non-finished quilt is hand quilted, still waiting to be finished. I started in 1995. Maybe it will be for my daughter’s daughter…

    For Estimated time, how about a section to start marking hours? Or even time worked on? (Monday, I:15 to 3:20pm) I’m been trying to keep track of quilting hours, but then realized how many hours happen even before that. I don’t usually count selecting fabrics tho. That’s just play time. 😀

  6. Years ago after realising I gave away most of what I made I started taking photos of my quilts. They are all in an album and I love to look at how far I have come. The photo also spurred me on to finishing as I wouldn’t take the photo until the quilt was completed. I’ve been asked to make a quilt , including how much it would cost. A journal is just what I need to tell the story of each photo. I’m wondering if I could keep a tally of the hours spent? Now I can machine quilt I know it’s much faster. Thanks Lori for this excellent idea, just when I didn’t know I needed it.

  7. I started doing that decades ago on the computer because it was new. Fortunatly I printed it out other wise I would have lost all the info when the computer crashed then with a new computer I didn’t up date but I also put little bits on info about what was happening in the world with my quilt notes. I should start again

  8. I have started two notebooks with info section, technique section and lastly quilts in progress for my piecing and for the long arm . Thanks for the extra tips. I only wish I had done it sooner as many of my quilts are unnamed.

  9. I have to make sure to put finished size and how many inches of binding I needed and yardage it took to make it…I seem to measure and measure and remeasure this…time consuming!!!

  10. Great practical idea!!!! I use my blog and, because I sew for others and have detailed info on the “tickets”/recepts that I give my clients, I have a record of most of what you suggested. It is very convenient to have such info for future projects for sure!!!!!!

  11. This is a GREAT idea Lori! I’ve thought of it before but never managed to “get around to it” – you know how that goes! Thanks for helping to organize us and get us started. I’m going to buy a beautiful new book tomorrow :*)

  12. OMG I so needed this post!. I have been needing a way to keep my notes, patterns, and the jumble in my head in some sort of order. Now where did I put those bits of paper I wrote the last project on?…

  13. Pingback: Take Note—The Quilt Notebook | Quilt Views & News

  14. I have a book that I keep a record on what I sew each month – I include my knitting. I’ve been thinking that it needs expanding a little and I think you have some good ideas here. Oddly enough, I was going to present the idea at Sew Day tomorrow.
    From your idea I am thinking I need to make a more detailed record of the quilts I finish. I listed the quilts and their sizes on my blog last year.

  15. Greetings from Madrid, Spain, and thanks, Lori for your ideas, encouragement and inspiration. I already have a log where I keep record of my quilts an other reasonably big projects, but yours is much more detailed and thorough.

  16. Pingback: The Quilt Notebook-The Unfinished Project Page (or Pages) | The Inbox Jaunt

  17. I love this idea! I got a quilt notebook, I want to get photos of all my quilts (I have them for most) and make a scrapbook. Thank you so much for this suggestion. I got a doodle notebook too. We are literally writing history in doing this!

  18. I’ve tracked the time that I spend on quilt tops, just to give myself an idea how long it takes so I can set and meet deadlines. My Dashes in the Woods (a 60×60 quilt using 2 1/2″ squares) took about ten hours to cut and piece the top.

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  21. I’m a novice quilter but started one of these a year or two ago when I began making quilt tops and quilting them by hand. My memory’s not what it used to be so it’s really helpful to me to have information about dates, batting, sizes, etc., written down somewhere for future reference. I haven’t finished all that many quilts but I usually write a post about each one and include some of this information. I think it’s especially helpful to note the sizes of the quilt during various stages. There’s a lot of shrinkage that happens during quilting and after washing and drying. Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful blog.

  22. I love the Notebook idea, funny how things seem to fall in place, fixed up a Notebook sone time ago, and have been taking pictures… Documenting certain things, but not actually entered into notebook yet, then I found your blig on Notebooks!! Yipee… Perfect timing! Made 3 quilts finishing 4, made several wall hangings & 1 table runner. Will be delighted to participate, although I have a wee bit to catch up on! Thanks Lori. By the way, I live your free motion quilting designs.. Wish you were my neighbor to be able to pop in and say, show me, help me etc. But maybe the blogs will help! Hugs!

  23. Adorei esta ideia. Quando comecei não tive orientação suficiente para seguir um roteiro. Muitas vezes fiz do meu jeito e fui tocando. Tenho muita coisa que estão em treino que fiz pesquisando na Internet ou fazendo cursos on-line. Vou aproveitar este momento para reorganizar meus trabalhos. Um grande abraço

  24. I have been gathering up just the right stuff and getting geared up to do this with just the right notebook. I started documenting my quilts first by taking pictures as I made them and then of the finished project, now the notes. I’m so glad you came up with this idea. Love it! It has already proceed to be an asset. Thanks again.

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