Do You Have a Sewing Ritual? Open Line Friday

Free Motion Quilting, TeaI’m fascinated by the “creative process” and recently read this article by Walt Kania at The Freelancery about creative rituals.  It’s a humorous account of his work process as a writer.

Free Motion Quilting, TeaI guess I have a ritual, too.  I usually make myself a cup of coffee or tea (which I don’t end up drinking), throw in a load of laundry, (my sewing room is right next to the laundry room), flip on my sewing machine, the iron, and the TV (which I never watch), and clear off my sewing table.  By then I usually know what I want to do… If I’m working on a  new FMQ pattern, I usually start with a few spirals and then I’m off…

My ritual is not intentional, yet it is consistent.  I would echo Mr. Kania…you have to just “clamber up the ladder and start moving the brush over the wood”…Nothing happens until then.  Or as my mother would say, “When you don’t know where to start, just begin.”

If you need a little technical advice, try Seven Steps to Free Motion Quilting–for the machine set-up…and then just clamber up the ladder and begin free motion quilting.  YOU can do this…just begin!

Free Motion Quilting, TeaWhat about YOU?  Do you have a creative ritual?

I’d love to hear…


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!