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Thread: Organizing patterns?

  1. #1
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Organizing patterns?

    First of all let me remind those of you who know me that computers are not my bag. But I'm learning a little everyday. I don't know how to SAVE (even had a class at the library) and I like hard copy. Sooo, I print out patterns I like and pictures of quilts I like or would like to use for ideas. I started out by storing them in folders but that got too bulky, so I changed to 3-ring binders. I like that better, but my pattern/picture stash is growing in leaps and bounds. I know I'll never use all of these patterns, but it's good to have when I'm not quilting or when I can't sleep at night.

    My question is: How do I organize them? I like to have pictures only in one place. But how do I organize the patterns? I know this probably sounds dumb to those of you who are really organized. I haven't reached "Hoarders" status yet, but I can see it happening one day.

    I'm open to any kind of positive criticism and ideas for getting these together in a usable order. I thank you in advance for any input.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  2. #2
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    Assuming you are referring to pictures of the quilts for which you've printed patterns? How about 2 pictures - one to keep with the pattern and one to file in a separate binder. And if you're really into organization, label the 2nd photo with the location (binder #/name for example) of the pattern? Not trying to increase your 'hoarder' tendencies - just trying to help with the organization. Good luck. And just for giggles - try to think of your computer hard drive as just a giant file cabinet. Then make up 'drawers' (what the computer calls folders) of your liking. Into those 'drawers' you can put 'folders' (what the computer thinks of as a 'sub-folder') into those drawers. And if you can't find the 'save' button on a program use the control key the same time as the s key on your computer (save) or the F4 key (save as).

  3. #3
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I store all mine in 3 ring binders. One binder is labeled Ideas, this is just pictures of quilts I like or want to remember but do not have the pattern for. Other binders are labeled quilt paterns-season(spring, summer, fall, winter) binders labeled quilt- holiday ( birthday, easter, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas) binders labeled Kids- baby, teen, young adult. binders labeled home decor, this is where I keep paterns for runners, placemats, mantel scarfs, curtains, ect. I also have a binder labeled craft sewing, this has things like pincushions, games, toys ect. All patterns have a picture with them, you could copy a second picture for your Idea folder if you want, I found I really need a photo with the pattern if the instructions don't make sence to me I can sometimes figure it out by looking at a photo. I also have a binder labeled My Journal this is where I keep all information on every thing I sew, pattern name who for, problems things to do diffrently next time, also a picture of the finished product. Good luck with your organization project.

  4. #4
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    I put both the photo and the pattern in one protector sheet in a binder. I had only one binder, but I've had to add two more: quilts, clothing, small projects (pincushions, toys, pillows, etc). I buy the sheet protectors from Quill (great prices) and reuse big binders that have been tossed by others b/c they are very expensive. I've considered covering the binders with fabric so they are prettier and match, but that hasn't happened yet. lol

  5. #5
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    Assuming you are referring to pictures of the quilts for which you've printed patterns? How about 2 pictures - one to keep with the pattern and one to file in a separate binder. And if you're really into organization, label the 2nd photo with the location (binder #/name for example) of the pattern? Not trying to increase your 'hoarder' tendencies - just trying to help with the organization. Good luck. And just for giggles - try to think of your computer hard drive as just a giant file cabinet. Then make up 'drawers' (what the computer calls folders) of your liking. Into those 'drawers' you can put 'folders' (what the computer thinks of as a 'sub-folder') into those drawers. And if you can't find the 'save' button on a program use the control key the same time as the s key on your computer (save) or the F4 key (save as).
    Thanks you so much for such detailed information, but it's making my brain itch. And the pictures only are the pictures of the beautiful quilts that you guys post. Some are what I think I may be able to do, or they may give me an idea on which to piggy back. Once again, thanks!
    One step at a time, always forward.

  6. #6
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj View Post
    I store all mine in 3 ring binders. One binder is labeled Ideas, this is just pictures of quilts I like or want to remember but do not have the pattern for. Other binders are labeled quilt paterns-season(spring, summer, fall, winter) binders labeled quilt- holiday ( birthday, easter, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas) binders labeled Kids- baby, teen, young adult. binders labeled home decor, this is where I keep paterns for runners, placemats, mantel scarfs, curtains, ect. I also have a binder labeled craft sewing, this has things like pincushions, games, toys ect. All patterns have a picture with them, you could copy a second picture for your Idea folder if you want, I found I really need a photo with the pattern if the instructions don't make sence to me I can sometimes figure it out by looking at a photo. I also have a binder labeled My Journal this is where I keep all information on every thing I sew, pattern name who for, problems things to do diffrently next time, also a picture of the finished product. Good luck with your organization project.
    Ahhh, this sounds like what I'm looking for. Yes, most patterns have pictures, illustrations. The categories make sense to me. Thanks so much!
    One step at a time, always forward.

  7. #7
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurdelisquilts.com View Post
    I put both the photo and the pattern in one protector sheet in a binder. I had only one binder, but I've had to add two more: quilts, clothing, small projects (pincushions, toys, pillows, etc). I buy the sheet protectors from Quill (great prices) and reuse big binders that have been tossed by others b/c they are very expensive. I've considered covering the binders with fabric so they are prettier and match, but that hasn't happened yet. lol
    Thanks, Fleur. I don't remember where I got the idea of the protector sheets -- may have been from you. I have aleady begun to do that. But everything is so disorganized. Now I need to categorize. I think this is where my right brain is opposing my left brain. And yes, I am repurposing binders that were once used for my teaching, tutoring materials. I've finally let go of those. Thank you for responding.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  8. #8
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    I have mine in notebooks and the computer. My notebooks have the ones I want to make first (that's a joke) and labeled by: charity, jelly roll, one block (any size with & without sashing), ideas (colors I like, etc.), one focus fabric (with borders),
    baby, etc. My computer folders are more detailed: diamonds, Irish chain, qayg, braid, flying geese, coin, and so forth.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Lioness3xs's Avatar
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    I'm a 3 ring binder storer myself but then I also added my computer to store my table of contents and this allows me to sort or search all my patterns at one time. I divided my patterns by bags, wearables, lap quilts, full size quilts, table runners, blocks, techniques, wall hangings, Misc. Then I was struggling to find a way to place the patterns into the categories that would help me find them easily in the future. The obvious was by alphebically. I use the fist letter of each word in the title as the key. Each category is then placed into an excel document on my comptuer and by using the column headings of code letters, pattern name, designer, finished size, technique I can fill in the table as needed to help me with searches in the future. I don't necessarially fill in each blank in the worksheet, just those that help me remember the pattern better. Remember the library is what works best for me and others may not find it as easy to use as I do. I just had to come up with an idea of what I wanted to do and then I've tweeked and updated it as needed. Sometimes, you'll discover something that just clicks with your unique way of thinking and organizing.
    Quilted Blessings

    If you can't notice it on a galloping horse at 60 feet, it's just fine.

  10. #10
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    When I save patterns on the computer, I identify the pattern first with either baby, teen, scrap, strip, pieced, applique then put a dash and the name of the quilt pattern. Sample, Baby - strip - wonky blocks quilt pattern (easy) or Baby - appliqued - animals quilt photo. Then all the quilt patterns line up in alphabetical order by the type of quilt and I know which section I need to find a pattern I'm looking for I'm going to be using scraps, strips, etc. I also have folders for Baby, Toddler, Teen, Strip, Pieced, Applique, etc. I designate in the title if it is a pattern or photo at the end of the quilt title. This allows me to search for photos or patterns only. It makes the titles longer, but I can sort and find what I'm looking for faster if I can't remember the quilt name. I also have a flash drive that I keep all my patterns and photos on in case my computer crashes I won't lose any pattern that I have purchased and gotten free on-line. My printed patterns are in binders in plastic sheet protectors. I got this idea from the patterns I have purchased on Ebay.

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