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Thread: Organizing Patterns

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Organizing Patterns

    I'm trying to get a little more organized and find that I have many patterns and am looking for a system that helps me know what patterns I have. I also have patterns I have printed from the internet as well as the patterns that are 5 x 7 size. I'm hoping to get some organizational tips from those of you who have the organization methods mastered.

    Looking froward to hearing your comments and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    I like to put mine in those plastic holding pages that office places sell. You can put them in any order you want, and when you need one, you can get it out of the book instead of dealing with the whole thing.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  3. #3
    Junior Member TAMARATJO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    I keep most of my patterns in folders on pinterest. But the quilts I am considering making soon are printed and in a binder. I organize them by the main block name. For example I have folders/tabs labeled: Lemoyne Star; Storm at Sea; Ohio Star; Strip quilts; Applique; etc. Works for me, but everyone has their own style.

  4. #4
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Reno, Nv
    I seperate mine into type of pattern. For example, children, men, women's and home. Then further into types within those stacks, like tops, bottoms and accessories (like purses). I have a lot of patterns so I use a oak cabinet with three shelves that I put a label on the end of the shelf stating the patterns in that stack. Before that, I used boxes to separate them out and labeled it on the side so they could be on a shelf in a row.
    Now the binders I use have tabs attached to divide out the type of patterns. There are many so I try to keep them also separated out as to what they are. Embroidery designs, home, purse, and if they have small parts I have cut out, I use a plastic sleeve to keep it all together. I like a numbered title page at the beginning of the binder, tabs with those numbers for quick access and to label the outside so when they are on a shelf, the type contents are easily read. I hope this helps you get started.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 03-11-2018 at 12:12 PM.

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  5. #5
    Super Member Sync's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Oro Valley, AZ
    The patterns that I want to make are printed and put in binders. I have my binders arranged by size/type .... wall hangings, baby quilts, lap quilts, and bed size.
    We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Right now I am focused on organizing bag patterns and supplies. I need to keep them in one place so I can find them without ripping my sewing room apart. I want to get some more bags and organizers made.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I use sheet protectors and a 3 ring binder. I have 3 binders and they are organized in them. I also have a plastic dishpan for patterns in 5x8 plastic envelopes. I don’t have a huge collection nor do I strive for one. I love looking at pictures of quilts so Pinterest, other sources and this site satisfies that.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I put mine in page protectors and into 3 ring binders. Organized by type ie. applique, pieced, quick gifts etc

  9. #9
    Super Member joysewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I keep my patterns that I print from the internet in notebooks by category. The ones I buy fit perfectly in the plastic 3 drawer containers from Walmart or other stores. I label cardboard with the type patterns and put those in front of each category. ex: purses, quilts, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Jefferson City Mo
    Quote Originally Posted by bneuen View Post
    I'm trying to get a little more organized and find that I have many patterns and am looking for a system that helps me know what patterns I have. I also have patterns I have printed from the internet as well as the patterns that are 5 x 7 size. I'm hoping to get some organizational tips from those of you who have the organization methods mastered.

    Looking froward to hearing your comments and suggestions.
    Boy and I glad you started this thread because I just did this!! I was over run with patterns too and I had to do something. Here is what I did and I hope this helps you get started.

    First I broke down the steps it would take to make a huge job doable in small chunks that I could pick up or put down anytime I had a minute. I found a long skinny box that was the perfect size for sorting all sizes of patters. I made card stock dividers for art, landscape, Applique, Home Decorating, nine patch, strip, baby/girl, baby/boy, preteen, teen, college/young adult, crazy, and so on.

    I had stacks and stacks of magazines I'd saved and I took 10-20 of them and put them by my chair to sort out each night after dinner. I was shocked to find out I'd saved a whole magazine for one stinking pattern!! So I tore out what I wanted to keep, stapled it together with the pattern sheet and filed them as I tore them out. I worked really hard at thinning the heard as I went and only kept ones that I think I'll make at some point. I found magazine after magazine that I had no idea why I'd kept it so I made a donate, recycle pile and put my keepers directly in the box. Taking it one stack at a time and filing them as you go makes a huge job small and manageable!

    After that was done I got a stack of sheet protectors for my large binders and labeled the binders accordingly. This might make you crazy but I did a purge AGAIN! I was shocked when I laid out a stack of say all nine patch patterns I noticed that I'd saved loads of the same pattern just in different colors! So I purged each section again before putting them in the protectors. Like the others I put dividers in the binders for like baby/boy or preteen girl and so on.

    Now I can go right to the binder I want and find what I'm looking for. It's easy add a new pattern once I see that I DON'T already have it. Plus I've learned a very important thing . . . be more selective on what I keep so I don't have to do this again!!! Lolol.

    I hope this helps.
    StashBuster109 aka Sarah
    Last edited by Stash-Buster109; 04-20-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Carroll, Iowa
    I put printed patterns from the PC into the plastic sleeves and then into a binder in no particular order at this time. The smaller purchased patterns in the size of a dress pattern I keep in a dress pattern box I purchased from Nancy's Notion years ago as I've downsized my dress patterns so found a use for the boxes. These I keep under my cutting table. Most of my downloaded patterns I keep on my PC until I decide to use them. Then I print them, put them into a plastic sleeve, then when finished, into the binder for later reference. Any templates I might print out and too large for the binder or plastic sleeve I put into a plastic zip bag and clip to a multi-skirt hanger with the name of the pattern they go to.
    Suz in Iowa
    Designer EPIC, Brother XR3140
    Babylock Evolve, Innova 26" LS, MQR
    ProQ Designer, EQ7, Embird

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I continue to scan my quilting patterns. One file on my computer is just for the labeled pictures of the quilts. Another file is complete with pictures and directions, each is carefully labeled. I can use the pictures only for a slide show to see what I might want to do next. I can backup on a flash drive all of this.
    Hint: It isn't often I actually use those patterns. More often a new pattern catches my eye. But it is fun.
    Many friends have stored patterns in the plastic sleeves in a binder but don't really know what they have or even look at what they saved.
    Less paper storage. Especially as I expect to have to downsize in the future and want to be prepared.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

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