Monday, June 16, 2014

Organizing Patterns & Books



Happy Monday! Welcome back to the Summer Organizing Series! Remember that you can always go back to the first post to find links to the later posts. I update each time I add new information. We are moving on with the second half of the series this week--hopefully everyone is making good progress; I know I am very happy with the changes I've been making.

We will be moving ahead this week to tackle all of the paper in our sewing rooms, and today we will be working on books and patterns.




Day Eleven: Sort and organize quilting books.

This one is going to be easy or hard depending on how many sewing and quilting books you've collected. Here are some ideas:

  • Separate your reference books and guides and store them together.
  • Keep books by the same author together.
  • Sort by style: modern, traditional, applique, etc.
  • Sort alphabetically by author. 
Choose a method you like and be consistent. While you are sorting and re-organizing, make sure to take out any books you might want to sell or donate. What I've done in the past is to designate a certain number of shelves for quilting books. When they fill up I have to get rid of something to add in something new. 




Day Twelve: Sort and organize patterns.

This actually took me a lot more time than I thought it would, but I am so happy with  my progress. I've always stored all of my patterns in baskets and bins throughout my sewing room, and I've kept some of them stored that way, but I made a big change that has been especially helpful.


I love storing my mini-sized patterns in small fabric baskets and small containers. I didn't change any of my older mini pattern storage. I know where to find my Schnibbles patterns, they are a fun part of my decor, and I decided not to change that.


I did, however, move some of my other mini patterns...if they fit into a general category like "small bag," "table runner," or "table topper" then they got re-organized.

 I've always kept my jumbo sized patterns in these decorative file bins, and I didn't move those either. I know the designers whose patterns are this size, and it's easy for me to quickly locate something I'm looking for here.


What I did change up was the patterns in this large metal basket. I don't know how many patterns were in here, but there were a lot. This basket had grown pretty heavy, and whenever I needed to find something I had to sort through a jumble of patterns by a variety of designers. So this is what I did: I decided to utilize two of the drawers in my new cutting table as filing drawers. In one drawer I set up hanging files for quilt patterns and divided the files into these categories:
  • Bucket List Quilts (quilts I want to start soon)
  • Current projects
  • Fat Quarter Quilts
  • Jelly Roll Quilts
  • Layer Cake Quilts
  • Quilts by Designer 

In the other drawer I also used hanging files for other other quilting patterns other than large quilts. Here are the categories I set up:

  • Aprons
  • Baby
  • Bags
  • Bags, small
  • Christmas
  • Embroidery
  • Kitchen
  • Mini wall quilts
  • Paper Piecing
  • Pincushions
  • Runners
  • Sewing Kits
  • Toppers
  • Wall hangings

I just can't even believe how much I love this filing system. I can now locate everything quickly. It's also great because I have pdf patterns I've printed from my home computer that I now have filed exactly where they belong. While I was organizing patterns I also pulled some to donate to friends. I was surprised that I only found one duplicate pattern, too!

Happy organizing...I have some fun "what I've been working on when I'm not organizing" posts to share this week, and I'll also be back with more organizing tips, too.

Thanks so very much for stopping by!


9 comments:

Marsha said...

I love all the tips that you have given to organize our sewing rooms. I was wondering how big is your room and will you do a 'sweep' of the room in pictures? :) such good ideas and advice! Thanks!

Colleen said...

im enjoying your series and once I finish up my teacher workdays will revisit it to start the demo I mean clean up. One hint about paper patterns. Dont buy them. I do have some books but all my individual patterns are pdfs. I uplaod them to google docs to store them. A few are in ibooks and some I also upload to kindle app. Its so nice to be able to enlarge sections of directions. I even have a couple ebooks.

Jeanna said...

Thanks Sherri for hosting this series. I'm getting so much accomplished in organizing my sewing space. I look forward to the end result.

SewCalGal said...

Great tips. I need all the help and inspiration I can get when it comes to organization.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Tilda H said...

Brilliant idea on the filing system....this one I am going to adopt. Love it. Great series btw!

Debra said...

I am really enjoying your series on organization. No matter how organized I THINK I am, I can always use some new tips!

Bonded to Me said...

I am really enjoying your series. I am usually an organized person, but as a new quilter...I am amazed at how messy a sewing studio can get - and how quickly it can get that way - LOL.
I do not have the extensive collection of patterns that you seem to have - so what I have begun doing is putting all my patterns, purchased or pdf downloads I have printed out - into clear plastic page protectors in a 3 ring binder. So far, this is working really well for me. Each sleeve holds 2 purchased patterns or one relatively thick printed-out pattern.
Perhaps some readers may want to try this system.

Cat's Cradle Quilting said...

Some great ideas & tips. Thanks for doing this series!

Ramona said...

I have patterns separated out by ones with embroidery, applique or just straight piecing. I have been trying to go through my mountain of magazines and just pull out the pages of ones I truly adore and then put those in binders. I do need to take your advice and do some weeding out!

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