It’s January, a time rich for starting new habits. While reviewing my successes over the past year and considering what goals to set in the new year, organization came up. One goal from last year was to improve my organization in my studio, and I had some major areas of improvement. I sorted and stored my fabric stash more efficiently, kept three sampler quilts organized throughout the year, and created drawer storage for my notions. However, reflecting on what had worked revealed an area in which I’m struggling to stay organized in the studio: my brain. That’s where getting organized with a clipboard wall comes in.
What’s a clipboard wall?
A clipboard wall is a space on your wall hung with clipboards. The wall can be totally customized to suit your needs and style. Each clipboard is a space full of potential for you to fill. Beautiful images and words of encouragement may suit your need for more inspiration in your quilting space. Lists may speak to you and offer comfort and security because you can see what needs to be done. A single clipboard for collecting notes may be all you want or have room for on your wall. It’s up to you.
We’ve made a planning page for you to use. You can audition ideas, decide on a layout, and finalize your clipboard wall plans.
So print out the Clipboard Wall Planning Page and grab a pencil. I asked a few of my quilting friends to fill out the page. Read through the ideas we had for using a clipboard wall to get organized!
Emily Cross, Content Creator for AQS
Here’s my clipboard wall layout. I rely on a mix of organization and inspiration to keep myself motivated.
- Dream Project – A photo of a project I don’t have on the schedule that would be a dream-come-true to make. Currently, mine is Color Cascade by Connie Brown.
- UnFinished Objects List – I like to be able to see my back catalog of projects at a glance.
- Favorite Quote – This changes often, but the current quote is “I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.” – Mary Oliver
- Important Dates & Deadlines – I need to be able to see my project work schedule at a glance, but I also like to keep track of important dates like when a baby is due or upcoming graduations.
- Color Palettes & Inspiration – This can be all sorts of artwork or swatches. One of my current color obsessions comes from the work of Pernille Snedker Hansen like “Wave.”
- Random Ideas List – I think a lot about non-quilting things when I’m at the ironing board. I need somewhere to dump them!
- Pattern & Notes for Current Project – Having one place to keep my papers from my current project is essential to me.
- Annual Calendar – It’s much easier to plan out my project and deadlines when I can see the whole year at a glance.
- Ready-to-Sew Sampler Block – Whether it’s a Block Of the Month or a sampler quilt I’m working on, I almost always have a block in need of sewing. I’m more likely to get it done if it’s all cut out and stored in a clear bag right on the wall ready for me to make at any time.
Ann Hammel, editor-in-chief of AQ Magazine
When I asked Ann what she’d put on her clipboard wall, she wasn’t sure she was a nine board sort of quilter. But what do you know, she came up with nine ideas right away!
- UFO List – Prioritizing her unfinished projects is important to Ann.
- Garment Projects List – Ann makes beautiful garments and she prioritizes them on a list all their own.
- Wishlist of patterns to make – The Orchard by Barb Persing tops Ann’s wishlist.
- Inspiration – Ann would like to make a stained glass quilt and is inspired by this mosaic by Robyn Abrams called “Blue Poppy.”
- A small wool appliqué/embroidery piece – A little bird piece speaks to Ann. Maybe a bird like this Member Exclusive pattern for an Eastern Bluebird from 30 Days of Birds.
- Inspiration – Ann likes to make fusible art and is currently inspired by “The Gift of Fall” by Leonid Afremov.
- Travel Confirmations for Quilt Cruise – Ann wants the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly where she stored her important travel papers. “Plus,” she says, “they make me smile.”
- Take List for Quilt Cruise classes – Ann also wants to keep a list of what she’s taking for Quilt Cruise.
- Shopping List – Ann sorts her shopping lists by project, which is a great way to prioritize and plan a shopping trip.
Emmy Walton, Customer Service Representative at AQS
Emmy knows just what she wants with a concise wall that features what matters most to her.
- Important Birthdays – Emmy never misses a birthday or a gift-giving opportunity with this list.
- Christmas Make List – Handmade gifts made with love are one of Emmy’s staples and this list keeps her on track.
- Possible Projects – This is Emmy’s personal wishlist of projects.
- UFO List – Emmy keeps track of her unfinished projects, keeping the past at hand.
- Work In Progress – Firmly planted in the present, Emmy tracks her current project, which at this moment is a stuffed octopus.
- Project On Deck – Emmy plans for what’s to come with the next project she’s going to make.
Betsey Langford, Content Director for AQS
Betsey surprised me! The walls of her office are covered in photos of projects, artwork, and inspiration. I expected her ideas to lean more visual. But it turns out that keeping all the details in order is how she has so many projects to photograph.
- Quilting References – Like formulas for cutting different sized units, yardage for quilt backs, and more. “In fact,” said Betsey, “I’d probably just clip my copy of All-In-One Quilter’s Reference Tool up there.”
- UFO List – Betsey keeps a list of her unfinished projects otherwise they are out of sight and out of mind.
- Quilting Designs & Diagrams – Betsey is a great hand quilter and my go-to anytime I need advice on how to quilt a top. She likes keeping all these ideas at hand.
- Cutting: Current Project – When working on a project, Betsey likes to see all the phases at once starting with cutting.
- Piecing: Current Project – Betsey feels the progress as she sews a project when she maintains a to-do list of what needs to be pieced.
- Handwork: Current Project – This could include anything from appliqué and embroidery to quilting.
- Shopping List – Betsey says she maintains a running list of what she needs and notes which project it’s for beside the item.
- Next Project – Betsey keeps an eye to the future while simultaneously inspiring herself with what’s coming up.
- Finishing Status of Quilts – Betsey tracks the final stages of her quilts whether they need quilted, are out for quilting, or in need of binding.
Bonnie Browning, Executive Show Director of QuiltWeek and iQuilt Instructor
Bonnie balances inspiration, motivation, and organization on her clipboard wall.
- Notions Wishlist – Bonnie says some notions are extra special wishes, like specialty sewing feet.
- Wishlist of projects to make – Bonnie loves using reclaimed materials in creative ways. One of the projects on her wishlist is a tote bag made from old QuiltWeek aisle banners. Brilliant!
- Color Inspiration – Bonnie always has an eye out for fetching color combinations.
- Schedule/Calendar – With her busy schedule, a complete calendar is a must for Bonnie.
- A photograph – Whether it’s of loved ones or adventures from her travels, Bonnie likes to keep photos in her creative space.
- Music List – Bonnie loves listening to music and her list includes Garth Brooks, Elvis, jazz, and she loves to listen to NASCAR races.
- Shopping List – This list includes items for projects already in progress.
- Notes on current project – Bonnie notes fabrics used, pattern and designer, and more about her current project.
- Ideas List – Bonnie fills this blank list with ideas that come to her, like the aisle banner totes.
Make Your Own Clipboard Wall
If you’re ready to make your own clipboard wall, you can find inexpensive clipboards at the dollar store. Decorate the board with scrapbook paper, if you’d like. Use as many or as few clipboards as you’d like. Measure out a grid on your wall space and hang the clipboards. Have fun filling the boards and making your quilting space more organized.
Sound off in the comments. What would you put on your clipboards? Do you already have a clipboard wall? Tell us about it!
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