Take Note—The Quilt Notebook


Last week on her blog, The Inbox Jaunt, Lori Kennedy introduced the concept of using a quilt notebook as a central location for planning, documenting, and evaluating each quilt and project. In the short run, a Quilt Notebook will become your catch-all for all projects, from ideas to completion, and a handy reference source. In the long run, it will provide a history of your quilting projects and a measure of your progress as a quilter.

The following blog was posted in The Inbox Jaunt on January 13, 2014, by Lori Kennedy, and it is used with permission.

Take Note–The Quilt Notebook

Today we are going to start working on our Quilt Notebooks. (For selecting a Quilt Notebook, see last week’s The Inbox Jaunt HERE.)

Important Reasons to Start a Quilt Notebook

It will collect all the information about your quilts in one easy to find place.
It will provide YOUR quilt history.
It will demonstrate your growth as a quilter.
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.

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.

Batting-This 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???


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 choose to pick up an old project. It will also be YOUR personal reference when making choices for future quilts.

Happy (organized) Quilting,


PS…All information, tutorials and images included in this post are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are for personal use only.

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Watch for Lori Kennedy in American Quilter, beginning in May 2014!

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This is such a great idea. I chose to use a loose leaf binder with plastic see through sleeves for my drawings and photos, etc. Thank You ! Great Inspiration!


I also add which sewing machine and which foot I use. What batting I plan on using-if I know and if I need a hanging sleeve. I prefer to jump projects so details help me.

As a beginner quilter I created a journal noting many of the above recommendations, drawing a diagram of a pattern if I found it difficult (in other words writing the directions in my own words) and ended with a picture of the finished quilt. Great idea – thanks for sharing