Thursday, October 19, 2017

How I Do It - Stitching Journals

I developed a system of keeping track of what I've worked on and finished.  I can reference back to a certain project, can see how long it took me to stitch a design and have an available list should I need to order or shop for supplies such as thread or fabric.

I didn't always do this but the past couple of years I've used pocket sized calendars for recording my stitching.  When I first started making doll clothes, I used a book sized 12-month calendar and recorded my machine sewn projects.  I no longer do that.  I just keep a written record or keep track of my hand sewn work.  My machine sewn finishes are posted on my blog under the respective year. 

I don't keep track of the hours, just the days I worked on a project.  When I stitch, I record the project and number of day on the day of the month that I stitch.

For example, during the month of April I started and finished PM Happiness in the Heart, framed Rainy Day Cardinal, finished PM Happiness in the Heart and started and finished the first block in a new Stoney Creek POM series.

On April 3rd, I recorded PM Happiness in Heart and 1, circling the 1 as it was the first day I started this project.  April 4th, I recorded PM Happiness in Heart and 2, circling the 2 and so forth for the rest of the month.  On April 18th, I framed Rainy Day Cardinal.  April 23rd, I recorded that I finished PM Happiness in the Heart and put a smiley face.  April 24th I notated that I started block one of the SC POM series. April 29th I recorded SC POM block one finish, 6 and circled it and put a smiley face.

For the month of January 2017 at the beginning of the month, I carried over any information from ongoing projects.  I only had two for 2017.  My Silver Lining Designs piece - Ramblin' Rose and Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed The Star.  I notated the designer, the design and the last day I worked on it along with the number of days I had worked on the piece.  For the Silver Lining Design I notated 12-05-16 and circled the number 8.  With the Dutch Treat Designs I recorded 10-22-16 and circled the number 2. Putting it somewhere (at the top of the month) on January's page saved me having to go back through the calendars to find the info.  I had it at the start of the new year.  Easy to access.

That's my stitching journal that I keep nearby in the top bin of my stitching three bin cart that is next to my stitching chair.

Another journal that I use is my kitted projects journal or shopping list journal. By kitted projects, I mean projects that I've pulled the chart, fabric, threads and embellishments so come time I want to stitch them, I have everything ready.

Will say this.  If I know I'm going to stitch the chart within the year, I kit it up.  I select the fabric and serge the edges, pull the suggested threads and purchase the ones I don't have and need and purchase the suggested embellishments.  I've started to order the embellishments at the time I pull or get the chart because in the past I've liked a design, bought it, tucked the chart away for when I can stitch or want to stitch it and come time I do want to stitch the design, the button, bead, whatever is no longer available.  When I get the embellishment, I put it in a small ziplock bag and use painter's tape to attach it to the chart.

For each project I list if I have the fabric or not.  If not, I record design area (stitches in design) and color of fabric I would like to use.  I then list all the threads, buttons, beads and whatever else that has been suggested for the design.

Once I have that written down, I go pull everything for the project and put it in a zippered project bag.  Each project has its own bag.  If I don't have an item,  I circle it and notate NEED.  Then I make out a shopping list.

Then I go shopping and once I have the item, I file it away in the right project bag and notate that I have the item.

Items that were needed for a couple projects.  I checked my lists and found out what designs they were for and filed them away in their respective project bag.

The neat thing about this is (1) I can just grab the small journal, tuck it in my purse and shop at the LNS.  (2) When I buy or receive the needed item all I have to do is flip through the pages and find what goes where.  (3) If I'm working on a project and run out of a certain thread color or item (bead or charm or button), I can borrow from a kitted project (notating what project I'm using it with) and replace later.  (4) I can flip through the pages and see what I have waiting to be worked on.

Once a project has been finished as in all stitched and framed I tear out the page.  Don't need the information any more.

Those are my pocket sized journals.  Small journals I keep near my stitching chair.

I also keep track of what I stitch in a MS Word file.  I record my finishes and then use the information and make a label and put the label on the back of my framed piece.  I like being able to provide the name of the design, the designer, what I used to stitch it, when I completed it, number of days to stitch it and how and who framed it.

With this MS Word file, I keep track of what needs to be finished, what I'm working on, and what I've accomplished in a year month by month.  This also makes it easy come time I want to reference something I've stitched or when asked about a project.