Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Taming the pile!

I wrote my monthly newsletter for Alderwood Quilts this week. (You can sign up by logging onto the website- and go to "for you" and click on "newsletter"). I always include a tip at the end of the newsletter. I was thinking hard for a good tip to include this month (envision little puffs of smoke coming out of my ears and my forhead all scrunched up). I went to my sewing area and just looked around. There it was- right under my nose- the PERFECT tip! OK- this one isn't rocket science- but it really changed my quilting world. I am a "piler" by nature. Left unchecked, I end up with piles all over the place. I don't see it as unorganized because I can (usually) find things pretty quickly since my piles (usually) contain one category of flat paper stuff. It's sort of a filing cabinet without the cabinet. For instance- I have a pile of recipes, a pile of mail to deal with, a pile of gardening ideas, and... you guessed it.... a pile of quilting patterns and ideas. Well... I've tamed the pattern pile. I'm not talking about the commercial patterns in the little plastic sleeves. I have them in an "actual" file. I'm talking about the patterns I print off the internet, the patterns I get from shop hops, the ideas I clip from magazines, etc. Several years ago, I was quilting with my good friend and longarm quilter, Diane Bohan, and saw her 3 ring binder of quilt patterns and ideas. I played kopykat and did the same. OK- not a terribly creative tip- but honestly, it's a great idea! What I like about it is not only that I can FIND things, but I can flip through it like a book and it protects (hence the name sheet PROTECTORS) the pattern. I just slip all of the pages for a particular pattern or idea into one sheet protector and they all go in a 3 ring binder. I've also done this with my knitting patterns, and I've put dividers in that to sort the gloves, hats, sweaters, etc.

I still have piles all over the place, but at least my patterns are organized. Next year, my project will be to organize my recipes so I don't have to sort through that pile to find the recipe I want. Yes- I know there is such a thing as a recipe file. I have too many recipes. I want to do a scrap book and put them in albums and "scrap" where they came from and pictures of my favorites.

That brings me to a request. Send me a favorite recipe, and I'll blog yours and one of mine. You can either reply to this post and put it on my blog yourself, or send it to me at If I get 10 recipes, I'll blog 10 of mine. Come on.... you can do it!