Organizing patterns

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Tacy Tucker Posted: Wed, Aug 9 2017 1:27 PM

I need help badly!  I have at least 5 binders full of patterns. I originally tried to save magazine issues and use a binder w just the table of contents but that still told me very little of what I have. I would love to have a system so that I could find a Quilt pattern by any method. I have no clue how to cross-reference them but I would love and appreciate any suggestions anyone has. I have holiday as a catagory, then I'm lost! Lol. Please help!  I know I probably have every and any pattern I could need or want for a lifetime but I'd rather it not take that long just to find one!!!

Alli u organization gurus out there, I need schooled!!!!  Thanks so. Uch for any help or ideas anyone can give me

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egletta replied on Mon, Oct 9 2017 11:44 AM

Get yourself: a filing cabinet, hanging filing folders (variety in different colors if you can find them), paper clips, portable file box, and labels

Grab a binder and open it. Take out one full pattern. Put a paperclip on the pattern if it uses 2 or more sheets of paper. Decide what type or pattern you're looking at, meaning Christmas, Valentines, baby, applique, quilt blocks, and so on. This is where having folders in different colors will come in handy. For example store all patterns for babies in yellow folders and Christmas patterns in green folders. How small or big is the pattern? If you look inside a hanging file folder, you'll notice the different tab position you have to choose from. Use the first tab position as a reference for smaller patterns, and the last tap position as a reference for larger patterns. Same for in between. Write the name of the pattern on a label and insert it into the tab. Repeat for the rest of the patterns and binders. Use the file box to store patterns your working on or want to want to get started on in when your not stitching. Plus it makes your patterns portable. Use the paper clips as book markers to keep track of what page your on. If a pattern uses an applique shape, you can store that shape in the folder with the pattern it goes with.

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Marsha replied on Tue, Oct 10 2017 8:07 AM

Egletta, you have a very good organization system for patterns.  I use folders - manilla - and write the pattern name on the tab, then PILE not FILE them.  After a while, I just drop the patterns on top of the files.  I have a large file cabinet that I need to use.   need to get colored folders and throw the junk from the past 50 or so years out of the hanging folders and reuse them.  Some of them are colored so will work well.  Thank you so much for reorganizing this formerly organized person.   I get lazier the older I get!  I am organizing better in the computer, but older files need reorganizing there and printing out before a computer melt-down erases them all!  I used to be a paper filer not a computer filer.

Marsha - Western New York

 

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egletta replied on Tue, Oct 10 2017 10:09 AM

Thanks Marsha. I only have a small collection of patterns. But as my collection grows, this is the system I intend to use. If you think about it, not all patterns are going to be under the same category or the same size. So why set up a "where is that applique garden quilt pattern I was hoping to start yesterday" system? 

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weezee56 replied on Tue, Oct 10 2017 10:36 PM

Thank you for the info. I have been trying to put patterns in 3 ring binders, they take up so much room. I'm going to try your system.

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Marsha replied on Wed, Oct 11 2017 11:09 AM

Weezee, I tried the binder system also and found out the same thing.  A lot more weight to handle also.  

Marsha - Western New York

 

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egletta replied on Fri, Oct 13 2017 5:59 PM

You might want to get or make a book rack like https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1060/5602/products/Wooden_Toddler_Bookcase.png?v=1469714510 to store any templates that won't fit in a folder. Just write what pattern the templates go with and any other information that is needed to identify them. Plus you can also use the unit to store rulers and perhaps stencils.

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egletta replied on Sun, Oct 15 2017 6:06 PM

Marsha, you might want to transfer to your computer files to USB flash drove(s). There are so many options to choose from these days. They come in different colors, some come as characters. 

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Marsha replied on Sun, Oct 15 2017 9:23 PM

A few years ago I copied all my quilting folders to one of those drives but have never checked what kind of scrambled mess I have on there.  I just copied my main folder, some odd folders and patterns that were scattered on my desktop.  I have no idea what is on that drive.  I probably should check what I have and try to sort them. At least they don't take up much room that way - only if it wouldn't take days to find what I want.

Thank you for reminding me that I do have some computer backup.  I am really a paper person and scribble ideas and changes as well as colors and sizes on patterns I print out.  They are messy, but I know what changes I made to size, color, arrangement, etc.  Probably no dates, though.

Marsha - Western New York

 

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egletta replied on Tue, Oct 17 2017 10:18 AM

Tip) If you find that you have more quilting categories than you find folders in different colors, than decorate your folders with paint, stickers, stenciling, stamps, etc. Just be consistent.

You might find folders in multi colors but watch out because those may be limited edition.

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