Setting Yourself Up

Posted on September 8, 2018 by prairiemoonquilts in Organizing, Quilt-Alongs & Bees

If you’re participating in the Summertime Sampler Block-of-the-Month program through Sew Sweet Quilt Shop, or even if you simply bought the pattern to make the quilt on your own, I have a series of blog posts I’ll be doing throughout the duration of the BOM to give you some extra hints and tips along the way.

I’m even planning at least one bonus project, so you’ll want to check in every time you get your block packet to see what I’ve got for you!

To start things off, I’m gonna be talking about the pattern booklet. If you have your pattern in hand, then you’ll know I’m using the term booklet very loosely. It’s really a sheaf of paper with a pull-out section for the applique, and a couple of full-color photos of the quilts (front cover and back cover).

To set yourself up for success throughout the program, and to make it much easier on yourself, I’m here today to show you what I did with my booklet to make it easy to use while I’m working on my quilt.

So here we go . . .

First off, the pages are printed with a wider left margin, in order to give you room to 3-hole punch the pages and put them into a 3-ring binder. So that’s the first thing I did — I pulled out an old binder I had (a 1″ 3-ring binder will do), then 3-hole punched all my pages and put them in.

Since my binder has pockets on the front and back, I slipped my cover photos into them — front:

And back:

All the pages are single-sided, to prevent you having to flip back and forth to refer to things. If you need to have your block photo in view while you’re sewing, then you can easily slip that page out of your binder and have it at your sewing machine.

There’s a Table of Contents in the pattern, so naturally, that’s up front.

I used a Post-It type flag to mark my place as I worked through the booklet. You could use a flag on each block and section, if you wanted. Or use flags to mark the sections that apply to the quilt you’re making (traditional or modern).

For the applique patterns, I put 11 sheet protector/page holders in my binder at the back — one for each applique section. Then I put one pattern section in each page holder. This way, when I make my templates, I can slip them into the page holder with that section, and it keeps everything together.

In addition, if I cut some pieces, but I’m not ready to use them just yet, I can slide them in there as well and not lose them.

For my labels, I photocopied the label sheets so I wouldn’t destroy my originals, then put them in a sheet protector, too. I didn’t cut them apart before I was ready to use them, because then I would have had to fish through all the little pieces of paper to find the one I needed. I just cut off the one I needed as I needed it.

I included some blank labels on the label sheets, in case you think of something you need to label that I didn’t make a label for, so you should have plenty of labels to help you keep things straight.

Then I tucked an envelope in with them, so I can put the loose labels in the envelope and keep them corralled.

I’ve also left space for notes, and I also make notes on the blank side of the pages next to a page I’m using, if I need to. And, since it’s a loose-leaf binder, you can add in other sheets of paper whenever and wherever you need to along the way.

Add in more page protectors, tape in fabric swatches, make extra notes — but above all, make it yours!

So now we’re ready to get started!

If you have any other tips for us on how to set up your notebook, or any other ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment below so we can all see them.

I’m so excited to see your quilts start to take shape!

4 responses to “Setting Yourself Up”

  1. Sandra Famuliner says:

    I’m excited to get started! Thanks for the tips.

  2. Rose Marie says:

    This could be just enough encouragement to get me into the BOM. I’m still wavering!!!

  3. Darlene says:

    Thank you Shelly that is an awesome way to stay organized!
    I spent some time today trying to find the top of my cutting table. I just couldn’t deal/ working in 6” of space any longer! I found2 projects in progress under stacks of fabric I had pulled out. I am not finished yet but I can see more of my cutting mat.

  4. Shirley Guier says:

    I’ve got mine in a binder now!

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