Friday, July 3, 2009

What to do with quilting magazines...

In my quilting life, I collect many things - like gadgets, fabric, rulers, needles, buttons, threads, etc. All of these I use and enjoy in my projects. Another collection of sorts is quilting magazines and books, which I dearly love to look at again and again for inspiration - seldom making the exact quilt but using elements of them in my own designs. The only problem - now where did I see that particular technique or applique pattern or border design - so I spend lots and lots of time looking through my "library", which while enjoyable, seldom leads to finding the quilt I wanted. This was driving me crazy as I am one of those irritating organized people that has to be able to find stuff - at least in my sewing room, we won't talk about the rest of the house.
So, I came up with a plan. I scan the patterns into a WORD document, create a picture index that takes me directly to the pattern file on my computer, and then throw the "paper" away. Now I can just leaf through my notebooks and usually find the pattern I want right away, open the file on my computer and sometimes print it out and I am set to go. I can get around 8 years worth of magazines in one notebook. Under each picture in the index is a direct link to the file - I just click on the link and the pattern opens up. Now it is very important to back these files up on a external hard drive and I do this after I complete each page on the index.
I also keep a listing of the magazines I have so if I am ever looking for a pattern from a specific magazine, I can check my list to make sure I have scanned that one in.
Now the scanning process is slow as I just use the scanner on my printer at home. At first I tried to keep the magazines in tack so that I could then give them away, but it made for some bad scanned images as I had to fold pages back and there was so much bulk. So now I just cut the binding off and scan individual pages.
I enjoy the scan process as I look over the patterns as I scan them in. Not one to sit idle while waiting for the scanner to do its thing, I usually keep some hand work right by my scanner and multi task by stitchin and scanning. I still have lots and lots of magazines that I have accumulated over the years to scan in, but there's no real hurry and I just do it when I have some hand work to do as well. I would show you the block I am working on - but its a secret!
Happy Stitchin (and scanning),
Teresa

13 comments:

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

OK, I'm convinced. I'm scanning away.

Dawn said...

Great idea!

Cathi said...

Okay, I know you saw my post on the DVD collection 'cause you commented. And I thought I was organized!! I have 5 notebooks of 3-ring binders with tear sheets. Guess what I will be dpomg sppm!! Thanks for the idea.

Granny Lyn said...

What a great idea!! gonna have to pick up a new zip drive for just my magazines!!! Thanks!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- what a great idea! I've got at least 20 years worth of quilt magazines though, so I'm thinking it will take me at least 10 years to get them all scanned in! ;-) I have to agree with you -- it drives me nuts to search and search and not end up finding the pattern I'm looking for!

Martha said...

Congratulations on your win at cvquiltworksblogspot.com What a nice prize!!Do you have a lap quilt ready to go??

Salem Stitcher said...

What a great idea!

Robyn said...

Yep this is a really great idea Teresa...well worth the effort I'd say...
Thanks for sharing!
hugs
Robyn xx

Purple Pam said...

You are so organized, girlfriend, it scares me! But you do have a very good idea for storage. Now if I could just figure out how to do all those things, I would be set!

Leanne said...

What a great system..now to get myself organised.

bluebird-lyn said...

Hi Teresa, thank you for sharing your great idea...I had the same problem and just recently reorganised all my patterns.....Teresa I will do a post shortly on a Quilters Roll for you....regards lyn

Floss said...

Sounds great, but I just not that organized. Its funny I could do this at work and think nothing off it, but at home I just can't seem to get this type of project done.

em's scrapbag said...

What a fabulous idea!