Tag Archives: quilt inventory


In every creative endeavor some form of paperwork lurks in the back recesses. If you sell your art there’s inventory, listings, sales receipts and and tax data to keep track of. Even if you never offer your work for sale you may keep an inventory of it, whether it be bare bones information like title, date made, and size; or more elaborate details of type and quantity of materials used or photographic records. You may inventory your stash.

This blog began as an inventory system in a way. I wanted a record of my quilting, both the process and the products. I certainly haven’t written about everything I’ve made. Some stuff doesn’t deserve that amount of attention, though I try to talk about failures as well as successes. You can see my attempt at a public photographic record on the “My Quilts” pages.

However, I think some inventory components are too boring for blog fodder. I keep a document that lists my quilts by size, date made, and any exhibit history. Another document contains artist statements for quilts I’ve submitted to shows. My photo folder of finished quilts is by far the biggest piece of my inventory. I also have photo folders of quilts sold/gifted and for individual pieces that took me a long time to make.

Like most people, I don’t update my paperwork as often as I should, but reorganizing and improving my quilt photos gave me something concrete to do as I awaited election results. I combed through my photos to see if I had pictures of all my work, and then pawed through my quilt storage containers to unearth my unphotographed or badly photographed work. We had a few days of warm, sunny weather, so I photographed outdoors after much trial and error (and cursing.)

I now have decent photos of almost all my work that I still own, thanks to Photoshop Elements. “Correct camera distortion” and auto color correction are my best tech friends. If I think a piece is really good I have it photographed professionally, but my amateur efforts suffice for most.

I rediscovered work that has been buried for many years. Some is just awful (see below.) Some I decided to revise or sew in hanging sleeves so I can display it at last. One is now visible from my front door. It only took me nine years to get to that last detail.

I was enamored with improv wonky angle piecing, and believed you couldn’t have enough color. I think a different background fabric would have been so much better. Just because a work is original doesn’t mean it’s good.

Throughout the whole process I stopped to pet and refold old friends and reflect on my development as an art quilter. There was the crazy angle improv phase, the modern phase, the scrappy phase (I still seem to be in that,) the transparency phase, the planned out phase, among others. My earlier quilts are much larger than ones I make now. Much of my recent work is either what I call sketches, small pieces to try out an idea or color palette, or the result of unplanned play with fabric. I guess I make two to four serious pieces each year, ones I consider worthy of entering in juried shows. And of course I now dabble in mixed media and collage.

I’d love to know what kinds of paperwork, if any, are attached to your body of work. I’d also love to know if you have a good quilt storage system, besides under the bed. That’s my next “paperwork” project.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


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