Sunday, June 20, 2010

One more thing I'm not keeping track of

Keeping track of your quilts is a huge task when you have made dozens and dozens of them, and especially if you have them out and about on exhibit. I have tried various recordkeeping systems including one I bought that was specifically for tracking show entries (that one didn’t work at all) and now I have cobbled together a combination of Word and Excel documents.

The Excel spreadsheet has the title, dimensions and year of each quilt, a category designation (for instance, selvage quilts), an image, a price, and a list of where it has been exhibited. I try to keep this up to date but confess that I don’t have full info on my earlier quilts.  I could probably reconstruct the data and take new photos or scan in my old slides, but that has always been low on my to-do list.

The Word documents have bios and artist statements, sometimes specifically for a given quilt, sometimes by category of quilt, sometimes in general. When I need some words I look at what I have on file, choose the closest fit, and tailor it to the new purpose. Then I save that version too.

Although I think I’m pretty well organized, sometimes I am thrown for a loop. Like a couple of days ago when I got an email from SAQA regarding ”Crazed 1: Tricolor,” whose picture is over at the right on this page. It’s in the SAQA@20 exhibit, has been gone for several months and will be on tour for at least another year; it even was sold at the first venue.

The email asked whether the quilt has a bottom sleeve, because SAQA is planning to adopt a new hanging system for all its shows, and maybe they will use it later on this tour.

I usually put bottom sleeves on my quilts, but not always, and the thought of being able to recall whether this one has a sleeve gave me a real laugh. Today we got another email saying we shouldn’t feel bad if we didn’t remember. (Not to worry, I didn’t – feel bad, that is.)

Maybe I need to start taking photos of the backs of my quilts and stick them into the spreadsheet too. A great project for my future spare time; I think it will be about #3,587 on my to-do list.

PS – I'm off today on a European expedition and probably won’t be able to do any blogging till I come home.  Hope you don’t forget about me in my absence, because I do love writing this blog and having you visit. Next month I promise exciting pictures and commentary on my travels, and there will be a Quilt Date on July 15. Have a good month, everybody!


  1. Have a wonderful time skipping down memory lane. See you in Stuttgart!

  2. Have a great trip! You won't be forgotten :).

  3. Bring back lots of ideas!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky