Quilting Diary

Three weeks ago, Barbara Brackman wrote on her blog about sewing diaries from the 18th and 19th centuries. How pleasant to find women from 100-150 years ago who love fabric much like I do. For almost fifteen years I have been talking to myself in the pages of my own quilt diaries. It is fun to “think out loud” when planning a new quilt or inventorying my UFO’s or muddying through life’s issues. Looking back at my older entries, there are times when I listed every project in progress with the hope that its length would convince me to stop adding to it and “focus” my energy, times when I gloried in a particularly productive period and finished quilt after quilt and times when I didn’t mention quilting at all. Life can be shocking sometimes. Those times I just wrote whatever came out. It is enlightening to look at myself years after some of those shocking moments and see that life does, indeed, go on.

Most of the time, I write about quilting. I paste fabrics I am using and fabrics I just like. I plan blocks and tops. I audition colors. I write about quilts I admire and lament I’ll never be as good as those quilters. And then I paste in more fabrics and realize I quilt because I love it and I quilt to satisfy myself. My quilt diaries pale in comparison to the sewing diaries depicted on Barbara Brackman’s blog but, hey, mine aren’t 150 years old. It’s fun to see how my fabric and quilt tastes have changed over the years. Although, after looking at the old sewing diaries, I think I could take all of their fabrics and make a stunning quilt from them today.


Do any of you keep quilt diaries? I would love to have a peek inside of yours if you want to share.

I have been getting a little stitching done so I thought I’d include a couple of “process” photos. I saw a fragment of an old Ohio Star and decided to reproduce it in cradle size. Here’s a shot of the blocks done so far. I prefer the blue print on the right so I am waiting for more to come via mail order. It is available for just $4.50/yard at Whittles Fabrics!

And the fabrics below are bits of another mini of the month. That’s the program I am doing with Temecula Quilt Co. Those little pinwheels are pretty small and there are 14 of them in the top. That’s the part that slowed me down. I am happy to report that I did finish the top late last week.

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  1. All of my intentions to keep a quilt diary have been good, but not acted upon. I guess my blog is my quilt diary. Somehow, it is easier to me to type and add photos on here than in the blank journals that I have purchased for that purpose over the years. I'm hoping to use one of those "print your blog to a book" sites to get hard copies of my blog for my children, as they are featured in my blog about as much as quilts are. I love the peeks into your journals. They are exactly the kind of things I would love to pore over to see how another's mind works and how another's life plays out.

  2. The quilting diary is a fabulous idea. After a long waited rant on my blog today, a new friend commented and e-mailed sharing her thoughts on quilting and on the journey of quilting. I am a quilting only be relation to my mother the master quilter, but I do write my journey here online. Our blogs are the trackers of our creativity. Beautiful blocks. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  3. I found your blog tonight and enjoyed seeing your completed Monthly Mini's. This month's project will be in the mail next week. More pinwheels, really cute.
    Sheryl, Temecula Quilt Co

  4. Hi Taryn I start Quilt Diaries but somewhere along the way I am not as good at maintaining them. Time There is never enough of it!! Plus I loke lots and lots of itty bitty scraps so could not paste the fabric in but I do like to have the ideas in one spot.
    Have a great Sewing weekend

  5. I am working on my fourth quilt ever, my second larger one. And yes I pasted the fabrics I use for this quilt on a sheet of paper but that was it….till now. I will make a journal from now on, as I planned to do, you really inspired me. But as Retro-fabulous said; I blog. About four years now so indeed that is a kind of journal too.

  6. That's a steal on the fabric! I really like it, too. I am blogging which is about as much info I can manage to pull together right now. I wish I'd have saved scraps from my earliest projects. There are some I don't even have photos of, sad to say. I'm sure your beautiful diaries will be cherished for many years to come.

  7. I just started keeping a diary (of sorts) last year. I'm using a ring-boung sketch book as my quilt/sewing journal. Actually I wanted to document all the UFO's that I finished so on the very last page, I listed the UFO's which I check off as they are completed. In the front of the book, I've started pasting pictures of any items I make or finish and samples of the fabrics I chose. I also add comments if it was a gift or a project I started a long time ago.

  8. Love those Ohio stars, that quilt will be amazing. I have thought of a quilt diary but thought is as far as it has got. I am not very good at putting my thoughts on paper. I really love them so , maybe I will begin one now that I have seen them on a few blogs.

  9. Your stars of beautiful!!
    I love your diary – I wish I had one. I have photos and an info page and haven't kept that up very well either!
    just beautiful

  10. I love your quilt diary. I always wanted to start writing quilt journal but never did yet. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Also I LOVE your star blocks & little pinweels. it's very beautiful!

  11. I think your quilting journal looks wonderful! I never thought of keeping one. My ideas are all on scraps of paper in a big envelope – not labeled or sorted or together with fabric swatches. I love your pinwheel quilt – great fabrics – when do we get to see the finished top? :0) Love the stars too – that's so great that you found more fabric.

  12. Love all the eye candy! Look forward to your posts. I sporadically document my quilt adventures, but should be more diligent.

  13. I love this post, Taryn! Your blocks are beautiful. I don't keep a quilting diary, but after seeing yours I'm inspired. I have books that I kind of scribble down ideas in, and yours are orderly and neat;) Congratulations on the pin wheel top. I love pinwheels, and these are so pretty! Take care

  14. oh love the stars I just happen to be making a quilt with that blue fabric too 🙂
    quilt journals, hmmm nope I don't keep one
    think about it alot though, maybe I need to start!
    so many quilts I gave away or sold, wish I had pictures of them all and the fabrics used.

  15. I'm quite bowled over by your projects, The stars are going to be fantastic and the orange quilt is going so well. That one has quite a bit of piecing.

  16. Hi Dana, I couldn't reply to your post. I love blank journals. My suggestion is to start pasting the fabrics you are working with and go from there. I hope others share their journal methods with us.

  17. I have wanted to keep a quilt diary for quite some time – in fact, I've purchased several blank journals – but I am having trouble getting started! I'd love to hear more about yours!

  18. Wow! I love your blue an white stars!! What size are they?
    I love the orange and brown mini quilt!! It will be wonderful for autumn.
    I'm not disciplined enough to keep a fabric diary but it sure was fun taking a peek at yorus. Thanks for sharing it.

  19. I don't keep a quilt journal/diary. I do find the fact that you do very interesting. I hope you will share some of it with us over time.

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