Monday, January 2, 2017

Necessity is the Mother of Controlling Paper

In my continual quest for organization, defined by me as:

"Being able to find what you own"
I invented a solution to one of my "paper problems" and there are several paper problems. It's one big paper chase around here folks.

By the way, this post is not for the computer lovin', "I-organize-everything-on-my-computer" -types reading. Y'all will want to move on quickly to your own kind lol!

This is for people like me, who can't find a doggone thing once it finds a hidey-hole in the bowels of the computer memory. Or you don't think about it if it's hidden in the computer. Or if you like to HOLD a pattern like I do.

quiltartdesigns gave us a block a day free downloads over the holidays. I dutifully did that, and printed them out except for one day when I told the computer to download, it lied to me saying it did, but it didn't download the whole document, only the first page so I don't have that block. No worries, my plan is to put in a block of words there. You can pay Janeen at this point for the whole pattern if you like.

I thought you might like to know what I do with patterns I print in hopes of actually making them.
I use these:
plastic sleeves to hold the whole patterns. They have holes to fit into a regular notebook although I often keep them in a magazine holder til I try them, like this...
I really like this method for me. I enjoy holding a pattern, being able to put it on a table and look at it instead of constantly waking up a computer and scrolling from screen to screen with a small display. I also like a real book more than I like reading anything on a computer screen.
That's an IKEA magazine holder that is very sturdy and a lovely robin egg blue color. Makes me smile to use it.
Back to the Winter Village collection of 11 blocks. I wanted to keep them together, and wanted to use a red Manila folder so I place them inside, marked their holes with a pencil, used a hole punch to create holes for a scrap of ribbon. Use IT!!
Pushed the ribbon through the sleeves, through a hole, back up through the other hole and tied a knot.
Voila! Problem solved!
It is functional.
I even taped a printed image of the whole thing to the front of my folder. Pretty...

The system works for me and that's all a system owes you.
I don't mind other people doing things differently... go for it! This works for me, I used materials I already owned, it keeps the project together so it can patiently wait for me to make it, and I feel good about finding it when I'm ready.
Now as for the rest of the mess... gotta go see what can be done next!
Remember when I got some Antonius rolling shelves? I wanted a top for them, and they make one for the other rolling shelves Algot but not mine. I got this metal top made for Algot and not the same size as mine but it works the way I'd like so I now have yet another flat surface on which to pile stuff.
Gosh I hope I don't....
Make it work!
linking to among others


  1. I'm with you----paper in the hand. No matter if it is a pattern, a book, or the newspaper.

  2. My patterns currently live in a large ziploc bag. Obviously I haven't collected that many patterns yet! I like your organization.

  3. Hi LeeAnna,
    I'm with you on this system! I print out the patterns, put them in a plastic "sleeve", then into a binder and every month the new bom is added! Just waiting to be attempted! It's nice to look at! I started that with the stitchery from Jenny of Elefantz! THe sleeves are great for holding the bits of fabric for each months project! Now that winter is here I can carry on where I left of last February!

  4. Why did I not know paper could be controlled? You can't prove that by looking at my house! I think it's made of paper!
    And flat surfaces? Um...I should not be allowed flat surfaces of any kind...they fill up quickly around here...with paper! HA!

  5. If you lived closer I'd give you more of those pocket sleeves. Our extra boxes are heading to Goodwill. I'm one of the computer types. Everything gets scanned or doesn't exist. Fabric is more important than paper.

  6. I'm with you on the paper-in-hand method. I do save a ton of stuff on my laptop, but keep in organized in folders so I can find them when I need them. Usually, I'll pin them too on a Pinterest board, so I know what they look like and then can print out the file. Aint' nothin' wrong with being old-school!

  7. Flat surfaces are my enemy! I also love to print patterns because then I can write on them and put sticky notes on them. And I also use those clear sleeves - with binders or folders. They work great. I'm definitely a techie and love my digital copies of things, but if I'm actually sewing something I want that paper copy of the pattern.

  8. I love this post. I too print out patterns and put them in protective sleeves then binders labeled quilts, home products, clothing patterns, bag patterns, holiday patterns. But I love your folder ribbon idea! I have a few tutorials on my tablet or PC but it is such a pain to have to go back and check something while I'm sewing! Thanks for your blog. I love reading it and seeing your wonderful use of color. Mary in Az.

  9. Yes, yes, patterns on paper. I sit in front of computer most of the day at work so it is a nice change to read something that I can hold and move, to give my neck's muscles respite. The plastic sleeves can be written on too. (well, those I have do.) Use a dry erase crayon or a wet erase one. They can be found in most dollar stores. It's perfect to doodle the quilting pattern onto the block or just to take notes. I have no flat surface in my house; they are all covered, lol. (kidding!) ;^)

  10. This is a useful technique! I use binders to keep patterns. The problem is that 50 weeks of the year, I just open the cupboard and throw the patterns in that I want to keep (have fun finding them then). I'm wondering if the magazine boxes would take up less room. I have some in the basement, will have to pull them out. Thanks LeeAnna! Hugs!

  11. Organizing paper is a constant battle! Looks like you have found some useful ways to overcome the piles! I didn't know about the free patterns to download, but the quilt they make looks adorable! A fun one to keep for a new winter quilt one of these days.

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  13. Niiiiice. Those computer organizing types are a tribe unto themselves. 😇 And one I don't belong to either. P.S. THANK GOD for IKEA products.

  14. My preference would be to print patterns, but the printer died over a year ago and I refuse to buy my husband a new one (I've already bought him two), so when I need a paper copy I have to go to the library to print. It was so much easier when I still worked in a library. As far,as flat surfaces, my husband takes care of that. Any flat surface is immediately covered with either stamp collecting stamps or political campaign memorabilia. Well there is a stack of fabric on one of the living room chairs, but right now there are stamps soaking on the kitchen counter, so you get the idea.

  15. That's a great idea. I print my "want to do" patterns out and put them in binders, but not in those fancy sleeves.

  16. I just wanted to post to you that I enjoy reading your blog about your travels and your quilting projects. I learn something new from almost every post. :-) For instance, learning a couple posts back that there is a Dick Blick in Baltimore. DH and I are going to make a field trip there sometime this winter.

  17. I use binders and page protectors to keep things organized. Just can't work without it!

  18. I download *everything*, then promptly forget about it. Yesterday I was hunting through my computer files and found a pattern I'd meant to use for RSC (while looking for something else!) (Which I never did find...)
    (Unfortunately, our printer is down at the moment, so I had to hold a piece of paper up to the monitor and trace the pattern. Argh!)
    I love the pretty little book you made! Filing that idea away for later use!

  19. Good idea! I keep jamming my notes and sketches in manilla folders when I'm done with a quilt (when I remember). This is so much neater. It keeps everything together better, and the picture on the front looks so helpful for keeping track of the project.

  20. I use those plastic sheets for magazine patterns - much better than holding onto the entire magazine, which creates it's own mess. Those sheets are indispensible! Thanks again for sharing this idea on Midweek Makers