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I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

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    I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

    I've been quilting for about 24 years and over the course of time I have accumulated many, many patterns. About 17 years ago, I went to the binder method for storing my patterns. Putting the pattern in the sheet protector and then putting the sheet protector in the appropriate binder. I probably have about 20+ binders.

    About every 2 years or so, I would go through each binder and purge any patterns that no longer appealed to me.

    Last night I was thinking about the storage method that I currently use and if there was a way to improve upon it. Something I am considering is scanning in each of the patterns that I want to keep and storing them digitally. I would then give away or recycle the hard copies.

    I could then just bring up the pattern digitally and work off the electronic device, or if I really felt I needed a hard copy I could print it out. Yes, I would have a back-up in case my device crashes.

    Has anyone done this? How did it work for you? Are you regretting your decision?

    TIA for your reply.

    #2
    Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

    I don't have any ideas but after reading your post I thought holy cow you have a real library going there!!! If you scanned every pattern that would be so much work if you have a flatbed one page at a time scanner--and if you then got rid of your binder wouldn't you have to make a hard print copy for any quilt you planned to make? To me that sounds like you are creating more work for yourself. I think I would spend more time working on a really good index and cross index for the binders you put together. You did not say if your intention was to get a different kind of system going to eliminate the binders (like do you have a storage issue), or you just wanted to be more organized. Hopefully someone will come by who has done this. Good luck.

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      #3
      Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

      My ultimate goal is to decrease clutter and use the space I have more efficiently. I'm trying to become more organized over all.

      I am fortunate to have access to a scanner that does many pages at one time and creates a PDF.

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        #4
        Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

        Binders and page protectors are my favorite ways to save patterns. My goal is to start making contents pages for the front of the notebooks.

        Do you have them organized by category in the books? Perhaps you can pick 2-3 out of each book to save and keep just 1-2 binders.

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          #5
          Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

          I tend to download patterns, and buy lots of Quilting magazines. I don't have as much as it sounds like you have, but my collection is more than I like to have taking up space (especially the magazines where I only bought it for a single pattern). I would rather free up that space for more fabric

          My plan is this summer, when I have more quiet time at work, I'm bringing my magazines & printed patterns in, and doing like you said.... scan into PDF files, and save to a thumb drive so I can copy to my home computer. Then I will put just the 1st page of the pattern (that usually has a picture of the quilt) in a binder, so I can easily look and choose which one I want to retrieve from my digital file.

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            #6
            Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

            Whenever I get a pattern, it goes directly to my computer to save electronically. If it's a paper copy, either purchased or torn from a magazine, I scan it into the computer. Everything is saved as a PDF and I can then add notes or comments about how the pattern went together or what I would do if I made it again. It has saved so much space and clutter over the years. Every so often I go through the files and delete the ones I no longer want. Backing up the files is something I do religiously. I have never regretted the decision to save my patterns this way. If I need a working copy I just print it out in draft mode to save the ink.
            Barbara

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              #7
              Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

              I have exactly one printed pattern and everything else is digital. I particularly like that I can categorize the electronic files in any method that makes sense to me. I think you will like it.

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                #8
                Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                I have never thought about scanning them to my computer. I also would like to free up space in my sewing room and be more organized. I think the idea is brilliant.

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                  #9
                  Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                  I have done this ever since I started quilting about 10 years ago. All my patterns are scanned into my computer and saved as a PDF when I get them. I either work from the original or print out a copy to mark on. On some patterns, I have to keep notes, marks, etc or I get mixed up in the steps. I do back up all my computer files regularly so I have a "safety net" in case of computer failure.
                  I got a 10 inch tablet for Christmas and now when I am using one of my digital patterns, I send a copy to my tablet via email and can open and read from the tablet. I keep it close to my machine and cutting table so I don't have to print a copy, just follow along on the tablet. After I am done, I can delete the copy from the tablet and the original is safey stored on my computer. Been doing it this way since the first of the year and it is working out beautifully.
                  I store the original patterns in one storage box for the final emergency back up and go through them periodically to dispose of the ones I no longer plan to make or make again. It also helps if you know you have the pattern but can't find it on your computer.....those senior moments are a pain!!

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                    #10
                    Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                    I guess I'mold school. I like hard copies. I do not like everything on the computer.

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                      #11
                      Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                      I don't put much faith in computers as mine was compromised, and the last backups on hard drives were also corrupted, so I lost everything I had. Luckily I was able to recover photos as I had separate CDs of many.

                      I might suggest a good purge to keep only those you truly want or expect to make. And if you have time to scan them.
                      I do like to refer to paper version, while quilting.

                      Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

                      Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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                        #12
                        Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                        I guess I’m old school as well because I put my patterns
                        in a notebook with individual patterns in clear pages too.
                        I have the baby/crib quilts in a separate notebook.
                        All others in a notebook with similar quilts together.
                        When I add patterns I discard older patterns
                        I will probably never make.
                        If you want to keep patterns in notebooks I would
                        suggest to thin them down. Do you really think you
                        will make all the patterns you have saved?
                        I’ve been quilting for 50 years and have
                        2 notebooks. There are patterns I really like
                        and have made them several times. Different fabrics
                        different colors, especially the crib quilts.

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                          #13
                          Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                          I don't download any digital patterns. I also like to have the paper document (pattern) in front of me so I can write comments on it. I keep mine in a 3-ring binder. I also have all of Jenny's BLOCK magazines as well as other mags. I keep them in mag. files on the shelf for easy access. I have separate binders for FMQ ideas, class notes, etc.

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                            #14
                            Re: I may be revamping my pattern storage. Your opinions needed.

                            I do as many others have described - scan the pattern to a pdf, then I save it to a specific folder on my desktop that is automatically and immediately backed up to the cloud. This gives me a "local" copy and a "crash-proof" copy.

                            The nice thing about storing it in the cloud is I can access it from any computer. For instance, I went with my husband on a business trip out of state. I had brought a small project along, finished it, and was getting somewhat bored. Then I found a lovely and well-stocked quilt shop within walking distance of our hotel, oh happy day! I was able to access my quilt patterns on my cell phone and buy the required yardage, and when I got back to the hotel I printed out the pattern from one of the hotel's business center computers and was able to start working on the project immediately.

                            Digital is so nice. I love having books, music, and quilt patterns available to me anywhere at any time. We have purged so many collections that were taking up space - our music CDs, movie DVDs, all of our books, and my quilt patterns. It's amazing how much more room we have, and how uncluttered our home is.

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