At various times in my decades of stitching, I have tried to keep a record of my projects. Sometimes I’m fancy with a stitch journal, sometimes I use a notebook with blank unlined pages. Maybe it’s the ease of self-publishing or maybe it’s the overall popularity of creating journals but earlier this week I found many journals for needlepoint and plastic canvas on Amazon.
Journals give you an excellent way of keeping a record of the projects you’ve completed. It’s especially welcome if you give away your finished pieces because you’ve got a record. It’s also very nice because you’ll have a record of the pieces. That way if you find yourself thinking “I’d like to do another . . .” the journal can give you useful information about the previous project. One thing I love about my journals is that they are a great inspiration. When I’m having stitcher’s block or am feeling washed out, I can look in the journal to get ideas, to feel energized, or to feel inspired.
What to Put in a Journal
For your completed project journal you’ll want to include some basic information for every project. This should include:
- project name
- mesh & size
- date finished
- theads used
- stitches used
- photo of the project
You will want to include this information for every project because it will be the most useful for you as a stitcher. Other information may or may not be included depending on the project. These include:
- stitch guide writer – you’ll need this for exhibiting
- how finished & by whom
- recipient if given
Depending on the piece or your needs you might want to include additional information, but these things should cover the majority of information.
You’ll notice that these journal entries don’t include lots of detail about threads and stitches; they are designed to be summaries. Another kind of journal is a Stitch Journal. These are DIY stitch guides. You’ll record area, thread, color, stitch, and where to find the stitch diagramed. it’s designed as a working document as you stitch the item. In fact, many stitch guides from shops use this format. It’s handy and a quick record.
Buy or Make a Journal
What I found on Amazon earlier this week were lots of blank books for your journal. The vast majority had lined pages, usually about 50-100, and a subject appropriate cover. One went a bit further and had labeled areas for the main information and space for a picture. These kinds of notebooks have become common and are easy to find. You can also create your own custom journal at spots such as Zazzle or CafePress.
I find the ones with set areas too confining for the information I have and I don’t like the wide space between lines in the other ones. I prefer to make my own. I look for bound unlined notebooks in fairly large page sizes. You’ll often see these listed as artist’s notebooks. I like ones that have soft covers and sewn bindings because they lay flat nicely. Moleskine notebooks are probably the nicest of these. I spiffed up one of these with origami papers and a vintage button for the elastic to make a unique book.
The unlined pages give you plenty of space to write about each piece, even at length. Your pictures won’t be confined to a specific size. And you can decorate the cover to make your journal unique.