The Embroidery Journal: Saving Creative Recipes

Like baking, there is a recipe for every machine embroidery project. Keep track with an embroidery journal!

When I first started using an embroidery machine, record keeping was encouraged. I didn’t see the importance at first, but I have found that a journal of sorts does help, particularly if you want to duplicate a project at a later date or have an ongoing project, like a quilt.

Index cards, journals, sketchbooks, notebooks, planners, and binders all work well and there are lots of notebook and journal covers you can make right in the hoop!

Here are some items you may want to include in your embroidery journal:

  • Embroidery Designs
    Ever find an embroidery design and have visions of what you could make with it? Write down the website and design name. Noting the name and designer also helps to locate existing designs. This design was Dainty Flowers 82 from Stitch Delight.
  • Machine Settings
    Tension settings and stitch length need adjusted from time to time, depending upon thread, fabric, or design density.
  • Fabric Type
    Designs stitch out differently depending upon the fabric. Note the manufacturer, SKU number, and source in the event you need to buy more or wish to use the same fabric in future projects.
  • Stabilizers Used
    Some stabilizers work better with certain fabrics and designs than others. It helps to know the kinds with which you have had success.
  • Stitch-Out Charts
    Stitch-out charts help with sewing and thread sequence. Mark any changes you make to stitching order.
  • Threads and Needles
    Note color numbers and manufacturer so you can purchase favorite colors or find a replacement.
  • Photos or Stitch-Out Samples
    Nothing beats having a sample but projects are often given as gifts. A sample stitch-out or a digital photo helps when you want to duplicate a project.
  • Tips/Tricks
    Learned a great tip or short cut? Log it!
  • Future Ideas
    Always think ahead to the next project. You may not get to it right away, but having ideas, measurements, and designs written down helps.

How do you keep track of your embroidery project details?