If you're in a small quilting group of 10 or fewer people, think of all the books and patterns that all of you own. Why not create a lending library to share with one another? This works best if everyone has access to the computer because you'll use Excel or another database to create your inventory.
Here's how to do it:
- Create a group site on Yahoo for your own small group.
- Each person logs her own materials. Here's an edited view of my Excel file for what I own so you can see how I categorize. The blog isn't large enough to show the 3rd column in Excel in which each book is labeled according to technique. It provides another way to sort on the spreadsheet. So if I'm trying to find out if I already own a book on applique' I can go to the spreadsheet and sort accordingly.
|101 Foundation-Pieced Quilt Blocks||Causee, Linda||Foundation-piecing|
|101 Fun-to-Quilt Pot Holders||Trice Boerens||Pieced blocks|
|202 Little Log Cabin Blocks||Causee, Linda||Foundation-piecing|
|24 Blocks for Kids' Quilts||Causee, Linda||Foundation-piecing|
|24 Kids' Quilt Blocks||Kauffman, Connie||Foundation-piecing|
|50 Nifty Iron-On Quilt Labels||Hillman, Barbara Baatz||Labels|
|A Quilter's Ark||Rolfe, Margaret||Foundation-piecing|
|All American Quilts and Pillows||Libal, Joyce||Patriotic pillows|
|Applique 12 Easy Ways!||Sienkiewicz, Elly||Applique|
|At Home with Thimbleberries Quilts||Jensen, Lynette||Thimbleberries|
|Autumn & Winter Seasonal Samplers||Mumm, Debbie||Country|
|Basic Guide to Rotary Cut Quilts||Fons & Porter|
|Bias Square Miniatures||Carlson, Christine||Miniature Quilts|
|Bits and Pieces||Soltys, Karen Costello||Fat quarters & scraps|
|Block Magic||Johnson-Srebro, Nancy||Pieced blocks|
|Block Magic, Too!||Johnson-Srebro, Nancy||Pieced blocks|
|Block Party||McCloskey, Marsha||Rotary-cut 9" Blocks|
|Card Art||Terry, Susan S.||Postcards|
|Christmas Baskets||Mumm, Debbie||Country|
|Clever Quarters, Too||Dissmore, Susan Teegarden||Fat quarters|
|Country Calendar||Mumm, Debbie||Country|
|Cozy Cabin Quilts (Thimbleberries)||Jensen, Lynette||Thimbleberries|
I do the same thing for Patterns. Everyone in your group should use the same template. Pick one that works for you.
- Now on your group web site, upload your file into a database. Either one person can combine all of the information into one Excel file that can be a link, using the individuals' names as another category, or you can go into each individual's file to see what they have.
- Make sure that all of your group members include their contact information. Naturally, the people who don't want to loan out their materials won't participate.
- If you are a borrower: Record the date, book or pattern title, lender's name, and what date to return the item.
- If you are a lender: Record the date loaned, the item, the borrower's name and what date you expect the item returned.
- You could easily include a Lending Library Circulation file on your group's website to include the above two pieces of information.
- If you don't want to update your inventory record as soon as you bring something in, at least do it every quarter or so. Just stack any new book or pattern in a special place (don't intermingle with your current books) so you'll know what to add to your inventory.
- Be respectful of other people's books. Don't write in them, use a book mark rather than lying them face down (that breaks a book's spine eventually), and don't dog-ear the pages.
On a different note, Linda is supposed to be at a machine applique' class right now and then work at the shop. Instead she's got flu-like symptoms. Fever of 101.8, dizziness, chills, body aches and she sounds pretty disgusting, too.
No energy to quilt or putter around the house. Do you realize how lousy daytime TV is? Thank goodness for the big pink fluffy terrycloth robe, orange juice, hot tea, Puffs with Lotion, cats, a good book and of course, a comfy quilt. Not too great to call in sick on only her fourth day, but what can you do?
Snuggling with a Sickie,