Tag Archives: Inventory

Favorite New Tool? Libib!

I don’t buy new gadgets or tools very often. I have a pretty basic stock of rulers, the same domestic sewing machine for several years, and a supply of pens, pencils and markers that wouldn’t draw much envy. I did upgrade my longarm quilting machine this year, which is exciting for me, since I do my own quilting and often make larger quilts.

And glue, glorious glue! Elmer’s basic white school glue, glue sticks, basting spray, WonderUnder. They’re all ways to stick something to something else. But I’d argue that they are supplies rather than tools. And really, they aren’t new to me, even though I’ve used more glue this year than ever before.

My favorite new tool — and perhaps simply from the glow of recent discovery — is Libib! Libib is a library management tool, available for free for personal use, and for a fee for larger needs. According to the home page: “Our library management service caters to both home and small organizational libraries. Our online software lets you create multiple libraries, catalog books, movies, music, and video games, lets you create tags, leave notes, import/export, and much more. We offer two different subscription options to best fit your needs. Libib is the best system for cataloging your media available online.” (bolding emphasis mine)

You can download an app to either Android or Apple phone, and use the phone to scan your books’ ISBN bar codes. If the book doesn’t have a code, info can be entered manually. The phone-captured data is stored in the cloud, and you can access it on your computer, as well.

My whole quilt library takes up 47 linear inches, and includes about 100 books. What is so cool about this for me, a person with a relatively small library? It took less than half an hour to scan all my quilting books. Okay, there were a few that don’t have an ISBN bar code, and I’ll have to enter them manually. All the rest, done fast and slick! Try that with almost any other listing method, and it certainly would take longer and not include as much information.

You can sort alphabetically by title or author, by date published or added to your library, or by rating of library users. I’m the only user and I haven’t rated them, so that one doesn’t help me. Here’s a look at my computer-based window to my library, with a list view by date published. You can see the ⇑ to the right of the sorting menu. That sorts in reverse chronological order. Also there is a horizontal menu for decade to display. This shows ALL:

Most of my books are older. Only 22 were published in the last 10 years.

Here’s a look at a few of the books by authors whose last name starts with “B.” This is in the grid view.

And if I want more specific info about a specific book, I can get that, too. Here is a screen showing Elizabeth Barton’s Visual Guide to Working in a Series. On the right margin of the screen shot, there are a few icons that allow editing, adding tags, notes, a price, or deleting the entry.

Why delete? As I re-shelved my library, I identified a few books I won’t need to keep, things I’ve outgrown. I can delete them once they have gone away.

Okay, so why? What difference does it make if I have an accurate list of my holdings? Maybe not a lot. But if I needed to make an insurance claim, this would allow me to provide a list to the insurer. You can’t claim it if you can’t name it. I can access the list on the phone or the computer. If I’m at the public library’s used book sale, or at a book store, and wonder if I already own a book, I can check my phone. Once I have my books “tagged” with some identifiers, I can look up all my books on story quilting, for example. I’m an orderly person. I like lists. This is way cool.

Another very cool thing about this is my guild library needs to be re-inventoried. It’s supposed to be inventoried every year, but due to technical issues (committee members not knowing how to use Excel,) it hasn’t been done for 2 or 3 years. There are about 300 items in the guild library. If it takes a half hour per 100, this app will make quick work of the listing. Your guild library could use it, too.

How do you keep track of your household or quilting books? Do you list them? Share in comments.

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Quilt Studio Inventory

Have you inventoried your studio contents? Can you list all the items from memory? Silly question, huh? But if you ever need to make a claim for insurance purposes, you need to know what you’ve lost or you won’t be paid for it.

Not only is an inventory helpful for insurance, it also can be part of your estate planning. As we discussed recently, none of us will be quilting forever. Someday our quilting things will be dispersed or transferred to someone else, or thrown out. Unless you’ve considered what you have and where you would like it to go, AND written that down, chances are pretty good it won’t go there.

After that post, I thought about my best intentions and how I haven’t lived up to them. Jim and I reviewed our wills and other documents recently. A big gap for me is in my studio. I’ve never created an inventory, other than of my books. It’s time.

For insurance purposes, a camera is a good way to document your belongings. I’ve taken pictures of my studio, which would give me a head start. Better is taking video of your studio space. Remember to open drawers and cupboards, and describe all the stuff as you see it. In a safe place keep receipts of equipment, so you can prove value if needed. If that is all you had to make a claim, you’d still do better than trying to list by memory.

For both estate and insurance purposes, a written document would help, as well. Here are the categories I thought of, with a few notes on each. If there are other ideas you would add, help us out in comments.

Equipment (sewing machines, long-arms, sergers, embroidery machines, die cutters)
List each of your machines by maker and model. Include the year acquired and approximate value at that time, or currently if you know that. Also note special attachments or add-ons. For estate planning, note what should happen to the item. For example, my small sewing machine (with modest value) could go to a family member; my long-arm should be sold back to the company. As mentioned above, receipts need to be kept. You can scan them and save them “on the cloud,” even by simply emailing the documents to yourself.
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Fabric, batting, thread
Note where all items would be found. My fabric stash is almost entirely in my armoire; batting is in the closet; thread is in one of two places. Have some idea of your stash yardage. Quilting cotton is approximately 4 ounces per yard. Four yards is one pound. You can use a scale to weigh a typical fabric bin with fabric in it, and then subtract the weight of the empty bin. Divide the pounds by 4 to get the approximate yardage. Note who should have first dibs on fabrics if it’s to be distributed, and what should happen to the rest. If you’ve purchased a special collection of thread, comment on that and approximate value, and note who should get it.

Iron, ironing board, cutting mats, rulers, rotary cutters and blades, notions
These might seem like small items, but imagine the cost of replacing them if you had a fire or flood. It adds up.
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Furniture and lighting
I have my long sewing surface supported by wooden cabinets, office chairs, bookcases, cutting table, my armoire, an open cabinet, gel mats, and lights. None of these are sentimental to me, so I wouldn’t worry much about estate distribution. However for insurance purposes this is a chunk of money. I need to list these and take pictures.

Books, patterns
Ironically, the one thing I have a pretty good list for is my books. I have about 100. If the replacement value averages $10 each, that’s a good thousand dollars. It’s worth keeping this list up to date. (I also put a return address sticker in each one. A book that is lent will more likely come back if my name is in it.)
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Projects in process and UFOs
Do you have a list of these? Random blocks probably don’t matter a lot here, but projects that have a large portion done, or that would be sentimental for some reason, deserve extra attention. If you have plans for the finish and for who would receive the finished quilt, note that in your inventory. And go one more step and pin a note directly to the project.

Finished quilts
Quick, tell me how many finished quilts do you have in your home? Honestly I could only make a guess. I have quilts we will keep, quilts on walls, placemats and table runners in cabinets and drawers. And there are others that will eventually be given away. Besides those are quilts we’ve received as gifts, such as the one Jim’s grandma made. Who has first dibs on the big grey quilt? How should the others be distributed? Should the kids take turns choosing, or is there a good reason that shouldn’t happen?

If you have antique quilts or art quilts, consider having appraisals done. Use a registered quilt appraiser rather than an antiques dealer who doesn’t specialize in quilts. It is easy to be fooled by both fabrics ands styles, so if you’re going to pay for the work, get it done right.

No one wants to think about bad things happening, but they do. Be prepared. Take some pictures, make a list, pin a few notes on finished quilts and unfinished projects, locate receipts. When bad things do happen, this will make the aftermath easier.

Comments? Questions? What experiences have you had, dealing with someone else’s studio or making an insurance claim for your own?

Studio and Stash Tour

I’m a member of the Stashbusters yahoo group, and one of the traditions is to give a “state of the stash” report during one’s birthday month. October is my month!

Since my last report, I’ve lamented my stash both privately and out loud. Having “too much” makes me a little uneasy. Fabric is intended to be used, not hoarded, as I wrote (and reposted recently.) And at various times over the past year, especially, I’ve felt like my inventory got a little away from me. However, after less buying for several months and some good work putting things in their right places, it all feels more under control now.

What you see below is the vast majority of my stash. The upper two shelves have 5 plastic bins each. I think they’re considered shoe box size. I separate most of my fabrics by color. On the top shelf, for instance, is black, brown, purple, and two kinds of pinks. Most of the bins are pretty full. In the lower part of the armoire are two cabinets. The right one has some pieces that are bigger and maybe useful as backing or background. In the left cabinet are odds and ends of flannel (hardly any,) some chunks of muslin, and some decorator fabric. There’s also a skein of yarn (why??) and a little embroidery stuff in there.

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Besides the armoire, I have plastic roller bins under my cutting table. The three drawers on the right have “projects,” somewhat loosely defined. The middle drawer unit has bags, basic scraps, and remnants of bindings and odd blocks or parts. You can see none of the drawers is stuffed full.
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All this is in a spare bedroom. In the closet I keep a roll of batting and some packaged batting. My extra machine and roller case, and some other odds and ends also live in the closet.

Also in the bedroom is my cutting table, my long-arm, and my book shelf.

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Above the window is a long LED light bar. It adds a huge amount of light when I am quilting.
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The last item in that room is an old shelf that has my long-arm accessories and threads.
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As you can tell, nothing is very fancy but I have plenty and especially plenty of space! In fact, besides that room, I also have space in the adjacent family room. It includes a long desk area where I use my domestic machine and sometimes use my computer. My ironing board is here, as well as a currently blank design wall.

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The design wall is empty because my current project is almost done. Its size now is a little too big and heavy to stick on the craft felt wall.

So, my friends, the state of my stash is healthy, and my studio is spacious and easy to use. I am so very blessed. Thanks for reading.