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How to Inventory Your Cross Stitch Patterns

Updated on July 29, 2013
Pumpkin Cottage Framed Art
Pumpkin Cottage Framed Art | Source

If you are an avid needlecrafter like myself, you more than likely have a stash of patterns throughout your sewing or craft room. When the time comes to make a specific project, it can be very challenging to go through your entire stash to find the perfect pattern. What makes it even more challenging is when some of your favorite patterns are embedded within magazines.

Needlework journals are available to help you keep inventory of your patterns, however, unless you’re extremely familiar with each design, not having an image of the pattern can make this organization extremely difficult, and perhaps not even worthwhile.

Over the years, my frustration with not having an organization solution for my needlework patterns has forced me to develop a system of keeping inventory. I have found the extra time and effort to be well worth it. And if you’re willing to take the time, I’m sure you will too.

My Solution

Each and every time I purchase a new pattern, or find a pattern I really like in a magazine, I take a picture of it. When I save the image file, I include the stitch count, and if it is from a magazine, I include the date and volume. This enables me to browse through all of the images at any given time and choose the pattern I wish to stitch. I have even created folders to further drill down my search i.e., holiday, celebration, sentiments, etc.

I choose to upload my images within my Google Drive account so that I can look at them all at once, at any time, from any computer, smartphone or tablet in my house, but there are other options.

If you decide to use this method to inventory your needlework patterns, there are other options available to you in terms of programs, software and apps to help you organize your patterns. Here are three main ways.

Computer Programs

Computer programs like Microsoft Word or Excel -- or very similar programs -- are found on most computers and are used by the mass majority, so using one of these two programs is an obvious choice. Both programs offer the ability of uploading photos into tables or spreadsheets and adding text descriptions. If you choose this method, you could make separate tables or spreadsheets for different categories and include stitch counts, page numbers, magazine volumes, names of patterns, designers and more and have it archived in the best method you see fit. The only negative about using this option is that you will be unable to take this information with you to the store, a different room in your house, etc, etc, unless you print a hard-copy of your inventory.


Many inventory tracking apps -- such as Evernote, OneNote or Springpad -- are available for download to your smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC. These inventory tracking apps have features built in that will allow you to upload a picture and give it a title and description. Apps such as these are great for organizing your patterns because they are easily searchable and editable. They also make it possible to bring the information with you wherever you go.

Non-Digital Inventory

If you aren’t tech-savvy and choose not to use a computer to inventory your needlework patterns, have no fear, you can still use this method. Though it will obviously take much longer and isn’t as convenient, there is no reason why you can’t keep inventory using good old-fashioned pen and paper. What you will need to do though is either take photos of all your patterns and develop the film, OR, make color-copies to file with your pattern titles, descriptions and stitch counts.


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