My idea book, and sketches of things I like. As I read blogs and look at flikr I take down sketches and ideas in my book. I write where I found the tutorial or finished project and a link (if I'm not too lazy). It usually happens that I have the fabric already in hand while doing this - as I aquire it so gradually. Once I've pretty much laid out which fabric to use and an idea of what type of blocks I'll make a "project page" so to say, in my book (see above). At the top I label the name of the quilt (or in this case the fabric), and draw out pictures of what I'd like some of the blocks to look like. I'll add to this page as I go. eventually this page and the back of the previous page will be a spread of measurements and sketches of possible layouts of the blocks as I arrange them to make the whole. At this point though, I don't have any measurements but an idea that I want those smaller (border) blocks to be 2" or smaller. I really haven't even decided what size quilt to make it yet. It will likely be either a toddler bed quilt or for a twin bed.
These blocks are inspired by the pictures of these blocks on flickr. I think that with the fabric I am going to be using (Valorie Wells, from her Olive Rose collection) I'll need some good neutral fabric to tame it down. A lot of the projects online that I'm seeing that are made with this fabric seem to be too vibrant (or too busy). I'm feeling a lot of solids here and some big wide strips of the Olive Rose fabric. Also, I'm planning on several variations of the blocks I linked (as you can see in my picture above). It's going to be interresting. I am actually (secretly) thinking of doing this as a gift or to sell since I know my husband isn't the fondest of the colors. We'll see where it takes me though.