Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Naming Quilts

Quilting was my creative past-time of choice for many many years before it ever dawned on me to name them. It wasn't until late in 2011, well into my first year of blogging, that I named my first.

Up until that time, my quilts were known by the pattern used to make them. But when one creates their own, that doesn't work so well, now does it? Mango was my inaugural 
design, the color of  the fabric in that top right ring, a favorite of the recipient. Not too clever, right? But giving it a name at all brought a new dimension to my work, and somehow naming became more important after that.


Now it's rather routine for me to name a quilt when it's complete, and though I really enjoy adding that bit of personality, it's not always easy! And sometimes I'm happier with my choice than others. Mulling this all over the other day, I thought it would be fun to share some quilt names - and the quilts of course - that I'm especially fond of.

"Pinky-Swoon" front




ástərisk was fun in that I used the phonetic spelling even when entering it in a quilt show. The registrar questioned me on it, but I kindly insisted that I had written its name correctly.

Once when I was stuck for a name, I couldn't resist following the lead on some artwork I'd seen, and named this one Untitled in Green.



Naming is such a personal thing, and for me, can be influenced by a color or a shape, a technique or a feeling. Sometimes I know a quilt's name as I begin to cut fabric; other times it'll sit for days after completion before a name comes. How about you? I'd love to hear about your own experience naming your quilts. How about sharing a couple of your favorites in the comments, and better yet, include a link to your quilts!

27 comments:

  1. Great post, Debbie! I'd like to write one up sometime, too. I also have trouble naming quilts sometimes and I'll think about it while I'm making it. Sometimes, it's meant to be, and it's not so difficult. I love StringSong!

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  2. I make mostly baby quilts and bed sized quilts and like you did in the beginning, usually refer to them by the pattern name. The first quilt I made for my own bed was a scrappy orange, grey. and white pattern from Elizabeth Hartman. My good friend Terry looked at it and said, oh, a Home Depot quilt. Ha! We all call it that now.

    Thanks for this post showing so many of your great quilts!

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  3. I love the naming process. It helps complete the project. I sometimes know before I start but most times it is a work in progress along with the quilt making process. Most of the time lately the results are very personal and probably only make sense to me but that is okay too.

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  4. Naming my quilts is hard for me...so I started naming some of them with favorite girls names that I did not name my daughter! Love all of your quilts and the names you came up with.

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  5. Love Yay or Nay and String Song. I start thinking about a name from the very beginning and I name all my quilts.
    Preeti.
    http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com/

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  6. I enjoy the naming process. Some come from song titles or lyrics, occasionally poetry, and usually off the top of my head. Some favorites include: Men in Plaid Take the Night (for one of my son's friends who asked me for a quilt); Life is a Pyrex Bowl of Cherries (for a friend who replaced a broken Pyrex bowl and saved my kitchen); and Thoroughly Modern Molly (a niece's college quilt). The most recent one is a baby quilt that I'm calling Palace Windows since the front looks like windows and the backing is covered with Anime Disney princesses.

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  7. I have a very hard time naming my quilts. I try being clever, which doesn't always work! Some of my favorites are: Phantom Triangles, Encapsulated, Raw and Anomalous.

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  8. I've only made 3 quilts so far, and, just like with pets, I'm not all that inventive in naming them. We have Jeff's Packer Blanket, (and un-named baby quilt), and the Berry Bravo quilt. The one I'm cutting now will be the Christmas Cuddle Quilt (a wedding gift for the couple to cuddle up under).

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  9. I have to admit I don't usually name my quilts (and typically don't label them either *hangs her head in shame*). But when I have to label and name them, I find it extremely challenging. I just finished quilting a small piece which will most likely be part of a guild exhibit and I've been thinking about what to name it for a couple of weeks now... Still have no idea!!

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  10. I felt like such a dork at my old (traditional) guild sharing a quilt and what the name is. So I stopped naming them. I've left that guild and started naming quilts again but I usually don't share the names.

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    1. I just flipped through my finished quilt spreadsheet and some of the less boring names are:
      Birdies for Janey, Iris and Lucy Hang Out, Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt, Regatta (that got into an AQS show), Mod Skulls, Batik Wave (that's a gorgeous quilt, hung in three shows), Husband Quilt, "Grey Goose and Gander/Waft Your Wings Together" (ditto for a show), Get to Know Me (that was a self portrait), Gap Improv and of course "Raspberry Blackberry Jam" was my xcut quilt along quilt. And there are more than two "Untitled" quilts to boot.

      It seems I've named more quilts than I realized!

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  11. I find it quite interesting this desire to name a quilt. Does it make the quilt feel more personal if it has a name?

    To me, the quilt becomes personal from the time, work and fabrics I put into it and for the person(s) I make the quilt for. I spend much time choosing fabrics for the person I make a quilt, thinking of their personality, their love of color and I throw in my personal touch I want to add. Even when I make scrap or "extra" quilts for no one in particular, they are all personal to me in some way but I have never felt the need to name them.

    Perhaps on my quilting journey there will come a time when this need strikes me and a quilt or two of mine will have names.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  12. I confess naming quilts is something I really struggle with & often never do. sad, I know

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  14. Great post Debbie ! Nice to see your quilts, especially Yay or Nay. Naming quilts can be the hardest step of the process ;-)

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  15. Great post! I've never really thought about naming a quilt, except for Cross-Talk. Love all the names you've used, but the one you call "Pinky Swoon" is my favorite. :-)

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  16. Since I returned to quilting about eight years ago I have named all my quilts. I just finished a cushion and found myself naming that too- Whimsy, to match my On A Whim quilt! I will often use part of the pattern's original title and use parts of that. For example Diamonds in the Deep became Daffodils in the Deep because I made mine in yellow rather than blue. If the quilt is my own design, I think of a name- eventually. Some of my favorites are Pacific Lime, Scrappy Sandwiches and Birds of a Festher. Authors write books and give them a title, I like to think the quilt has a title too. Much easier when cataloging them too!

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  17. I have one quilt that I actually named for my mother-in-law who passed away at 100 years old before she could see the quilt complete. I'm pretty proud of it as it's my first big quilt, and I learned on it. I don't know if this link will work. It's posted on the craftsy website:
    http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/goodnight-irene/357185

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  18. I've named all the quilts made sine I started blogging and they are pretty much all under the my quilts tab at www.shecanquilt.ca. I almost went always use only one word for the name which makes it harder. Sometimes I know the name before I even start making the quilt, like Breathe or Shattered and sometimes I have to work hard to find the right name. I always find the names others pick for their quilts are interesting.

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  19. My quilts are a personal reflection of what I am living through during the process of making it. they are my way of keeping a journal. Looking back at my quilts is like re-reading my journal. Sometimes the name helps the viewer 'see' my feelings. other times, i choose not to make them so obvious. http://deuxpetitessouris.blogspot.ca/2016/06/finding-harmony.html

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  20. I like my quilts to have names, it makes it easier to remember them. Sometimes I know the name I will call the quilt when I start planning it, other times I decide right at the end, sometimes the fabric names help with a quilt name. I made a quilt last year where I used an anagram as the quilt name http://restisnotidleness.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/the-miniature-quilt_8.html

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  21. I know what you mean, I once made a quilt that was calles "Australia" in the original because it was made of australian fabrics and that didn´t work at all. My favourite is the wedding quilt that I made for my son and his wife. It is calles "alea jacta est" - the dice are cast, a hint to the fact that the partners for life have been found.

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  22. I always name my quilts, at least to myself, if not "publicly" and I thought I was a little unusual for doing so! I'm so glad I'm not, haha!

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  23. I usually name my quilts, and label them accordingly. "Vestibule" and "If Pablo could sew", "Feathered Medallion" and "Urban Jungle" are a few examples. The name generally refers to the style of or inspiration for the quilt, and is often decided upon while working on it. Some examples can be found on my blog at https://sewofcourse.blogspot.ie (My Quilts tab, or elsewhere for some of them, as I have not catalogued too many yet...)

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  24. I actually think naming things is one of my talents- I have great pet names, and I really enjoy coming up with quilt names. Don't know why, I guess it's fun because they don't matter all that much, they are mostly just for grins and to identify.

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  25. I LOVE naming quilts! I have a few quilt names that now needs to quilts to go along with them! :)

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  26. The family favorites have names and there is a lot of discussion about when they come out of the "Sistine" quilt closet for use!

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