Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

When I finished my first quilt, someone said to me, "Your quilt needs a label."

A label?

See, I have a knitting background. You make a sweater; you put a little tag in the collar when it's done. That's about it. Nothing special. Or, at least, I never did anything special.

Knitted socks, same thing. No label. The whole thing is either stuffed in your shoe, or hidden under your pant legs, invisible.

So I said, "What for?"

"Well, the quilt needs a name, for starters."

Me: "A name?"

In my mind, I'm going back to the sock thing. I mean, for real, do you name your socks? This one's 'Joe,' and that one is 'Sally?'

So, what on earth would you name a quilt?

Then they said "and you should record the important stuff about the quilt, like who made it, the pattern, the date, etc."

Really? (My mind can't let go of the sock concept.)

But, of course, nearly ten years later, I see the wisdom of that advice. How many times have you heard the story of a quilt found at a garage sale or in an old trunk. No idea who made it, for what event, the inspiration.

And naming a quilt, it's almost as much fun as making the project. If you listen to the quilt, it'll tell you its name (no, I haven't gone off my rocker - at least I don't think I have . . . yet!)

A quilt label can be a valuable record. Marked in your handwriting with a permanent pigma marker or with printable fabric and computer software: the name of the quilt, the person who made it, the quilter, the pattern that inspired the design, the occasion it commemorates, where the quilt was made, special washing instructions. A bounty of information for the quilt's journey. It's more important than you might think!

Add some decorative stitching to embellish the label. Make it from scrap fabrics. It can be more than just a record, it's part of the creative expression. Simple or complex.

For this reason, I created a label pattern, called You Name It! that you can use for your finished quilt projects. Secure it to the back of your quilt, placed on point or straight up. The pattern is free, but there's a catch (a little one!)

You have to click over to my newly redesigned website (isn't it pretty?), and fill in your email address in the space on sidebar. That enrolls you in the soon-to-be-launched weekly eNews from Hummingbird Highway. The eNews has a name, too; it'll be called "Good Migrations."

From there you'll receive two emails in response, one to confirm your email is added to the email list and a second one from me with a link to a special page where you can down load your own pattern.

So, what's in a name? Well, You Name It!

Happy stitching,