Be sure to sign and date your quilts!

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Sleuthing | No Comments
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This was the start of a very authoritative paragraph in Mom’s first book, One of a Kind Quilts. It reads:

Be sure to sign and date your quilts! If embroidery is too tedious, write your name and the year on the back of the quilt with a permanent pen (test to make sure it’s permanent). Or tack a typed label to the back of the quilt; if you iron a piece of muslin or a light-colored solid onto a piece of plastic-coated freezer paper, it will roll easily into your typewriter. Use a multi-strike typewriter ribbon; a carbon ribbon will not work. Because a typed label is speedy to produce, you can include all sorts of interesting information: the quilt’s name, the city and state in which it was made, the date it was completed, who it was made for and why, and any other important or intriguing details about the quilt. Historians – and your descendants – will appreciate both factual information and personal comments.

Iris-Label

However, Mom didn’t always follow her own advice, which is why I spend a lot of time looking at piles of quilts with no labels and trying to find them in books, or in old photos, or described in lecture notes or emails. Mom was a prolific documenter, though, so there are several versions of quilt lists and quilt logs by year with enough notes to match a quilt to its name. That sleuthing is part of what makes this project so fun.

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