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Naming Quilts is Hard

Name Challenged

I am terrible at naming things. I had three cats while I was growing up that I named Mama Cat, Baby Cat, and Kiki. Actually the first one was just plain Cat until Baby Cat came along. Yes, I have been name challenged from an early age. Fortunately my husband helped name our children or they might have been Kid 1, Kid 2, and Kid 3.

With our van Elsie

My husband’s family names everything. The first vehicle we bought together was a rusty old van that he named Elsewhither Bound or Elsie for short. The concept of naming cars was completely foreign to me, but over time I realized that referring to our van as Elsie added a layer meaning and deepened our relationship with the idea of travel. We loved that van! Can you guess the year by our awesome styling in the photo with Elsie?

Naming Quilts

I aim to add that layer of meaning to my quilts, but I don’t always succeed. Quilts that stay around the house usually don’t get a name other than “the map quilt” or “the triangles quilt” (lots of those). However quilts that are going to be on exhibit or that will become a pattern must have a title. It is one of those pesky quilting rules.

Sometimes my quilt titles end up being just a bit off. For example, I titled my first show quilt Thread Trails, which isn’t bad. But people always remember it as Thread Tales which actually fits the quilt even better. If I ever make a pattern for that quilt I am definitely changing the title.

I plan to begin selling quilt patterns in 2018 and have two patterns almost ready to go. I will open the pattern shop soon, woo hoo! Until then here is an informal sneak peek.

I titled the first pattern Squares on Rails carrying on in the grand tradition of my straightforward cat names. This is an easy, beginner friendly pattern so perhaps a straightforward title is appropriate… ? On the other hand I am kind of proud of the title Starwheels that I came up with for the second pattern because it captures the design in a more imaginative way. There may yet be hope for my naming skills.

Squares on Rails



Many quilters struggle with naming their quilts, so at least I am not alone. Some fine artists have used series titles like Blue Triangles No. 4 or Orange Study No. 8 but I don’t think I could make that work. So I guess I will keep making up quilt titles in my own hit or miss way.

~ Sandy


Day 10 of The 2017 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge


11 thoughts on “Naming Quilts is Hard

  1. I feel your pain. Naming Quilts is impossible for me unless I have been planning them in my head for a while or they are being made especially for a certain person, then that person’s name gets worked into the mix. Thanks for the great post idea! I’ll tag you in it when it happens. I may be a no reply blogger, so am adding my email address to posts.

  2. You can always call on your car-naming side of the family for help… But not so much your brother, who also grew up in your cat-naming-challenged family. 😂

    1. Good thing we name-challenged folks can find “normal” folks like you to partner up with!

  3. Naming is often difficult, but sometimes I really get inspired. Other times, it is much harder. Good luck with your patterns!!!

    1. Always hoping for inspiration … Thanks Kathleen!

  4. Calliope may have your gift for naming. Her dolls and stuffed animals include names baby, dolly, little girl, hello Kitty, other kitty, blue Grover, red Grover (Elmo) and for a while Minnie was Mickey Girl. I thought Caribbean Waves was a creative name. There’s hope yet!

    1. Adorable girl after my heart!

  5. For the first time ever, I named my car. Her name is Blue (because she’s blue – original, huh?). My husband just bought a new (used) car and it’s blue. We’re not sure what to name it now. Haha.

    1. So funny, but it rings true to me!

  6. I think naming them authentically gives them your personal touch. Good luck with your pattern releases and I wish you much fun with this in 2018! 🙂

    1. Thanks Yvonne!

Comments are great, I love to hear from you!