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It's not every day you get to name an actually living being so I have to settle for naming quilts.

It’s not every day you get to name an actually living being so I have to settle for naming quilts.

Once upon a time I was going to rewrite T.S. Eliot’s “The Naming of Cats” to reflect the naming of quilts. I didn’t get far because it’s easier for me to work on “filk” with other people around and these days I don’t work in an office.

Anyway, since writing about my Guild’s upcoming Quilt Show, I read some of the comments and got to thinking about that topic again.

My mother (and other people) seem to really like the names I come up with for my quilts and always want to know how I think them up.

Detail of Spirographology taken by Jeff Lomicka at my Guild talk.

Detail of Spirographology taken by Jeff Lomicka at my Guild talk.

I can’t claim any particularly clever scheme for naming them… the names just “come” to me, usually while I’m working on them (sometimes if I’ve been working on them too much!)

For instance: Spirographology. I had bought the black and white fabric in the centers of what came to be the Jack’s Chain specifically to do a “stack n whack” kind of quilt. I had fun working on the other two I had made, so I thought this would be a quick, fun project.

But it didn’t work out that way since, with just the black & white fabric, I thought it was dull. I didn’t like it.  I sent a picture to my mom, and my dad saw it and said that they looked like something I made from a Spirograph. That stuck with me and, as I was assembling the Jack’s Chain, I eventually decided would “spice up” the monochromatic stack n whack, I came up with the name Spirographology.


The Road from Malden to Lowell is Paved With Broken Dishes… is probably the longest name I’ve ever named a quilt.

So, as you can see, I usually change the name of a quilt as I work on it. I start out most times with the name of the block and sometimes I keep fairly closely to name, as in the case of the broken dishes quilt that I was working on it when I moved from Malden to Lowell.



Learning Curve is one of my favorite quilts.

In the case of my Baltimore Album quilt.  I was learning to appliqué, and when I got 9 blocks done I had to make a decision about whether to include my early blocks (which I thought weren’t very good.)

I knew I shouldn’t call it “Baltimore Album” because I’ve never lived in Baltimore, and not even all the blocks are from Baltimore.

In the end, I did decide to use the early blocks, and felt that this way the quilt really shows my learning progress, so I named it Learning Curve.



Suburbia… partly done.

My current machine piecing project is Suburbia.


I started out calling it “9-Patch Houses”, but when I got them all together I thought about where I grew up and how here were 4-5 different house layouts/designs in our “housing plan.” We all started out looking similar, but, after a while, our houses were all different because of doors, shutters and landscaping.

The houses on my quilt are the same because they start off with a 9-patch, but, like my neighborhood, they ended up looking a bit different because of the fabrics used.

If you have read this blog for a while, I sometimes talk about how the names of my various quilts come to be. I will, of course, continue to share this on the quilts as I’m working on them, but I hope this post gives you a little insight on how I do it if you don’t want to go back and read my old posts.