That’s one way to document a quilt…

Quilt by grandma, top by an aunt

Some things happen in life (and in the lives of those we care about) that cause us to stop, step back and take a walk down memory lane. I found this photograph the other day.
When I began quilting years ago my kids were toddlers. As you can see in the photograph they were very supportive back then too – allowing me time for quilt therapy. Apparently they thought it was “group” therapy!

quilter kids circa 1992

That quilt was the first queen size quilt I made. It was entirely hand quilted and I was proud of it… until seeing it on display at the San Diego Quilt Show (1992). The quilting was well enough but that star should have been titled “Snakes Trails”. Oh, how it curved! Now I look at it and know it needed more careful piecing and much more quilting. Of course, the fact that I had a child on my back and another at my elbow may have altered my skill level.

Anyway, it was good enough to go on our bed and that’s where it stayed until, in only a few short years, the sun and the cats transformed it (It’s now a “kitty apartment” cover, but that’s another story). One thing I learned from that quilt is that it’s always a good idea to use high quality materials. I learned this lesson the hard way, as you can see in the last two photos below.

fade quilting1
fade quilting2
fade perforated quilting
The quilting stitches, like a perforation, simply allowed the fabric to tear apart.
fade 1
Floral fabric was black. Guess which corner was on the sunnier side of the bed.

I didn’t think of it then but that original photograph is another way of documenting my quilting history. The quilt may not survive but there’s a good chance the memories will. Taken before we had a digital camera, it was a hard copy but now it’s scanned and saved. Documenting is usually a serious business. Have you ever used humorous photos when documenting your quilts or fiber art?

Remember the label
Always remember the label!

By Ann Scott

I started sewing and designing using fabric, thread, and paper when I was a child. I taught myself to make quilts, at first not following the "rules," then watched some experts, learned the rules, and made many hand quilted and appliqued quilts. I spent years focusing on miniature landscape quilts. Now I am a fiber and mixed media artist and that encompasses everything I have a passion for. I have taught, lectured, and my work have show nationally and internationally, some pieces have been published.


  1. Hi Ann, so cute seeing your sons helping you quilt! Labels are so important, and all fabrics fade, using a fabric guard is a good idea for all textiles. Nice blog.

  2. My quilts too have been kitty rampaged but I make and use them knowing that the “girls” will likely alter them. I figure it comes with being a kitty mom. I’d rather have them in my life than perfection. Which is pretty much how I feel about quilts in general. If one of my quilts doesn’t have a mistake (even a small one) then it doesn’t feel finished. To me, the quilting process is not perfect and neither are my quilts. So what if some points don’t match perfectly or a kitty claw pulls out some quilt stitches? That’s life. It isn’t perfect.

  3. I have used photos as part of my quilt labels but I have to confess to being pretty lazy about labeling my quilts. Sometimes, to make it easier on myself, I’ll just write on the back with a pigma pen!!!

  4. Thanks for the comments and sharing your thoughts. Everyone who comments on this post will be entered and has a chance to receive a piece of Ann’s hand painted fabric. The random selection will take place some time next week.
    Quilting (and Painting) Away,

  5. Such cutie pies, mom included. Those boys just loved you, no matter what you were doing. I also used VIP black calico from the 80’s that is now pale grey. I just have a lot of hard-copy photos of quilts with legs sticking out of the bottom, and now I try to remember, who was that holding up the quilt? Hope I win some more of your beautiful fabric, and thank you for sharing your beautiful family.

  6. “legs sticking out of the bottom” So funny! Thank you. You are entered into the drawing. Feel free to share this post. Random drawing will be this coming Tuesday, Feb 19, and announced soon thereafter.

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