I personalize my quilts by adding words and symbols to the design. Let me tell you how that came to be. Then I will give you suggestions for personalizing your quilts too.
If you have looked around on my Etsy shop, you will have found the section called “About Lorie Kleiner Eckert.” Thus, you will know that I began to make quilts-with-words in 1994 when I was going through a divorce. I had been a stay at home mom for twenty years, and suddenly, I needed a job! I decided to turn my hobby of quilt making into a paid profession thinking I would go out on the quilt lecture circuit.
There was a problem with my plan, however. Though I am a very fine quilt designer and technician, I am not the world’s greatest quilt artist, so how would I compete with better quilters targeting the same audience? My solution was to make quilts with words and symbols pieced into the design – because no one else was making such quilts – and therefore I could stand alone in my field.
As it turns out, the overall shapes of many of my first designs were symbolic on their own. Simply put, I felt oddly shaped. My friends were all going by two-sies onto the ark, and I was on my own going through a divorce. So, my quilts showed that – symbolically. In the first series of quilts – which became my first lecture and my first book – I showed twelve quilts. Nine of them were oddly shaped. Square quilts and rectangular quilts were not my thing!
Here are two examples from my book, With This Ring I Journey:
By the time I made my second series of quilts – which became my second lecture and second book – I had twelve more quilts to show. Only three of them were oddly shaped while nine of them were squares and rectangles just like “normal” quilts!
Here is an example of one of the odd ones from my book, Get Quiet and Listen:
If you are wondering why the flip-flop in the ratio of oddly shaped to traditionally shaped quilts, I could attribute it to the passage of time and to feeling better post-divorce. But here’s a contributing factor, after making the IF NOT NOW WHEN quilt and having 18 corners to turn in binding the quilt, I was determined to be done feeling oddly shaped!!!!!
A cute quilt quip tells us: Sewing mends the soul. In my case, it truly did.
If you like the idea of personalizing your quilts, here are three easy ways to do so:
- Say whatever is in your heart by spelling it out on the quilt with pieced letters like I do.
- Add the baby’s name or the wedding couple’s name on the front or back of the quilt.
- If green is your favorite color, use green someplace on every quilt even if it’s on the back. OR if you love flowers, add a flower someplace on every quilt (front or back). This will become your signature, and people will start to look for it.
Feel free to send me photos of your personalized quilts, I’d love to see them! Here is my email address: Lorie@LorieKleinerEckert.com
And if you need a pattern for a pieced alphabet (NOT appliquéd), please try mine.