As I was preparing for the upcoming exhibit, I was scouring the house for any new work I could add to my share of the show and came upon this little quiltlet. Not too many people had seen it since it didn't make it into the September guild show so I decided to add it to VESTA, and then, instead of putting Not for Sale on it and sending it off in January, I priced it and indicated the money I received for it would go to the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative for Alzheimer's research, since its original destination was Ami Simms' online AQI auction.
I had named it Féileacán, the Irish word for butterfly. Too pretentious for a 9" x 12" wall hanging? Perhaps. But I have great fun naming quilts, sometimes in the middle of making them, but more often near or at the end of the process. Although some quilters eschew (another pretentious word but I love saying it--sounds like a sneeze) naming their work--the traditionalists because they feel their work is too utilitarian to be named, the nontraditionalists because they feel their work transcends the need for any name other than "Study" or a number, I like names because they add yet another dimension to the work.
There are pitfalls to naming, of course. A name can actually limit an interpretation of a quilt, pointing in only one direction so it is tricky to find a name that says something significant about the piece without limiting the ways a viewer can connect with it. And I have to admit that often when I go to shows I try to look at the work first before I look at the name so I can react to the piece before I get that little nudge from the artist. Sometimes I nod agreement with the title--Oh, yes! Perfect choice--but other times I go back and look again at the work and see something more, something subtle that I missed before. Then, of course, there are those names that elicit only puzzlement--Huh? Where did that come from?
Anyway, this little quilt is stuck with the name Féileacán. You may see it in another incarnation as I prepare for classes next summer since I may add this to the patterns for the Celtic knotwork class I teach. And if you are still with me, thanks for the company.