Thursday, October 25, 2012

Documenting your quilts

The Oregon Quilt Project will soon launch its new web site, and one of the major changes will be the online availability of the forms used to document quilts. This addition will allow quiltmakers and owners the ability to document quilts. These quilts be part of a database of quilts on The Quilt Index, and we anticipate the project will eventually generate exhibitions and publications.

The forms are step-by-step documentation guides
By adding these documentation forms, we hope to extend our reach across the state of Oregon. It's fun to document quilts, and you don't need to be an expert to get started. It's all about filling out the forms, getting pictures, and sending in the results.

The two forms we use are the "Physical Data" form and the "History" form. The Physical Data form is used to record physical characteristics of the quilt- color, fabrics, pattern, quilting design, binding, etc. The History form is used to record related information, such as family histories, exhibitions and publications, awards, and any other pertinent information that doesn't fall under physical characteristics.

If you make quilts, nobody knows more about those quilts than you. So, when we release the forms online, we hope to attract many quiltmakers. We also hope to attract owners of antique and vintage quilts. There are many knowledgeable people across the state who are already fully qualified to document quilts, and for those who don't know how to ID older quilts, we can help.

While the survey is underway, we anticipate a growing interest in learning more about quilts and quilt history, and we will be working with the Columbia Willamette Quilt Study Group to provide educational opportunities through quilt study days. We are currently seeking venues and topic ideas for 2013 meetings.

The basic set-up involves a stand and some method of attaching the quilt
The web site and blog will include tips about how to do the photography. Having a quilt stand is helpful, and many local quilt groups have their own. If you're in the Portland area and don't have a place or the equipment to photograph quilts, we can also help with that in most cases.

We should be rolling by the beginning of 2013, but we wanted to share the news about what we've been planning. While we're wrapping up the behind-the-scenes details, we want you to get excited about documenting your quilts. It's something every quiltmaker and quilt owner should do!

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