Last year while teaching at a Denver conference I also had the opportunity to listen to some incredible speakers. One of these was Nancy Bavor quilt appraiser, lecturer and curator. She spoke about documenting one’s work for historical purposes.
In a private conversation later she really encouraged me to do so, especially for my Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work. She said that this body of work carries so much meaning that I should record for posterity, beyond the Blurb book, the exhibit and the PowerPoint.
So I came home, wrote it on my to-do list and never looked at it again…until this week when I read an article she wrote on the same subject and that was the kick I needed to tackle this awesome task. I am now finished and can report the following.
It was SO worth it!!! All of my contemporary work is well-organized but go back a few years and I had files all over the computer…files of original images, copies of original images, and hi res images, folders on the PC and on the external drive. Images of very early work were filed under some obscure folder, spreadsheets here and there. Now everything is in one file on the PC, the external drive and a hard-copy 2″ binder.
I filed my work chronologically by year while not in exact order of production within said year. I filed the Tall Girl Series in its own divider within 2006, the year I started the project . I made an alpha cross-reference list so all work can be found if only the title is known. And I made a CD for hard-copy binder to be updated as needed.
What shocked me is I have taken photographs of nearly everything I have sewn with the exception of several baby quilts: Jad in Seattle, Cooper, Myles and Sophia here, Rose in Seattle, Stella and Julia in MSP. Figuring I would never use them in my portfolio I didn’t bother! Ishould be able to round those up. And I did not have photos of three pieces I donated to charity although if I ferret through old tax returns I could probably flesh them out. Oh now that’s another fun project for another day….not.
All in all I have designed and sewn 174 quilts in 12 years. I guess I need not feel guilty when I take a day off! It feels awesome to have completed this daunting task.