Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's All in a Name . . .

The phone rang at the shop the other morning and a voice asked, “What time is check in?”
“Excuse me?”
“What time is check-in?” the voice repeated. “We’d like to get into our room as soon as possible.”
“There is no check-in here. We’re a quilt store.”
“A quilt store?” the voice said. “I thought you were the hotel on the edge of town.”
Country Hearth Inn and Suites is a popular stopover for visitors to Mexico, but they don’t sell quilt fabric. On the flip side, Homestead Hearth doesn’t take room reservations. This little slip was easily mended, but not every phone request is so easily solved.



A second caller had a question we struggled to solve. She was working on the Civil War Tribute block of the month (BOM) and needed a tad more fabric due to a "whoops" in cutting. We got her name, phone number, and fabric requirements then scoured our records for her shipping information. No matter where we looked (in paper files or computer) she was nowhere to be found! Finally, we were forced to call her back. "I'm so embarassed," she said. "I forgot I was doing the BOM program with XYZ shop. I called you because your name was on the pattern." Mystery solved!

Not all questions come to us by telephone, sometimes they walk right in the front door. One bright, sunshiny day a pair of friendly visitors strolled in with a quilt in hand. “We’re looking for the name of this block,” they announced, unfurling a gorgeous quilt with precision piecing. We oohed, we ahhed, and then gave our best guesses. It looked like a pinwheel, but along with the pinwheel-style blocks was a troublesome (but lovely) modified sashing. Could it really be a pinwheel? No one knew. Before they left the visitors discovered a similar block in one of our 30’s display quilts, but that still didn’t help because we couldn’t remember the name.

As you’ve probably discovered, the same quilt block can be found under several different names. Haven’t you seen all of these designs alternately referred to as Churn Dash, Shoo Fly, Monkey Wrench & who knows what else?

Regions of the country, different time periods, or even misprints can bring different titles to the same design. When we created our Civil War Tribute quilt our goal was to select blocks and titles from that time period. The battles we selected to highlight had direct significance to the war. And the blocks themselves? All were in general use but have no direct ties.

Sometimes confusion is the name of the game. Book titles, fabric lines, pattern names, and magazine issues can be hard to keep straight. Although we can’t always come up with the answers you need, we’ll be glad to try. Phone us (573-581-1966) or email ( and we’ll do our best to make your life simpler.

Sue, Sarah, Dolores & the rest of the gang at Homestead Hearth

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