Or perhaps I should say, what’s in a title?
It is usually very difficult to find the right title for the book we are working on. It is very important and we want it to convey the book content plus have some ‘panache’ so that the person will want to pick it up and check it out. I also like it to be short and sweet. The title is probably second most important after cover art.
Here’s some insight into what we go through. For Laura Heine’s book which was so colorful with lots of variegated threads and free motion work, it was difficult. One morning in the shower it came to me after many hours of thought. I had read about a new restaurant in town that said it was ‘Asian Fusion’. I didn’t know what that was and thought it would be fun to try it…thus the title became ‘Color Fusion’. I also wanted Laura to ‘brand’ her style and technique and not just call it general free motion work with variegated thread.
For Vikki’s book, we first liked Quilting Revelations but when we ran it by test audiences of students, they thought it was too biblical. Also improvisation best describes the process that she uses.
Philippa Naylor’s book was probably the easiest title we agreed upon early in the process. She has a famous, award-winning quilt in the Paducah quilt museum called Lime Light. So we played on that title since now Philippa was getting worldwide recognition for her work and we told about her story in the book.
Since Judith Montano’s book was about mixed media, we had to work to find a title that would encompass everything. Here is when the thesaurus comes in handy, along with the dictionary. I found the word ‘Montage’ and the definition described her mixed processes to combine one work of art but it also had a photography connotation so we needed another word to show that this is fabric related. Since Judith is Canadian, she wanted to spell ‘Fibre ‘the British way. I agreed because then I was sure it wouldn’t be an existing title.
If we had chosen something with Mixed Media or something common in the title, we’d have to research it to see if a similar title already exists.
Here is a book where I think we made a mistake with the title. Using the author’s name didn’t describe what the book is truly about. It is one of the books I’m most proud of but sales weren’t good. Joan’s work is spectacular and so different than what anyone else is doing.
The book is more inspiration than technique and gives you insight into the artist’s process of designing which is very valuable.
The subtitle, which is important, also helps give more description of the book and here, perhaps it should have been the title of the book.
Fabulous Fabrics Extraordinary Quilts
Fancy Fabrics Fabulous Quilts
Designer Fabrics Dazzling Quilts
Sensational Patchwork Sassaman Style
Astonishing Patchwork Sassaman Style
Patchwork Recipes Sassaman style
Patchwork Idea Book
Jane Sassaman's Art Patchwork
Art + Patchwork
Art meets Patchwork
Jane Sassaman’s Artful Piecing
Jane Sassaman Goes To Pieces!
Some are rather wild but we went back and forth on the title until we came close to the deadline and decided upon: PATCHWORK SASSAMAN STYLE since the skeleton of her quilts are basic patchwork.
It’s short and sweet and now we have to work on the subtitle:
Recipes for Dazzling Quilts
Bridging art quilts and patchwork
Simple recipes for using fabulous fabrics
Blended piecing…Illusion piecing
Art plus patchwork
OR try your hand at writing a subtitle describing Jane’s quilts and comment below…if we use it/we will send you a copy of the book when it is available. For inspiration, look at Jane’s Idea blog.