Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What’s in a name?

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.

Quilting by Improvisation book cover

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.






limelight_cover 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.

JBMcover-FINAL-rgb-lg  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.

M Joan Lintault book cover

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.

Presently we are working on a quilting book by Jane Sassaman who makes very dynamic quilts out of her brightly colored, graphic fabric line by Free Spirit Fabric.

Radiating Diamond Here is a list of the titles we were considering:

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

SASSY Quilting

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.


  1. Revolutionize fabulous fabrics into breathtaking quilts

  2. I like the title you picked, perfect for her work and what the new book will portray.


  3. New subtitle suggestion:
    "Dazzling Art + Pieced Quilts by Jane Sassaman"

  4. I think "Bridging art quilts and patchwork" really helps convey what the book is about and will help online shoppers locate it.

  5. It's probably too late, but we'd suggest a subtitle like "Simple patchwork, sensational quilts". (The word "recipe" always reminds us of cooking - not quilting). Anyway, we're looking forward to seeing Jane's new book!