Week 14: A Plethora of Paper Pieces

One of the most time consuming parts of this project was “reading” the paper templates on the back of the quilt. I took images of the front and back of the quilt, numbered each of the 23 pieced blocks, then, within those blocks, numbered the hexagonal pieces. I also included the adjacent outline pieces so that these would be included as well. It took a few tries to come up with an organizational process to track what each of the 1,077 pieces were inscribed with, their condition, and location within the quilt, but I ended up creating a PowerPoint. I included pictures of the front and back of the quilt with the numbered blocks for reference, then gave each of the 23 blocks their own slide. On each slide, I numbered the hexagonal pieces in each block and created a textbox with a list of the pieces’ attributes.

When this process was completed, I copied all of the information into Excel so that I could identify trends. I identified how many times the British pound symbol appeared, as well as how often words like “price” or “product” occurred. I also noted what percentage of pieces were torn or had large sections missing, how many were blank, and how many contained number fragments as opposed to text. All of this information helped me interpret what types of documents the papers might have been cut from, who wrote them, and when.



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