Preserving History- Signature Quilt Database/Map Project Advice Requested

Hello OTG!

TLDR: best way to record quilt data digitally

I have a fascinating project I was asked to work on for my local historical society. Someone found an old signature quilt at a yard sale and cleaned it up. They even redid several of the names. They then gifted it to the historical society.

There are approx. 400 names on the quilt. I’ve been asked to make an excel spreadsheet of the names in a grid formation so that they can refer to the name and grid and do some alphabetical sorting as well.

My question is whether Excel is my best option? Perhaps a google form that feeds a google sheet? I’m not overly familiar with them but that may be more flexible. I’m thinking as people look at it they may want to add stories or something to the various names.

I am probably overthinking the whole project as the ones I’ve researched on line used paper grids.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

By grid, I’m guessing you mean the section (or block) of the quilt in which a name appears. Wouldn’t a spreadsheet with 2 columns (name & position) or 3 columns (name, x-coordinate, y-coordinate) do it?

Three columns would let you sort by name, row, or column.

Personally, I would be inclined to use Google rather than Excel because anyone (with permission) could access the data that way.

Yes, they would like a little map to go with the list. There are at least 10-30 names per grid though. I was thinking it doesn’t really matter since the grid location is what’s important. I’m not sure If I could print it out like a little map though? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that. I will probably need to do a mock up to visualize it.

I agree with Google. I find it easier to work with and easier to share with people but I am glad to get confirmation that it’s a good idea.

Hello Again!

The first stage of the project is complete. I decided to go with a letter/number organization so first diamond is A1, beside that A2 etc. There are a total of 376 entries including mostly names but a few details about the church and council. I ended up using the headings of Grid Location (A1, A2 through to G4) Number (as each square has a certain number of names), Honorific, First Name, Last Name and initial. I also added a further details column to record questions or further data provided by the Historical Society’s president. She went through the quilt and recorded all the information on paper. This was essential to getting the first data entry done.

I used Google Sheets. I’m hoping the Historical Society will apply for Google for Non Profit so I can give them the document and perhaps work on future archival projects within their own Google Drive. They are not strong with technology so this may not be possible.

Thanks for the suggestions!


1 Like