Is 'Petri Dish' a negative name for a quilt?

lola99April 27, 2012

I just finished a quilt and all I have left to do is make a label. I really want to call it "Petri Dish" but DH thinks that has negative connotations. What do you think? Please be honest - if you think it is at all negative, I want to know because this is a gift and I don't want the recipient to think I named it something negative.

The truth is, I have a love/hate relationship with this quilt. I love the fabric and pattern, but I tried to get too creative with my quilting and I think my quilting really detracts from the quilt. Mid-way through quilting it I was so discouraged because I felt that I had ruined the entire quilt. Nevertheless, I made myself finish it, and it is not quite as bad as I had feared.

Other names that I have considered are: Melting Pot or Crock Pot. I want to convey this is a place where things get mixed up and the end result is not necessarily what was intended. If you don't like Petri Dish, do you have any suggestions that convey the mood that I'm describing?

I'll try to post a picture later tonight (I'm not home right now) but the most important question I have for you is Petri Dish a negative name for a quilt?



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Ok, so sometimes I can be overly analytical. That said... here goes...

Petri dish itself is neutral because all it actually is .... is a dish with broth or a media in it. What a Petri dish is *used* for ... well that IS negative, imo, because when used as purposed, it has bacteria (GERMS) growing all over it. So in the strictest sense it (the dish) is NOT NEGATIVE, but practically speaking, what comes to mind with the words is the IDEA of a Petri dish IS NEGATIVE.
Therefore I'm not sure Petri dish is a name that conjures up your "message" in the same way that your suggestions of Melting Pot or Crock Pot do. But then again, neither of those conveys Love/Hate relationship, imo.

"Ambivalence" comes to mind.....
"Contradictions" ???

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Well, I used to grow cultures of bacteria in them, but I also used them for other things, like staining ultra-thin tissue sections for electron microscopy.

I don't have a negative feeling about them. Petri dishes are useful items, employed in many scientific endeavors - not just for culturing nasties. Is the "culture" aspect why your DH feels it's negative?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:06PM
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I would be OK with it because I love science, but I could see where other people would feel it was negative. How about "Goulash."

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I agree with your husband. I don't want to think of a quilt with ooey gooeys incubating in it.

And if you give it to a non-quilter, they probably will only notice the fabric/pattern and not the quilting, at least that's been my experience. I've learned not to tell anyone who's getting something of mine all the torment or mistakes associated with it. To them it's a pretty quilt, and I'm sure yours is.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I used to culture out effluent from the sewerage treatment plant in petri dishes, so doesn't bring up a really pretty picture to me, either.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:09PM
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To me it's just a dish full of growing medium, nothing negative there. I agree it doesn't convey to me what you've explained.

How about something simple like "All Mixed Up" or All Mixed Up & Then Some

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:26PM
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As an old microbiologist I regard petri dishes fondly. But i think most people wouldn't feel the same. I like 'crock pot', 'melting pot', and 'goulash' - warm and friendly names!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:45PM
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definition: a merging of diverse, distinct, or separate elements into a unified whole

I don't care for Petri Dish unless the gift is for a scientist or biologist or someone who isn't grossed out by bacteria or cultures :) I don't like it for describing the artsy side of your quilting - no matter how much turmoil you felt~ LOL ~ unless it was for a quilt you were keeping.

Now I am really anxious to see a picture of this quilt!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Thanks for your answers. You all made me feel better about this quilt. That is, until I came home and took pictures of it and once again saw how really horrible the quilting is!

I am going to chalk this one up to a MAJOR learning experience. I really did learn a lot of what I do not like in quilting, and that will make me a better quilter in the future.

I'm not going to use Petri Dish because enough people had questionable reactions to the name. If I were going to keep it, I would name it that but unfortunately I showed the top (pre-quilting) to the recipient so now I'm stuck giving it to her. I'm leaning toward Fusion or Goulash.

Now that you can see the quilt you can see the obvious round "dishes" and then the quilting that grows from the lower left corner up through the quilt like some exotic kelp. I didn't think the quilting was dense enough, so I put diagonal lines in the back ground. Some of those lines extend into the border, but on two corners I quilted feathers. I can beat myself up, and ask "what was I thinking?" over and over, but I'm now going to move on. My next quilt will be better. I really am interested in experimenting with the quilting, and I'm optimistic that one day I'll be really proud of my quilting!

Thanks again for your help.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:46PM
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My first thought when seeing the quilt was Othello. It's a game I played with my sisters when we were younger. Sort of like checkers only different.

The quilt is way too pretty to call Petri Dish.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:21AM
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After seeing the quilt, I love the name PetriDish. But I wasn't put off by the name either way. If I was keeping it I would name it whatever I wanted, but I can see where you are giving it away you might want to be more careful. What about Science Experiment?

Whatever you end up calling it, it is a very lovely bright quilt. I'm always impressed when someone gets to the 'label' stage. ;)


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:53AM
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I think I'm with Dian57, Othello came to my mind as well and btw It's Lovely! The colors are fabulous, the border perfect...and I'm just a newbie when it comes to machine quilting (only one sad result under my belt), I think the quilting looks fine.Just love the color and pattern!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Lola, I like the quilting! It's eclectic like the fabrics in the dots. I've found that washing the quilt when it's done hides a multitude of quilting errors (little puckers, etc.).

Anyway, I think the quilting is fine! And as you said, chalk it up to experience and move on.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Lola, it is a beautiful quilt! I like your quilting too.
Linda OH

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I also like your quilt-very powerful colors and fabrics.

I'd like to revise my suggestion to include the word Power,
perhaps "Fusion Power".

Your different quilting is very appropriate for this quilt.

If you don't mind a suggestion for next time ~ don't be afraid to use different colors of thread for different areas. I think if you used a cream color thread for the background filler quilting around the circles, and a slightly less contrasting shade for the print areas, you would be very happy with this quilt and your quilting.

I agree after washing it, and looking at it from 6 feet away (and not staring at the parts you hate) you will see the beauty.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Beautiful me Petri means growing media so if you had a love-hate about this quilt ,Petri could work. grows on you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:23AM
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You all are the best quilting friends one could ask for! I'm going to wash it this weekend and take some more pictures from farther away so I can remember what I like about the quilt.

I love suggestions, and I think you are 100% correct Magothyrivergirl, the thread color is the biggest problem.

And Donna, eclectic is such a nice way of putting it. You made me laugh, and laughing at myself and my quilt is a much better place to be in than focusing too much on the negatives.

Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to look and to comment.

Have a great weekend.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Thanks for the photo. I think it is a very fun, funky quilt and love the rich colors. Your friend will love it!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Eclectic Orbs comes to mind. I agree with and funky! @:)


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 2:32PM
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I wasn't sure I liked the idea of petri dish until I viewed the quilt but I can see where you are coming from and like it. As to the quilting, I find that interesting and works with the pattern. I don't think you should concentrate on the neg. because there are lots of positives in you lovily quilt.Every quilt we make becomes a learning experience. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Very bright and happy quilt. And I agree ...very fun and funky. Your quilting looks great! We are our own worst critic and always point out what we don't like about a project or where we made mistakes.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:33PM
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I think your quilt and quilting are beautiful. It made me think of: Smorgasbord, Jambalaya, Circus or Carnival.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Well, it looks SO much better after washing.

(As an aside, this is the first quilt I made without pre-washing my fabric. I put 3 fabric catchers in and washed it on hot. The fabric catchers came out dark red. I re-washed with 3 new fabric catchers. They came out pink. I washed again with 3 new catchers and they came out a dull white!)

I like my quilt SO much more now that it is washed. I'm thinking about the name Serendipity.

The only problem now is that my quilt is falling apart! (See my other post for this topic!)


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 4:32PM
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