QR Code – the softer side

by Sherry McConnell, quilter featured in Frugal & Fancy

In December 2010, my dear friend Mary Jane challenged me to make a QR (quick read) code quilt. I accepted her challenge, picked up the pattern, found that the deadline was about six weeks away, located fabric and then enlisted family and friends to help me research this interesting subject.

My family got very excited about this project and everyone began to look for examples … and find them they did! Friends stopped by to see the progress as word spread about the piece on my design wall! Due to the size requirement, individual squares would finish at ¾-inch square, but I did find that I could do some spaces in rectangles of various lengths. At one point it felt like the piece was leaning, so a call to a good friend who works in miniatures assured me that it was an optical illusion and my piece was indeed straight … whew!

The entire idea of the code is that you can take a smart phone with a QR code reader app, point it at the code, take a picture and then link to a website containing more information. It worked on a hard surface, but would it work in a soft surface format? That was the next question … so the piecing was done and a young quilting friend brought over her new iPhone, took a picture and — lo and behold — IT WORKED! The border was added and then the quilt was sent off to a friend to be quilted. After adding the binding and story label, I took it to the museum and crossed my fingers that the code could still be read with the quilting.

On the day we hung the quilt, the app was downloaded, a picture was taken and — lo and behold — IT WORKED AGAIN! You will see small imperfections in the piecing, but in spite of those imperfections, the code does work and it occurred to me that even with our own imperfections our personal code can still be read and whether human, hard surface or soft surface we still get the job done. So here is to the softer side of the QR Code and the work we do!

Frugal & Fancy: Indiana Quilts is on exhibit at the Indiana State Museum through July 17.

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8 Responses

  1. What does the QR link to?

  2. Kim, it links to a video of the making of the quilt. If you have a Smartphone or Android, you should be able to click on the photo in this blog and get to the same video! Good luck!

  3. I just scanned the QR quilt from my monitor with my Android phone and it worked! Great job.

  4. It is fascinating how closely this resembles the indigenous art of the Shipibo people in Peru. Their needlework is a visual representation of the interconnection of life and the spirit world. In other words, it shows what the spirit of magic looks like. To me it looks very geometrical, like Mandlebrot math.

  5. Brilliant – this is the coolest quilt I’ve ever seen (but don’t let my mom know I said that) 😉

  6. It’s my understanding that if at least 75% of the code is readable that it is good to scan. Your analogy still holds true!

  7. […] I happen to love crafts that play with the idea of “old” and “new” technology such as this QR Code quilt, which can actually be read with a smartphone, exhibited at the Indiana State Museum. I chose to […]

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