Quilty License Plates

My vanity plateWay back when Jennie was a toddler (she’s now almost 26) I saw the first vanity license plate that made any sense to me. It simply said QUILTS.  I got it. And I wanted one. Badly. I wanted the one that said QUILTS and belonged to the lady I almost rear-ended as I appreciated her license plate, first from afar, and then from dangerously up close. But, I was willing to settle for something close as waiting for her to die probably wasnt’ necessary.

I let my desires be known, casually mentioning it to Steve.  Once. That is the Simms way, something I still don’t fully understand. If he wants me to get the hint, I need significantly more repetitions, preferably in writing, with a calendar so that I remember when holiday gift giving occurs. It always sneaks up on me.

As usual, I forgot about the vanity plate until late in October. I thought I should have had a quilt-appropriate word above my bumbper by then, so I took it upon myself to dial up the department of motor vehicles. (The lady with QUILTS was still alive.) After much thought I settled on  QUILT. My message to anybody driving behind me, or in front of me (at that time plates in the front were required too), would be to go forth and …. QUILT! I love to boss people around. I asked if QUILT was available.

The lady at the DMV said QUILT was taken. I was crestfallen. “Are you sure,” I whined?

“Yes,” she said. “Someone in Genesee County has it.”

“No WAY!” said I. “I drive all over Genesee Country and I’ve never seen a car with a QUILT plate.”

“WAY!” she said.

“Can you tell me who it is?” I begged.

She said, “No, that’s against the rules. All I can tell you is it’s registered to some guy in Flint.”

That did it! Somebody in Flint driving around with MY plate on HIS rear end? I think not. I knew all the male quilters in Flint. And it wasn’t any of them. The nerve of people I don’t know absconding with MY plate.

I consoled myself with trips to every fabric shop in Genesee Country. I checked the parking lots just to hunt down the owner of my plate, but mostly I bought fabric and felt better.

Several weeks later, when my birthday rolled around and it was time to get legal with the state again, Steve presented me with my very own vanity license plates! He was the guy in Flint!  And I have been driving around telling everyone behind me to QUILT for at least two decades now.  And we’ve been paying exorbitant amounts of money annually for the privilege. But to not do so would be like giving back the sweetest birthday present ever. No way! 

Do you have a quilty license plate? Want to share? Email me a photo of your quilted license plate by the end of August. (AmiSimms@aol.com) Let’s see how creative you are. Email ONE photo, so make it a good one. Shoot it straight on.  I’ll crop out the background, size it, put it in an attractive collage and post it here on the blog. No fair shooting pictures of cars not belonging to you, I don’t care how great the plate. Quilty plates only. Tell your friends…

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23 thoughts on “Quilty License Plates

  1. How sweet – my guy is “hughly” wonderful like that too. The license plate he got me is my favorite saying, OHWELLL – would that work – because I say it a lot while quilting and about life.. Judy C in NC


  2. No, but I’ve been thinking about getting one. Can’t decide on what to put yet… I’ll watch the blog to see suggestions!


  3. I don’t have a quilty license plate but do have an “I’d rather be quilting” license plate frame. Love yours–what a great birthday present!


  4. I *wish* I could send you a picture of my quilty license plate, but somebody stole it! Yep, right out of the DMV before I could get to it. Boo hoooo…
    But this is the scary amazing part: it is on the EXACT SAME CAR that I drive! And this plate is
    Now isn’t that spooky? The car is a 2002 model with a non-standard color combination, so she had to order the same combo I did, and our name is the same and she is ***somewhere*** here in San Diego.


  5. Mine is a license plate frame – I’d Rather Be Quilting – from Cafe Press – Chris (my long arm friend) has one too.

    In the parking lot at work there are two identical cars – mine and one belonging to a guy who works upstairs. My car has a quilty license plate frame (and responds to my remote key fob) – his is just ordinary (and doesn’t respond to my key fob clicking).

    We’ve both attempted to access each other’s cars – so now I always park with the license plate frame facing our exit door!


  6. Didn’t know you were in Michigan!!! Very cool. So did you transfer “Quilt” to your new style plate? I’m in Bay City…I’ll have to look around for you!


  7. I had to wait for mine forever also, and now I will never let it go! Check my blog for a pic, and I’ll also send you a photo! By the way, in my worldly travels, I have seen QUILT and QUILTS and QULTR from 27 different states!


  8. Mom was the first to get QUILTS in Ohio. That was 30 years ago. When I took over the shop she had to write to the BMV to let me have it. But when I got the van (& the t-Bird hadn’t sold yet) I wanted to transfer QUILTS to the van. BMV sold me “regular plates” &transfered QUILTS. Several weeks later I got a ticket on the t-bird (street cleaning day). This was the only way I found out that BOTH plates were actually registered to the t-bird &I had been driving the van “unregistered”. Lucky I didn’t do anything to get pulled over &really fined. They wanted to charge me again to make the correct changes & I put up a hissy fit. I got it my way. THEY made the mistake ~ THEY should pay the fees!


  9. I haven’t ordered mine yet, but stopped by the DMV one morning and checked, and no one else has thought of my choice, so the next time I’m out that way, I’ll be ordering mine. I’ll send you a photo after I get it, but that’ll be several weeks.


  10. While living in Northern VA I had a plate that read QTHSTRY but had to give it up when we moved to an island off the coast of WA state. I went looking for the palte this morning when I read your blog but can’t lay my hands on it….yet! I want to send you a photo!

    One time I had a man honk at me at a stoplight in Arlington, VA and motion to me to roll my window down. I had never had this happen before and was a little reluctant to do so. But being the adventuresome soul I am, I rolled my window down. “What does your plate mean?” he yelled from across the lane. “Quilt History,” I yelled back. “I’m a quilt historian.”

    “I knew it. I just knew it,” he chortled. “My wife is a quilter and I thought, that plate has got to be about quilting in some form or another. Can’t wait to tell my wife.” He was soooo pleased with himself and I was so pleased that some quilter had educated her husband so well!

    My husband insisted my plate QTHSTRY actually meant QUILT THIRSTY. He should know. He was raised by a quilter who then passed the “disease” on to his wife as well. Some years ago I decided I couldn’t afford to keep buying quilt history books and fabric so I settled on books. Oh yes, and plus old doll and crib quilts to use as my teaching tools for quilt history lectures.


  11. Steve needs a spot in the newsletter so he can amaze all of us with his thoughtful gestures. I have a vanity plate that gets mispronounced all the time, and I am asked what it means. But it is not quilty.


  12. I just sent my WV ‘QLT4U’ plate, which is almost the same as one in VA. I drive a red Toyota Prius and have a friend who also drives a red Prius and quilts. She has a WV quilt plate. Another quilter friend has a red Prius with a VA quilt plate. I’ve had a number of people tell me they saw ‘my’ car with ‘my’ plate and why didn’t I wave back at them. All cases of mistaken identity!


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