Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How I Label My Quilts

Do you label your quilts?   As the last step in making a quilt and calling it "done" I add a label made with inkjet printable fabric.  I've been using a product from Dritz called Printed Treasures but it appears to be out of stock everywhere I shop (I wonder if they stopped making it) but there are other versions.  Fat Quarter Shop sells a product from EQ, here;  Amazon has several brands, here.

Inkjet printable fabric is fabric bonded to a paper backing that can be fed through your inkjet printer.  I set up a template in my Word software so I can print four labels at one time.  

I do a test run on a piece of paper to be sure the spacing is good, with sufficient margin around each label.  Note, my template makes the four labels in "landscape" format.

When I'm happy with the spacing and have double-checked for typos, I print on the fabric sheet.  You put the fabric sheet in the paper tray of your printer, just like a piece of paper.  (Do be sure you understand how a sheet of paper goes through your printer; mine has to go in the tray fabric side face down.)  Then print.  I've never encountered any problems with the fabric sheets running through the printer.  Below, the fabric version is in back, the paper copy in front.

I give most of the my quilts a name, but that's optional.  I add my name, the name of the quilter (if machine quilted) and the year made.  I'll add other information I think pertinent, like the name and designer if I used a commercial pattern for the quilt.  You can add much more, like more background on the design, the name of the recipient, etc.

I use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the four labels apart.  Sometimes when I have scraps of fabric from the quilt top, I use them to frame the label before attaching it with a slip stitch to the back of the quilt.  

Otherwise, just turn under a quarter inch on all sides of the label and stitch it down.

But the label doesn't have to be square or rectangular.  I used an oval template for the label below.   And a few times, with a pieced back, I've pieced the label into the backing itself, prior to quilting.

The only issue I've run into with the printable fabric is that it tends to yellow slightly over time; you can see it on some of my older quilts.  But I'm generally happy with it and find this is the best way for me to make labels.  Some quilters are able to free hand write their labels and I tried that a few times but find I like this method better because I don't have artistic printing or hand writing.

Covid-19 has given me a period of productive quilt making so there will be more labels in my future.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Staycation - A Finished Log Cabin Quilt

My second fully finished quilt of 2020 is Staycation.  It is 80 inches square so my quilt holder is struggling to hold it up.

If I had to choose a favorite quilt block, I'd have a hard time deciding between sawtooth star and log cabin.  This must be the 5th or 6th log cabin quilt I've made.  It was a good stash buster as most of the fabric came from stash, leftovers from a few other quilts I made in the same colors.

My blocks are based on the Sweet Escape pattern by Thimbleblossoms but I chose a different setting from that in the pattern directions.

Karen Thompson, my longtime longarm quilting collaborator, did the quilting and I love the open, lacy feather design.  It looks especially good in the lighter areas.  

I designated 2020 as my year for stash busting and this quilt helped because even the backing came from my stash.  This is a wideback fabric I bought some time ago with no particular use in mind.  But when I see widebacks I like, I usually buy some, particularly if the price is right, because they are easier than trying to piece the back for the a large quilt.  The design on the fabric is a greatly enlarged post mark, like you see on the stamps on postcards.

I did "splurge" on new fabric for the binding.  I had an idea in mind but didn't have the perfect fabric in my stash.  This lime green and white stripe fabric went perfectly with the blocks.  It is cut selvage to selvage, on the straight of grain, because I wanted that look with the stripes straight.  This is a big departure for me as I almost always cut my binding fabric on the bias.   

Mr. Main Street and I had a major vacation planned for this spring, two weeks in Europe including a 9-night cruise from Athens to Venice by way of some of the Greek islands.  The trip had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  While we are re-booked for next year, 2020 will likely be the year of the staycation, and that's how I came up with the name for this quilt.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Like Sunshine on a Cloudy Day - A Finished Flimsy

The top is finished!

All 256 blocks are now assembled into the quilt top.  And it's a big one, 96 inches square, ample for a queen size bed.  

I love the blend of colors.  I made this quilt entirely from stash, including the back.  The binding will probably come from my stash too, though I haven't decided what to use yet.

Making this quilt emptied one plastic bin; of course, it will get refilled soon enough.  I store larger pieces of fabric (1/2 yard and longer) by wrapping them around cardboard into mini bolts; they go on shelves in the closet in my sewing room.  I store unopened precuts on the shelves too, along with fabric "pulls" for specific projects.  All my smaller pieces of fabric are in plastic bins.  I have four large bins (the size sold for under-bed storage) upstairs in our 3rd floor attic storage and seven (now six) smaller bins stacked in the closet.  They are organized by color.  I also have the Fig Tree Harvest basket, the one that never seems empty, no matter how many quilts I make.  And a 3-drawer rolling cart holding a combination of precuts and large cuts of fabric I bought to use as backing.

Well, time to get this one off to my quilter, then to work on the next project!

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