Saturday, August 27, 2011

Betty's Label

Check this one off the list!  I finished Betty's label last night and even got it sewn onto her quilt.  It didn't take long and I'm so happy its done.  

Here's where I started: on the computer.  I have a PowerPoint file that I'm using to create all the labels for the quilts I'm giving to The Girls.   

I know I've said this before but I can't stand to have a big honking white label on the backs of my quilts.  So I try to incorporate elements from the front to create a unique label that will coordinate with the quilt rather than scream at the viewer.  For this one I used a portion of the Disappearing Nine Patch block as the layout for the label. 

I printed the page and taped it to my light box.  I've found one of the stock fonts that came with the software works well for me to trace onto the fabric. The lines represent the finished seams.

I placed the fabric on top of the printed page on the light box.  In order to be able to sew the blocks together later I eyeballed a 1/4" seam allowance that is hanging over the lines.  I used scotch tape to hold the fabric in place and simply traced the letters onto the fabric. 

One thing I forgot to do was add a fabric stablizer to the back of the fabric before writing on it.  That's a trick my sister told me about that I haven't tried yet. Since I'm in the label business this weekend I'll let you know how it turns out on the next one.  

I like to use a Micron Pigma pen that has an archival safe, permanent ink which is also waterproof and fade proof.  I've been using them in my scrapbooking for years.  One of the reasons I like them is I've found that with the variying sizes of the tips I can get clear lettering even if the text is small.   I used a 05 tip for the word "Chippers" and a 01 tip for the rest of the words.

I had chosen 4 fabrics that are used on the front of the quilt to use in the label block.  It's important to pick fabrics that are light enough to show the lettering but that will also blend well with the backing.  Here's a layout of the fabrics after the writing was completed.

The orange square is one of the fabrics that is so striking on the front so I really wanted to include it in the label.  The square in the picture was too small for the next step so I used a larger strip when I sewed the squares together. 

Before sewing the block I heat set all the words with a dry iron.  Notice I said a DRY iron?  Remember the watermelon label?  That lesson is still fresh in my mind!

I sewed the squares together into a block then trimmed off the excess fabric.  I find it's easier to get the words on the fabric first, adjust the seams to get everything lined up correctly, then trim the block to the size you want.  It also gives you some wiggle room in case you mess up when you're writing.  This way you can switch out a square rather than trashing a whole block.  Again, I speak from experience ;-D

At just over 4 1/2" this block is bigger than I would have liked but it fits the scale of the blocks on the front as well as the overall size of the quilt (49" x 62") so it works.

Although I dislike labels in general, I really enjoy the hand work that comes with adding the label to my quilt.  Now that's a comment I never thought I'd make!  Up until about a year ago I was strictly a machine kind of quilter.  Then I fell in love with the Twiggy quilt and it changed my whole perspective on hand work.

Now I even enjoy basting!  So as you can see I basted the seams down and pinned the label on to back.  It's sewn safely into place and I think it looks pretty good . . . for label.

I can hardly wait to call Betty to make arrangements for a visit to give her this belated birthday gift.  If you're curious about the front of Betty's quilt you can see it here.

Today's challenge:  Labels for Audrey and Doris.  I like the look of the hand printing on my lables but I also like to try new things.  So I'm going to try printing from the computer onto fabric for one of my next labels.  Which one will it be?

Thanks for checking in.


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