Friday, July 15, 2011

Kim’s Tips and Tricks - Quilt Labels

How to make the most *BRiLLiaNT* quilt labels

to personalise your quilts!

I’m very proud of my quilt labels as I think they finish off my quilts fairly well. Also it allows me to get creative but in a different way from patchwork.
Hands up who thinks that all quilting and patchwork is about sitting behind a sewing machine…….
Well it also involves LOTS of computer skills as well.
First step in making a great quilt label is of course INSPIRATION.
Our house Scanned label(1)
ABOVE: This is one of the labels for Our House. For this label I used the design from my EQ6 program and then stuck a text box on top to put the song lyrics in.
So what inspires me. First what is the design of the quilt, do I want to design a complementary label or do I want to do the opposite and go for something unexpected.
Who is the quilt for? Is it a child's quilt or a grown up design. Is it a fun or silly quilt or is it sophisticated.
What is the quilts name as this may inspire the labels design.
{I find it difficult working on a quilt which is unnamed so most of my projects find their name during the design period. Often, I have the name first and design the quilt to suit the name, e.g Our House and I Remember You both had their names before the quilt was designed. If I can’t settle on a name for a quilt I find it a difficult to get started on it. I have a number of names for quilts in my head just waiting for the project that suits them! I think that the reasons why I name my quilts as I do could fill in a whole post of its own and probably put me into psychotherapy }!
Many of my quilts have song theme names – so I always include some or all of the song lyrics and sometimes trivia about the song. There are lots of websites dedicated to song lyrics, just Google song lyrics.
Scanned label
ABOVE: This is one of the labels for my latest project I Remember You
Next thing to decide is how many labels do I need. Usually, I do two labels. One with the lyrics, poem, trivia on it and another with name, date, my signature.
Round & R Scanned label
ABOVE: This is the label that I made for the Round and Round the Garden Quilt.
For one quilt, Round and round the garden, I did four small labels. One with the nursery rhyme, one with info on the wedding and our congratulations, one with washing instructions and the one with my signature and date.

Getting started and creative. 

I start by opening a word document. I embellish my label with lots of stuff you get off the web. You can download frames or clipart. You could include a photo on your label. Try Microsoft office for frames and clipart.IMG_0386
Don’t forget to include on your label:-
  • The date, year of completion
  • You, the makers name – I have a signature saved on my computer as a pdf document and I paste this onto my labels.
  • Washing instructions, especially if it is to be a gift.
  • Materials the quilt is made of, e.g all cotton scrap fabric with bamboo batting.
Fonts, I am a font addict. Even the simplest label can be made brilliant with the right choice of font. My favourite sites for fonts online are 1001 fonts and if, like me,  you love handwritten fonts try Kevin and Amanda.
When I’m happy with my design, I print it out on paper to proof read, check my terrible spelling and make sure it just looks right.
Next I use Inkjet printable fabric. There are a few brands around but I like the Matildas Own brand, pack of 5 A4 sheets for about $22.00. But shop around on eBay and online craft shops and you may get it cheaper.

This fabric goes in your printer like a normal A4 piece of paper. Make sure you set your printer on its best print setting and off you go!

Let your work of art dry at least 24 hours. Then I do any necessary trimming and turn the edges over and press them.
I’ve learnt from experience that this fabric can be really tough to hand sew through. So now I perforate it, using my sewing machine, with no thread. This means you have nice neat little hand stitches when finished.
Attach to the back of your quilt with a thread colour of your choice. I either use normal running stitch, but I have used blanket stitch to make a statement.
Yeah! A quilt is not finished until the fat lady sings!
Whoops, sorry, a quilt is not finished until it is labelled! Take its photo and add it to your collection.
Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

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