How to turn a mindless quilt label into a spectacular one

The quilting

Thank you for joining me today on Sunday QUILTing. I had so much fun making the I Love to KNIT quilt with mom and it will certainly be a top favorite of mine for so many reasons.

I decided to have this quilt quilted by Christine Baker, one of our very superb and exciting QUILTsocial bloggers, a longarm quilter, quilt designer and such a lovely person. I love her free motion work and I sent her a drawing of how I wanted the quilting to be done, along with the quilt top and backing. When sending quilting instructions to a longarm quilter, the best way to get your message across the miles, is by a drawing.

I sent Christine Baker a drawing of what I wanted the quilting to look like for the I Love to Knit quilt.

What I wanted is that she should follow the diagonal lines on the backing and quilt meandering yarn along these lines. Every ‘line’ should have one ball of yarn, mimicking the printed pattern. Christine doubled up the meandering line making it look more like yarn than thread! Brilliant!

Then I asked that she should create the same pattern crosswise. This sort of quilting is not dense which makes the quilt ‘warmer’ to the touch. It’s been my experience that the denser the quilting the cooler the quilt is to the touch.

She used black and red variegated thread – perfect!

The quilting mimics the print on the fabric, balls of yarn and meandering yarn.

At first, if you don’t know that the quilting is supposed to be balls of yarn and meandering yarn, the quilting is almost like broken silhouettes.

The label

I think the label should reflect the quilt. I know most quilters are so happy to get to the end of every quilt project and start a new one that the label is just simply that. But for me, there’s no race, no limit and no stopping the amount of creativity that floods my mind. A project is finished when all the pieces fit together just sew ; )

I imagined my label by daydreaming, now and then, since it’s not a matter of sitting down in a garden to do this. To solidify these thoughts I drew them on paper. You don’t have to get it right the first time, you just have to ‘doodle’ or make a mock up.

My love for postcards dictates the ‘frame’ (I love receiving them and I love sending them). Another possibility could have been to shape the label as a ball of yarn.

Look at the printed pattern on your fabric, are there elements that could be drawn out to ‘frame’ your label? Say your print was about houses, wouldn’t it be natural to shape the label like a house, sewing different pieces to make the walls, the roof, and door. How about a quilt block from the quilt itself? Ah, to daydream is to draw in your mind in an instant all possibilities, until you reach the one that speaks to you the loudest.

Here’s the drawing with which I was most happy.

Draw you quilt label on paper, it’ll give you a clear idea of what it’s going to look like. It also helps with figuring out dimensions.

Perhaps it’s not surprising I should stitch it out. Hand stitching a label is as meditative as hand stitching the binding. It can certainly make the label a topic of conversation!

Draw it on your piece of fabric. I chose a white piece and used threads in colors black, gray, red, and pink, as these are the only colors on the quilt fabric.

Draw your label in pencil, in hind sight, I should have used the erasable fabric markers, but lesson learned (I’m so old school – gees!) Then stitch it out using a simple stem stitch.

You can go absolutely crazy with the stitches, or just use a simple stem stitch. So easy. Check out all the stitches out there on line, and in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine! It’s going to make your head spin at the multitude of stitches possible!

If you don’t want to hand stitch it, there are machines that have built-in script you can use to write out your information and a surprising library of built-in decorative stitches – you know it.

Placing a light interfacing between two layers of fabric to create a batting-like effect for the quilt label

When the hand stitching was done, I used fine interfacing to create a batting-like effect. Then mom sewed the lines on the postcard by machine to capture all three layers.

The finished quilt label. The little tag was inspired by Elaine Theriault in one of her QUILTsocial post from 2015.

The finished quilt label. The little tag was inspired by Elaine Theriault in one of her QUILTsocial post from 2015. In her post, you’ll get other ideas of how to make original quilt labels and how to really add personality to your quilts!

All that remains is to decide where to place the quilt label? I think it pops more if placed on the red fabric. It gets lost on the floral patterned fabric – this pattern and the postcard are both too busy. I don’t want to put it on the black fabric.

On which of the two fabrics would you stitch it on?

Join me next Sunday, I’ll have the quilt bound, and the label hand stitched on as well. Oh, and mom and I will start the next project – a forgotten UFO!!!

The finished quilt label on the red fabric of the I Love to Knit quilt

The finished quilt label on the floral fabric of the I Love to Knit quilt – a little too busy

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3:  1 way to make a diagonal stripes quilt top

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1 comment

Kathy E. July 12, 2016 - 11:42 am
This postcard label is adorable and contains everything one needs to personalize and remember where/when/who about the quilt. Thank you for the idea and tutorial.
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