Friday, April 18, 2014

Then Finally the Label

The first task that is left to do is the critical task of binding the quilt.  To me this is the least enjoyable part of making a quilt as it is tedious and boring, but it is one of the necessities of life in the sewing room.  There is an excellent tutorial on binding by the Missouri Quilt Company that you can watch so I am not going through all the details here.  She is doing a 1/4 inch binding.  I prefer 3/8 inch so I have to cut my binding fabric about 2 5/8 inch.  When I come to a corner I stop at 3/8 inch from edge instead of 1/4 inch.  Personnal preference!  Judges view the binding as a critical part in assessing the quality of a quilt.

TIP:  Make sure that the corner fold on the back is going the opposite way of the fold on the front.  This keeps the corner bulk equalized.

TIP:  Sew down the front and back corner folds by hand as you stitch the binding on the back.

The label is the other final piece of the quilt.  Why bother?  It may be required for identification if this quilt is being shown.  At the very least it lets others know its history and maker.  There are many beautiful, antique quilts that have no indication of who made them, why, or where.  I have some old quilts that have been handed down in my family, and I have heard that my g-g-grandmother was a renowned quilter, but I have no idea if any of these quilts were her work.  Your label can simply be your signature and date, or you can choose to put more elaborate information such as who you are making it for, where the inspiration came from, whose pattern you used, or how to care for it.

You can use a plain piece of fabric,  purchase a label, or write on the quilt with a permanent marker.  I choose to design and print my own labels using Bubble Jet.  I think there are other products available, but this is the only one I have tried. It works great and the solution lasts forever.  You soak the fabric in the solution for 5 minutes, let it dry, iron it onto freezer paper and print your label.  Since I design my quilts on the computer I usually use a piece of the design to enhance the look of the label.  I make them in Photoshop and print them out with highly saturated color.  Once the ink has dried for 30 minutes the label is gently washed in mild detergent.

In the case of Lifetime I made a very elaborate 8x10 inch label to explain the significance of this quilt.
Label for "Lifetime"
To attach a label you turn the edges under 1/4 inch and hand stitch onto one corner of the quilt back.  You can also machine stitch the side and bottom to the quilt's seam allowance before putting on the binding, and then hand stitch the other two sides.  This label was so large that I fused it to the quilt as well.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, an 8x10 label. Impressive. I print my own custom labels too. I love it! Thanks for the bubble jet tip. I'm going to give it a try.