Labeling your work

I’ve always toyed with the idea of putting labels on my quilts. Being a fan of antique and vintage items, I wonder about the history associated with such things. Who had it first? When was it made? Why did they buy it? Or was it a gift? How long did they have it? Why did they get rid of it? WHO made it? It’s endlessly fascinating to me. Most of the time my questions go unanswered.

I want to put the year I made a quilt on the quilt. I’m hoping they’ll be around long after I’m gone and it would be neat for the owner to at least know how old it is. One day one of my quilts could be vintage! Is that wishful thinking or what?

I have this old, patchwork quilt top. Please excuse the picture, it’s the only one I could find. I’ve packed the quilt top in a bin somewhere and couldn’t locate it for a new photo.

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I discovered this quilt top in my grandmother’s stuff after she passed away and that was in 2004. I can only guess that her sister, Gertie, made it because my sister and I both have patchwork quilts also made by her. I LOVE this quilt top! It has the most hideous, wonderful fabrics. They’re so ugly, it makes them fantastic. It was probably fashioned from scraps and simply as something to cover up with because the pattern has no rhyme or reason. Way back when my grandmother was young, that’s what people did. They made what they needed. Oh, how I wish I knew the details surrounding this piece.

Why was it never completed? Was Gertie a procrastinator like me? Did a “better” quilt divert her attention? Maybe her sewing machine broke down and she couldn’t get it fixed? Sadly, there’s no one I can ask. This quilt top could be anywhere from 50 to 70 years old!

Labels are so necessary!

A couple years ago, I looked into pre-made options. Alas, I would’ve had to order too many to make it worth it. And with the year being on them, it wasn’t logical. So the idea of labels was put on a back burner. Until recently, when I began to actually FINISH my quilts.

I follow a few different blogs and one of them covered labels just today. Jodie (she spells her name the same as I do! Rare, I know 🙂 ). http://homesweetdreaming.com/about/

Now that I’m beginning to complete quilts and would like to attempt selling them, the matter of labels is upon me once again. I’ve considered iron-on Canadian flags since I’m Canadian and am always so thrilled when I find something Made in Canada 🙂 002

But I think the year is important too. My initials, not so much. No one will know what they stand for. JLH Quilts. . . . I like it. However, I’m never going to be a huge corporation, pumping out hundreds or thousands of quilts.

So despite my impressive collection of embroidery floss (picked up at a garage sale!), it may be pointless to do so much hand stitching.

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Althoughhhhh, there’s a product out there, printable fabric sheets. I’ve only just begun researching them, so I can’t recommend brands or even comment on how well (or not) they work. I may give them a try, it would be faster than hand stitching, which I could save for special quilts because I do enjoy the idea of coordinating threads to the quilt.

046. . . . I know why I have so much trouble focusing! Too many ideas!

I also Googled ‘make your own fabric labels’ and found this handy video. Of course, it’s not the only one and I thought I was simply putting a link in my post. Imagine my surprise when it showed up as the video! (Am I even allowed to do this? If someone knows that I’m NOT, please tell me).

 

My head is swirling now with label ideas. On something as large as a quilt, it wouldn’t be awful to have more information than just a date and initials. But would a printed label fade after so many washings and end up useless? Stitching might be the best?

Decisions, decisions! Whatever will I do? 🙂

 

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Another quilt completed

For me (a life long procrastinator), it’s odd to finish things! I’ve been trying very hard to turn over a new leaf (like every year) and complete my projects from beginning to end. Of course, I have a mountain of work to tackle. My sewing room (and my mind!) is cluttered with half accomplished items.

But if I’m ever going to make money at my craft, I need to get my act together. Passion for what I do isn’t enough. Organization and follow-through are also vital. Don’t misunderstand me, I have finished stuff in the past, it’s just more common not to. I get stuck on how to attach handles, or how to bind an edge, or I simply get bored and move on.

However, just this morning, I finished a second, experimental quilt. And when I was done, I had to stop and think, “Am I REALLY done? Or is there something I’m forgetting?”. It felt weird because I’m so accustomed to abandoning items mid-way in favor of newer, “more exciting” ideas.

This second, denim quilt began as another one for my dog, Charlotte. It quickly became too large so I changed it into a quilt for myself, with the intention of her being allowed to lay on it also. Normally she’s restricted to her own blanket(s). For those of you who have indoor dogs, you’re probably well aware of how many you can go through. I’ve always had blankets (or sheets) on my couch to keep the dogs off the actual upholstery. Certain fabrics and dog hair do NOT mix!

It’s one reason why I love denim. Dog hair can easily be shaken off of it. And it’s durable, also good for dogs.

I purposely designed this quilt to be long and narrow, for use on a couch. . . . it’s why I named my WordPress blog CouchQuilts. I don’t want my quilts to be stored away in a closet and most people have a couch. And most people lay on their couch from time to time. . . . do you see where I’m going with this? Simply put, I’d like for my quilts to be out and enjoyed.

Rather than posting pictures here, I’m going to do something insanely clever (ha ha! just kidding) and include a link to my Facebook page. It’s strictly for my denim, no other topics like I have on this blog. If you’re feeling adventurous, please go and have a look 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/delightfuldenimdesigns/timeline

If I’m not mistaken (and I very well may be!), you would go into ‘Photos’ and then ‘Albums’. Or my last post is ‘Dog Blanket Number 2’ and it will be right there at the top of my timeline? I haven’t had this FB page for long (hence the 9 likes :)) and I have plenty to learn!

 

 

Pictures are important

Having at least decent pictures of a product is very important. Of course, awesome would be the aim but I’ll never reach that level with an old, cheap camera. And that’s okay. I can STILL take pictures!

My other biggest challenge is WHERE to take my pictures. A quilt can be a difficult item to show. Fortunately for me, my brother bought a new home last year and I’ve discovered how wonderful a king size bed and huge, comfy couch are. For picture taking 🙂

Recently, I folded up some of my quilts and hauled them into town for a photo shoot. I can’t say I’m fond of his stark white, BORING walls. Oh, how I wish he’d let me paint. I have an eye for that. As for photography though, I definitely need to learn about daylight, shadows and all the stuff that can interfere with a positive end result.

One day, way down the road, I’ll invest in a better camera. For now, I’m satisfied with a place I can take “better” pictures. And rather than updating the various pages I have on here, I’ll just include new photos in this post. Easier for you and me!

It seems fitting I begin with the Montreal Canadiens quilt I’m making for my brother. I presented it to him for Christmas, UNFINISHED. He’s tall and I needed to know how much larger to make it. It’s on my very soon, to-do list!

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It’s meant to be long and narrow, to fit well on a couch, because I’d like for it to be out and used, not folded away in a closet. My brother is 43 and a dedicated lifetime fan of the Montreal Canadiens. It wasn’t easy finding Montreal Canadiens t-shirts and this quilt will always be one-of-a-kind.

This next quilt was started with my ex-mother-in-law in mind. It has an old pajama top of her granddaughter’s incorporated into it. The butterflies glow in the dark and the saying “Dream a Little Dream” couldn’t be more perfect!

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Quilt number three was one I began for my mom. Only, it got too big and I had nowhere to lay it out flat! So I abandoned it. I have plans for building a custom sewing table this year and will finally be able to finish it. I was happy at least to lay it over a king size bed for pictures, the quilt itself is only meant to be queen size.

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Fourth in line is my Polar Bear quilt, named so for obvious reasons. It’s on the small side and might just stay there. I’d like to make child size items as well.

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And here we have what I call my Placemat Quilt. The four, small rectangles in the center were once headed toward being the backs of reversible placemats. And then I decided I didn’t like them. Not wanting to waste (I HATE waste!) the denim however, I opted for making a quilt. I can’t say I’m crazy about the pattern but it’s growing on me AND it’s an actual completed quilt! I’m going to use it and launder it (repeatedly) to see how it holds up.

One of my largest concerns is a quilt falling apart after it’s left my home. I don’t want that to happen, ever. I double stitch when I can 🙂

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I also made a small, dog quilt recently. It was purely experimental and was always intended for Charlotte, my Boston Terrier mix who simply must be under a blanket when she’s snoozing. I needed to remind myself why I dislike stretch denim. I wanted to try a different edge. AND I finished it! I really can get things done!

Keep in mind, this was experimental and for a dog, so it’s nothing special. I did learn the size would also be appropriate for a baby or as a lap quilt for someone in a wheelchair. It was a win, win, win situation.

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I have other quilts (Tigger, Frog, Cow, Cat) I won’t show again until they’re done and I can take decent pictures.

Today’s task is to complete the second, experimental dog quilt I began after doing the first one.