Saturday, 31 October 2015

Quilt Labels

Quilt labels are an important finishing touch for your quilts. I get my labels for the quilts I sell printed through an online company called Spoonflower. I think the next time I get them printed, I will add care instructions to the bottom. The process is not too difficult. I spent some time on my computer's Word processor to get the label look I wanted, then printed it out to make sure the size was ok. Spoonflower requires a graphic image, not a word processor file, so I then scanned my paper label to a GIF format at 300 dpi and uploaded it onto my Spoonflower account. You could also just draw out your label in your own hand writing and scan it for something truly handmade.
Printed labels from Spoonflower
I have room on these labels for a quilt name and I add the year the quilt was finished behind the Calgary, AB - . You can also scale the size of your image in Spoonflower, making your label larger or smaller, depending on what you want.
Pigma marker on plain cotton label
My personal quilts have been a little neglected in the label department. My go-to label before I had them printed at Spoonflower was a nice little 2"x3" piece of plain white cotton fabric and the details written on with a Pima marker. Many of the quilts I have for personal use were made from blocks from fellow quilt guild members, so I'm probably a little reluctant to make a label and forget to include someone who may have contributed a block to the process.

There are lots of tutorials on line for making your own labels, so I'll let you do your own search and see all the creativity there is out there.

Just keep in mind, the bare minimum of info you should include is your name, the name of the quilt, where you made the quilt (where you live) and the date completed. If your quilt was made for a special occasion, you might want to add that. Or if it was for a specific person, add their name. If your quilt was quilted by someone else, either by hand or by machine, add that person's name too.

Future quilt collectors will also want to know if the fabrics were from a particular designer, what pattern was used (or if it was an original design), where you found your inspiration.

It's not New Year's, but I am making a resolution to properly label my quilts and perhaps get a few of them documented in 2016.


Friday, 30 October 2015

Alberta Quilt Study Society

Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a quilt documentation day with the Alberta Quilt Study Society (AQSS) put on in cooperation with the Dalemead Quilt Guild. (Apologies for the fuzzy phone photo!)
Documenting a quilt in Chestermers
The mission of the AQSS is to "promote an understanding, appreciation and knowledge of quilt making and its heritage in Alberta and beyond". Appointments were made for about a dozen quilts and as each quilt was spread out and documented, we learned about the quilter, the fabrics and the patterns that are all part of the quilt.
Antique butterflies. Top bought from Tennessee, Machine Quilted by Marie Lingwood from Blueberry Hill Quilts

I didn't bring any of mine to be documented, but will probably do so in the future. I am pretty good at taking photos of the quilts I make and putting labels on the quilts I have sold, but I am not so great at doing the same for the quilts I keep for my home and the ones I gift to family.
Antique Butterflies Summer Coverlet made by my husband's grandmother
So, last night, I set out to make a list of the quilts I currently have at home that are being used on a daily basis and there are at least 13 that do not have labels. Some of them I know when and where they were completed, but for others, the details are getting fuzzy. If I don't remember, how will I ever expect my family to?
Double Wedding Ring made by me. Started in 1986, Finished ~ 1996
Quilts documented will be added to the records of the Royal Alberta Museum and eventually added to the online records of The Quilt Index.

Do you have antique quilts? Quilts without labels? Does your family know the value of the quilts that you have made? Do you?

Stay tuned to find out what you should include on your quilt label!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

More Mug Rugs from Selvedges

Just a few more finishes from the pile of selvages I have been collecting. These are the ones from the Christmas fabrics
Christmas Mug Rugs set #1
Christmas Mug Rugs set #2
Christmas Mug Rugs set #3

I love the way these turned out & am thankful I could find great fabrics to bind the edges!


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Victoria Quilts

Victoria Quilts is a great program that provides quilts to people with cancer in Canada. You can find them here at It is one of the many charities that take donated quilts and a great cause.
 This quilt became part of the Victoria quilt story when my quilting friend Joyce brought a quilt top to our Monday night meeting of the Fabric Stashers quilt guild and said she didn't want it and wondered if I could use it. Never one to turn down a bargain (this was a huge quilt!), I took the top home, thinking I might take it apart and make two quilts for Victoria Quilts sometime in the future.
 After a few times of spreading it out and looking it over, and talking it over with my long-arm quilter Marie, it was decided that we would leave the quilt top intact. She would quilt it, I would list it in my Etsy shop and when it sold, the profits would be donated to Victoria Quilts. I found a backing fabric, and brought it to Marie's for quilting.
 Fast forward a few more weeks and I receive a request for a queen size quilt for a Christmas gift. Not having any currently made and ready to ship, I sent off a quick response that I didn't have one and was not taking any more custom until 2016. Later that day, I remembered this quilt top that was waiting for quilting. I sent a note back to the customer that I did have something, not one that I personally made, but would be great for her husband's Christmas gift.

She loved the quilt and the fact that the funds would go to such a great cause! So, a quilt top that someone no longer wanted became a beautiful gift for a special person and enabled a good donation to a great cause!

Do you donate to any special causes? Have you got a project that is sitting in your closet that you no longer love? I would love to hear how you give back to your community!


Monday, 12 October 2015

More Red & Gray Quilts

And here's a couple more quilts made for a customer that loves reds and grays and blacks.
Red & Gray square in a square - SOLD!
The square in a square block is a pretty basic block and I chose to do it with a common center of red fabrics, but it's also very effective when made with alternating blocks of a dark outer square with a light inner square and a light outer square with a dark inner square.
Christmas Present Runner - SOLD!
And the Christmas present runner is one that I've seen many times online - I didn't look for a pattern, but just drew this one out on graph paper & put it together - I may make this one again will some more traditional red & green Christmas fabrics!


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Christmas in July

One of the things I enjoy about sewing for an online audience and doing custom work is the opportunity to work with fabrics and colour combinations that are not part of my normal. I've made a few red, gray and black quilts for one of my customers and she found this line of fabric from Henry Glass Fabrics called Holiday Magic by Jan Shade Beach. You can find it here at the Fat Quarter Shop.
Red & Gray Christmas fun! - SOLD
The printed panel had 15 pictures on it and I had some fun coming up with some block layouts that highlighted the adorable pictures.
Christmas in red & gray - FOR SALE
I've seen a number of quilts that alternated a pictorial block with a chain block, so that's what I did for 2 of the quilts made from the panel. The other quilt I arranged differently and set the pictorial blocks off with star blocks.
Christmas in red & gray - FOR SALE
The last two of these both have a hanging sleeve on the back so it can be hung on the wall or they can be used as a table topper - would look great in a black & white kitchen or dining room!

I still have quite a lot of the fat quarter pack left, so there will be some more red & gray Christmas projects coming!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Japanese Tinner's Exchange Blocks Completed

Our guild had a challenge called the Tinner's Exchange where everyone brought a tin and $10 and in return, received a tin with a fabric & a theme or a block pattern. Every month, the tins changes hands and when everyone had completed all the tins, we drew for who got the tins.

These were the blocks I received last year here. I picked up a border fabric and put it away for a while, packed it up to sew on at a retreat last January and sent it off to my friend & fellow quilter Marie from Blueberry Hill Quilts for quilting.
Tinner's Exchange Quilt
The back is a burgundy flannel - it looks a little too red for the front, but it is the background colour in the border fabric.
Tinner's Exchange Quilt
 I gifted this quilt to my mom this August for her birthday - it fits just perfectly in her house and I know she appreciates the workmanship of the many quilters who made the blocks.
Tinner's Exchange Quilt
Have you made a group challenge project? A special quilt for a special person in your life? Tell me about it - I'd love to hear your stories!

Monday, 5 October 2015

It's Hard Running an Online Business without Internet!

After months of no internet at home, I'm finally back connected on a regular basis and ready to begin posting here a little more frequently. I have gotten to know my local coffee shops with free WiFi and have spent more time face to face and it's been a good summer.

I did manage quite a few finishes and this disappearing friendship star was one of them. I blogged about the block back in April here. I have been looking at many quilts online that have been "quilted to death" and thought I might like to try quilting with some dense quilting and practice my free-motion quilting at the same time. Click on the photos to zoom in closer if you want to see the quilting patterns more clearly.

Disappearing Friendship Star Table Topper

Corner detail

From the back
I am glad to have this one done and ready for use - it is up for sale in my Etsy shop here. Although I enjoyed the process of quilting this table topper, I still prefer my quilting to be less dense and a little more free form than this, but I will keep trying different things as I love to learn new techniques!