Tuesday, May 15, 2018

...And Now, Hand Stitching the Machine Embroidered Quilt Label

Appliqueing the Label to the Quilt Back Prior to Binding
So remember the label for my Tabby Mountain quilt that I designed in my Bernina v8 Designer Plus embroidery software and stitched out on my B 750QE sewing machine?  I designed and stitched out the label back in March, and stuck it on my design wall until the quilt was finished.  

Machine Embroidered, But Sewn to the Quilt Backing By Hand
There is a fatigue that sets in near the end of the quilting process, a desire to just be DONE WITH IT already, and I think that's why so many quilters don't label their quilts at all.  They want to "just get it done," and plan to add a label "later," but then they get excited about a new project and later never comes.  I try to combat that tendency by getting my label ready BEFORE I start quilting, so that it's ready to go as soon as I trim the finished quilt.

Hand/Machine Wash COLD Gentle, Dry Flat or Tumble LOW, DO NOT OVERDRY!
This quilt does have a wool batting, so I've included care instructions on my label.  I don't want to scare off my gift recipient from using her quilt with overly involved care instructions, but the main points to convey are washing in COLD water instead of warm, GENTLE cycle if machine washed (less vigorous agitation and a less aggressive spin cycle) and to avoid overdrying the quilt.   I used this batting on my son Lars's Drunken Dragons quilt several years ago and, even though I confess that I have not always followed those care instructions myself, that quilt is aging nicely.  The wool batting is warm and snuggly and has a nice drape, even with a densely quilted quilt, and I can tell as I'm hand stitching the label that it's a great batting for hand quilting as well.  My needle is just gliding through it like a hot knife cutting into a stick of butter. 

I like to put my quilt label in one of the corners of my quilts so that only two sides of the label need to be appliqued to the quilt backing.  The other two sides will be secured by the binding stitches.  That helps to ensure the label won't ever fall off the quilt (although my hand stitches are spaced as close together as machine stitches, so they're pretty secure).  

One funny thing -- I'm using 60/2 cotton embroidery thread to applique the label to the quilt backing, and it feels like I'm sewing with ROPE now that I've grown accustomed to using YLI silk thread for needle turned applique!  

I did end up having to buy binding fabric, but I found a pretty purple fabric at my local Bernina dealer 5 minutes from my house rather than having to travel to my not-quite-local quilt shop (also a Bernina dealer, coincidentally) that is between 40 minutes and an hour and a half away, depending on whether I hit rush hour traffic on the Interstate.  I wish my local Bernina dealer carried more fabric inventory, and more contemporary fabric lines (Tula Pink, Kona and Bella Solids, Kaffe Fassett), like the faraway dealer does.  Anyway, today I didn't need a whole bunch of different fabrics; I just needed ONE fabric that would complement the fabrics in my quilt for a binding, and I'm glad I found it at my Bernina dealer's shop.  It's so nice to walk in and be greeted people who treat me like family and call me by name.

Eagerly Awaiting Binding!
And now, here it is nearly 9 PM, and I have prewashed/preshrunk my binding fabric but haven't yet cut and joined the strips, let alone sewn it to my quilt.  

So obviously, my To-Do for Tuesday has got to be BINDING THIS QUILT!  And that's it, folks, because whenever I try to come up with a list of weekly goals for this linky, I just end up feeling badly about not reaching them.  ONE goal, that's all: Just the binding!

I'm linking up with: 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

great finish Rebecca!! good idea to have the label made before the quilt is finished - I think I am missing a label or two!

Glenda said...

Love love that quilt lying there WOW is sure has a punch.Some one is going to be very lucky to receive that beauty. Cheers Glenda

Sandra Healy Designs said...

Totally hear you about rushing to finish a quilt. I am shamefully lax at labelling but there's always so much gorgeous fabric just waiting to be sewn!

Chris knits said...

I don't do well with labels myself, so maybe I will try your method. I don't have an embroidery machine, but my new Janome has some alphabets, so maybe a try at that. Can't wait to see your "Russian" quilt done.

Mama Spark said...

I do that exact trick putting it in with the binding. My favorite is when I can actually sew it right into the back and then it gets quilted in. If it is for a wedding or friend or something I can do that. It's more difficult to do with a baby as they never seem to arrive on their due dates, LOL. Beautiful quilt!

Christine Slaughter said...

I love the quilt! I ended up making printed labels through Spoonflower after Jaybird Quilts' tutorial and I am so glad I did. You're right, I always remember at the last minute too, just like you said. Since the labels are done except for adding in the name of the quilt and the finishing date, I just write those on (not my favorite method, but since I want to be done with it, it works for me), and I add it in on the binding sides, just like you do. For quilts I gift I do like to make a hand-stitched label though, so I make sure to make that part of the quilting process. I know exactly what you mean about when you talk about just wanting it to be done, though!

Preeti said...

Tabby Mountain is a gorgeous beauty worthy of high praise. SO looking forward to the finished quilt. Have a great weekend!!!

Denise said...

No labels is one thing I am guilty of though I have been experimenting with ideas. That should be my yearly goal, too many design ideas running through my head to make it a shorter goal.

Rebecca Grace said...

No guilt allowed! There’s way too much guilt and judgement in this hobby already!

Rebecca Grace said...

Please, no shame!! You know, there is the point of view of the Quilt Police (aka Judges, Appraisers, Historians) that we owe it to Posterity to label EVERY quilt we make. But honestly, the quilts I make get loved hard and used until they are in shreds. Ain’t nothing left to “hand down” to future generations of nosybodies who need to know who made what for whom and when!

Rebecca Grace said...

The built in alphabet stitches would be great for labels!