Monday, April 21, 2008

More quilt labels

Kris at quilted simple had asked me if I would do a tutorial for my quilt labels. Well I've never done one before, but thought what the heck, I'll give it a go. Most of the labels I do are paper pieced so that is what I chose to show, so it will be a try at doing a paper piecing tutorial as well. So without further we go!
How many of us have bins overflowing with scraps? Or leftover fabric from a quilt you would like to do something special with? Well, here is your chance to make a little something extra for your quilts. Use those scraps to make pieced quilt labels!

I like to use paper pieced patterns to make most of my labels. This is a simple flying geese pattern that I drew up myself, but you can also use modified traditionally pieced patterns. I'll show an example of that later.

First, choose your scraps. For this one I am using mostly blues and cream. Make sure your scraps will be big enough to cover the shape you are using them for as well as leaving you enough fabric for a seam allowance. In this example I need to make sure the blue is big enough to cover the larger 'geese' and the cream covers the 'background'.

Choose the fabrics you will be using to be covering numbers one and two. Place them right sides together then place your fabrics on the wrong side of your paper (the side that is not marked.)

Flip everything over, and stitch ON the line between numbers one and two. You will want to shorten your stitch length so you will perforate the paper so when you take the paper off it will be easier and your stitches won't be pulled out. I have a computerized machine, and I set my stitch length to 1.5.

Next, fold the paper on the line you just stitched and cut away the excess fabric to leave your 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now flip and press with a dry iron.

Next, choose what fabric you will use for piece number three, and put it right sides together with the one/two unit. Flip your label over and sew on the line between (in this case) numbers one and three.

Again, flip and press with a dry iron. Here is your first geese unit. At this point you can eliminate some waste by doing the following.

Flip your label over to the drawn side and fold the paper back on the next line you will sew on.

(This is a picture of the paper folded back)

Now trim away the excess to about 1/4 inch.

Now you will be able to line up the next piece you will sew with the finished unit and you will already have your quarter inch seam.

Line up your next piece of fabric, flip your label back over and sew on line number four.

Keep sewing adding pieces in numerical order until you have a completed piece. Now its time to trim.

Using your ruler and rotary cutter, line up the 1/4 inch line on the outside line of your label pattern. Trim off the excess so you have a 1/4 inch seam the entire way around your label. Then remove the paper from the back.

And here we are! You can call it finished at this point, but I like to take it a step further so I will have finished edges to work with when I go to sew it on my quilts.

Place your label right side down on a piece of lightweight fabric. I usually use muslin, but I have used used dryer sheets. You could also use fusible interfacing.

Sew a quarter inch seam on all four sides.

Trim your edges even. I also trim my corners on a diagonal to make turning them a little easier.

Cut a slit in the back and turn right side out.

Give it a good pressing (unless you used the fusible interfacing) and ta-da! One finished quilt label ready for signing and attaching to your next creation! They may take a little time, but once you start making them they are kind of like potato can't make just one. Well, its like that for me anyway ;cD

Now for those of you that don't like paper piecing here is my favorite modified traditionally pieced label. It is a modified churn dash. Start with a 3 1/2 inch square for the center (this is where you will sign the label) then four 1"x 3 1/2" rectangles of both your churn dash fabric and background fabric as well as two 1 7/8 inch squares of both your churn dash fabric and background fabric. Then just piece your block.

Here is a picture of my finished churn dash label :cD

Well, there you go!! I hope I didn't confuse anyone too much. I know there are some great paper piecing tutorials out there if mine didn't quite make sense. There are lots of paper pieced patterns to be found that can be used as part of a label. I also have a book called Foundation Pieced Quilt Labels 30 designs by Linda Causee that has awesome patterns in it. If you modify a traditional pattern, just make sure to leave enough room to sign it. (Like in the above example I enlarged the center square of a traditional chrun dash so there would be plenty of room to sign it.) Like I've said, I've been making lots of these lately and while I was stitching these I started thinking that maybe for those of you who don't have time to make some yourself or for those of you looking to jump start your collection, I would like to give away a set of 6 labels. Just leave me a comment and you will be entered into a random drawing. I will take names until April 27, then I will draw and post the winner next Monday. If you make some labels, make sure to post a picture. I would love to see them.
Well, I'm off to try to squeeze some more into my day. I hope you all find some time to do the things you love. Warm country wishes all!!


QuiltedSimple said...

Oooooh thank you so much. I have 2 quilts recently finished - now I'm off to make some labels.

You ought to enter your tutorial in the Sew Mama Sew contest - a tutorial contest - great tutorial - looks super easy to follow!!


purple and paisley said...

yes, you need to enter the sewmamasew contest...if anything, just to get people to discover your blog! i love the churndash label...great job! =)

Niki said...

Thanks for that cute tutorial. Seems simple enough. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Needled Mom said...

Great tutorial. You did a fabulous job. I've been considering trying one as well but wasn't sure how well I could get the process across. Maybe I will give it a go. I LOVE doing paper piecing. The accuracy is so satisfying.

Sara said...

Great tutorial. I was trying to figure out how you made your labels!! Now I can make some of my own for my quilts. I have never really labeled mine before but I know I should, so this will help me get started!

amandajean said...

your labels are so original and cute! I love the idea of making one to match the quilt. I am going to have to give this a try someday.

Michelle said...

That's a great tutorial! Thanks! The design possibilities are endless. I love your idea to "turn out" the label so all the edges are smooth. Thanks so much!

Barb said...

You are a very good instructor, thank you for sharing your quilt label tutorial with us! As to the turning with finished edges, that is how I do my blocks that are needing applique included, such as needing hearts or anything with curved edges, so much easier then that tedious edge turning! Thanks again your tutorial is very easy to follow! Happy quilting!

Shar said...

Thank you for sharing your quilt label tutorial. I love the churndash label and the smooth edge technique. I will definately be using these on my future projects!


country mouse said...

Thank you all so much for your kind compliments! I did send an e-mail to try to enter the Sew Mama Sew contest. I'm just going to wait and see what happens. Maybe I'll have to give other tutorials a try some time. I've got a couple other favorite projects I would love to share :cD

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