How to Document Your Quilt
Creating a documentation of your quilt is one of the most important things that you can do after completing it. Here are some helpful pointers to keep in mind when documenting your own quilt:
One of the first steps that I would recommend is to keep a separate envelope for each of the quilts you have made.
You could follow a generic form to describe your quilt or you could create your own form, whatever suits your purposes.
Things to include are the name of the quilt, the maker, pattern blocks, and other details. You may also want to include the reason or story behind why you wanted to make the quilt. And be sure to have an answer to the popular question: "How long did it take you to complete the quilt?"
You could also add such things as a short description of the quilter and other interesting details.
If possible, try to take photographs of the quilt and put them in with your description -- the ultimate in documentation.
You could also include some leftover scraps of fabric to check the extent of fading as time goes by.
These scraps can also help you in identifying your own quilt in case you lose it or are having a tough time trying to locate it.
You will soon begin to notice that although you may be a person who quilts regularly, there is much you have missed in knowing your own quilts. This can be a totally new experience for you.
What to Do When You Come across a New Quilt
Whenever you come across a new quilt during a quilting show, take the time to identify the quilt, writing down details such as awards won, where it was displayed, etc. This way, you can make a note of the things that went into pricing that particular quilt, especially if it has won an award.
How this Documentation Will Help You
If you follow these steps of documentation when making your quilts, you will realize the things your quilt actually lacks along with all the extra things you didn't notice before. In the end, it will help you make better quilts.
Labeling Your Quilts
The Importance of Labeling
You spend days and nights making a quilt. It could be for your grandchild, your husband, or some other loved one. Or maybe you plan to enter a quilting competition. Whatever the reason, you have set out on an adventure in making that special quilt. You devote hours toward working on that quilt, at the expense of cutting into the rest of your activities. You focus on finding the finest threads and the best muslin that you can get your hands on... Finally, you complete your special quilt and you stand in awe, admiring and marveling at your own creation. But wait! There's just one more thing left to do... label it. You may be wondering how best to label it. Using an old traditional method for labeling your quilt could cause it to stain over a period of time or bleed the next time you wash it. You may also be wondering how you can ever truly claim this quilt as yours if you do not know how to label it properly.
Labeling is not something that you should get all worked up about. First, let's consider the traditional style of labeling a quilt. Cut out a small piece of muslin cloth and appliqué it to the lower right-hand corner on the back of the quilt, and then sign and date it. Without doubt, this is the most common way to label your quilt, but there are many other ways in which you can improve on this method. First and foremost, you must affix your label in such a way that it cannot be removed easily.
A Better Method of Labeling
One of the easiest labels to remove is one that is slip-stitched to the backing. To avoid the possibility of anyone trying to steal your quilt or removing it for malicious purposes, you could try this method:
Fuse the label onto the quilt before it is actually sewn on. To do this, cut the fusible part of the web into a size that is a little smaller than the finished label. Take the fusible part and fuse it with the finished label; this will make it a little more difficult for anyone who attempts to remove it from the finished label. After this, resume sewing the quilt and sew the label through all the layers of the quilt. Now the label cannot be removed without damaging the quilt.
Identifying Quilters through Labels
There are some quilters who do not wish to identify themselves with a label. However, you can still identify them by having a look at their quilts. One good place to look is the seam allowance, where the binding is stitched down under the hanging sleeve. Using this information, such as name or initials, you can identify who the quilt is by. Sometimes you can also find their initials on the front of the quilt itself.
Making the Label
Now that you have learned how to properly stitch on a label, it's time to list all the details that have made your quilt exquisite. A minimum requirement is the quilt maker's name and date. If you are moving from one place to another, or if you are entering some kind of quilting competition, it is a good idea to put down your home address, e-mail address, phone number, and any other details that would make it easier to get in contact with you. This is good information to include with a personal quilt. When it comes to the "Quilt Historians", they prefer some additional detail, like the name you gave the quilt, the reason you made it, and if it was made as a gift, to whom and why.
To make a permanent, fade resistant label, consider using a Pigma pen label. These labels come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. With the help of a hot iron, you can heat-set the finished label to ensure a permanent attachment. You could then cross-stitch it onto the quilt; the stitches can be removed when needed.
Be Creative with Your Labels
Labels are meant to be attractive, not like ordinary labels. Try using leftover strips of cloth from your fabric to make your own creative label. But make sure that whatever you do, you label your quilt -- that is the only way that you can show other quilters that this particular quilt is yours.
I just finished a quilt and included my label in the binding. Fold binding in half and press and fold again and press then open out and use a light stabilizer and the abc stitches on the machine, trim the stabilizer and refold and bind the quilt. The label shows on the top of the quilt.