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Thread: looking for signature quilt ideas

  1. #1
    Member Becca's Avatar
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    Smile looking for signature quilt ideas

    I would like to make a quilt for an upcoming family reunion and make a block for each family member to sign and date. Any ideas on a block design would be welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I think several people on here have used the snowball block and attic windows.

  3. #3
    Super Member rosiewell's Avatar
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    I did this for a retiring teacher, she loved it!
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  4. #4
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    A few years ago I received a "quilt" from my friends as a going away gift. There was a catch: the gift included MY making the quilt! It was a basket with all the fabrics, batting and backing for a quilt, and each one signed the backing fabric using a fabric marker. You could use the idea and have family members sign muslin backing. I do recommend that you make sure they sign inside the areas you plan to use: I lost a few signatures because they were so far away from the majority of names that they wouldn't fit even for a queen sized quilt. The one advantage is that I could put together any top I wanted because the names are on the opposite side. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    in the Fons and Porters magazine Dec 2012 there was a kit for sale called a memory quilt for half price.

  6. #6
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    I did a top using Bonnie Hunter's free basket weave quilt pattern from www.quiltville.com. It is a simple square block of strips but placing it on point makes it visually interesting. I used scrap strips with every other one a plain white strip for the signatures.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    I did this one for my DD's wedding last August. Just finished and gave to them at Christmas. Very simple to piece. Having done this three times now, I thought I'd share a couple of tips. Iron your signature block fabric onto freezer paper, then cut the pieces generously oversized. Small pieces can be hard to work with. Draw a line with a washout pen that is at least 1/4" inside the eventual seam line. No matter how many times you tell people, somebody ALWAYS writes beyond the margin. This is one time when they really need to stay inside the lines. You may need to remind folks to write on the FABRIC side, NOT the paper side. Also, people are sometimes intimidated by writing on the fabric, I guess they're scared they're going to mess the quilt up, so provide plenty of extra pieces in case they feel the need to start over. You do wind up wasting some fabric this way, but it's well worth it. (There is a block in the quilt pictured that was supposed to be a "mess-up" but the groom's brother didn't throw the piece away, just left it lying on the table with all the other signed pieces. It looked okay to me so I included it in the quilt. I have since been informed of my error. Oh well, it's permanent now!)

    Don't know what others may have to say, but I have used Sharpie ultra-fine point pens for mine. I've never yet had a problem and my DD's graduation quilt from 4 years ago is still going strong. She uses/washes it frequently. We'll see if the colors stand the test of time. If you use colors, do avoid the reds, they run (don't ask...) and the yellow and gold tend to fade. I always wash the quilt with Retayne or a dye-grabber sheet a couple of times.
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    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
    www.zibbet.com/makeminepatchwork
    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  8. #8
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
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    I am in the process of making this signature quilt for my GD's grade 12 grad.
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  9. #9
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    Here is a picture of my Basket-weave Strings from www.quiltville.com.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scraplady View Post
    I did this one for my DD's wedding last August. Just finished and gave to them at Christmas. Very simple to piece. Having done this three times now, I thought I'd share a couple of tips. Iron your signature block fabric onto freezer paper, then cut the pieces generously oversized. Small pieces can be hard to work with. Draw a line with a washout pen that is at least 1/4" inside the eventual seam line. No matter how many times you tell people, somebody ALWAYS writes beyond the margin. This is one time when they really need to stay inside the lines. You may need to remind folks to write on the FABRIC side, NOT the paper side. Also, people are sometimes intimidated by writing on the fabric, I guess they're scared they're going to mess the quilt up, so provide plenty of extra pieces in case they feel the need to start over. You do wind up wasting some fabric this way, but it's well worth it. (There is a block in the quilt pictured that was supposed to be a "mess-up" but the groom's brother didn't throw the piece away, just left it lying on the table with all the other signed pieces. It looked okay to me so I included it in the quilt. I have since been informed of my error. Oh well, it's permanent now!)

    Don't know what others may have to say, but I have used Sharpie ultra-fine point pens for mine. I've never yet had a problem and my DD's graduation quilt from 4 years ago is still going strong. She uses/washes it frequently. We'll see if the colors stand the test of time. If you use colors, do avoid the reds, they run (don't ask...) and the yellow and gold tend to fade. I always wash the quilt with Retayne or a dye-grabber sheet a couple of times.
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    i love this pattern what is the name of it or can you tell me measurments of the pieces. i have to make one for my godchilds baby shower.....have made 1 already but really didn't like it so i started another....well guess what she found out what she's having and the 2nd quilt i started is alot of pink.....and of course it's a boy !!!! thanks
    dotti

  11. #11
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I have been curious about using "Sharpie ultra-fine point pens" for signatures. I bought an expensive special quilting pen - it would not write one word. I had not saved my register tape to return the pen. I had always used Sharpie for kids camps, etc. Glad to hear Sharpies work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scraplady View Post
    I did this one for my DD's wedding last August. Just finished and gave to them at Christmas. Very simple to piece. Having done this three times now, I thought I'd share a couple of tips. Iron your signature block fabric onto freezer paper, then cut the pieces generously oversized. Small pieces can be hard to work with. Draw a line wSharpie ultra-fine point pensith a washout pen that is at least 1/4" inside the eventual seam line. No matter how many times you tell people, somebody ALWAYS writes beyond the margin. This is one time when they really need to stay inside the lines. You may need to remind folks to write on the FABRIC side, NOT the paper side. Also, people are sometimes intimidated by writing on the fabric, I guess they're scared they're going to mess the quilt up, so provide plenty of extra pieces in case they feel the need to start over. You do wind up wasting some fabric this way, but it's well worth it. (There is a block in the quilt pictured that was supposed to be a "mess-up" but the groom's brother didn't throw the piece away, just left it lying on the table with all the other signed pieces. It looked okay to me so I included it in the quilt. I have since been informed of my error. Oh well, it's permanent now!)

    Don't know what others may have to say, but I have used Sharpie ultra-fine point pens for mine. I've never yet had a problem and my DD's graduation quilt from 4 years ago is still going strong. She uses/washes it frequently. We'll see if the colors stand the test of time. If you use colors, do avoid the reds, they run (don't ask...) and the yellow and gold tend to fade. I always wash the quilt with Retayne or a dye-grabber sheet a couple of times.
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    Carol

  12. #12
    Junior Member Debd's Avatar
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    If you just want signatures, and there are going to be a lot, I would suggest a "bookshelf" quilt. I did something similar for a retiring principal with all the names of people she had worked with. It came out nicely, and I was able to use some of my scraps! If you want people to write things, the other suggestions here would be lovely.
    Debbie Dresser

  13. #13
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    I made a signature quilt for my brother-in-law who was undergoing a stem cell transplant at the time. It included the signatures of his students, former students, fellow teachers and family members. He loved the outdoors and fishing so I tried to include fabrics that depicted those and quilted animal/bird motifs in the plain squares. I used the freezer paper technique and very fine black pigma markers. Both he and the quilt are still going strong, thank goodness!Name:  Gary's quilt.JPG
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  14. #14
    Member Becca's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great ideas. Now to pick one!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dogwood Quilter's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltinaday.com/freepattern/ This is Eleanor Burns pattern for a signature quilt. Scroll down to the one called Crackerbox. I am making this one right now for a family that lost their home to a fire just before Christmas.

  16. #16
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    I made this quilt for a co-worker who had a heart transplant. I ironed freezer paper onto the back of some cream fabric. Then cut the cream fabric into 4" squares and basted 1/4" around the edges of each square. I put everything in a basket with a couple of black pigma pens. Also included instructions to NOT go outside the basted line. Everyone wrote a message and put the square in another basket.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    Dotti, I don't know the name of the pattern. I had seen it in a book a long time ago but couldn't find it when I wanted to make it. It was called "Woven Ribbons" or something like that. Since I didn't have the pattern, I made it up as I went along. It was really easy. It's basically a rail fence block with the middle "picket" wider than the outer ones and only uses two fabrics for each block instead of 3. I used 3 1/2 by 5 1/2" pieces for the signatures and 1 1/2 by 5 1/2" strips for the "ribbons". (I cut the signature pieces down to size AFTER they were signed.) The blocks finished at 5 X 5". The only trick is in the layout to make sure your pieces are lined up so the "ribbons" go all the way across the quilt. Turning every other block is what gives the woven effect. It was really easy to make. I wish I could find the pattern.
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
    www.zibbet.com/makeminepatchwork
    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurdelisquilts.com View Post
    A few years ago I received a "quilt" from my friends as a going away gift. There was a catch: the gift included MY making the quilt! It was a basket with all the fabrics, batting and backing for a quilt, and each one signed the backing fabric using a fabric marker. You could use the idea and have family members sign muslin backing. I do recommend that you make sure they sign inside the areas you plan to use: I lost a few signatures because they were so far away from the majority of names that they wouldn't fit even for a queen sized quilt. The one advantage is that I could put together any top I wanted because the names are on the opposite side. Good luck!
    Cut the signatures away from where they are, and applique them where you want them. That way you won't lose them.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  19. #19
    Super Member Auntie Em's Avatar
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    Roman road is a good one....it gives the color from the fabrics plus room for the messages in the center of the three parts of the block....
    There is no place like home!

  20. #20
    Senior Member newestnana's Avatar
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    Your timing for this thread is perfect, since ill be making a wedding signature quilt next month. Great ideas!
    marcia

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  21. #21
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Will you leave the writing as is with a pen or embroider or something over the writing? I have seen both and if some of the fabric is being sent to people to sign you may want to go over these if they use heir own pens. Just a query for you to think about.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scraplady View Post
    Dotti, I don't know the name of the pattern. I had seen it in a book a long time ago but couldn't find it when I wanted to make it. It was called "Woven Ribbons" or something like that. Since I didn't have the pattern, I made it up as I went along. It was really easy. It's basically a rail fence block with the middle "picket" wider than the outer ones and only uses two fabrics for each block instead of 3. I used 3 1/2 by 5 1/2" pieces for the signatures and 1 1/2 by 5 1/2" strips for the "ribbons". (I cut the signature pieces down to size AFTER they were signed.) The blocks finished at 5 X 5". The only trick is in the layout to make sure your pieces are lined up so the "ribbons" go all the way across the quilt. Turning every other block is what gives the woven effect. It was really easy to make. I wish I could find the pattern.
    thank you...i'm on it !!!!
    dotti

  23. #23
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    Becca, you're getting a lot of good ideas - isn't this a great place?! Here is the inspiration for a signature quilt I made - a going away gift for a quilter, boy was I nervous.

    It went together quickly and made a large quilt with the solid blocks. I bound it with a scrappy binding which really set it off.

    Couple of tips - definitely iron your blocks to freezer paper; next time I'll cut the freezer paper finished block size and press the seam allowance under = no lost signatures; have some scraps for the signers to test writing on; test your pen on scraps for permanency - even though I had pre-washed fabric and used Pigma pens, I still had to heat set.

    Be sure to post a pic of the finished quilt! :-)

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