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Thread: Question about autograph quilts

  1. #1
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    Ok, first let me say, I'm not big on washing my fabric before I quilt it. Unless it's say, bright spanking red and I have white going into it. That said I'm trying to make my husband an autograph quilt for his retirement from the military. I plan to mail a few small squares out to people who are not local first, collect them all, put the quilt together, and pass it around locally.

    I've found a really nice muslin to use and was wondering if I should wash it before I cut out the squares to mail. Remember how I said I'm not big on washing fabric before. My main concern would be anything in the fabric that would make a sharpie bleed or would wash the ink out. I plan on asking everyone to use a permenent pen. If neither of these would be an issue, can I just cut and mail? I don't intend to wash it until after everyone has signed, just because of where it's going to end up and how many people would end up handling it, it would need the wash.

    Let me know. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, if everyone uses a perm ink, it will be ok to sign before its washed. But, if you dont send the pen along with it.. you have no idea what they used.. and some inks will smear or wash out, whether you prewash or not.

    What I do, when sending out squares for signature.. is this

    Iron your square to a piece of freezer paper and draw a line on the freezer paper where you want them to sign..
    Send the fabric on freezer paper, a pigma pen, and an self addressed, self stamped envelope for them to return everything to you, with a note to please return the pen along with the fabric..

    This way you know what they are signing with and you can be sure it wont wash out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Overlander's Avatar
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    I am making a signature quilt for my sister and her new husband. I was told it was best to wash the muslin before cutting as the material can have chemicals in it that would discolor the ink. I also sent along a permanent marker specifically for writing on material with a small request that the pen and the patch be sent back in the self addressed, stamped envelope. To help the person with the writing I pressed the muslin to freezer paper. I got all my patches and pens back and had some wonderful signatures and little quotes to work with.

  4. #4
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    Is there a specific pen anyone prefers?

    Thanks for the help!!

  5. #5

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    muslin likes to shrink, as in it could shrink so badly that you can no longer clearly read the signed names. :(

    Some people here like th Pigma pens, but they dry out easily if not properly cleanedand maintained (I was a draftsman for years and used them for work, they are not my friend).

    If I was doing it I would send them a big square of muslin at least 6" square if not 8" and ask them to SIGN BIG. Then when I had the squares back I would take embroidery thread and stitch over the signatures setting them forever. Then you don't have to worry about bleeding or running, and if they sign big enough you don't even need to worry about prewashing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizard
    Is there a specific pen anyone prefers?

    Thanks for the help!!
    I use Pigma pens and have never been dissapointed. Pigma is the brand name I think and they come it different size points..

    If this is a one time project, they will work well for you.

    If you, yourself, are going to ink on quilts, you can get fabric ink and pen sets, but they are expensive..and you wouldnt send them to your signers.


  7. #7
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    Good to know that it shrinks, I haven't used it for anything but making mock ups on clothes so far, so I've never bothered washing it and I always got the cheap kind anyway. This is nice stuff, I wanted to stand there feeling it. LOL. I'll wash it and pick up some pigma pens. Thanks all.

  8. #8
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Liz, just use crayon....I know you have a ton of them :)
    Oh, btw...I'm headed back to HI hopefully tonight.
    Anything else besides LaJolla patch?

  9. #9
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    Taro chips? LOL

  10. #10
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll check for them.
    Any special flavor?

  11. #11
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    Purple bag. LOL.

  12. #12
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    How much time do you have? I made an autograph quilt for in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. I had everyone sign in pencil and embroidererd over the pencil w/ floss, to match the colors of the various blocks. I did not worry about washing/laundering as it hangs in their hallway.

    Just a few hints: Ask for them back earlier than you need them--you always have your stragglers and mine were from one of their KIDS!! Provide specific instructions on how, where and WHAT to sign. you wouldn't believe the phone calls on "What should I write?" When in doubt, just sign your name. I also provided a few samples on the paper so people could see exactly what I wanted.

    HTH and good luck. I'm sure it'll be treasured for years to come.

  13. #13
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    I don't have enough time to embroider it all, I expect there to be stragglers and was going to put in my deadline so I could set one to get started sewing. My only concern about the washing it after it's all complete and everyone has gotten their grubby hands on it. I'll wash it the one time and then that will probably be it since I plan to make it a wall hanging. I know he wouldn't use it even if it was a regular quilt and make me hang it anyway. LOL.

    I got my pens today at the store and am working on covertly printing off address labels (under the guise of updating my Christmas card list) for all his old friends. I don't think he suspects anything, I about had a fit over all my missing address cards, I literally have no idea where some went, and it ended up providing a good cover. LOL. In the next couple days I'll get all the envelopes and fabric into the mail.

    Thanks for all the help, I'll be sure to post pics when I complete it.

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