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Question and advice on quilt-writing

Question and advice on quilt-writing

Old 03-16-2016, 09:15 AM
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Default Question and advice on quilt-writing

Hello everyone, I am currently quilting my granddaughter's baby quilt and have finished quilting the body of the quilt to the inner border. I have planned to quilt words into the border and wonder if anyone has any experience with it. I want to add a message from me or maybe the lyrics to some sweet Disney songs.

Do you think I should finish off the main body of the quilt by stitching in the ditch around the inner border before beginning the quilt-writing? Is there a quick way to determine length of space needed for the words so as to know how to center the wording?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you,
Anna
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:51 AM
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Yes, I would SITD and also stitch the edge of the quilt before doing the border. When I did hand calligraphy and something needed to be centered, I would write out the line of text, then fold the paper in half to determine the center of the text. You can do this to find the center, however, I think I would start on the ends. Are you planning on using hot pink thread? I'm wondering if white will show all your hard work.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:09 AM
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PaperPrincess, I haven't thought of using hot pink thread. I will probably have to use white because the backing is pieced and appliqued (attaching picture - not sure why it popped in sideways .) I love your idea about using paper. You rock! I'll give that a try since I wanted it to be in my own handwriting. Off to the studio. Thank you so much for responding..
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:58 AM
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I used MS Word to create a word template then printed on freezer paper. So far so good.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:17 AM
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I have never done it before but you are working with a very busy print so my concern would be having the letters show up.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:46 PM
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I wanted to post a picture of the time when I tried it, but it didn't show up because I had a very busy print with a variegated thread & there wasn't enough contrast between the thread & the fabric. I would use a thicker thread (28wt) and pick something MUCH darker than the fabric -- plus, try it out on scraps first. I would either use a very dark shade of pink, a deep red, or black. That dark red/pink color from the paisley fabric could be a good choice. I do something similar to PaperPrincess. I get a roll of calculator/register tape at the Dollar Store & make that as long as the area I want to quilt, then I fold it in half & in half again & keep going until I have enough spaces for all my letters. That way I can fit whatever I want -- within reason -- in a given space.

Since it's a kid's quilt & will be washed, I would go ahead & use a marker to write out the text as a rough guide to follow. Doesn't matter if you actually hit the lines or not, but it will give you an idea of how big to make them. I like the Crayola Ultra Clean markers because they are dark & always come out completely with cold water & a bit of soap, but anything you like (even a Hera marker) -- or the Golden Threads paper -- will work. At a minimum, I would draw the top & bottom lines since it's very difficult to maintain a straight line when writing/quilt writing.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:13 PM
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Default Thank you for the feedback

The inner border light-medium gray is where I plan on quilt-writing a note to my soon to be born grand daughter. My plan was to find a unique way to quilt the space and it's okay with me the message to her is covert. She will be able to make it out later in her life and know how special she was to me before she breathed air. My hope is that one day, after she learned to read, she will run excitedly to her mom to tell her what she's discovered. That brings me the greatest joy. I may decide to go over it twice or highlight the first stitching. I can't wait to post a pic.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:21 PM
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Bree, thank you for the suggestions. Looks like I'll be off to the quilt shop tomorrow to see if I can find a heavier weight thread. Your calculator paper process sounds FABulous! I'm going to try that. Do you like using hera markers? This being my first actual quilting from my sewing machine (YIKES!) I haven't had a chance to research marking supplies. I was feeling a bit daunted, but have a new plan; thanks so much for your help.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:57 PM
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In the grey bright white thread might work, but I would probably go with black. Honestly, it looks really cute to use just a small amount of black on baby/kids' quilts because it really makes the bright colors pop!

No, I do not like the Hera markers at all. I can't see them well enough. I have nearly 20/20 vision, but somehow I am practically blind when it comes to quilting! Haha! I've tried almost everything except the Frixion pens & colored chalks. That said, each quilter needs to use what s/he is comfortable with. The way you use the Hera markers is just to draw lines (or boxes) showing where your letters/designs fit. I don't think it would work to write out the words. It just creases a line in your fabric for you to follow. One of my favorite quilt artists, Heather Thomas (National Quilters Circle) swears by the Hera markers. It's all she uses because she never washes her quilts so she needs something that doesn't need to be washed out & the only guaranteed options for that are (1) Hera markers, and (2) Golden Threads paper.

Here's what I'd use in order of preference for a grey background:
(1) Crayola Ultra Clean marker in black (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Crayola-Ul...Count/35434871) note: the regular Washable markers do not come out quite as easily. Ultra Cleans are the best! They sell them at most major stores & some craft stores.

(2) Dritz water soluble pencil in white (http://www.joann.com/white-water-sol...prefv1=Product). Available at craft stores & the fabric section of Wal-Mart. Also need a basic manual pencil sharpener.

(3) Golden Threads paper (http://www.amazon.com/KeepsakeQuilti.../dp/B00KCR4DT0). Available on-line & in some LQS. Also recommend a Sharpie marker.

Unless you have one of those sewing machines where you program in the lettering & then it runs entirely by itself, there are a few other things to consider. Quilting your quilt without marking it is a special skill. Lots of people do it & I am starting to reduce the amount marking now, too, but as a newbie, I found it very helpful to draw out my designs directly on the fabric first. The marks will get washed out so I don't worry about hitting them perfectly, but they give me a guide to follow.

There are a lot of wonderful posts on the forum about Free Motion Quilting. You need a darning foot (also called a free motion foot) for your machine. I also strongly recommend something to grip your quilt. I use Machinger's quilting gloves, but you could always just cut the fingers off a pair of grippy kitchen gloves & use those. And if your budget allows, I'd also get a Supreme or Queen slider (mat) because it will help your quilt move around more -- make sure to lower or cover your feed dogs if you use a mat or it will chew up your mat. Finally, be sure to buy the size of needle that matches your thread. Generally, for a 28wt thread, you'll want a 90/14 quilting needle (or some people prefer a Microtex -- aka Sharp -- needle). If you don't want it to show up so much, you could use a 40wt thread with a 80/12 needle. Put in a fresh needle when you start & be sure to oil your machine as indicated.

Most importantly of all -- whether you are doing the writing free motion or using a computerized machine to do everything for you -- I would suggest buying at least 2 yards of inexpensive fabric and some extra batting so you can practice first. I remember how hard it was for me just to learn how to do a basic 2" stipple/meander. When I tried to write out my given name -- Sabrina -- it ended up a boxy, jagged mess & I 'd hate for you to have that on such a beautiful quilt. A few quilts later, I am now doing feathered wreaths, orange peels, leafy vines, circular fills, stars, hearts & quilted words ... but it took me quite a bit of practice to understand how to move my quilt in order to produce the designs I wanted. FMQ is so beautiful, even when it's only mediocre, and I definitely want to encourage you to put all those lovely words on your grandbaby's quilt. Just be sure to practice on something that you don't care about first. I mostly learned online and pretty consistently heard that it takes about 8 hours of practice to be able to get decent enough at FMQ that you feel comfortable putting it in a nice quilt. You might want to make a couple practice 1 yard quilts that you can give away to charity. Pick a solid fabric & a thread color that will really show up, mark as desired & then start quilting! Don't bother to rip things out. Just keep quilting & learn from your mistakes. And ask questions here on QB if any come up while practicing.

Good luck & have fun!!!
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:29 AM
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I've marked quilts this way in the past. Whether it's the name of the quilt, or a dedication in the quilting. Depending on how comfortable you are with FMQ, it's really not much different than signing your name. Practice a couple of times on a practice sandwich, and then go for it. I love the idea that the quilted message will be in your handwriting. I still have birthday cards from my grandmother who passed away when I was 13 back in 1983.. I just love going back and seeing their beautiful script handwriting, it brings memories flooding back and makes her feel so much closer for a time.
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