Saturday, March 16, 2013

About Quilt Labels

This week was not very productive sewing wise, I loaded a quilt on the LA then decided I did not have appropriate thread so I had to order. Drat. This is one client who prefers 100% cotton everything so I keep some King Tut and Signature cotton thread but not a huge inventory. I wanted a finer thread than either of the aforementioned which are 40wt. Threads are numbered sort of backwards in that 20wt is heavy/thick, and 60wt is fine and thin, go figure. I think it was just some man who made this one up- he didn't make clothing sizes run that way though!
The thinnest cotton thread seems to be 50 and 60wt so I ordered a spool of Aurifil 100%cotton 50wt. to be on the safe side for use on a high speed quilting machine. I will report back after I have tried it. I have lots of 60wt thread which I love all by Superior Thread Co. but none of that is cotton, it's either polyester [So Fine and Bottom Line] or trilobal polyester, Art Colors and Highlights. Someone on my professional quilters list suggested Presencia so I will look into that too for the future.
But I digress, this post is about quilt labels! No quilt should leave your hands without one and it needs to contain some information of a provenance nature. Normally at a minimum that would include the recipient's name, reason for the gift [Christmas, birthday, wedding etc or "just because you love them"] the maker's name and location, and the date.
The labels above are for Wounded Warriors so I do not know specific names, and the organization does not want us to put personal info. for safety/privacy.
However using first names is ok, and I like to do that because it tells the recipient that this quilt was made specifically by a person who wanted to bless a military hero and not just mass produced in anonymity.
One more thing about labels and their importance-you may not know it but there is quite a problem with lost quilts, many of them stolen-from various places, in transit on route to their destinations, from vehicles, classroom walls, exhibits, quilt shows, quilt stores etc. In case you are skeptical you may check this website "Lost Quilt Come Home", some of the stories will break your heart!
Of course it is easy enough to remove a label, unless you take a couple extra precautions. Attaching the label to the backing before quilting makes removal somewhat daunting once it is quilted on, and if you write the pertinent information under the label with an archival permanent marker it will make removal of your provenance extremely unlikely. If you read a few of the articles on these "lost quilts" most appear to have been stolen and the labels hand sewn. FYI .

I made these labels on the Brother PE700 11 that I purchased a couple of years ago specifically for quilt labels, although for an inexpensive, dedicated embroidery machine it does much, much more and includes a 5"x7" hoop size.
Because I am a Mac person I have been limited to what the machine could do using the touch screen for their few fonts, one line at a time, so time consuming.  However, an enterprising company came up with software for Mac to run embroidery designs, hallelujah! I recently purchased this software called "Embrilliance Essentials" and the labels above are my first experiment into the program.
First I had to read the manual and figure out the software but being Mac based it is user friendly. The other challenge is that I do not know my machine's capabilities really well so there was a lot of trial and error, I bought it online and never went to an orientation class! I was in regular contact via messaging with my really techie TX friend who has a Bernina embroidery machine-the very person who recommended the software- to ask her help too, what did we ever do without the internet [thanks Al, LOL] and smart phones!
BTW, did you know that the correct terminology for the way we write text messages is "text orthography"? I looked it up after a discussion with a DS who insist that "texting" is not a real word!
There is a Windows version also and I do recommend this software, the tech support is amazing.  After receiving a prompt answer to my email I was fairly amazed to have the designer actually call me to be sure I understood!
 Hmmmm, wonder if he knew I was blonde...............

1 comment:

Heather said...

good info about labels. I encourage everyone to label. Most of mine are sewn in by hand. Love the idea of writing under the label right on the quilt. Will start doing that. Sometimes I remember to sign the edge of the quilt under the binding. Same spot every time incase a judge ever asks.