Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The upside to Winter...

It's the perfect time of the year to stay indoors and make a quilt! Brr... it's cold and wet out there.

Before I begin a quilt project I like to look at colour combinations and envisage the end result. If you have quilting software this is pretty easy but you can do it with MSWord too. Have a look at Amy's great blog post Visualizing Quilts using Word. However, sometimes I just want some good old fashioned colouring paper with a graph, hexagons or diamonds to work out how a pattern is developing.

You can generate and print out your own here to your specifications. Free. Pretty cool huh?

Someone also asked how I made the little name labels that I sew onto my creations. I thought about ordering custom made labels from Etsy but I didn't like the idea that I'd be stuck with it if I wasn't in love with them. Plus they're not that cheap... and I don't need that many!

Here's the way I did it...

1. Muck around in MSWord or your prefered publishing software and come up with a design (frankly, this is often the hardest part!)

2. Arrange the design on an A4 sheet leaving at least 2" between each design. Keep them in rows as that will make it easier when it comes to cutting them out.

3. Once you are happy with the arrangement go ahead and print it out on paper, cut it up and play with the label size, fold it and pretend you're sewing it onto your clothing, your pencil case your bag etc... Before you print mark an x on the bottom right hand corner of the paper sheet as it sits in the tray. You may be glad you did this later!

4. Once you're convinced that the design and label size works, take a piece of freezer paper cut to A4 size and a piece of fabric cut to A4 size. I use Ecology cloth (a fine quilter's muslim) because it is nice and stiff and doesn't shift in my bubble jet printer. I've also used Kona cotton and other fabrics without problems.

5. Place the fabric piece (right side up) over the shiny side of the freezer paper and press it along the top edge so that it sticks.

6. Put your fabric/ freezer paper combo into the printer paper tray facing so that the print will be on the fabric and the ironed edge is taken up by the print roller first. On my Pixma that means the freezer paper side on top and the ironed edge first. Yours may be different, if you like me have trouble visualizing this step that's where the little x mark you made earlier comes in handy. If the x is on the printed side you will need to place your fabric side UP!

7. Print out our design and then use a hot iron to set the ink.

8. That's it! You have designed and produced your own in house labels. Not much to it really... You can use the same technique to make labels for your quilts!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about how to make your own labels! Its ironic that you're writing about how good the cold weather is for quilting, while here in New England, USA, we are in the midst of a heat wave (close to 100) and we are all trying to take refuge in the air conditioning (which is also a good excuse for quilting!). Stay warm (and I'll try to stay cool!)