Need some suggestions for putting this project together ...

czigaJune 4, 2012

This is going to be part of a wedding gift for a friend who is getting married. I loved the interlaced squares as a wedding pattern, and it is a small but hand-made gift, which is exactly what I wanted.

This is the top (please forgive the awful photo, I was in a hurry):

I'm in need of some help and suggestions on how to finish it though!

First, the details:

Size: 24" x around 16"

Colours: light blue, light purple, and a darker purple print (I loved this fabric, it is one of the ones I've been "saving" for a special project).

Batting: Warm and White needled cotton batting (it will be my first time with a cotton batting like this - our local fabric store was having a huge members sale a couple weeks ago so I took the opportunity to pick up some batting on sale, I got some of this cotton, and some wool to try them out!!)

Backing: I will probably use the lightest blue fabric from the front as a backing (I have a lot of it)

As you can see, it is not a rectangle but has angled edges. I'm not sure if this changes how you'd bind it?

1. Border? Should I put a border around this before binding it? I'm leaning towards yes but since it is not a very large project, I'm not sure if a border would overwhelm it? I'm assuming it would be a very thin border, if any. If so, colour? One of the colours in the pattern or a new one, a darker one?

2. Quilting? What sort of quilting pattern would you suggest? I want to do part by machine, and part by hand ... I'm not what you'd call experienced, so something fairly simple is in order here, nothing too complicated or advanced. Thread colour suggestions?

3. Label? I'm just not sure how to go about labeling it. I don't have an embroidery machine, and I don't have a printer that will print onto fabric. I searched the forum and found some good threads with some photos ... most seem to be printed though. I wonder what kind of markers I would buy if I wanted to write out a label? And how would I attach it to the quilt? Would I stitch it to the backing before assembling the quilt layers? I saw a couple nice photos where the label seemed to be sewn into the binding but I have no idea how to go about doing that...I do need something relatively straightforward, binding itself is still challenging for me, lol!!

Thank you for any suggestions :) It is a small project but I do want it to look really good for them so any thoughts would be appreciated!!

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Here are my ideas.

I love the floral fabric so I would use it as a more than 2" wide finished.......or, on second thought, maybe use a dark solid.... maybe pick a dark solid color used in the floral.

How will it be used? That affects how much quilting I do on a project.
I don't think I would do a lot of quilting on it....maybe just around the outside/inside of the floral strips to make the 'chain' pop a bit..I'd do it by hand, maybe a 1/4" from the edges.

I usually do labels by hand. I'd use some of the lightest fabric..., cut into a square or rectangle and frame it with with a narrow frame of one of the other fabrics.

I usually put a square of muslin with the framed label right sides facing and stitch around the edges. I cut a small hole in the muslin and turn it inside out and press neatly. That way the label has a neat edge. I use a permanent marker to write my message..I buy the markers at Wallyworld. I sew the label to the back by hand using the same stitch that I use to hand-sew bindings to the back of a quilt.
I have also folded a square piece of fabric for a label...folded on the diagonal to make a triangle and pinned the raw edges of the label onto the raw edges of the lower corner of the quilt. Then I stitch the raw edges into the quilt when I am attaching the binding. You can sew the long folded edge by hand to finish it or just leave it loose...I usually sew it down.
Not sure I explained that very clearly...... maybe someone else who knows this method can explain better.

It's a lovely piece...very elegant looking and a nice pattern.Others will surely have more suggestions for you.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Very pretty and elegant. I would put a small border on it, but since I'm a visual person, I have to audition colors and fabrics....maybe taking a medium or med/dark shade from the darker fabric? As for quilting, I see hearts so I would quilt a quarter inch away from the dark chain fabric to accentuate the heart shape. Perfect for a wedding. @:)


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:57AM
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I love the fabric you used and the pattern has always been one of my favorites.
I also thing a small border in either the floral print or a solid or TOT in a matching dark color will look good.

I've handwritten labels using a fabric pen (available in fabric or craft stores). This is great especially if you can do calligraphy or have great penmanship (which I don't). I use one of the background fabric from the quilt front or plain muslin if the background fabric is busy. Iron the fabric onto a piece of freezer paper to keep it stiff while you write.
I have also cross-stitched the label once. I will never do that again - it took me more time to make the label than to sew and quilt the entire baby quilt. LOL.

I would quilt in the ditch around the squares but may be echo quilt some more to bring out the interlocking squares. Binding should not be a problem since your outline is angled gently without curves.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I would pick a dark color from the floral fabric. I think it would make the other colors "pop". I'm lousy with quilting choices so I'll leave that alone, lol.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:35PM
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I think a border would be nice, but like the others suggested, I'd keep it small.

I also see hearts in the white/light blue fabric. Perhaps you could hand quilt hearts in those areas, at least in the center 4.

You can write on a piece of fabric with permanent markers (I've used Sharpies with a fine point) and then sew that into your backing. If you do this, I would be careful about trying to get the label part too close to the edge, because if you mis-judge you don't want to risk cutting off part of your label when you trim and bind your quilt. More often I have written on fabric and then folded the edges down and ironed them flat and then sewn this piece to the backing, much like applique. I have also placed the label in the corner so that two sides of the label were caught up in the binding and I only needed to hand stitch two sides.

I have heard some quilters prefer to sew labels into the quilt backing and quilt over the labels to make it very difficult for the label to be removed.

Your quilt is beautiful - your friend will cherish this gift!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:51PM
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I like all of the suggestions. When I first looked at it I felt it needed a border about the same size as the strips that are used and I would choose the pretty print to frame it.
I also saw the hearts (one of my favorite things) and would like to see them treated in some special way, a good place to hand quilt.
I would machine stitch in the ditch around the printed strips and border to give them definition, if it seemed necessary I would also STD around the pink strips.
I don't think I have said anything new but those were my first impressions. As to a lable, that isn't my area of comfort so no suggestions there.
It is a very pretty piece and I know you will find the right way for you to finish it. Will be watching to see what you decide.TFS

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:08AM
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Pigma Micron fabric pens are available at fabric or craft stores. They are wonderful! Either iron your label fabric onto freezer paper or tape it down to a table top to make writing on it easier. I always heat set the printing with a hot iron afterwards but I don't honestly know if that makes the inking last longer or not. It will fade some over time but mine have lasted through many, many washings.

Sometimes I use muslin for my labels but more often I fussy cut a fabric that goes with the theme of the quilt. Once I've written the name of the quilt, my name, and the year, I hand sew it onto the back.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Wow, thank you so much for all the helpful suggestions :)

I like the idea of the darker border. I don't really want to use the same "focus" fabric for the border - I feel like it would take away from the pattern. But I do have a dark purple, and a different dark blue (both sort of tone-on-tone) that pick up on the colours in that focus fabric ... I will choose one of those two. I think the piece "reads" more purple than blue when you first see it ... so maybe the dark purple border would suit it better, or maybe the blue to balance that a little more. These should be easy choices but I get torn between!!

The strips are 1 1/2" wide. I wouldn't want to go any thicker for the border but I wonder if a border about the same width (and in a dark colour) might be too overwhelming? Maybe a thinner border, almost half the size of the strips, might be less obvious. But then, maybe it wouldn't make the pattern "pop" enough?

I'm glad you all see hearts :) That was the intention and I was hoping it would come through enough!! Sometimes I see the hearts in the dark fabric, and sometimes in the light blue ... when you all see hearts, which ones are you seeing? The light or the dark? Thank you for the quilting suggestions, most are in agreement, and I will definitely be following them. I envisioned this as a mat for a table, so it needs to lay fairly flat. I think that means closer quilting? Perhaps machine quilting around both sides of the dark focus fabric (I do want to accentuate it, I think it is a really pretty pattern), and then maybe hand quilting hearts in the lighter blue areas and then something to highlight the center somehow ... not quite sure ...

Thank you also for all the helpful label suggestions - I have struggled with them in the past. I am not very comfortable with hand applique so attaching labels has been difficult. Also, I've tried writing with sharpies on fabric, but the ink tends to bleed and between that and my penmanship, I have never been satisfied with the result. You've given me a lot to think about and look into. (I don't have access to a printer than will print onto fabric so I have to find alternative labeling tricks!)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Pigma pens are the way to go for labels by hand. I love the size .08 I was given, but cannot find another. Guess Dick Blick will get an order from me in the future. Freezer paper, or something on the back (I've even used duct tape) and I use a strip of 1/4" masking tape to help keep the lines straight as I'm either going up hill or down hill.

As for the hearts......I see them in the light fabric, including the pink. I honestly think the dark hearts are not as noticeable....I'm thinking stitch in the ditch between the dark and light fabric then echo the hearts into the light fabric??????

As for the size of the'll want it so it doesn't look like you have 2 bindings. Also, audition the width before actually cutting your fabric as the ratio is important.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Pretty design~I see the heart in the light fabric.
Since this is a show piece and will not be washed often, I would use a lightweight poly batting, minimize the machine quilting, SID on the light fabric only, so the dark focus fabric will pop, and hand quilt the hearts in the light area.

I would decide on the binding fabric first-I find that helps me determine the border fabric choice. Finished size & fabric. I think bindings are an important design element, sometimes overlooked. Sharon brought up a good point (as always) about the width / size of the border. You need to keep it in scale and not make it to narrow. Border and binding may be the same fabric, which needs to be considered for the overall finished width of the border.

For the label, print out your wording in an easy typestyle the exact size you want and trace it onto the lighter fabric, and sew the strip by machine as a design element in the backing making it similar to the front heart portion of the block.

This is a very pretty and thoughtful wedding gift!

Please post a picture when you finish this!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:29AM
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