July’s Bee Block

Can anyone tell me how July is over tomorrow?! I feel like it just started and now it is over. July was my last full month in our little house. This time next month, I will be a Maryland resident.

Since I know that next month will be crazy, I have been sewing up a storm the last week and have been surprisingly productive. I sewed my last signature blocks in Philadelphia for the Modern InstaBee Hive 13 and completed the blocks for the July and August Queens.

July’s Painter’s Palette makes six blocks completed for the Modern InstaBee.

PaintersPalette_andpins

You will have to wait until next month to see how we revisit Stacked Windmills in a completely different color palette!

Starch | A Life Saver!

I have a confession, I was never much of a starch user. That changed last night; starch is now my best friend, my sanity saver, and my favorite thing in my studio at the moment!

The project I have been working on this week has me tackling Y Seams for the first time. I have tried every way to do Y Seams that is out there and I am still struggling with them. (If you have a good trick for them, please share!) The end result was a finished block, but it looks like this:

PuckeredBlock

Not exactly the block I envisioned! The pattern designer recommended using a copious amount of starch, so I started out with the light spray that I occasionally use, nope, still bubbly. Then saturated the block. It worked! Between the overabundance of starch and a hot steam iron I was left with a flat block! Queue the sigh of relief.

FlatBlock

It is no where near square, but that is what trimming is for, right!?

So that is it, my ode (well not really, but you get the idea!) to starch for your Thursday morning.

Starch(Best Press has no idea that I exist, but I highly recommend it. I ordered a refill bottle last night as soon as I discovered that it fixed my blocks.)

 

 

Labeling: How I do it

Jo from Riddle and Whimsy asked a great question during last weeks round of the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop (today features the last group, go check them out!). She asked, “How do you label your quilts and what you use to write on them?” That is a question that I struggled with for a bit last year so I decided to share my process with you. Is it the right way?, is there a right way?, who knows, but here is how I label my quilts. PlusNo3_label   I use Spoonflower to print my custom quilt labels on Kona Cotton with my logo, website, and where they are made (I have a batch of blank location ones ready to go) along with the following instructions:

use, love, launder cold, line or tumble dry low

Using freezer paper for stability, I hand write the name of the quilt (if there is one), a date, and sign it. If it is a baby gift or for an occasion, I’ll notate it as well. I highly recommend writing out what you want to put on the label on paper first so you are copying the words onto the label, trust me, you cannot erase anything off of your label (ask me how I know!). When the label is finished, I use a basic ladder stitch to attach the label to the back of the quilt. Deciding what to use to write on the labels was the tough part. I did some research and decided to test four pens: Pigma Graphic 1, Pigma Micron 05, Copic Multiliner SP 0.7, and Copic Multiliner SP 0.3. I did my test on a Kona gray solid ironed to freezer paper for stability. I allowed my test swatch to sit for 48 hours and then laundered it the way I wash all of my quilts, cold water wash and tumble dry low. Below are the results. FabricInk_web2 Both Pigma pens had too much drag on the fabric for me to be comfortable writing with them and the Copic 0.3 was too thin. The Copic Multiliner 0.7 was the winner in my book because it wrote smoothly, with no drag, and is a nice rich black. I designed my labels in InDesign, sent a small set off to have printed on their 8″ swatch so I could verify the color and then stacked them up on an 21″ x 18″ document which match Spoonflower’s fat quarter dimensions. I did mainly quilt labels and made some smaller labels to have on hand as well, both in color and grayscale (I like to have options!). PrintSince my file was the same dimensions as the fat quarter size, I choose the centered option for the repeat. So that is how I label my quilts: Spoonflower, Copic Multiliner SP 0.7, freezer paper & wait 48 hours before laundering. Here are a few other labeling examples: RoundandRound_label Label_CloseUp HarperMugRug_Cardinal Beast_Label   Tell me, do you label your quilts? What is your process?        

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