Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Read the Label

***I was invited by Doris at The Quilting Queen Online to be a guest blogger while she was enjoying a cruise.  This is what I submitted***

As a self-taught quilter, I find myself set in my ways and it is often years later that I learn the "proper" way to do something or, at the very least, an easier way. Thus was the situation for how I did my binding...  It is for this reason that I like to learn and gather as much information from other blogs or tutorials.

Recently, I have been seeing numerous blog posts about quilt labels.  I value the importance of such labels and am a firm believer in providing as much information on the label as possible.  I personally feel that the name of the quilt, the maker, who it is made for, the occasion, and a date are what I feel are the "vital statistics."

Here are two labels that I have used - both from pre-printed 
panels that were either 1/2 yard or 1 yard cuts.

I have read many of Jennifer Chiaverini's "Elm Creek Quilters" books and am fascinated by the storylines she has created emphasizing the importance of offering as much info on the labels as possible, and that when the proper info is offered, how much easier it is to learn the unknown history of family members.

I think it was in one of the Elm Creek Quilters books that I learned the importance of including all of this information not just on a label, but on the inside of the binding, when entering a quilt contest.  In the event of the quilt being stolen or that someone else tries to claim that it was entered into the contest by someone other than the quiltmaker.  For only the quilter would know that the info is there, but in the event of trying to "prove" who made it, the binding could be undone and the truth revealed.

For me, the label is the final step of the project.  About a year ago I listened to a podcast (amyscreativeside.com) that the label should not be an after thought of the project.  Rather, it encouraged quilters to place it on the back of the quilt prior to quilting it, making it near impossible to remove the label.  Interesting thought...

I never thought that it was really necessary... And then I gave a wedding gift.  

(I have given numerous quilts as wedding gifts and as shower gifts with the thought that everyone appreciates a home made gift.  After all, I always received thank you's that were gushing with appreciation for the quilt.  Many times the note sender included comments on how it perfectly matched the room or how they looked forward to using it for years to come.)

But this wedding gift was different.  The thank you note was received... and then a few months later I noticed that a sibling of the original recipient has shared a picture of her apartment with the quilt proudly displayed in her room.  My husband and I had the opportunity to visit her and I snuck a peek at where label had been placed and discovered that the label had been removed. 

Yep... REMOVED! 

It took me back a bit.  Ok, I'll be honest... I was hurt.  My quilt was rejected!?! Really? How could someone not appreciate or want the quilt that I had carefully pieced and made for them???  And then I thought about it....  At least I didn't find it at a thrift shop or for sale on the local swap shop...  When I realized that the person that had it proudly displayed was doing exactly what I had intended it for I felt better.  I wanted someone to love it and use it!  I have long stated that I make my quilts to be used... I overcame my hurt and disappointment and embraced the fact that at least SOMEONE loved it.

So, if I had placed the label on the back and then quilted it, making it very difficult to remove, the recipient may have kept the quilt... or not. I state again, I am happy to know that the person that currently has it loves it and uses it.  If the label could not have been easily removed, it may not have ended up being the situation at all - It may have ended up shoved in the back of a closet or even tossed out!

Last year I was contacted by StickerIt - stkr.it - asking me if I would be interested in trying one of their QRC labels that when scanned takes you to a web-site where a personal written or video message would be waiting for them. I accepted the offer and placed one on the back of a wall hanging that had been made for a dear friend.  The message I left for her included the reasons I picked the blocks and the meanings of each one.  There was a large group of friends that were to sign the back of the wall hanging.  Not everyone signing the wall hanging had heard why there was a QRC label on the back. A well meaning friend carefully peeled off the iron-on label, thinking it was there by mistake. 

They thought that perhaps it had been purchased and were removing any such evidence... Thankfully, I found the label tossed aside and hand sewed it back onto to the wall hanging.

(I am not a paid spokesperson for StickerIt, simply an impressed customer.) 

And they have some fancier looking ones so that they would not be mistaken for some sort of UPC barcode. They have a variety available... some you can color yourself or the color printed ones are nice too!

I am sure there are lots of options for labeling your quilts... What do you do?

Have I changed when/how I place the label?  Not yet - I still do the quilting and then add the label.  As I stated at the beginning... As a self-taught quilter, I am set in my ways.

Happy Quilting!

Thank you Doris for inviting me to be a guest blogger while you are out enjoying your cruise!  And to Doris' readers, join me over at Melva Loves Scraps!

See what other quilters are talking about at Quilter Blogs

1 comment:

  1. I also label mine after the quit is made, and I prefer it that way. Your story about the wedding quilt is great--glad you are now pleased that the quilt is with someone who loves it!