To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
When I posted about “Disappearing Seven Wonders”, I mentioned that it had a new label and that I’d say more about them later that week. Three months later, now I am!
All quilters people who make quilts should label their quilts. When I say that, I don’t mean every quilt needs a label added to the quilt. Quilts should have the maker(s) name and date somewhere, even if it is just a signature and date in indelible ink on the fabric itself, tucked in a back corner. Many quilters say that they don’t label certain quilts, because this one is going to stay on their couch, but I think that is a cop out for when they are ready to move on to the next project. Some day, frankly, you die, and someone else will have the quilt. Why not claim your work and let them know you made it?
I like collections, meta data, and history, so labels are my way of attaching that information to my quilts in a way simply writing my name and location can’t do. For a while, I was using print-at-home fabric and making custom labels, but now I’ve had a chance to see how those hold up. The labels on the quilts I gave my mom and sister in 2011 have faded drastically. Carl’s quilt has only been washed once, yet the label looks like this:
The grey didn’t bleed onto any of the other fabrics or even the color catchers, just the label.
So, I’ve decided to start ordering labels from Spoonflower on the Linen/Cotton canvas, a few at a time—however many will fit onto their 8″ swatch. In my obsession with the color scheme from Shakespearian Bars, I also designed a new brand identity. Eventually, I’ll redo the site, too. These labels use that new logo and design scheme. Some are small, for bags and crafts:
Each larger quilt one has a unique QR code. The whole label is about the same size as a business card. I know there are a lot of jokes about their usefulness (see Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes, for example), but they are a quick way to link to more information about something.
The code points to a page on this site showing photos, details, and links to posts about the quilt. They are a little tricky to scan once washed, which I anticipated, so they also include the link in text. The one for my recent Amish Sampler points to raevenfea.com/q013ac. You’ll see that same code listed as a tag for all blog posts about a specific quilt (although sometimes they won’t be coded until the quilt is finished and I know which label it will get).
I was originally planning on ordering a full FQ batch after the initial test order (since it’s cheaper per label), but I’m glad I didn’t. This latest order required a bit of a change from the first few:
Did you spot it? Yes, big news! We’re moving to (South) Burlington, VT! I got the job offer over a month ago, but I’m still in shock. Things have been super busy trying to sell our house, find an apartment, pack, and work out employment for Carl. Sewing has been a great brain vacation (and a way to pare down my sewing room packing), thus the spate of recent posts, but things will probably be quiet around here for the next few weeks until we’re settled in.
I better get back to packing! What is your take on labels for quilts and QR codes?
Spoiler alert: the storms in our county last night didn’t do any major damage to our house, my partner just thinks he’s funny. Yesterday evening was rather fun, in a “I miss midwest thunderstorms and they appeared in NY” sort of way. We stopped to grab dinner last night, mid-errand running, and got stuck at the restaurant while crazy wind, rain, and hail swept through the area. It was beautiful outside until about five minutes after we walked in the building.
Carl hadn’t looked in my sewing room for a while (though knew it was a mess), but I’d left the door open when we left, so when we got home, he saw the mess it was and said “have you seen your sewing room? There’s major wind damage in there!” Ha ha ha. Funny, honey.
It looked like this:
At this point, I think I’ve posted more photos of my room being a total mess than clean. Probably because 70% of the time, it is a mess, although usually not this bad. In my defense, this is during that “it gets worse before it gets better” stage of reorganizing for the umpteenth time. Those piles of fabric in the foreground are organized scraps from my scrap bin, which was overflowing and is now quite well-contained.
Not as non sequitur as it seems, here’s what’s on my wall right now:
This is a hand-pieced block that my grandmother gave me two years ago (along with the fabric she bought for the quilt) in a bag of various sewing things. She had finally, after 20 years, admitted that she was never going to take up quilting and knew I was hooked. After she passed away last summer, one of my sisters and I also inherited some additional craft supplies (mostly she took the yarn and cross-stitch things while I stuck mostly to the remaining quilting stuff).
My grandmother’s house was always clean, and while she loved collecting, she never seemed to hold on to things that she didn’t have space or use for. This block is on my wall right now to remind me of that as I clean out my sewing space, destashing and tossing things that I don’t need. The hardest part was sorting through the two bags of things that came from her supplies… rulers that I never used because I prefer the brand I buy, quintessentially late-80s calico fabric, a printed cross-stitch/embroidery kit for a quilt top, and more.
But she didn’t give them to me for safe-keeping, she gave them to me to use. And in her honor, I sent most of it on to other people who will use them, keeping the things I do want to use like this block (but not the remaining fabric), a pair of minky quilt kits that will be great for her future great-grandchildren (whether mine, my sisters’, or our cousins’), a couple of cross-stitch kits, and crochet hooks—the latter two crafts she taught me growing up which I’m hopelessly inept at now but plan to find time to regain those skills.
And in that spirit, I cleaned out my scrap bin, throwing out unusable ones, organizing the rest. I culled my stash, selling books, patterns, and fabric at a recent guild meeting.
Now I just need to put everything back together again. And then finish up some projects, because half-finished projects aren’t of much use either! I think she’d be happy with that.
Considering that we’re a day away from March, it is probably a bit late for a review of last year. But, since I found this in my drafts and find it helpful to refer back to, I’m publishing it now to motivate me to do even more in 2013.
I had a goal of finishing 10 quilts in 2012. I didn’t make it, but I’m happy with the ones I did finish.
2012: Double Wedding Ring—is not going to be a DWR, but I do want to finish something with the rings that are complete and the remaining fabric.
2012: The Steampunk Costume—is never going to be finished with the original plan, but I’d like to do something with all of it.
I wish I could say I am going to focus on finishing up those fails and boring projects instead of starting new projects in 2013, but that would be a huge lie, knowing myself.
I just shipped off a quilt started and finished this year, and have another brand new top completed. I also started a new sampler, a new SYWTQ group project, and have already failed at completing a Tiramisu during the sew-along.
However, I do resolve to finish at least one quilt top before starting anything new after quilting the aforementioned top. And I resolve to finish Organic Spins before my guild’s show in September.
First, the grand total of my recent completed projects, Valentine Mug Rugs made of mystery-fiber pinkish fabric and a charm pack of Bliss that I honestly don’t remember buying (I have a charm pack purchasing problem):
Actually, there are eight of them in various stages of being bound (I proved with this project that I cannot bind by machine with any proficiency at all. At. All.), all with slightly different blocks on the left.
Have I mentioned Urban Threads yet? I can’t get enough of their embroidery designs. That’s where the “Make Things” crest came from in the above project.
Hint: if you ever want to get me a present, a gift card to there would be splendid.
We solved the electrical woes I mentioned in my last post, but I haven’t managed to put my sewing room back in order after I moved it all around so I could use the other outlet. I did get the giant box of trash out and new shelves built, though: baby steps.
And maybe my 2012 Saturday Sampler blocks (December’s still isn’t complete, but I also have all the other fabric for the top now). Is it gauche to take a sampler from another LQS to the retreat?
Then there is the EPP-project carrying bag that I started in November, but stopped once I got to the lining part and never went back to.
I have a star block that needs finishing by Monday—maybe I’ll take it, or finish it up before I leave. I have some swap blocks that need making before the beginning of March, so perhaps those.
In short, I really need to Make Things, and I have a lot of things partially made. And then I need to Blog Things, but that will hopefully come after said making.
Here’s a shot of all eight mug rugs before I packed them up. I did end up figuring out how to sew binding via machine on four of them, with the help of Steam-a-Seam basting. Not perfect, but I was out of time! The blocks all finished at 4″ (the rugs themselves were 5″×9.5″).
Including the binding and a charm on the back of each, I used all but four of the charms in the pack (with very nominal cutting waste of some).
At least from this angle (although I still need to build my new sewing machine desk, but don’t know what to do with the old one until I can get rid of it)…
One of the major problems with the old setup was that I didn’t have any good organization for my works in progress—they’d get tucked away into boxes and what was out of sight was out of mind. Also, while I liked the idea of beautifully organized fabric in little cubbies, in practice, the shape of those cubbies just doesn’t work for me. So now, the old fabric shelves are going to be used for WIPs so they are in sight and easy to access (you can see my sticky note labels on them in the foreground). Meanwhile the old bookcase that had bins for some WIPs, supplies, books, and some fabric is now going to be all fabric, books, and supplies, as will the second one once I build it.
Just don’t look at the other half of the room…
All of that needs to be sorted, filtered, and put in a new home on the bookshelves (or in the trash, as is the case of the giant box on the right). I plan on tackling all that organization after I finish up this time-sensitive project this week (since at least I have a nice workspace again):
Also, is this a good time to mention that since I’ve only gotten as far as partially finishing the divided skirt and that half of a corset pinned to the dress form that I may not complete the Steampunk costume in time for my sister to model it at Christmas? Well, that’s what it looks like. But, maybe some organization will get me interested in working on it again.
I’ve been working on a handful of projects at one time lately, so I haven’t finished anything, but there has been progress in my sewing room in the past couple of weeks.
First, I tried a second technique for Cathedral Window (the quilt-as-you-go one that doesn’t require batting or backing). I’m not a big fan. It’s just fiddly in a way that doesn’t inspire me. Now I have to figure out something to do with this odd little rectangular orphan:
So, this post is a bit late, but I’ve been trying to organize things—including thoughts—so it’s timely, in a sort of untimely way. I made most of these resolutions at the beginning of the year, although some are newer. I’m trying to get out of my manic crafting cycle of going nuts creating, then doing nothing for a month, and so on. I’ll try to keep updating this as the year progresses.
1. Make 10 quilts in 2012
Ten seemed like a good number, although I need to get to work if I plan on succeeding.
This morning, Lynette (Quilt Show Manager) and I appeared on the Bridge Street Show in Syracuse. I got a sneak peek at five of the quilts and am in awe of the talent and vision of the quilters (one has 5000 pieces in it, and the woman managed to finish it within 3 months!). I can’t wait to see the rest.
Shh, don’t tell anyone, but in the clip, my dress hems are seam-taped, my petticoat straps were pinned on, and my corset and chemise have lots of unfinished edges.
Now that I have the outfit complete, though (well, aside from the above-mentioned issues), I might actually have time to blog about the bits and pieces. I wasn’t very good about photographing as I made them, though, but I’ll try.
Before I do finish them, I need to clean up my sewing room a bit. It looks like a natural disaster hit. Totally messing up my chi.
Then it’ll be back to quilting! I have one that I want to finish by mid-April, if at all possible.
Although it doesn’t have the fun alliteration of “Finished it Friday” or “Work in Progress Wednesday”, today I’m showing you unfinished, in-progress views of what I’ve been working on this week, as I’ve been rather productive.