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?
There’s one bit of information that I can guarantee I’m never going to tell you on this blog: that I’m a Traditional quilter. Or a Modern quilter. Or an Art quilter. Or a Contemporary quilter. Or even a modern quilter (at least without qualifying it with “mostly” or “lean towards”).
I’m just a Quilter.
I make things that I like. Sometimes they are distinctly one thing or another—an 1812 reproduction is pretty Traditional in my book. Most of the time, I say “I lean mostly toward little-‘m’ modern”, because I make things out of mostly current fabric in styles that are mostly current to the more-or-less generic 2010s aesthetic in design, fashion, and home furnishing. In other words, modern because it’s made in the current era.
I think that makes me “just a Quilter” just like all the men and women of the past who were making things out of what fabrics and patterns they could buy at the time.
But, there seems to be a push for labels in our global quilting community. Multiple times in the past week alone, I’ve (or we’ve) been asked what kind of quilter I am (we are). So, why do I have to label myself as little-‘m’ modern to get the point across? I doubt the woman making a double wedding ring out of bleached muslin and pastel calicoes in 1930s called herself modern, even though she was by my definition.
So, I’m just a Quilter.
I might make modern quilts sometimes. I’m sure I’ll make a Modern quilt, if I haven’t already. Some day, I want to make a Civil War repro. And one of those crazy-intricate applique quilts full of flowers and vines and birds. Mostly, I just want to try things. I want to try new techniques in old ways and new ways and in whatever way I find myself leaning toward at the time.
There’s no label for my quilting, it’s just Quilting.
I don’t think that means that I don’t have a voice, either. Everything I make is something that is me expressing myself at that point in time. And I have themes that appear in most of my projects. For instance, almost all of my quilts have a non-quilting cotton thrown in (or more). I’m in a grey period right now where I’m really into pairing colors with greys of various shades.
I don’t mean to say that there aren’t quilters out there who don’t deserve a label if they want to claim it. And that they aren’t happy with it. But personally, I’m just a quilter, and I think I’ll always be just a quilter (well, and costumer, and sewer, and sewist, and fiber artist, and crafter, and any other number of things because I don’t just quilt, but I am a Quilter).
What are you? Are you something? Are you many things?
I really wish I were an illustrator, so that I could draw something out to show you the image that pops in my head every time I read the word “sewer”. For now, words must suffice. Picture this, if you can:
Michelangelo—no, not the painter, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle—chillin’ in front of a late ’70s Singer Touch and Sew, chain-piecing HSTs in the TNMT’s sewer lair from the ’80s/’90s animated show. He keeps screwing up the corners and is getting increasingly agitated.
Splinter looks on, counseling “Possess the right thinking. Go slow, it is not a race.”
Mikey gets one right and yells, “Quiltablocka, dude!”
Okay, so maybe we should’t go into my head all that often…
Do you call the diamond-based star a Lone Star or the Star of Bethlehem (or even the Mathematical Star if we want to go back to very early quilting)? I suppose your answer depends on your region, religion, and how long you’ve been quilting (or who taught you). Based on shady research (that is, I Googled “lone star quilt” [over a million results] and “star of bethlehem quilt” [83k results]) Lone Star seems to be the more prominent name at present (I guess you really don’t mess with Texas).
But, since this quilt is quite traditional—in my eyes, at least—and is intended as a Christmas present for my grandparents, I think I’ll call it a Star of Bethlehem—at least on the label. If nothing else, it brings to mind the Christmas carol, so that seems fitting.
First I was ahead, now I’m behind. This weekend was quite unproductive, so I didn’t finish Friday’s assignment (the borders) until tonight.
There’s nothing too interesting to talk about here… just your basic, mitered-cornered borders.
Since day 4’s assignment (backing) went up today, I’ll talk a bit about it, even though I’m not done piecing it (although it will look quite a bit like Chris’ piecing since she is doing exactly what I was envisioning from the start)…