Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quilting Chores

There are 2 things that most quilters hate to do.  One is putting a label on the back of their completed quilt to document it.  The other is putting a sleeve on the back which is used for hanging.  Both of these are chores.  I think they have become chores because the fun and enjoyable part of making the quilt is done.

I have conquered the labeling step.  It is no longer a chore to me.  I use my computer's word processing program and type the name of the quilt, my name, the date and my location.  Sometimes, I add a piece of clip art that may be relevant.  This is then printed onto a fabric that is specially treated to be colorfast. Then I may border it out with fabric and put a fusible web on the back.  After fusing it to the quilt back, I stitch around it.   (If I add it before the quilt is quilted, I can stitch around it by machine before the quilt is layered with the top and batting.  If it is after, I stitch around the label by hand so that I do not go through all the layers.)

 But I have not found a pleasant way to attach the sleeve.  Now multiply that by 18 and I think you can feel my misery.  My chore for the last 2 days was to put sleeves on all my Quilt Fiesta quilts.   I threw myself on the mercy of some of the women who have quilts in the book
to add their own sleeves.  So instead of 18 quilts, I only had to do it for the 12.  All of this in preparation for the Open House where all of the quilts from the book will be hung.

I found a beautiful spoon rest for the refreshments while cruising the aisles at Home Goods.  The color was perfect and the polka dots were wonderful.  I found that this spoon rest made me smile when I used it as a pin holder while sewing on all those sleeves. 

To put a sleeve on a quilt, I first cut a strip of fabric that extends the width of the quilt minus 2".  Since I don't know where my quilts will be exhibited, I cut it 10" deep.  If it was only to hag in my house, I would have cit it 5" deep. 

 The next step is to finish the 2 ends of the opened tube by folding in 1/2" to the wrong side on each end.  Then stitch it down.  Make the tube by folding it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and stitch. Place it along the top edge, just under the binding, leaving about an inch on either side
Hand stitch the sleeve just under the binding, making sure you
don't go through to the top of the quilt.

Then fold up the sleeve so that it is even with the top of the quilt.  While holding it there, smooth out the rest of the sleeve and pin along the bottom edge.

Hand stitch along the bottom edge.

To hang the quilt, I like to use either a dowel or a 2" wooden slats that are cut to the width of the quilt,  And then I use shoulder hooks, hidden behind the quilt, for the slat to rest on.

So my 2 days worth of putting sleeves on my quilts gave me a nice
big pile of quilts ready to hang. 

I'm so glad I'm done.  What's the next item on my list?

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