Personalizing Quilts

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Personalizing a Quilt with Embroidery (or just hand quilting)
Oftentimes the quilts shown on this blog (particularly the throw quilts) are given as gifts. I've gifted 5 quilts to date, 3 of which were to commemorate a marriage, and so initials+date indicators were added to suit the event.

Now that the Triangle Xmas Tree Skirt is personalized, it makes quite the package with a matching green doily and Wedding Invitation Ornament.

Completed wedding invitation ornament

Adding Letters/Numbers to a Quilt

This is the general process I use to sew letters or numbers onto fabric. It can require a variety of erasable pens or pencils, depending on the darkness of the fabric. Thread choice is largely determined by fabric color and how busy the fabric is. Busy fabric needs thicker thread.
For lighter fabrics (not white), print in reverse and trace with iron-on transfer pencil.
A1. For light, non-red fabric, trace with iron-on transfer pencil
Cut into pieces for required layout.
A2. Cut into pieces for laying out
Iron according to instructions.
A4. Iron, according to iron-on transfer instructions
Remove paper and sew/embroider.
A5. Remove paper, hand-quilt or embroider the outline left
For medium-darkness (or white) fabric, use a dark erasable pen/pencil and trace the cut-out of the desired symbol.
B1. For medium-darkness (or bright white) fabrics, cut out entirety of letter/number, and trace using a dark erasable pen/pencil
For dark fabric, use a white erasable pen/pencil and trace the cut-out of the desired symbol.
C1. For dark fabrics, cut out entirey of letter/number and trace using a light-colored erasable pen/pencil

Embroidery Personalization

Sewing thread after quilt-sandwiching, embroidery floss before.
The above processes yield the following effect, if done after quilt sandwiching. I typically do this as part of the quilting phase, and this will show the stitches in reverse on the opposite side of the quilt. For hand-quilting with sewing thread (below) this is fine, but for the future I'd probably do embroidery thread personalizing before the quilt sandwiching, so that the reverse stitches do not appear on the other side. In this case, I had started with hand-quilting but because the fabric was varying in colors and had lots of pattern, it was near impossible to see some of the letters, while other letters stood out significantly. Embroidery thread had to be used, although I only used 2 strands (embroidery floss usually has 6).
Complete embroidery with a double running stitch (this is actually back stitch, double running preferred) Complete embroidery with a double running stitch (this is actually back stitch, double running preferred) - back
A double running stitch would be much cleaner on the back of the quilt, rather than back stitch!
Hand-Quilt (or Embroider) with a Running Stitch
Hand-Quilt (or Embroider) with a Running Stitch Hand-Quilt (or Embroider) with a Running Stitch - back
The typeface in this example is 'October Twilight.

Hand-Quilting Personalizations

I've done this approach with some other quilts, although just as part of the hand-quilting process. For example, the Double Wedding Ring Quilt in grays, peaches, teals, and yellows below had the couple's wedding date subtly quilting into one of the rings:
Completed Double Wedding Ring Quilt - front - washed
A more complex design can be reverse-printed from the computer, and then transferred with a heat transfer pencil
Complex design, hand-quilted
I don't have a photo of it, but the modern bear paw quilt received a similar hand-quilted personalization right in that 4-square grey block outlined by the colorful paws.
Modern Bear Paw Quilt: Done!

Applique Personalization

You can also add appliqué letters or numbers to a quilt back or top to personalize. I have not done this for characters, but I have added a complex paper-pieced police box to the back of the Isosceles Triangle Quilt. You could use a similar approach with other symbols. In this particular case, the appliqué was added to the back of the quilt, before quilt sandwiching, so the stitches used to attach the appliqué do not show through on the front of the quilt. A similar approach could be used for embroidering someone's name onto the corner of the quilt top, if you didn't want the letters to show up in the reverse on the other side, as in the Christmas tree skirt above.
Back of the Isosceles Triangle TARDIS Quilt
Step 5: Peel off paper Wonder Under backing
Step 6: Place a damp cloth on top and iron each segment for 10-15 seconds, overlapping where iron was placed.
Step 9: Using a ladder stitch, sew applique to your project

More Weddings, More Doilies

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pinwheel Doily
When this green pinwheel doily is combined with the Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt Quilt and another Wedding Invitation Ornament, we have quite the old-time holiday gift for a new couple. When selectively safety-pinned into the center of the tree skirt, it can also help the tree skirt double as a table runner/centerpiece.

I'm a big fan of doilies in bold colors. 'Makes me think they're a little less old-fashioned, but that's probably just me.
Pinwheel Doily
Pinwheel Doily

The Perfect Shawl

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Uraidla Shawl
New England winters have me wanting to knit again, after a ~2 year hiatus!

I purchased yarn and downloaded a pattern at the Rhinebeck Yarn Festival this past autumn, and just recently put the finishing touches on this Uraidla Shawl in O-Wool O-Wash Fingering Weight Yarn in erdenheim, a subtle blue-gray color. The simplicity of the garter stitch balances the froofiness of the lace, and the pom-poms are just an added bonus of nonsense on top. I really like this pattern. It's fairly easy 2/3 of the way through (garter & lace), and then starts adding in tricky elements - a braid and one million knit baubles.

Next up, I have 3 skeins of some old Rowan 4ply Soft destined for another of these shawls. It's lots of fun, despite the numerous partial frogging I had to endure.

Uraidla Shawl - Blocked
Uraidla Shawl
Uraidla Shawl Uraidla Shawl
Uraidla Shawl
Uraidla Shawl

Puddles of Ink

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fountain Pen Fun
I've taken to fountain pens lately. Mostly because last semester, my grading chewed through three separate green pens (1 - the classic Bic Xtra Comfort, 2 - the gloriously overflowing Sakura Gelly Roll Classic, and 3 - some other awful pressure-required ballpoint that shall remain nameless). Grading requires a lot of writing, a lot of ink, and not so much hand-strain, if using the proper pen. Enter the Lamy Safari, extra-fine nib, filled with Noodler's Gruene Cactus ink and the TWSBI Eco with a stub nib, and Noodler's bulletproof black.

In the photo above, you can see how I've been doing faux-calligraphy instead of doodling. The Postman's Knock has a nice intro to faux calligraphy, my current style is some version of Flourish Formal.

Fountain Pen Fun
Fountain pens require a bit of maintenance (refilling, cleaning between semesters, etc), but they don't require as much pressure to be applied for ink to flow. In fact, the clear TWSBI Eco pretty much bleeds ink through its nib. I consider this a nice feature, but if I wanted less ink flow, I could get a smaller nib.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Snowy Chair Lift
We've been settling in here in the northeast, which somehow means buying used ski gear and hurling ourselves down the mountain at any given opportunity. I've gotten considerably better than the first few attempts, although that's not really saying too much. Practice makes perfect?

Bunny Hill From the lift house
Groomer Corduroy in the Morning
The cat also appreciates her new territory expansion, and elevated window views.
Window Cat

Success: Cheesecake-marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie

Sunday, February 4, 2018

cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie
This beautiful Cheesecake-marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie recipe came from SmittenKitchen, you pretty much can't go wrong with her recipes.

Next time I'll swirl the dollops of cheesecake into the pumpkin, so it doesn't just sit on top. You can't really taste the cheesecake when it's spread out so much! 'Makes a really lovely creamy pumpkin pie filling either way.

I used two Pillsbury premade crusts from the refrigerated section instead of making my own, like so, and that also worked super well.

cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie
cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie

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