Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Finishing Touches

The binding is finally sewn on the mystery quilt from last year.  But the quilt isn't done until the label is sewn on (so no pictures just yet).  I like elaborate labels.  It's one more place to be creative and do something novel (or not).   I've always done my labels on the computer, first using Print Shop, then Microsoft Publisher and most recently using a digital scrap booking software, Scrapbook Factory. 

I like this software because it gives you all kinds of do-dads you can play with, plus very nice backgrounds so the label can be another color then the off white of the printable fabric. 

It also has really cool photo editing options and lets you use PNG versions of your own photographs as "objects" in your label.  What is a PNG file?  This is my "working" definition.  A PNG file allows me take a single component from a photograph and use it as a independent object in Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, Photoshop Elements and Scrapbook Maker.  As an example:  Here is the original photograph:

Using Photoshop Elements you can "cut" the image out of the original photo and then save it to a new file such that the background is transparent, to keep the transparency the file is saved as a PNG file. 

So to make my labels, I start with a background in Scrapbook Factory that complements the quilt:

I add do-dads or a PNG object from one of my photographs or from  a scanned image of the fabric used in the quilt.  In this case, the object is from a photograph. 

You can play with all kinds of effects, in this one the object is made more transparent.

Which makes it easier to see the text with all the pertinent information. 

You print it on printable fabric (Milliken Printed Treasures or Electric Quilt Inkjet Fabric Sheets), wash it, dry it, and then sew it on.  I know some are concerned that the printing will fade with time or it will wash out.  All of my labels have been printed on fabric.  The only problem I've had is one of the backs was a dark blue and it bled into the label.  That label is still readable, but it's not white as was intended.  One note,  our printer uses archival quality photo inks which are supposed to last for at least 100 years.   I probably won't be around to find out if they actually last that long, but you can't say I didn't try! 

So that's my favorite finishing touch.  Do you have a favorite finish for your quilts?


Shay said...

Your post completely shames me ...I have never added a label to a quilt. I know! I know! I'm a complete slacko.

I will start adding labels to all my 2011 quilts -I rpomise. That way we'll know anything pre 2011 is label-less. Hows that for a dating technique!

I love that you can take an image and do such wonderful things to it.

Quiltbenaco said...

Grazie per le "dritte", una bella etichetta fa una trapunta più bella