I have been meaning to write up a post about how I make my labels, so here it is. I have tried a couple different methods, and I’ve finally settled on a process and finished product that I am proud of. Hooray! Here is how I did it.

First, my sister and I designed my Witty Stitches logo. We created two different versions: square and rectangular. The square version (my favorite) gets stitched directly onto a project (usually on the front) and the rectangle version can either be stitched directly onto a small project or folded over and placed in a seam.

Once I had the logos and sizes figured out, I tried making labels myself by printing directly onto fabric with my inkjet printer. You have to iron freezer paper onto the back of the fabric first and then cut the fabric to letter size so it will fit into your printer’s paper tray. I found this method to be a lot of work and not always successful. Sometimes the fabric/paper edges would catch a little in the printer and ink would smear in a few spots as the paper fed through the printer. Also, the color didn’t hold up in the wash, despite trying to set it with a hot dry iron or cold water or various other tricks. The black would stay but the red would wash away.

I finally stumbled upon this tutorial by Jaybird Quilts about custom quilt labels from Spoonflower. Thank you, Jaybird Quilts. This was just what I needed! I decided to give Spoonflower a try since I had had it with the freezer paper method. I uploaded my graphics to the Spoonflower.com website and ordered a fat quarter of each of my three label versions. They arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later. You can see them here:

You can choose what style of repeat to use (for example, I only uploaded the one square logo with the black border around it, and Spoonflower automatically repeated the design all over the body of the fabric) and what type of fabric. I selected the most basic white cotton fabric and ordered a fat quarter of each design.

To use the square labels, I cut out a square just inside the black border (usually I do a whole row at a time and cut them with my rotary cutter), press a square of Wonder Under to the backside of the label with an iron, peel the paper off the back of the Wonder Under, press the label onto the project, and stitch all the way around the label as close to the edge as possible. I also usually put Fray Check (a liquid sealant) on the edges to keep them from raveling, but that step is totally optional. Sometimes it looks kind of cool to have a little fraying on the edges, and the stitching limits it so only so much can fray anyway. The Fray Check also give the edges a hardness that you might not want on a blanket or quilt.

For the fold-over in-seam labels, I cut them out, fold over the side edges a small amount (about 1/8-1/4″), press, then stitch along each folded side as close to the edge as possible. Then, I fold the labels in half and press again. They look like this when they’re done:

If you flip one over, it looks the same on the other side because of the second, upside-down logo on the label design.

I love my new labels! I just ordered some more fabric from Spoonflower to make more labels, but this time I selected the Kona premium quilting cotton. (I am hoping it will be just a bit thicker so less shows through the label when it is stitched onto a dark patterned fabric.) Someday I might design one for use on blankets or quilts that has more blank space next to the logo for writing the date and who the piece is for with a Sharpie marker.

 

 

Hi, everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything lately. I am finding that I’d like to do a major redesign for the site to make it better meet my needs. I have been busy making things since Christmas. I have made lots more zipper pouches and drawstring bags, and I even made my first clothing item (a dress for my little girl). I have been posting pictures on my Facebook page. You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/WittyStitches. Pease “like” my page to see my latest updates. And someday I’ll get this site squared away… Thanks for reading!

A few weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet to make some wine bottle gift bags. I looked at Etsy and saw a few examples, and I figured I could make my own version pretty easily. So, I did. I have tweaked the pattern a bit since the first version, and I now have two sizes to accommodate large or small bottles. Here are a couple of pictures of the latest one I made:

wine bottle gift bag witty stitches label sewn in the top of a wine bottle gift bag

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I went to my local quilt shop a week or two ago looking for fabric for a project. My sister asked me to make her a cover for her Kitchen-Aid stand mixer for Christmas. She just remodeled her kitchen a couple of years ago, and she has a mix of warm, neutral colors in it. She asked for “harvest colors” of burnt orange, gold, or brown. So, anyway, I headed off to the quilt shop in search of inspiration.

Since this is a Christmas gift in the making, I am purposely going to be a little short on details. But the fabric I’m posting about here is fabric I purchased but decided not to use for her mixer cover. I found these orange polka dotted and striped fabrics in the back of the store among the Halloween-themed fabrics. They are part of the “Boo to You” collection by Riley Blake. I love these fabrics, but I decided they weren’t quite right for my sister’s kitchen. I’m not sure yet what they will end up as.

I’ve been busy working on some sewing projects, but I can’t show them to you yet because they are Christmas presents! I’ll post some pictures of each thing after Christmas when the cat is out of the bag.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here is another zipper pouch I made last week. It is part of a birthday present for my son’s friend (a girl). When he saw the Cameo zipper pouch I made, he said, “I think Coco would like a bag like that, too.” He said the bag should be orange to match the orange Nerf football he is also giving her. So here it is. I appliqued a letter “C” on the front, and I don’t really like the way it turned out. It was my first attempt at applique, and I learned a lot.

sassy zipper pouch

The fabric is from the “Sassy” collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda. The lining is the same fabric as the applique.

I tried a different location for my foldover label this time. What do you think? I think I like it better on the side seam.

witty stitches label

I finally made my Amy Butler Cameo Sew-A-Long project this week. Woo hoo! I had a hard time deciding what to make but finally decided on something small: a zipper pouch. I have made several different varieties of these in the past (you can see them in my projects gallery), but I wanted to do a quick project that I could finish in an afternoon, and I love to make zipper pouches. So there you go.

cameo zipper pouch

I decided to use three fat quarters: “Anjelica” (in Carmine) for the exterior side panels, “Pressed Flowers” (in Carmine) for the exterior center panels, and “Forget Me Not” (in Midnight) for the lining. The finished dimensions of the pouch are about 9 x 5.5 inches. (If I did it over again, I would make the pouch about a half-inch shorter to avoid that partial flower at the bottom of the center panel.) I used a 9-inch long pull purse zipper in princess pink from Zipit.

I used one of my new, homemade foldover labels on the side seam of the pouch. I am still experimenting with these. What do you think?

cameo pouch

If you’d like to see all the steps of this project, check out my Flickr set.

I’m working on a couple of substantial posts, but they’re just not quite done yet. In the meantime, I thought I would share a picture with you of me and my pup, Lucy. She is an 11-month-old wire fox terrier, and she’s full of energy. Here she was doing her best to distract me from organizing my fabric. (I’ve been trying to get my fabric stash organized into bins using Jeni from In Color Order‘s stash storage by color method, but I’m not done yet. There may very well be a future post from me on that topic as well. Stay tuned.)

me and my dog Lucy

Amy Butler Sew-A-Long

I saw on Twitter today that Amy Butler is kicking off a sew-a-long to celebrate the launch of her new Cameo collection. The details are all right here. You can pick any project you’d like, you just have to use Cameo fabric and post pictures of the project to her Flickr group along the way. This sounds right up my alley, especially since I bought a whole fat quarter bundle of Cameo last week when it was 40% off at Craftsy. Anyone want to do it with me?

There may still be some Amy Butler Cameo fabric on sale at Craftsy. At the time of this post, the FQ’s are gone but there are charm packs and design rolls for 40% off.

I think my favorite Cameo print is “Harriet’s Kitchen” (featured on the front pillow in the picture at left). I think it would make an adorable vintage apron. BUT since I only have fat quarters I probably better pick something smaller to do.

How about you? What’s your favorite Cameo fabric? What project would you like to make?

Later on the same day that my friend “dragged” (yeah, right) me to Crafty Planet, we headed to St Paul to visit another great little shop, Treadle Yard Goods. My friend was particularly excited to show me this store since it has a large selection of interesting apparel fabrics, and she likes to make apparel. Me? I haven’t quite gotten bitten by that bug yet. But maybe someday. Anyway, the store is on Grand Avenue, which is known locally for its shopping and dining. (Check out more about the Grand Avenue neighborhood.) As we walked into the store, we were greeted by large rolls of laminated cottons and oil cloths in a variety of patterns and colors. Then there was a display of premium quilting fabrics. Among them I noticed several prints from Kate Spain’s “Serenade” for Moda, as well as several from “Vintage Modern” by Bonnie & Camille. There were, as my friend had described, lots of apparel fabrics in lovely colors and textures.

There was a shelf of vibrant, imported Japanese fabrics. I believe these are a cotton-linen blend. I stood and stared at these for a while before finally passing them by empty-handed. They are a little pricey (~$22/yd), so I want to make sure I have a project in mind before any of those hit my stash.

Farther into the store, I found some other fabrics I recognized: Dr. Seuss fleece (Robert Kaufman), Amy Butler’s “Gypsy Caravan” (in both the periwinkle and merlot colorways), “Oh Deer!” (Moda), “Lucy’s Crab Shack” canvas (Moda), Lotta Jansdotter’s “Bella” (which I just bought at Crafty Planet), and “Bicycles” (Michael Miller). I know there were others, but those are the ones I can remember. I snapped a few pictures of my favorites with my phone before we headed out.

Treadle Yard Goods, you will see me again! :-)