Over the weekend, I began working on the final details I needed to apply to my quilts that will show at QuiltCon: labels, label covers, and hanging sleeves.
I have to be honest: I have never really loved making labels or hanging sleeves. Last year, I saw the beautifully made labels by Paige from Quilted Blooms, and I decided that I was going to do a better job with my labels. I have decided to use a graph-paper like print (in this case Graph Paper in Bachelor Blue by Heather Givans from the Jot collection for Windham) for the label. I start by writing everything on the graph lines that I want on the label. I trim with a minimum of 1/2″ from the edges of all my written text, and then I cut a second square to the same size. Right sides together I sew them together around the perimeter with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2-3″ opening for me to turn the label. Clip corners, turn, press, and top stitch around the edge to close the opening and voila! a lovely quilt label that I am proud to use with great handwritten spacing (thanks to the graph paper lines)!
As you can see above, I used the same envelope technique to create the label covers that are pinned to the back of the quilt to obscure the label and note the quilt number as well. I am proud to be sewing these labels onto the back of my quilts this year.
My quilting friend Afton from Quilting Mod has revolutionized the way I view creating hanging sleeves, too. She gifted me the Clover Hot Ruler to use to turn over the edge seams and it really has helped me be much less cranky about the hanging sleeve making process: burned or steamed finger tips are no fun and should be avoided! Thanks, Afton!
Which brings me to the blog post title: do you match your hanging sleeve to the quilt or do something funky and fun?? To match or not to match – that is my question?!
Honestly, I typically reserve or have enough excess backing fabric and I match my hanging sleeves to my quilts. In the case of the Babsie mini quilt, though, I had to make an exception. One of the many things that I think about when I remember Babsie is her large and assorted trinket pig collection. She had a pig watering can (with Babs etched on the side, no less), pig magnets, a pig dice game, pig collectibles, pigs on necklaces and pigs on earrings. So it seemed only fitting to include a dash of pink on the back of the quilt.
So I’d love to know: if you use hanging sleeves, do you like to match them to the quilt, do you use up what you have in your stash no matter how it works, do your hanging sleeves have stories and significance to the project much like the Babsie quilt does now, or do you use some other method to select the fabric for your hanging sleeves?