Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Birthday Signature Quilt

When we had our first baby, it seemed like a long term quilt project was in order.

Finding the perfect pattern took some time, but I eventually came to the place where a birthday signature quilt was born.

On his first birthday, I found a cool font, printed out some numbers that were just under 5" tall and used hand applique to sew them onto background blocks.

At the birthday party all the friends and relatives signed their names to the quilt block wishing the new arrival a happy first birthday.

Every year a new block is sewn up and well wishes are shared.

Over the years, more babies came into the family and other quilts were started.  In our family alone we have 4 of them going right now.  Two for our boys and two for my nieces.  One of my best friends (who is basically family) started one for her baby daughter so I think the count is up to at least 5 quilts that I'm aware of.

Some of the usual folks who sign every year put a lot of thought into their messages.  Others draw small pictures.  Still others are just learning to print their names and at times write their letters backwards.  All of these are very treasured.  Some who have signed are no longer here with us.  Their messages touch our hearts in a unique way.

A few tips and tricks:
- Use a .05 or so sized Pigma pen, they work great.  Practice your writing on scrap fabric
- Buy enough backing fabric to make all your blocks and some extra if you want to use it in the border at all
- Remember what color Pigma pen you are using!  We mixed brown and black ink in the same quilt without realizing it
- Use painter's tape or some other light tape to mask off the area outside of the 8" block.  This will help people sign inside of the lines of where you will sew and assemble the block
- I cut out freezer paper and iron it to the top of the right side of the fabric to use as a needle turn guide.  Wax side goes onto the fabric...not the bottom of your iron (that wouldn't be good!)