Thursday, November 19, 2015
I have a bad habit, or perhaps you could call it a superstition -- I rarely sew the sleeves on the back of new quilts until they have been accepted into a show and are on their way out the door. Sometimes I plan ahead sufficiently to make the sleeve, even if I don't sew it on right away. But other times I have to do that too, just before the deadline.
Yesterday I had to deliver a quilt to a local juried show so Tuesday night I found myself in the laundry room, writing my info on the sleeve in bleach.
I never put labels on my quilts because it seems kind of bush league -- did Mark Rothko print out a neat little label on his computer, maybe with a cute little flower on the side, and affix it to the back of his paintings? But since every quilt needs a hanging sleeve, I have turned that into my ID field.
I write my text with Finish dishwashing gel, which contains enough bleach to discharge beautifully. I like this brand better than others because the gel is stiff enough to hold the bead perfectly rather than seep into the fabric and ooze into a blurry line. I apply it with a standard ketchup squeeze bottle. This time I needed to get some fresh gel to refill my squeeze bottle, and was delighted to find that it had enough oomph to start discharging almost immediately.
Then it was only one trash TV program's worth of hand sewing to get the sleeve on the quilt in time to deliver it to the show.
You've seen the quilt before -- it's the bottom half of a larger piece that I made several years ago but just cut in two last fall and finished into companion pieces this spring.
Here's its twin:
With any luck, this one will get to go out in public too someday. And when that happens, I'll have its sleeve all ready to sew on.