I was asked a few months ago to participate in a signiture quilt for an Aunt and Uncle who were celebrating their anniversary. I love these kinds of quilts because they are so personal for the person or persons receiving them. There is nothing nicer than receiving a personal message from those you love and who love you on a special occasion. Most people do the first two things correctly which is to cut the fabric the size they want for the blocks and use or send to each participant a special pen that will not wash out of the fabric. What people tend to miss, and it is a major thing, is to tell you not to write in the space 1/4″ all the way around the block. This is where the seam allowance is and, if people write all the way up to the edges of the block, you end up loosing some of the design or writing on the block.
I did a quilt for someone who had the wonderful idea of having people who attended her daughter’s graduation party write a block for her. She cut the fabric squares out of beautiful bright fabrics and had the proper markers/pens for the project. The one thing she didn’t do was mark the seam allowances on the block or tell them not to draw all the way to the edges. When I was given the blocks to put the quilt together I sadly had to stitch parts of messages and peoples names into the seam allowance in order to put it together. Here are a few examples of blocks that didn’t leave enough room for the seam allowance.
Below is the final quilt. I absolutely love all the bright colors she used for the blocks. I don’t think I would have thought of doing that, most of mine are white or cream. You can see the blocks that went oversized. It worked out that she was 4 blocks short and, since she had sent me the extra fabric, I made the pinwheels for the corners from the fabric. I am sure her daughter loved the quilt and the memories it will bring back in the future.
As far as the quilt that was made for my Aunt and Uncle – I think, from the pictures I saw, they lucked out and everybody stayed within the seam allowance which makes me very happy.
Remember to allow for the seam allowance when preparing the blocks. Either draw a light line around the block for the seam allowance and tell people to stay in the lines or just write in the directions to leave a 1/4″ clear all the way around for sewing the blocks together.
Hope this will help you make your family or client great signature memory quilts in the future.
Happy Memories, Trish