31 January 2007

Dear Jane Signature-quilts

The "yearly" signature-swap is on at Dear Jane. It's always a great occasion. Everyone sends in oodles of the block called "Field of Dreams", D-13 in the Dear Jane-book.
The first couple of years, I participated. In the first swap, I made close to 100 blocks, and I thought, "What the ***, this will be the only time I have to make this many." Well. Fooled again :-)
I stopped with the swap in 2002, because blocks from 4 signature-swaps were languishing in bags.
I have now made 2 great quilts. Just put together the blocks with no sashing and - as you see - a wide border.
BUT, the real reason I'm writing is this, is to encourage everyone who does participate in swaps where you sign blocks : Please, pretty please, use ink that will set with heat and be colour-fast.
The reason is here , on your left.
Whoever did this block, with care, and spent hours and hours signing 100+ blocks with her name, state, city and e-mail ... did so in vain.
I cannot decipher it.
And it is a shame, really. Particularly as this problem did not show until the quilt was quilted and bound.
You see, with (at the present) 3 cats, 2 children and a not at all times sparkling clean husband (or indeed self), quilts get dirty in this house, and therefore, quilts will have to be washed.
This one was, and this particular quilter ... disappeared.
SO, please use pens that will not wash out. Pigma comes to mind, but I know that other brands are ok too. If you use a stamp to sign your blocks, please make absolutely certain that the ink on the pad is colourfast too. To end up seeing all your work on 100+ blocks be reduced to a blot is simply too painful.
P.S. (added February 11th ) the block HAS been heat-set by me. Twice (at least) on the high cotton setting on the iron. First before trimming, then as it was sewn into it's row, and then when the rows were joined, so ... heat-setting is not the problem here. Just a water soluble ink.


martha said...

Maybe I will break out these blocks next. I am on a roll, or at least a stumble:) I have a couple of years of siggies swaps in a bag and they do lok so beautifu when assembled,

Shelina said...

I have a lot of swaps blocks that I haven't put together yet. How sad when the writing gets washed out. The one quilt that I have put together, I made sure to press eerything to set it. Hopefully that will prevent any problems like the one you had.