“Artistic Identity”

Each of us who sews is an artist.  We all have different strengths and different areas of sewing interest, but we are all artists.  As artists, it’s important to sign those projects that we hope will be around for many years or those projects we know will have special meaning.  Creating our own labels is a way of signing our work to keep record of our talent and gifts that we have passed along to others.  Most people think of quilt labels, but it’s also important for garment sewers to use labels in their substantial works.  Most machines have some type of programming or sequencing abilities for using sewing stitches and fonts. For those of us with embroidery machines, there is an abundance of possibilities with fonts, stitches and designs to create our own labels to “sign” those special works.  Labels can be unique for each item labeled or you can design a label that is used over and over to reflect your work as more of a brand.  Here are some tips to create an original label.  I hope you give this a try for your next major work.

For this blog entry, I went into the embroidery mode on my Pfaff Icon and, after choosing an 80x80mm size hoop, chose to open the sewing stitches. If your machine allows you to bring sewing stitches into embroidery, you will find the “stitches” icon on your screen somewhere. Check your owner’s manual to see if your machine has this capability.
I chose to go into the decorative stitches category, Maxi Art Stitches, and chose stitch #3. I like using these stitches in embroidery since they can be a bit challenging to use in sewing mode, but are easy to use in embroidery mode.
Once I brought the stitch into the embroidery field, I duplicated it, rotated it and used the mirror image feature.
Next I needed to choose a font. The letter A in my machine’s menu is where my fonts are located.
I like the cursive fonts, so I chose Belle in a small 10mm size. Remember, your machine will probably not allow you to resize fonts. Letters tend to distort when they are resized.
Once the font and size has been chosen, creating the phrase is next. Choose something that is simple and to the point to look the nicest. Too much information tends to look cluttered, in my opinion. The phrase I used was simply generic for this example.
Regardless of whether you are working in sewing or embroidery mode, remember to save your work often. Don’t wait to save only the finished product!
Remember to group your work when working with lettering. If you don’t group the letters, you will have, in this particular case, 14 separate designs to try to align. By grouping all the lettering together, I am able to move it all as one, making design composition much easier. Again, check your owner’s manual to see if your machine has this grouping feature.
When designing your label, you can choose the thread colors to compliment your work. You could cut this out and put a narrow border around it using the fabric used in your project. You could use decorative stitches to sew a border around it or use a satin stitch to create scallops on the edges! You could even apply this to your work as a reverse applique.

This is an excellent project to work on when you want to sew but are not ready to start a more involved project. It’s fun, creative and very useful. Happy Sewing!