Saturday, January 21, 2012

Whimsical Name Tag

Here's a quick look at the latest few name tags I've made for the local guilds and fibre art groups that I belong to. The first one was so fun that I've posted a tutorial below in case you are inspired to try one yourself.

The quilting guilds and fibre art groups in my local area require members to wear a name tag. (thank my lucky stars!) One guild has members make a name tag from a small kit of the materials they provide and you must wear it for fear of being caught and owing 50 cents. (I haven't been caught yet, but have been known to protect others by sitting between them and the name tag police) A clever idea was that the colour of the blue/green binding denotes the year I joined the guild.

The fibre art guild challenge was anything fibrous of my own design. For this one I played with hand dyed gauze, some fluffy embellishments and buttons. Now that I have captured it forever in iPhoto I see that it looks much like one of my bad hair days and I must have stitched my name after a full glass of wine. (Yep, for me it only takes one.) It makes a good story every time someone turns their head sideways to try and read it.

The larger quilting guild I belong to suggested I either make my own, or buy the official name tag of the guild, so I decided to do both. I was very pleased to discover that the name tag attaches to my shirt with an industrial strength magnet. This gave me the option to add a fabric element between the magnets for a unique design.


The guild has a standing order so I picked up my name tag for $11.00 at the local trophy shop. (You could also use any pin type name tag, or design a fabric centre of your own with a stitched or printed name). I simply traced the rectangle for its size and drew a scribbly design around it and cut it out.

The next step is to find fabric and I wanted a punch of colour so I thought of a piece that my son had painted thickly with acrylic (he took it outside and threw pennies on it for a sun print). I numbered the shapes in the sketch and traced them on fabric with pencil. You can just eyeball it and cut them out to fit behind the rectangle.

Then I arranged the pieces on (any type of) fusible interface and pressed it in place. I used an ironing sheet (wax paper will do) to just press the whole design at once so the sheet just peels off protecting the iron from gunk.

Once I set my design in place I chose some wool to compliment the fabric (or you can use any embellishments) I cut snips of wool and stitched them on with a simple zig zag. I used a light colour of thread so you could see the detail, but you can match your thread to the wool.

Then you simply cut away the remaining fusible and snip the ends of the wool for a finished design. There you have it! A beautiful name tag. And if you want it to look less whimsical as my friend noted "it's like a jester's hat - perfect for you!" then simply use some deep rich batiks or any fabric scraps that inspire you in that moment.

'Tis the season to get your quilting groove on. Be happy!