Monday, October 22, 2018

Quilted Name Tag

Yeah, I've made yet another contra dance name tag for for myself.  I love the one I made last year.  However, it's large, heavy and is held on by magnets, so I can't wear it on a strappy tank top.  I wanted one that was smaller, lighter weight, not as breakable as sculpey and that could be pinned on a tank top.  I had seen some really cool name tag badges people had made for quilt shows, and decided to try something in that direction.

I dithered over a bunch of designs that were too big or boring.  I found this interesting paper pieced design.  I shrunk it down a ton, then badly transcribed it to freezer paper.  Not my best work but I wanted the name tag done for the Fall Ball, so I ran with it.  It took a couple of hours to make, so if I really hate it, I'll take what I learned from this and create another.

I had planned to do a colorful background leaning towards blues and greens, which is the color of most of the tags I've made.  Time to do something different!  So I pulled greys and buffs instead, imagining a purple or pink name on top of it.

It went together kind of sloppily and I lopped off the sides, so it hardly resembles the original pattern.  But it worked.  I added a layer of batting before free-hand embroidering my name to the front, to even out the really lumpy seams.  I tried drawing my name on the fabric first, but it didn't look right, so I gave up and just started stitching.  Next time, I'll do a trick I've done before:  write the letters on tissue paper to my satisfaction, place the tissue paper on the fabric and use it as a template to sew.  We'll just say my uneven name has charm....

This was such an organic project - once the name was set, I started to think about how to add the backing. I dug out some scrap card stock from making recipe books to give it a rigid form and a place to glue the badge pin. Then I brainstormed how to assemble it.

I was amused as I pinned the fabric to the card stock that it reminded me of school dissection project (although I lucked out and never had to dissect a frog for science).  Poor name tag!  This allowed me to center my name to the card.  Then I stitched it down, kind of like English paper piecing?  Satisfied with its looks, I glued the living daylights out of it, affixed the pin, and clamped everything down to dry.

It's very light weight, stayed in place at Saturday's dance, I won't cry if I lose it and the details won't chip off.  The colors should go with all my dance clothes.  The name is legible, although it could have contrasted more to the background.  I'm happy - I'll put it to good use.

As a bonus, I really like the pattern (I saved the PDF) and may use it again, full sized (or shrunk with better precision).  This was a fun little side project.


  1. What a nifty name tag! Pink and grey, and also yellow and grey, always look perfect together. And I love your description of how this project developed! This is how I used to approach all sorts of handmaking - just a yen for something with certain features, and then go with it - I think I made a lot of things only because I didn't know that I didn't know how, if that makes any sense. Don't know when or why it changed, but I think I should try to get back to that approach more often.

  2. Hi Sally! What a fun little name tag project. I think it looks great, and adding the card stock/heavier paper gave the pin a good foundation. ~smile~ Roseanne


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