Quilted Tags

Gail Odegaard 2008

   
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What is a quilted tag? It is a small piece of fiber art, much like an ATC, except in the shape of a tag. Tags are used on so many things, why not a quilt?

Tags can be anything you want them to be, let your imagination run wild; it is a great place to experiment with a new technique. I want to show you how I did my very first tag and the first time I "went wild."

To begin, let's make a pattern -- this is not set in stone -- make it as big or as small as you would like.  See the photo for the measurements I used in this example.  Cut your template out of paper so that you can trace around it.
You will need two pieces of backing; I used an old sheet, cut an inch or two larger than the tag pattern. Trace your pattern onto both pieces of backing fabric and set one aside. Cut one piece of batting the size of your backing pieces (something thin like cotton) and set aside.

On  a backing piece that has the pattern traced, piece a CQ block as usual.

Ever wonder what to do with all of those short threads, bits of ribbon and lace you just hate to throw away? Well, here is a project for them. Gather up all those bits and pieces, then scatter them atop your pieced tag. Play with them until you are happy with how they look.
Now what? Grab a piece of tulle or other netting, lay it over top and stitch down either by hand or machine.  Have fun with this part, make designs if you want or use fancy metallic threads. I used dark green in a simple pattern, so you could see it, but hey - the sky is the limit here.  Allow your stitching to be part of the design or have it blend.
Now is the time to gather some embellishments; eyelash threads are fun, bits of metallic threads, buttons, laces, bits of jewelry, motifs, whatever fits your design. 
Add your pretties as desired. Just remember not to put anything within 1/4" - 1/2" of the sewn line, so that you do not sew over any beads, charms etc.  You may not want to add everything at this time; you will be sandwiching these layers together. Anything you want to do to hide the stitches on the back, do now....such as SRE, couching, embroidery. Save your pins and such for later.
Once you have finished up with your embellishments, it is time to layer your work. Lay your batting on the table, then your tag (right side facing you), and cover it with your last piece of backing.
Line up your drawn lines with the stitched lines on your tag, pin all three layers together,  leaving the top (or bottom if you prefer) open, so you can turn your sandwich right side out.
Stitch along the line; be sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end of your stitching.  Then trim your seams down to 1/4" or so and also trim the corners.
Turn your tag right side out.

Fold under the opening and hand stitch closed. If you choose, you can embellish the edges with a Blanket Stitch or other stitch of your liking. At this point, you can add any extra bits of eye candy, such as stick pins, more beads, buttons, etc. Sew all the way through your layers, as you would for a quilt, just be neat and hide your thread tails. To hang the tag, I like to thread a large needle with ribbon and pull it through, you can make a button hole or use a grommet, too. I am kind of lazy so I just pull a ribbon through for hanging.

  Here is my finished project. I hope you enjoy making these, exchanging them or giving as small gifts of love.

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