When I posted about my Wild Gears + Zentangle labels last week enough of you were interested that I thought I'd share a little more along with the last 2 finished quilt labels.
When you order Wild Gears they come like this. They are precision laser cut and there are a lot of gears on one sheet. This is the Compact Gear Set. The larger Full Gear set that I bough is about 16" square. The larger pen holes are for making parallel designs. You draw once in the large hole and the insert one of the little fillers in the same hole and draw again.
That's how I did this one.
I filled in the space to make a dark frame and then did Zentangle designs to fill the spaces.
For this label I nested one Wild Gears design in another. You can see the pencil lines that I used to center the ring on the label.
Here's the finished label.
I draw my labels on paper and then photocopy them to fabric that's prepared for printing. You can get printable fabric from a lot of sources but I generally prepare my own.
These labels used the last of my stash of printer fabric sheets so it was time to make more this weekend. This is a pretty boring chore so I try to make enough to last me for a while. I fold about 4 yards of Pimatex fabric in a plastic container and pour a whole bottle of Bubble Jet Set over it and let if stand for a few hours to totally soak in. I use Pimatex because the tight, fine weave accepts printing detail better.
After the fabric is saturated I hang it over the shower rod to drip dry, I don't wring it. Hanging it to drain on it's own makes it much easier to iron. I iron it to freezer paper sheets and then I can store it indefinitely for future printing. Here are 55 sheets that I made Sunday so I'm set for a while.
By now you know that I'm a little obsessed with Spirograph motifs. When one of my customers told me about Wild Gears, the adult Spirograph, I was all in! I immediately bought a set for my best friend for Christmas and then a week ago I borrowed them from her. After one day of playing I went ahead and ordered her a new set because I have gears spread all over my cutting table and I don't know if I'll get them all organized again.
I'm just starting to figure out what I can do with them but they have some really cool features. They have odd shaped wheels (squared, triangles and ovals) and lots of sizes of rings.
But one of the coolest things is the ability to do designs in parallel lines with these little inserts. You draw the design once in the big hole and then put the little circle in that hole and do the design again.
This is a really simple design that I did in parallel lines. As I was working with these I thought that I might be able to combine the WG designs with Zentangle for my quilt labels. Fortunately I just happen to have 3 quilts that need labels right now! With this one I will color in the space between the lines and then fill the sections with Zentangle designs.
I'm still getting the hang of figuring out how to read the codes on the gears and rings to predict how the design might turn out. At first I was disappointed with this....but then I got an idea.
I wanted a small, simple label for my Stars At Sea quilt and this design gave me an easy way to create a simple frame. I used pencil to mark the center of the design side-to-side and top-to-bottom and used those marks to center the ring.
Here's the completed label. I can now copy it to fabric to put it on my quilt. I think it's pretty darned cute.
Now I'm playing around to try out more gears and hopefully will find a good frame for my third label.
In case you need some for yourself, I ordered the Compact Gears and the Full Page Gears for Anne and I just ordered a new set for her plus a couple of other sets for myself. If you like Spirograph, you will love these! If you are on Instagram search #wildgears and you will see some amazing designs that others have done. My designs are baby steps compared to what other people are doing.
Go ahead, you know you needed a new hobby.
In the past 2 months I've finished 2 quilts but neither was truly finished until this week when they got their labels. Sometimes I annoy myself with the pressures I put on myself and the perfect example is the Zentangle labels. I used to do really simple printed labels but then I got the "great" idea to Zentangle labels. Every time I need to make a new quilt label I consider just taking the easy route but I love the labels so much when I'm done so I keep going.
This time I needed to make new labels for Parasol and The Maine Quilt.
I start these by printing the label text on paper and I do all of the drawing on paper. That gives me the opportunity to start over if needed. After the label is done I print it on fabric. I also don't plan them. I start with the first idea and just add things as I go along. Here are the steps that I went through for the label for the Maine Quilt.
The only idea I had to start with is that I wanted a state outline on the label.
The star on the label marks an area near Sebec Lake where I sun printed all of the fabrics in the quilt.
Did you know that the state tree is the pine and the state flower is the pine cone? So a pine motif....
My version of blueberries.
Not quite right.
Needs some fill in.
One down, one to go!
A small label for a small quilt with an obvious motif!
A simple foundation.
And, yes, I'm still glad I do the Zentangle labels. Once I get started on them I find it very relaxing to do.
The quilts are done and already in the mail! This is the first year that I've done 2 quilts but I had 2 ideas and really wanted to see both. I'm glad I did because I like both a lot...for different reasons.
The names of both quilts are a play on the name of the new fabric line "Wonderlust". The first quilt is the Lone Star block from blockbase blown up to 36" square.
I love the proccess of making the Zeentangle labels but the label from this quilt gave me fits. I must have started a half dozen ideas before settling on this one that it totally copied from something I saw on Google.
I have to submit line drawings for my quilts so that's why I have line drawings to share with you. Beware of Lust is the name of this quilt. Anyone care to guess the meaning of the name? It's a bit convoluted but if you figure it out you will get a good chuckle out of it.
I'll tell you the real story when I can reveal the quilts at the end of October. For now, I can get back to my own quilting!
I spend so much time on the Zentangle quilt labels that I like to give them their own post. Learning to do Zentangling has taught me more than how to doodle/draw but the Zentangle system really speaks to the project manager in me to break down any overwhelming task into smaller, manageable steps. It's because of Zentangling that I was able to take on the big mosaic wall and some of my quilting projects.
Because this blank page really intimidates me and every single time I start one I have a moment where I almost stop and just print a simple label. But I go back to the Zentangle method and start with the tangle.
The tangle is the basic structure and I often look to Google and my books for tangle ideas. I got the heart label tangle from Zentangle that I saw on Google. My tangle/structure for this label came from my favorite book: 500 Tangled Artworks. I liked this one a lot and it became the basis for my tangle.
I penciled in a vertical structure on the left side, a rainbow shape and something curvy at the end of the rainbow. Now I had a starting point and I can start looking for element ideas from the books and web.
I decided that my rainbow would have 3 bands and that was important for the vertical element. I wanted one band to come into the frond that I chose for the vertical.
Then I added the fluff on the right and the rainbow bands.
Starting the rainbow elements.
At this point all of the basic elements are done. From here I'm usually pretty relaxed about it and starrt having fun adding details. From here it's hard to make myself stop.
Better but not done yet.
It needed something on the bottom. I'm not overly thrilled with what I did but I don't hate it and Zntangling is as much about the process as the product. I just go where these take me and this is where I went. But is it done?
Now it's done!
I worked on this over 2 evenings and once I got started it was actually very relaxing to work on it.
Here it is stitched on the back of the quilt.
I thank/blame my sister-in-law for teaching me to Zentangle for getting me into a situation where my quilt labels are no longer simple printed labels. I really enjoy the challenge of Zentangle but it's not something I'd just sit down and do. I'm not a random doodler. I wish I was, but I'm not. I need purpose and quilt labels seemed a fine purpose. You can see all of the ones I've done in my Zentangle Gallery. The next one was the label for the wedding quilt and I needed to get it done because the quilt will be gifted this Friday!
I start my labels the same way every time. I print the text on paper (2 or 3 copies to allow for starting over). Then I pencil in the "tangle". The tangle is the backbone of the design. Honestly, I get a lot of my tangle ideas from Google. In this case I Googled "zentangle heart" and saw one done with this shape and started with that.
The next step is the hardest and that's picking the first design! My favorite source is the Tangle Patterns web site. Their patterns are grouped by name so I randomly pick a letter and go to that section and make myself pick a pattern from that section.
I just kept going like that until it was done and I love the finished design. Sometimes doing these stresses me out a little but I'm always happy with the finish. I think it makes the quilt just a timy bit more special.
I finished the Rainbow Quilt weeks ago but hadn't done the label yet. I have to deliver the quilt this weekend so it was time to get it done. Normally, that should not be a big deal but a few years ago I started doing Zentangle labels so they take a little longer. Here's how I made the one for Ashley's Rainbow Quilt.
Ashley is my nephew's new wife and I decided that this quilt would be hers. Every time I think about the Rainbow Quilt I think about the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Since my nephew graduated in a music program I thought to put the music theme in the label. He played trombone so I found the sheet music for the trombone for Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
I start my labels by printing the text on paper and then drawing around it. I do a lot in pencil before I totally commit to the design.
I played around with some ideas for the bass clef and settled, more or less, on this.
Time to put pen to paper.
It's been way too many years since I learned to read and play music so if there's anything wrong with this please don't tell me. This is supposed to be the part that goes "and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true"
I just continue to add elements until it feels done.
A few ribbons and dots and I was done. I printed it on fabric and now it's stitched on the quilt and ready for delivery.
I am continuing my ice pack regime and my knee is getting better. Aside from doing squats and burpees, driving and sewing are the worst activities for it. Tomorrow I'm teaching at Visarts so Chris is going to take me and spend a couple of house in Carytown while my class is going on.
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.