Sometimes when you are working on a project you need to cut and/or sort a lot of pieces, fabric, colors, etc. into piles before you can begin. In cases like this, project labels are very handy and you don’t need to worry about post-it notes that are attached, but may fly away from the “wind” of the fabric you just moved to iron or cut. Back when I started working on my Gravity quilt top, I embroidered project labels to help the process of Gravity, because for each block you would have 6 colors and multiple cuts for A, B, C, D, E and F. I used them back when working on Gravity, but I just finished them the other day.
I embroidered each letter and number onto thick canvas. I used the Typewriter Keys Alphabet from Urban Threads. The keys shown here are the 1.02″ size key, there are also three other sizes available (0.71″, 1.50″ and 2.01″). I took a large piece of canvas and drew erasable lines roughly 3″ apart, and noting the center of where I wanted each letter. With my embroidery machine I was able to say “start here” for each letter, which made it simpler for placement on a large piece of canvas, and then cut down to the 36 individual squares shown below. I also chose 36 different colors of Madeira embroidery thread plus white for the letter and outer border. Not required, I just wanted them to be colorful.
After each letter was embroidered, I cut the squares out to about 2.5″ individual squares, and cut 2″ plain canvas squares for the back. Using fabric glue, I glued the plain 2″ square to the center back of the letter, hiding the embroidery. After letting the fabric glue dry, I went back and sewed in a circle, one by one, each typewriter key to permanently connect the front and back together. Again not a requirement, just a more finished appearance for me, plus it’s a little more weighted. Finally, I took a small ruler and measured about 1/2″ off the edge of each letter, for a final 2″ square size, and used pinking shears to trim the front canvas square to about 2″ each. They even stack together nicely.
I know there is a paper version out there that would have been much quicker, but I really like how these turned out; I like the appearance of the typewriter key, and they are colorful with 36 different embroidery threads, and made out of durable canvas. If you would like to make your own, it will probably take a few hours for embroidery, and a few hours for cutting, gluing, sewing, and cutting again – each embroidered key is almost 2000 stitches, plus the other steps. But I think it’s totally worth it. And they will be used for many, many projects in the future.