You have decided to put that embroidery machine to use and start embroidering your quilt signature. But where should you put the information and when?
The “when” part of the question is easily answered. Add the embroidery before the project is pin basted. You may put the signature anywhere, but the back is always a safe place because it will not distract from the design on front. You can pin most of the quilt but leave the area in which you plan to embroider vacant. Hoop the fabric and stitch away!
If you want your quilt signature to more closely resemble a signature, select a font that is more script like. All embroidery machines that have fonts loaded into them have at least one type that is a script. For those with digitizing experience (and software) you can scan your very own signature and turn it into an embroidery file. Without the software, you can still get the result by taking your signature to an embroidery store to have them develop the file for you. Be sure to sign your name on a white piece of paper in black ink for best results. You can select your choice of thread for the stitching even though the name is written in black ink.
In addition to your signature, you will need to include the date and other relevant information in your embroidered autograph. Even if you use a special font for your signature (or your actual signature converted for embroidery), you can get by with using a simple font for the extra information.
If adding the information by hand, transfer your signature to the back side of the quilt. If ironing on the transfer, be sure to start with the reversed image so it will be readable when transferred. You can transfer the date and other relevant info the same way if you would prefer, or simply freehand it. If the fabric you are embroidering on is light enough, you may be able to sign the quit using a water soluble pen or pencil, and then embroider over it. Hoop the area to be embroidered and use your hand embroidery skills to stitch over the transferred information.
Whether machine or hand embroidering your signature and related information, be sure to make your stitches tight. You don’t want the quilt to pucker, but you also don’t want the stitches to come out either. When embroidering by machine, this is easy to control because most times the machine will embroider in a thin satin stitch. Wide satin stitches have a tendency to snag on things and can break and unravel. With hand embroidery, you will have to be conscious of making secure stitches. If they pull out or ravel over time, or are too loose and get broken, your signature is gone.
While you are embroidering, you might choose to add a signature motif of some sort along with your name. Some quilters have fun doing this – adding a flower, a heart, a sun – just some simple design that they add to all their quilts. Don’t rely on the motif to be your signature, though. Over time, the story of your motif may be forgotten and no one will know who created it.
Adding your signature to your quilt with machine or hand embroidery is a creative way to sign your quilts if you have the machine or skills for it. Otherwise, adding the information with a label or signing with an acid free pen are both still good options. You may change your signature method with each quilt depending on the fabric color or type used, design, and personal preference.