We’ve written before about the importance of sample blocks and how we use them to design our collections and other projects. As you explore new techniques and color ways using our Design Bundles, we encourage you to create your own fabric library to document your process. The most efficient way we’ve found to do so is to attach what we call “headers” to each one of your sample blocks.
To make your own header for a 10” x 16” sample block, follow the instuctions below:
- Cut an 8 1/2″ x 11” piece of white cardstock in half lengthwise so it measures 4 1/4″ x 11.”
- Fold your 4 1/4″ x 11” piece of cardstock in half lengthwise again so it measures 2 1/8” x 11.” Your header will have one long side that is a fold and another long open side.
- Using a three-hole punch, punch each long side of your folded header to create a total of 12 holes.
- On the open side of your folded header place a 10” piece of double-stick tape just above the three holes. The double-stick tape will hold your fabric swatch in place and prevent shifting.
- Place one 10” edge of your fabric swatch on top of the double-stick tape, making sure that it is centered on your cardstock.
- Thread a needle with a double strand of Button Craft thread, love it good, and tie a double knot following the instructions from our Alabama Studio book series.
- Attach your fabric to your paper header by sewing through the fabric at each of the punched holes, alternating from front to back until you arrive back at the beginning.
- Knot off securely. Your fabric swatch is now attached to your header.
We have our headers printed locally with our logo, but in the past, we used a rubber stamp to add our logo to our headers. We also give each fabric swatch a number and a name that can be referenced in the creation of new garments.
We cover our 3 ring-binders with white organic cotton jersey using the instructions for our Book Cover given on page 115 of Alabama Stitch Book.
PS – If you’d rather not make your own headers, we now have The School of Making Headers available in packs of five. They arrive to you blank for filling in any details or notes about your sample blocks. In addition to pre-made Headers, we now have The School of Making Binders available for storing and organizing your sample blocks, project notes, patterns, and more. These 4” binders come printed with the Alabama Chanin mark on the cover and spine with plenty of space available for labeling or embellishing the cover.