Creating Quilt Labels

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Quilting | Comments


Creating quilt labels is one aspect of quiltmaking that many quilters forget about. It only takes a few hours looking at priceless antique heirloom quilts whose makers are unknown to realize how important it is to document this information for each quilt.

quilt labels

You can provide all different sorts of information on your quilt labels, but here are some starting points. You should include your name along with the name of the person who did the machine or hand quilting. Dates the quilt was started and finished, and your residence are also often details that are included. Other items you can add are: the title (and designer of the quilt pattern if the quilt is not an original design), the names of the fabrics used in the quilt, the event for which the quilt was created if the quilt is a special occasion gift, and a quotation or thought that you have about the quilt.

There are also a variety of methods you can use when creating quilt labels. One option is to embroider the information on a piece of fabric which is then stitched or appliquéd to the back of the quilt. An embroidered quilt label is usually attached after the quilt is quilted so that the quilting doesn’t run through the embroidery.

Another method of creating a quilt label is to purchase a pre-printed quilt label on which you print needed information using an archival pen. This hand-written quilt label can then be sewn or appliquéd to the back of the quilt.

quilt label

Creating quilt labels using a computer program and a home printer is another option for quilt labeling. To use this method just enter your information using a computer program designed for labels such as Quilt Label Collective: Volume I from C&T Publishing or use your office software to design a custom label. An excellent tutorial for designing your own custom quilt labels can be found here.

When creating quilt labels using a home computer and printer, a stabilizer should be used to ensure the fabric is able to run through the printer smoothly. “Quilter’s Freezer Paper Sheets” may be purchased in pre-cut 8 1/2” x 11” sheets or regular freezer paper may also be used and cut to size. Fuse the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the paper using a warm iron (be especially careful to not let the iron touch the shiny side of the freezer paper). After fusing the fabric to the freezer paper, the fabric should be able to easily feed through a home printer in order to print a computer generated quilt label. Be sure to set the ink with a hot iron after printing, and always test your labels for color-fastness. A computer generated label can also be traced onto fabric using an archival pen.

quilt

With so many methods available for making quilt labels, there is surely one way of creating quilt labels that will work for you. Which method of creating quilt labels is one you’ll be likely to use?

You might also enjoy this hand appliqué tutorial. Plus, learn how to make a hanging sleeve on the Craftsy blog later this week!

Comments

  1. Mary Casey says:

    When applying labels, I fuse ‘Heat and Bond Lite’ to the back of the label, then place the label in the corner, before binding and then include the label 1/4 seam allowance in the binding.(as part of the seam)…Then you only have to applique the 2 remaining sides….This method also deters theft…yes, we do encounter that at quilt shows……Sorry to say but it does happen………..

  2. Diane says:

    I would have put an additional return before your first name so that both your first name and last name appear on one line. It’s a little disjointed to have the name separated as shown in a couple of the images above. You also could have inserted an additional return after the “quilted by” so that the quilter’s name is on a separate line and receives as much attention as the first name in the label. Controlling the placement of the words on the label contributes to the readability.

  3. Donna says:

    Information on how to return a lost quilt such as a town address is very important.

  4. I have made too many quilts already sans labels! Let it be known that no more quilts will be made by this girl without a label! Not sure what type I will make, but I definately am proud of my projects and want them to be labeled for generations to come!

    1. Anne says:

      I agree with being sorry….didn’t think about putting labels on my quilts, but I sure will now . Too much time and effort go into quilt making and now my grandchildren really don’t have alegible clue as to who made their quilts.

  5. Kayt says:

    I love the look of those computer generated labels, but have to admit I’ve never found the time to do one. I usually tape some lined paper onto my lightbox, tape some light fabric over the top and hand write the label using a Pigma pen. I think in years to come it will be nice for people to see my handwriting – it’s not pretty, but it’s ‘me’.
    I like to name the quilt, and because I hand-quilt I simply say, “Made and Hand-Quilted by” and the month and year it was completed followed by the city in which I live.
    When I give a quilt away, I always include a small card which tells the recipient the best way to launder the quilt.

  6. Edna Turner says:

    I too feel it is very important to name your quilt, and claim honor for it.. I am having a little trouble preparing the fabric for the label. What is the best way to prepare the fabric, other than Bubble Jet Set? A DIY homemade solution?

  7. Linda says:

    I iron label fabric to freezer paper as it give stability while I write with my Pigma pens.
    Then I iron peel it off, iron under 1/4″ and hand stitch into a corner on the back. I do like the above mentioned idea of placing it before binding the quilt. I will try that on my next one!

  8. Shirley Pearce says:

    For my quilts, I put the label on BEFORE quilting. The first quilt I made I did it this way and when my son’s apartment was burgalrized, great gramdmother’s quilt was taken but not mine. I knnow the quilts I make will stay with the ones I love.

  9. Cathy says:

    I always put something like, “Pieced and quilted with love for XXX by mom” and the other pertinent information. It sets the quilt in its place with people who are loved, perhaps family for as many generations as it will. That way its not just somebody’s name, but a mom to a son or daughter or grandson or niece… with love.

  10. Velma Alaniz says:

    It would be great if we could design one for Stowahi, even if we only put out one quilt a year.

  11. I really find this stuff so fabulous! Custom and embroidered quilt labels make quilts more beautiful and easy to identify. I’m glad I was able to visit this site since this is so interesting. You really has a lot in store when it comes to fabric quilt labeling. Awesome!

  12. Wow!! Printing on cloth is great idea. I should start this business also with flex printing and commercial label printing. Thanks for this!!

  13. Nichole says:

    I’ve tried the printer/freezer paper option. Maybe it was just the fabric I used . . . but after washing, the ink faded out a lot. I tried machine washing first, then hand washing. It was a tan cotton fabric . . . will try again with a lighter fabric.

    1. Jen Boes says:

      I’ve found if you are sure to print grayscale only (no color) it works better. My HP black printer ink is permanent when I heat-set it with an iron, but the colors aren’t!