Quilt Label

What am I working on today? Quilt Labels!

I used to be very diligent about getting labels on all my quilts, but somewhere between the last child getting off to college and grad school and beginning teaching, I sort of forgot to keep doing this.  So this summer, one of my Works In Progress is to get labels on all my quilts.  I thought I’d share with you my favorite method.  Come back Friday for Finishing School Friday to see what I’ve completed this week.

I’m completely in love with Jaybird’s labels, printed up at Spoonflower, but it you want a personalized label for each quilt, you’ll have to make each one individually.  There are tons of ways to do this, but here’s one I use and am comfortable with (because it’s easy). The printer method works best for wallhangings that won’t be washed a lot.  I have an Epson inkjet, and have done test samples on both machines about what happens to the fabric in the laundry. The inkjet holds up better to washing, if you are not going to go to the trouble of using BubbleJet Set on your fabric.  If you really want the wording on the label to stick around on a quilt that will be washed a lot, I think that the Bubble Jet is mandatory.

Or, get out your pigma pens and WRITE the label.  I’ve done the latter several times.  This was a label for a quilt by our little quilting group: The Good Heart Quilters.

Here’s a more elaborate one (the lower part is a poem) which I bordered, then cut out the pansies and appliqued them around the border.  Both of these quilts have been washed a lot of times and the print is still fine and readable.  It’s just the photographer who is shaky!

But for the printed label, write up what you want on your label in a word processing program on your computer.  My basic items are the name of the quilt, who made it and quilted it (sometimes there are different quilters and it’s only fair they should get some credit).  Then after that it varies.  I generally always put the date I finished and sometimes I put the date I began.  I learned also that having the size of the quilt was handy for when I wanted to enter it into quilt shows.  Sometimes I add the name of the city (I’ve moved a couple of times) as it all shows some of the quilt’s history. I like to write a little blurb of one or two lines about the quilt, but sometimes this blurb gets out of hand.  Then I’ll call it History of the The Quilt and break it out onto a separate label.

At any rate, when you finish that, print this out on your printer using regular paper (to check spelling, placement, etc.).  Cut a piece of fabric the size of your words, back it with freezer paper and place it right on that paper you just printed out.  Tape it down on three sides with masking/painter’s tape (Picture 1).  Run it through your printer, then peel off the tape (Picture 2).  You now have a printed label (Picture 3).

To “set” the label, get out a few more sheets of plain paper, lay over the top and press, with a bit of steam.  I do this several times with several sheets of paper until I see that there is no transfer of ink onto the blank paper.  I’m still cautious after that about laying my iron down on the laserjet printing, as it’s kind of “plastic-y” and you can melt it with a hot iron.

Trim up the label.  Use a gridded ruler to keep  the edges square to the printing.  On the label, I keep a 3/4″ margin all the way around.  On the History bit, I use a 1/2″ margin.


 I like to border my labels.  On the left, sewn.  On the right, sewn and ironed into shape.  Trim off extra fabric, leaving a 1/4″ inch edge to be ironed under.

Here it is pinned onto the quilt.  I like to place my labels so that, when facing the quilt and if the right hand lower corner was picked up, you would see the label.

Here’s one of my quilts from the back (I used a tea towel from France as the backing) and you can see the label placement. Here are some more examples:

I don’t know if you can tell, but I made a little flap (the upside-down people) for this quilt label.  When you enter a quilt show they like you to cover up your name (for judging purposes).

This was one of my favorite labels: an envelope on the back of the Valentine’s quilt about hearts being drawn together like “Twined Threads.”  And that was the name I gave to the quilt. A snap keeps the envelope shut.

And that’s what I’ve been working on–Quilt Labels! Click *here* to see what everyone else is doing.

6 thoughts on “Quilt Label

  1. OK, the envelope label is way too stinkin’ cute! 😀

    Sure wish I had a laser jet printer!! I have to use the expensive fabric for inkjet printers. It works great, though. Glad you explained the process of putting the fabric on the printout sheet, because whenever I do need to get another printer, it will be laser and I’ll be able to use any fabric I want.

  2. first- thanks for stopping by any your sweet comments on my blog. second- i loved this post! i’m so into labeling right now and this post was so thorough! i love jaybird’s spoonflower labels as well but i also like to add in a little more personal details about the quilt. i normally use a pigma pen, write out my label and then embroider over the pigma. i love the look but have no clue how this will hold up “long term.” any thoughts? also- i loved that you used a tea towel for one of the backs of your quilts!

  3. Thanks for the information! I bought some iron on labels from Sweetwater Creek but they only have my name and year. If I want any more information, I have to do some other type of label.

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