Making My Own Quilt Labels

Something I did last month was rewarding: I joined a quilt guild again.  I am a member of one for a while, then time or distance or a crazy life overtakes me and I forgot and I don’t go. . . but I’ve joined the Raincross Quilters Guild here in my hometown.  When I attended in February, they were having a Round Robin of tricks and techniques and one of them was making your own labels.  I’ll have to try hers sometimes (she had some really good tips), but here’s how I usually do my labels.

Making a Quilt Label 1

Open your word processing program and figure out what you want to say.  Name of the quilt, your name and who quilted it, the date finished (but sometimes I also add when I began to make the quilt) are musts.  I usually add the dimensions, too.  And often I like to add a verse, or a few words about the quilt, especially if it is made for someone else.  I print this off on my Epson printer, because Epson has the best inks.  The preferred printer would have a straight paper path all the way through, but I was in a hurry last time and forgot to check for that, and now it feeds from the bottom tray making a U-turn into the delivery tray.  I can make this one work, but if you are buying a new one, look for that.

Making a Quilt Label 2

I use light-colored fabric for my label–sometimes I use something with a small print.  I cut a shape about 2″ larger than the “label” and iron that fabric to freezer paper.  I tape it to the same paper I proofed the label on, using three pieces of blue painters’ tape.  That way I know the placement of the fabric so it will come out right.

Printer SEttings

I go into the print settings, choosing what I think is thick paper and high quality printing.  The printer will lay down more ink and will go more slowly, and you have a better chance that it won’t distort the fabric. I feed that prepared paper through the printer, then take off the tape, and the freezer paper.  I use a clean sheet of paper and press the label in between folds of paper, setting the inks.

Making a Quilt Label 3

Trim, lining up the ruler with the printed words to keep it square.  I like a bigger border on top (about 1 1/4″) than on the bottom (although sometimes I goof, like today).  I trim 3/4″ out from the sides of the words.

Making a Quilt Label 4

I sew 1 1/4″ strips on all four sides, trimming them up.

Making a Quilt Label 5

Iron the raw edges 1/4″ under, then. . .

Making a Quilt Label 6

. . . pin to the lower left corner of your quilt.  Why there?  Because when people face your quilt, they always seem to go for the right corner to pick up and check for your label, and you don’t want to disappoint them.  Sew it down securely around all the outside edges, and then I also stitch invisibly around the interior of the edge strips on the label, securing it twice.  That’s it!

14 thoughts on “Making My Own Quilt Labels

  1. Great idea! I have always ironed my PFD fabric onto freezer paper and cut it ro 8.5×11 before feeding it into the printer, but the taping method would require less fabric. Thanks for letting me know that the label should go on the bottom left as I always do bottom right!!!! LOL Bottom left makes much more sense.

  2. Do be careful if a quilt is going to be washed, as printer ink can wash out and get on other parts of your quilt. There are pre-treated fabric papers available for this purpose, but they can be expensive.

  3. I’ll file this away for when I ever get to that part. I’m also curious about the washing aspect? Hope you haven’t floated away out there.

  4. I too make most of my labels with the printer, but I have always used treated fabric or have made my own treated fabric when I wanted to use a print. A few years ago, I tried printing on untreated fabric, and everything rinsed off (no washing required). I tried the experiment again today, and black seems much more resistant than before. All the colors rinsed off like before, but even with gentle washing, black was only moderately faded. This was done using an HP OfficeJet and HP Inks.

  5. So do you use a laser or ink jet printer? And I thought — my experience has been — that the ink in inkjet printers are water soluble and disappear when they get wet.

    I’ve never made a label for a quilt (but then I haven’t made that many quilts, either).

    Thanks for sharing how you do yours.

  6. I keep thinking it would be so fun to be part of a guild again…especially now since I’m not so busy with children’s activities. I used to go with my Grandmother when she lived in Las Vegas.

    I do my labels the same way…I always worry though that the ink will wash out…someone told me theirs did, and I’ve been worried ever since.

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