Quilt Labels, part II

First up, some answers to all those questions that came in about the label post I did a while back.  I provided a tutorial for my easy-peasy way to back your fabric with freezer paper and send it through your printer.  Then the comments and questions came in about colorfastness and ink and fabric.  Sigh.  I am not a computer-printer expert.  All lot of people noted that HP inks run and disappear.  To figure out how your inks behave in the wash, I strongly suggest that you make a test sample with YOUR printer and put it in a lingerie bag and run it through your washer and dryer to see what happens.

Used Computer-printed label

While I was in Washington DC, praying for the cherry blossoms to open (they almost did), my husband and I visited my son and were able to sleep under the quilt I made him when he went away to college, some twelve years ago (my, how time flies!).  He admits that he doesn’t wash it too often, but here is a picture of the label, printed on my EPSON printer.  I think it looks pretty good for being done all those many years ago.

I have printed labels with my laser jet printer which did not survive the wash, so later on, when I visited that grandchild’s house, I simply traced over the wording with a Micron pen.

And For the Pansies Label

This quilt was made sixteen years ago, and I wrote on the label with a Micron Pen (I think I used about a .05 or .07).  It’s been washed scads of times, and given that I hardly knew what I was doing at that time in the Label Department, it seems to have held up.

And For the Pansies Poem on Label

The poem that goes with the quilt, an homage to my mother, who loves pansies. I think what I’m trying to say is that there is no one way to make a quilt label, and if you like buying the fabric that’s pretreated, or making your own with some Bubble Jet and Bubble Jet set (a la Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry), have at it.  If you have a success, please let me know and I’ll pass it along.  But for now, I will keep plugging along with my EPSON printer and their fabulous inks and my easy-peasy freezer paper method.



A reminder that tomorrow is our quarterly reveal for our Four-in-Art group.  See you then!


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!