Friday, January 4, 2013

Quilt Labels

Hello and Happy New Year to you.  I hope 2013 is an amazing year for you and me and the quilting world, too!  I am going to start this year by discussing the end of your quilts...the label.  Every quilt should have a label.  You just don't know what is going to become of your quilt in the future.  Whose hands will be caressing your special work of art?  Will it be passed down in your family for future generations to enjoy?  Will it end up at the thrift shop, to be purchased by a stranger?  Will it somehow get lost, far away from home?  These are all good reasons to make a simple label, documenting your quilt.

I made this table topper, Log Cabin Pumpkins by Suzanne's Art House this past Fall.  I actually finished it before Halloween and had it on my kitchen table.  I was so proud of it not becoming another U.F.O.  It was high time to make a label.  Here's what I generally do to make a simple label for my quilts.

I start with a scrap of muslin.  Some people like to iron freezer paper to the back to make it easier to write on.  I do not.  I just write slowly, along the edge of a ruler, and it comes out just fine for me.  Information I include on my quilt labels are as follows:

1.  The name of the quilt.
2.  My name.
3.  The date the quilt was completed.
4.  Where the quilt was made.  (I put the county and state I live in - You could put your city, state, country               or whatever you like.)
5.  Any other pertinent information to the quilt.  If it is made as a gift, you could add the recipient's name.  Also note if it was made for a special occasion, such as a wedding.

Next, I use a ruler to cut around the label.  I cut 1/2" away from the edge of the writing on all four sides,

Oh yes, you should use an acid free pen to write your label with.  I have been using this Zig pen by Millenium for years and years.  It's still working great.  You can find one of these at an art supply store.

Here is my label, with all four sides trimmed.

I like to add an edge to my label, using one of the fabrics from the quilt top.  I love these green batiks - so pretty!  I cut them into strips, 1" wide.

I sewed them onto my label Log Cabin style, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Then I pressed the edges under 1/4".  This is easy to do, as they should meet up with the edge of the label.  Be sure to also press the label.  The heat from the iron helps to set the ink.

Normally, I pin the label to the lower right hand corner of the quilt, but since this quilt is an unusual shape, I just pinned it about an inch from one of the edges.

Then, using a tiny slip stitch, I sewed the label onto the quilt.  Be sure to bury your knots so they don't show.  

Ta-da!  Here's my finished label.

Get creative.  You can make a pieced label to match your quilt top, for example, a small log cabin framed label for a log cabin quilt.  If your quilt is mostly applique, you could write your label on an applique motif used in the top and applique it to the back.  You could use photo transfer fabric and add a picture of the quilt's recipient.  This is really nice if the quilt is for a child.  If you have a light colored background, you could just write the information directly onto the back of the quilt.

Until next time...please visit the Curlicue Creations Shop...and have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas


  1. I try to label my quilts. If there's a chance, I include the label as a part of the quilt. For my grand-goddaughter (my godson's daughter), one of the blocks said "To Lily from G'ma Ida"

    I also like including the label on/in the quilt before having it quilted. It's less likely to come away from the quilt, or be purposely removed that way. :) [Just because we're ethical, not everyone is.]

  2. Nice post! I'm going to have to try a Zig pen. You have such pretty artistic handwriting--perfect for a personalized label. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great tips on making those important labels!