Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quilt Labeling Ideas

I promised my monthly doll quilt swappers on the Quilting Board that I would post a little tutorial on making labels for their doll quilts. Hopefully, everyone will label their quilts as a good quilter should. I'll be the first to admit that probably fifty percent of my quilts go unlabeled. I promise to improve my percentages.

Quilt labels can provide information about the quilt, quilt maker, pattern, quilter and even care instructions. A basic format follows.

Quilt Name
Quilt Maker's Name
City, State, Country
Month and Year of Creation

You could also list the quilter's name or company if you sent your quilt out for quilting. Care instructions would be helpful for those that are not familiar how to launder quilts. A lot of quilters include information for the recipient, i.e., "Happy Birthday Mom," or "To Celebrate Your Nuptials" on a wedding quilt. If you're making a baby quilt, you could add the baby's name, birth date, weight, length, etc.

I like to start out with scraps of white fabric. To make handwriting easier, iron the shiny side of freezer paper to the back side. You can even draw lines on the freezer paper to help you keep your writing straight. Freezer paper is found in the foil and plastic wrap aisle at your grocery store. Once you have your label written you can remove the freezer paper and turn the edges in a quarter inch to hide the raw edges. Hand stitch to the back of your quilt with a blind stitch. You can add the label before you quilt and your quilting will help anchor the label and make the label more permanent.

Another method is fusing the label to the quilt. Once you have written the information on the label (sloppy flower optional), you can also use a simple applique technique to get the label to adhere to the back of your quilt. I use lightweight fusible interfacing cut to my label size. Sandwich the interfacing bumpy (fusible) side down on the front side of your label and sew a quarter-inch seam all around the edges. Then cut a small slit in the interfacing and turn the label out. Poke out your corners and finger press along edges. You can now iron your label on and there are no raw edges. It's a good idea to go ahead and do a blind hand stitch along the edges to secure the label further.

Another quick and easy labeling method is to iron paper backed, two-sided fusible material such as Wonder Under to the wrong side of fabric. Write your label information on the front and trim the edges with pinking shears. Remove the paper backing and iron the label to your quilt. This technique works well for quilts that won't be laundered a lot, although that Wonder Under sticks pretty well.

You can also find fancy quilt label templates and designs online. Or, create your own. Then just reverse the image and print on iron-on fabric transfer paper. You need an ink-jet printer for this technique to work. They also make printable fabric that could also be used for quilt labels.

Also available are iron-on transfers and actual printed fabric with label information. The iron-on transfers can be colored with fabric-safe, permanent markers such as Micron markers. The markers come in all colors and widths. I've heard many quilters use Sharpie brand markers, but they bleed into the fabric so I haven't used them much. Always set any writing you do with a hot iron.

Lastly, this is the easiest way to label your quilt. Simply write on the back. Now your quilts will be labeled and everyone will remember who made the quilt and when it was made. I don't know about you, but I could use all the remembering information I can get. Go forth and label those quilts!


  1. Thanks Chele. Great "labeling tutorial". It was very helpful. :)

  2. Great tute! I've used most of those methods, and they do work well.

    So why aren't all of MY quilts labeled either??

  3. This is a great post, Michele!


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