Put a Label On It April 29 2020 8 Comments

Put a Label on It

You have pieced, basted, quilted and finished binding your quilt. Now after all of this time spent making the quilt, your labor of love deserves a label!

A label can accomplish a few things:

  • You’re able to sign and date your work, as any artist would. This type of documentation is important not only if you are planning on selling the piece, but also for the sake of posterity.
  • If it’s a gift or custom made for someone, you can include his or her name on the label and commemorate the occasion.
  • Is your quilt going to a show? Then you must label it with the title, year made, your name and other contact details (specified by show).

So, are you ready to add the final touch? We thought so and have come prepared with a few ways to help you put a label on it.

If you took a Pinterest tour of quilt labels, we wouldn't see you for at least a week! But it is worth the look for the sheer variety—from handwritten and handmade to custom woven or printed labels.

Handwritten

This is an easy, peasy way to get your label done. Take a swatch of fabric (like a scrap from your awesome quilt top) and a colorfast, permanent marker or pen (archival pens work great). Write the information on the fabric by hand. Whip stitch the label to the back of your quilt. Done!

 Handmade

You can print on fabric using your home printer. Either use freezer paper or prepared fabric sheets. With this option, you can design anything using your favorite computer design program or even a simple text-based document. 

Once you’ve printed out your labels (because ideally you have created more than one as it’s an 8.5” x 11” or U.S. size paper), then you cut one out and stitch it to your quilt back or finished piece.

Embroidered Labels

 Embroidered label Betsy Siber

Image from Betsy Siber's fine work on Instagram

Some of you may wish to hand or machine embroider a label for your quilt occasion. For example, when gifting a baby quilt, this is a sweet touch. With either method you choose, this can add some flair to your quilt back with added flowers, borders, or other motifs.

Or you can try this snazzy free motion quilt method.

FMQ writing on quilt 

Custom Labels

There are lots of companies that make labels, from woven to fold over tabs to iron-on labels. With these, the best tip is to plan ahead and order somewhat generically. For example, you may not want 200 labels with the year 2020 printed on them. Like everything else, it is completely up to you and your style.

Evie Jespersen

Image from Evie Jespersen's fine work on Instagram

With our current shelter in place situation, we recently saw some labels including the pandemic in its description. What a way to document your creation for posterity's and history's sake!

Covid-19 label JoAnn Leung

Image of documented Covid-19 label by JoAnn Woodrum Leung from the Red Thread Studio UFO Challenge Facebook Group.

The Finished Label

Stitching the label to the back will likely be the way you place all your labels, but where on the back is your own personal touch.

You can either take your square, circular, hexagonal (for all the hexie fans!) shaped label, or really any shape you like, and place it in one of the corners on back. With this method, you would sew all the sides of the label securely to the quilt back.

Another way is to place the label into the corner and sew it on with the binding. Still another would be within the seam as with a fold-over tab style label. You’d have to think ahead with either of these methods, which should now be part of your quilting or garment making process.

What is your favorite way to label your quilt? Leave a comment below with your preference or tip.