Personalized Labels for Your Quilt!
Personalized Labels for Your Quilt!
The last stitch has been made to the binding and now your quilt is complete—really? Not yet! Your work isn’t done until you’ve attached a label to it that identifies you as the quilter who put sweat and a lot of love into this project. Adding a quilt label is the same as signing your name to a letter or to a picture you’ve painted. It’s all about crediting your creativity and transforming your quilt project from an anonymous patchwork into a personalized heirloom worth remembering.
The best part? Making your own personalized label is easy. You don’t need specific computer programs or a fancy, specialized printer. Just grab a scrap of fabric, a permanent marker plus a few more simple supplies, and follow these easy instructions.
BEFORE YOU START
- Wondering what to put on your label? Some quilters like to keep their labels uncomplicated and just record their names. Others like to add more details, like when and where the quilt was made, the name of the patchwork or applique design, care instructions, a special quote or poem if the quilt is intended as a gift, or the gift recipient’s name. Use your imagination—there’s no right or wrong way to design a label. After all, it’s yours!
- Practice writing out your quilt label on scratch paper first in order to get an idea of how big the label will be and what size to cut your fabric scrap. Remember to add 1/4″ to the edges of the scrap to allow for a sewing seam.
- You can use any marker you like, as long as the ink is permanent. You don’t want it to bleed if the quilt is washed or gets wet. Some good choices include Sharpie markers, fabric Gel Rollers, Micron Pigmas and Copic markers.
Scrap of muslin or other white or off-white fabric
Freezer paper or cardboard
Permanent marker in size and color of choice
Iron and ironing board
Basic sewing supplies
- Determine what information you want to include on your label and decide on the overall size of label you want to create. Practice on scrap paper before writing on your label.
- Place the fabric scrap on a piece of cardboard, or adhere it to freezer paper by ironing the scrap to the shiny side of the paper. This will make it easier to write on the fabric and will prevent the marker from bleeding through onto your work surface.
- Use the permanent marker to write your name and other details, if desired, on the fabric.
- Using rotary cutter, ruler and rotary mat, cut the fabric scrap to the desired size. Press all raw edges of the label 1/4″ under.
- Place label on quilt back in desired position. Using matching thread and a sewing needle, baste around the edges to hold it in place. Then hand-stitch the edges to the back of the quilt, making sure to sew only through the back fabric.
TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
- Not happy with your handwriting? Don’t despair. You can design a label on your computer and print it on a piece of fabric without too much trouble. Prior to printing, iron the fabric, wrong side down, onto a piece of freezer paper with the shiny side up. Put the fabric-freezer paper combo into your printer so that the ink will wind up on the fabric, then hit print. (Check your printer’s instructions for proper settings for the thickness of the label.)
- If you’ve completed the quilt top and put together the quilt layers but still need to do the actual quilting, this might be a good time to think about your label. You can prepare it and use fabric glue to hold it in place on the back of the quilt. Then start sewing. You’ll end up stitching the label right to the backing fabric as you quilt, and it will be super secure.
- Did you make one quilt block too many? Or have leftover print fabric used to create the quilt top? You can turn either of these into a customized label by adding muslin borders to the lone quilt block or using the leftover fabric to make border for a piece of muslin. Simply write your label information on the muslin center or borders and attach to your quilt.
- Instead of penning or printing your label information onto the label fabric, you can cross-stitch it or embroider it by hand. Another option is machine embroidery, if you have a sewing machine that has that capability.