What to include on your label
If you’ve spent time making a quilt, you should acknowledge your work by labelling the quilt on the reverse so future generations can identify your handiwork. As a minimum you should include:
- Title of the quilt
- Your name
- Date it was made
You could add the name of the recipient – if it’s a gift – and where it was made. You might want to add in your contact details if it’s a competition quilt and in case it goes astray. It’s up to you but the first three items are very important!
In terms of size, the choice is yours. My quilt labels are generally about 6 x 4″, with a small allowance for turning the edges under to stitch on the quilt. Leave plenty of room for your written details.
Hand written quilt labels
A popular method of labelling is simply writing the details on a piece of plain cream fabric and using a permanent marker pen to record the details. One tip that I find useful is to iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of the cream fabric to stabilise it and make it easier to write on. Remove the paper after you’ve finished.
In this example, I have bordered the cream fabric with some scraps from the main quilt so it ties the design together.
You could choose to simply write straight onto the back without preparing a label.
Embroidered quilt labels
Another nice idea is to design a quilt label using your sewing machine’s automatic alphabet patterns. Many machines, including fairly basic ones, have at least one alphabet that you can programme in and stitch easily.
Alternatively, why not write in an erasable pen on a piece of fabric and then hand embroider using a simple stitch such as backstitch before erasing your pen marks.
Professionally printed quilt labels
I decided that I wanted to create my own personalised quilt label that I could get professionally printed from a fabric printing company – Woven Monkey. Here’s what I did.
First, I decided that I just wanted to include my name and a sewing-related image for the label. By just including my name and leaving plenty of space for other details, it means that I can write in the title and date so the label is generic for any quilt.
I chose a piece of clip art imagery (copyright-free) for the image. You can search online for lots of free clip-art imagery.
I designed the layout of the label on the free software programme – Pic Monkey. You could use Photoshop or a multitude of other editing software, many of which you can download for free. Woven Monkey have some tips about design tools on their site. They also have information on the file sizes they require for printing.
Alternatively, why not use one of your own photographs, or draw an image and scan it in for your label?
I placed my design on the top left, added some ‘stitches’ along the top and bottom and added in my name, leaving space for writing in the title and date.
Click on the ‘How it Works’ button to get started!
First you will upload your image. You can do this by dragging and dropping, or browsing for the file.
Here is the uploaded image before your choose the options for size, repeat etc.
Once the file is uploaded, you will need to make some decisions about layout, fabric type and quantity. I selected the ‘repeat’ option, chose to see my image at 500dpi which gave me the desired printed size of a label measuring 6″ x 4″ – you can see the measurements (in cm) on the screen as you change the dpi setting.
With the repeat set, you can see that I will get 16 fully printed labels on a fat quarter of standard width fabric. The design does extend a bit further, but the labels on the edges are not complete.
It just remains for you to add it into your basket, pay for the labels and wait for the postman! Simple as that…
The labels cost £11 plus £2 carriage, working out at a cost of only 81p per label.
Other printed quilt labels
You can purchase A4 fabric sheets to run through your inkjet printer and these are an alternative way to print labels, if your printer can cope with the sheets. With the cost of ink as well as the sheets, this could be a more expensive option.
Attaching the label
Once you’ve created your lovely labels, you need to add them to your quilt. When I add a label, I simply turn under the edges of the label by about 1/4″, press and hand stitch it onto the back.
You may prefer to bond your label on using Bondaweb or temporary spray glue before you start the quilting, so the label is securely stitched on as you quilt and is a more integral part of your quilt.
Have fun creating a label as unique as your quilt projects!