Sunday, February 21, 2016

Quilt Labels

Putting quilt labels on your quits is one of the most important steps in your quilt making process.  In fact, some say a quilt isn't finished until the binding and the label are attached.    From a historic standpoint, labels ARE the most important step of a quilt.  How many times have you seen vintage quilts at auctions, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. and no label or mention of who made it. Labels also give the quilt more value too.

 I used numerous methods to label my quilts.  

This label is one of my all time favorites.  I didn't make it, my girlfriends did and put it on a quilt they made me for my 50th birthday.  Maybe because I didn't have to make it is one of the reasons it's my favorite.  Sheila did the hand embroidery for the label.  She does beautiful work and always makes hand embroidered labels on her quilts.

This Texas Hankie Quilt label was printed on fabric that I put through my inkjet printer.  Pretty simple to do.

This is one of many brands available.  I don't endorse any particular brand.  It just happens to be the brand I purchased.  My friend Angela high recommends the fabric printer sheets from EQ.  You can find them here.

I used one of the printed panels left over for the label on this quilt.  It was easy to use because of all the white space.

  I used a pigma pen to write on it.  You can purchase them in singles or multiple packs of colors at most craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Joann's, and scrapbooking stores.

A couple of years ago I purchased an alphabet pattern for my Statler Stitcher.  I just program whatever it is I want to stitch out, flip it, then throw the quilt top back so I'm only stitching through the batting and backing and it stitches out so it can be read on the back.  

I used one of the blocks on the front to make a portion of the label for this Precious Moments Quilt I made for my daughter.  I then made another smaller label for the back with the remainder of the information.

I used my embroidery machine to make this label.  When I purchased my embroidery machine (it was used), it was my intention to use it primarily to make quilt labels.  When we moved to Illinois, something happened during the move and now the embroidery machine won't read from the computer.  I'm holding out for a brand new one that I can get lessons for.

This label is made from a left over quilt block and then machine embroidered.

Several years ago, while at Market, I purchased several books that had quilt label art in them.  I made quite a few labels using the artwork.  You can purchase the books from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You use the same pigma pens mentioned above to draw the artwork and write the label.

I really like these labels but there are a little labor intensive, much like hand embroidered labels or counted cross stitch labels.  

 Here is an example of some of the artwork from the books.

I've even been known to write a label right on the back of the quilt like this.

Or write on a coordinating piece of fabric with the pigma pens for my labels. 

The last two are my least favorite but they are the fastest and easiest to make and this label is better than no label at all.  

So what kind of information should you include on your label.  I don't think there is such a thing as too much information on a label.  The very least should include the maker's name and the year made.  I read an article about quilt labels not too long ago and they suggested writing your name in the seam allowance under the binding or on the quilt back under the hanging sleeve.  That way if you ever have to prove it's yours, you can just unstitch that portion to reveal your name.  

You can also include such information as why it was made (birthday, graduation, special occasion), the quilt pattern, who it was made for, who pieced it, who quilted it,  a verse or quote, the possibilities of details are up to you.  But whatever you do, and however you do it, just DO IT!

Sadly, a lot of my quilts don't have labels and it's my goal to fix that in 2016.  



  1. this is a cool and informational post. You really lucked out finding those quilt label art books. Thanks for all the great ideas!.

  2. Quilt labels are so important! One of my favorites is on a quilt I made for my mom using a book similar to one you shared, colored in with Micron pens. Great post!


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