Label your quilts

Why should you label your quilt?  I always name my quilts and create a label for them with details of inspiration, the pattern used, and who it is for. Why?  This is my art form and I put a lot of effort and work into each quilt. They need to be signed, even when I give them away.  Besides, I enjoy designing the label as an extra bit of art. 
I create my labels on the computer now.  Using a simple graphic program--for greeting cards--I can set in graphics from the program, or import photos, and write the story behind my quilt.  I print out the label onto Printed Treasures, which is a pre-treated fabric sheet that is color fast.  It is a tightly woven fabric and is difficult to sew by hand, so I always add a frame of fabric to the outer edge.  Then I can easily turn under the raw edge and slip stitch it to the back of the quilt.  Note:  I have begun to also write directly onto the back of the quilt backing the name of the quilt and my name and date----there are a lot of "misplaced" and lost quilts in the world today.  Then the label is stitched over this.   The photo to the right is captured from my PrintMaster program with three of my latest labels on the page.  I am sure to leave about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch space between each label, so that I have adequate seam allowance to finish them off.   Okay, so here are a few examples of labels I have made.  For more details on creating the label on the computer, see the earlier posts.
This is a large label made for a watercolor wall hanging.  The graphic was just perfect for this and I had a short story to tell about the inspiration.  The printed label  is framed by leftover 2 inch strips of fabric and then stitched into place.
This label is on the inside of a black and white quilted jacket.   The inspiration was fabric my daughter gave me.  A small piece was saved for the label.  It is the lady fabric on the left.   The graphic chosen was an art deco style  border to complement the theme fabric.
This is from a mystery quilt, Sherlock I am Not.  I found the graphic of the footprints and used them as a frame for the label.  Then I discovered the Sherlock Holmes silhouette too, and knew it would be perfect to use.  All the small pinwheels were "red herrings" in the mystery clues and not actually used in the quilt.   Very frustrating, but I decided to use them to frame the label.  Then I added a final round of  light purple fabric to create a solid finished edge to stitch down. 
The label for A Hero's Knot is the most detailed  I have made.   It is actually a booklet. The top photo shows it open and  in the photo to the right is it closed.  I created 2 separate labels on the computer to print out.  One has  the story and description, and the other has the photos and graphics.  I joined the two  with a strip of fabric, and then added a frame on all four sides.  The cover was strip pieced with left overs onto muslin base.  The left side of the cover had a narrow strip sewn to it that would be tucked under the label when sewn down.  The cover side was sewn to the photo label and then turned right sides out.  I added a frog closure and then stitched the entire booklet to the quilt. 
 I did an unusual setting for this label.  It is from Turning 60, my favorite quilt.  I did the basic label in the usual fashion and then decided to add a few extra leaves.  The scraps from the leaves on the front of the quilt were stitched together in a long braid pattern.  Then I cut out leaf shapes and appliqued them around the edge of the label. 

Another booklet style label that I used for a gift quilt.  I created a top fold down cover and added an applique for this one.   Details are found in this post.

Update:  Here are a few graphics you can use to create your perfect label.  Click here for PDF  I created of a few border ideas for your next quilt label.  First open and save the file.  Then print  for tracing onto fabric (using a light box), or copy and paste the image you want to your word processor program.  Create your label and print onto Printed Treasures.  Enjoy!
Update 2:  I have begun to secure the label with fusible web strips.  When I fold the border fabric under to the back side of the label, I add a strips of fusible along each side.  I cut the fusible about 3/4" wide in strips and place it about 1/4" from the folded edge.   Then I stitch the edges by hand to finish.  Just a little extra security to keep the label in place!

Update 3:   December 2016:   The Quilt Alliance has begun a project to encourage quilters to label all quilts.  You can take the Pledge here.   It is important.


Lynette said...

Wow, Debbie - That Hero label is amazing.

lorrwill said...

Thia is excellent information. Not only are your labels little works of art in their own right, but after visiting, I was reminded how important quilt labels are should a quilt go missing. Thanks for the fabulous tips.

Lyndalee said...

I enjoyed your blog. Terrific description for how your labels are made. Would you tell me what program you use to create the labels? I'd like to try that .. mine are so plain. I just write in acid free ink the information. Thank you for sharing your work. You are so creative.

Debbie said...

Lyndalee, you are a no reply commenter, so I can not respond to your question via email. Please link your email to your identity when you ask questions we can then reply to you. The program I use is PrintMaster.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...