Do you Label? I hope so! So many quilts I look at in books say “quilt maker unknown”. I wonder who made the quilt? Who was it for? What was the occasion? I have a few family antique quilts. but there was very little information about them when I acquired them. I have written down what little I know and have safely affixed that information to those quilts.
I don’t want this to happen to any of my quilts I design and make. At the very least, I make a label that includes my name, the name I’ve chosen for the quilt and the date made. I try to add more information when I can. This will help my kids when they own these quilts someday. If I am making a quilt as a gift, the label adds a beautiful touch and also serves to document the occasion.
There are many ways to label. You can use a permanent pen made for marking fabric and write directly on the back of the quilt if you have a light background. That is what I did here:
Be sure the fabric pen you are using is permanent and specifically made to mark fabric. That will insure that the ink is safe for fabric.The only drawback to this method is the possibility of the ink fading over time.
I have also used a scrap of fabric and written on that with a permanent pen. When sewing this label onto the back of my quilt, I have affixed it prior to attaching the binding so two edges of the label are secured by the binding stitches. This quilt was labeled that way:
Another way I have labeled quilts is by using fabric sheets for the printer that I have purchased at the quilt store.
I did this on the back of my daughter’s high school graduation quilt. I included the class info and also the activities my daughter participated in. A drawback of this method is this paper is expensive (about $18 for 6 sheets). If you do not want to spend that amount you can purchase a fat quarter and make up to three labels by using freezer paper and Bubble Jet products.
First, treat your piece of fabric with the Bubble Jet Set 2000 following the directions on the bottle. Place the fabric wrong side down on the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper. Then cut the fabric into pieces that will fit in your printer. You should be able to get three 8 1/2 x 11″ pieces out of one fat quarter. The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric so it can run through your printer. You must use an ink jet printer for this. A laser printer cannot be used because of the way it works and the heat generated with those types of printers.
Next, type up whatever you want your label to say and print it onto the fabric side of you homemade labels. Be sure when you are designing your label, you leave enough space along the edges for a seam allowance.
Finally, follow the instructions on the Bubble Jet Rinse to set the ink. Now your label is ready to use!
If you do not want to use the Bubble Jet products (or can’t find them), you can set the ink with a hot iron. I have placed a sheet of paper on top of the label to protect my iron and the printed label. I use the “cotton” setting on my iron.
Another idea that I used on a quilt for one of my kids is a signature label. I stabilized a piece of fabric by ironing freezer paper to the wrong side. Then I set it on a table for people to sign and add messages. It’s a fun way to personalize the quilt. You can add regular label information to this label or put this on the quilt in addition to the traditional information label.
I like the idea of using labels to tell a story, whether it’s for a member of your family or just for yourself. You can talk about what inspired you to make the quilt, what fabrics you used, the date it was made, etc. The possibilities are endless! I have even written a poem for the back of the quilt when I made one for one of my nieces.
How do you label your quilts? I’d like to hear what you do and what you like to put on your labels.
The most important thing is to label the quilt so there is a record later in time so your quilt is not labeled as “quilt maker unknown!”