The quilt is quilted and bound. Now what? Do not forget to label it and find a way to display it, if it is a wall hanging. Journaling is something that helps with documenting the quilt also. You can only put so much on a label! I have some tips in this post on labeling & journaling and creating hanging sleeves. I also have some interesting display suggestions. Let’s get started!
Labels & Journaling
I consider the labeling of your quilt as essential. If you flip through books of antique quilts, you will often see the phrase “quiltmaker unknown”. The historians have no idea who the quilt was made for or for what occasion it was made. They can only guess. If you don’t want to keep future generations of your family guessing, a label is part of the solution.
I wish I had labeled more of my quilts as I went. I’ve been creating quilts for over 30 years and some of my earlier ones remain unlabeled. I am working my way through the stack and making sure there’s a label for each. I have labeled all the quilts I have made and given away to family and friends as I know most of you probably do. You put in the extra effort there, why not do it for the quilts you keep and intend to pass on to family?
Here’s a few examples of labels I have made. When my kids graduated high school, I made each of them a quilt. Here are the labels:
I used the printable fabric that can be found at quilt shops. I designed the label on my computer, adding information about their high school activities, etc. and then printed it out on the fabric label. You can make it as big or small as you like.
I also put a blank fabric piece on the table at daughter’s graduation for her friends to sign and I stitched that to the back of her quilt.
I attached these labels after the quilt was bound. But if you want to make them more secure, you can embed two sides of the label into the binding itself.
I started by pinning the label to the back of the quilt, lined up with the edges. As I stitched the binding down on the front, the label was then secured on 2 sides. Then after stitching the binding on the back, I stitched the other 2 side of the label to the backing.
You can also write on the back of your quilt with a fabric safe, permanent pen. This works well mostly for quilts with plain, lighter backing fabric.
The labels act as a journal, sort of. Of course the amount of information you can include on a label is limited. If you want to keep more information on your quilts, consider a quilt journal. This can be done with any notebook!
In this journal, you can put a photo of the finished quilt and also note fabrics used, size of the quilt and even your inspiration! You can even affix scraps of the fabric you used for the quilt.
Hanging Sleeves and Display
I like to hang a lot of my wall hangings around the house. Sometimes I use quilt hangers specifically meant for quilts and sometimes I use other items like curtain rods and yard sticks. Here’s some of my quilts displayed:
To display your quilts this way, you will need a hanging sleeve (sometimes called a rod pocket) on the back of your quilt:
First you cut a strip of fabric approximately 2 1/2″ wide. I cut the strip about 2 inches shorter than the width of my quilt. For example, if my wall hanging is 24″ wide, I cut the strip 2 1/2 x 22″. To prevent the sleeve from fraying, I fold in about 1/4″ on each end and stitch.
Now the sleeve can be attached to the back of the quilt. Like the label, I will line up the sleeve with the top edge of the quilt and attach it when the binding is stitched on the front. Then I only have the bottom of the sleeve to turn under and stitch down.
Now you are ready to slip in a curtain rod, yard stick or any other item that can hang the quilt.
Just for fun, here’s a few other display ideas:
For the quilt on the left, I slid a small dowel hanger through the sleeve and then hung it inside an old drawer turned on end to make a shadow box. For the quilt on the right, I used an old clip board and just clipped a mini quilt to it!
So I hope I have inspired you to label your quilts and journal about them. Also maybe you found some new display ideas as well. Leave a comment or ask questions below and you will be entered into a drawing for my pattern, Delightful Seasons!
This pattern includes the cute winter panel I have clipped to the clipboard above. The drawing will be on Monday, June 20th.