Monday, July 25

How to Make a Quilt Label

I recently picked up the art or craft of quilt making and I love it. I've been sewing and crafting for years and years but just never attempted a quilt.
In the last few months I've made quite a few quilts, like a Patchwork Quilt for our camper, a Large Block Quilt with sashing as a graduation gift for my granddaughter, quilts for two other grandchildren, a Hexagon Quilt (the hardest so far) for my daughter Alexis the beekeeper, and an ocean themed quilt for my son Daniel.  All those in between working on a Reproduction Civil War Ohio Star Quilt and a Farm Girl Vintage Quilt for myself.

After completing the second or third quilt, I read somewhere that a quilt should have a label. A label that will tell generations to come why and when the quilt was made and who made it.

I researched many different types and ways to make quilt labels but in the end settled on cross stitching. I've been cross stitching for years too.

Quilt label for my son Daniel's ocean themed quilt

Quilt labels can be small, plain and blend in with the quilt backing or stand out and be their own unique little work of art. It's really up to you and your preferences.

After looking over many examples of quilt labels and what should be on them, I decided to include the following:

Who the quilt is for
If it's for an occasion and/or the quilt pattern
When I made the quilt
My name
The city and state where I live
The name of the quilt, if I named it

My granddaughter Kelsey's quilt label ready to sew into place.

Next, I pulled up Microsoft word document and typed the label in a pleasing font. If you have beautiful handwriting you can skip this step. My handwriting is hideous! Print the word document.

For the fabric, I use a natural (unbleached) cotton muslin, prewashed and pressed.

Word doc taped to bright sunny window for tracing

Tape the printed word document to a bright sunny window then tape the fabric on top of the word doc. The writing on the word document should be clearly visible through the fabric. 

Fabric is taped to window over the word document

Now trace the words on the fabric with a permanent marker. Many people stop here and just use the permanent marker label and sew to the quilt. And that's fine too. I just prefer to make mine a little fancier.

Trace the words onto the fabric

A quilt label ready to be cross-stitched.  The words were traced onto fabric using a permanentt marker.

Lightbox example
If your windows are not bright and sunny enough, you can build a light box by placing glass over a box or between two chair seats and setting a lamp under the glass, then trace the words onto the label.

Once you have the writing traced onto the fabric, use cross stitching thread to stitch all the letters and words. 
I like to use colors that match the quilt. You can press the edges under to make a seam before sewing the label to the quilt but I like adding a border.

I sew pieces of fabric around the label to make a border and have even added a patchwork fabric border using the fabrics in the quilt. And I love the results.  
The final step is to sew the label onto the quilt.  I always sew my labels to the back bottom corner, but the placement is completely up to you. 

I usually do the cross-stitching while watching TV in the evening. And I try to match the colors of the quilt. 

Putting a patchwork border on a quilt label before attaching to my grandson Dax's quilt

Adding an additional border with cross-stitching thread  to make the label more secure,
 before sewing the label onto the quilt.  

Three finished quilt labels.  Each with a little different wording and made to match the quilt they're going on. 

Recently I finished my daughter Alexis's quilt made with full hexagons.  It's by far the hardest one I've done.  But the end result was exactly what my daughter wanted.  She believes it is the best one I have made so far.  I just hope, when I give the finished quilts to each family member, they too feel as if theirs is the best! 


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info. I totally agree! Mary A. Lampe

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks Mary!

Anonymous said...

This is such a good idea, thanks for sharing. Helen