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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quilt Labels- the Cute and Easy Way!

I've had so many questions and comments lately regarding my quilt labels.  So, I decided to create a separate tutorial explaining how I do them.  Enjoy!



When I first started quilting, I never labeled my quilts.  I thought it had to be something fancy, or hand embroidered, and let's face it- I just didn't want one more step getting in the way of my finished quilt!

So, why should you label your quilt?  Because you are creating a work of art and a piece of history, and you should be proud of it!  Here's my method to make a really simple, but really cute label that doesn't involve the computer, other special tools, or hand stitching- because I really hate hand stitching!

Before we get started, you should have your quilt all basted with the excess backing and batting trimmed away, leaving just a couple of inches all the way around your quilt.  I always attach the label after basting, but before quilting for a few reasons-

1.  I can sew the label to only the backing fabric on my machine.  That means no hand stitching, and no
     stitches showing on the front of the quilt!

2.  If I baste first and trim away the excess, I can be certain that my label is placed exactly where I want
     it.  If I attached it to the backing before basting, I might end up cutting my label away!

3. When I quilt through my label, I am sure that it can't be removed easily.  It's there for the long haul!

Materials You'll Need-

* A very fine tipped permanent fabric pen- I have used a Pigma micron pen, as well as the Dritz brand fabric pen.  I'm sure there are others out there, but these are the two I've used.

Later, when we attach the trim pieces, you'll use a very hot iron, and this should heat set the ink.  I've never had any trouble with my pen bleeding or fading.  Others have told me though that they have had the ink bleed when it was not set with heat.

*A piece of white or other light colored solid fabric that matches your quilt (I usually just keep Kona White on hand)

*Your fabric scraps- at least four 1 inch strips

That's it!

I love the personal touch that handwritten labels give to a quilt, and with this method, you can create a label that matches your quilt perfectly!

Start with a piece of plain white or light colored fabric.  Use a permanent fabric pen to write whatever you want on your label.  Writing on fabric is not as simple as you might think.  Hold the fabric taut, and use the pen lightly so it doesn't catch on the grain of the fabric.  You may want to practice on a scrap piece of fabric to get the feel of it!

At the very least, it should have your name and the date.  I've also included the name of my quilt on my label.  Don't worry about centering it too much, but don't write right beside the edge either.



Use your ruler to trim away excess fabric, leaving half an inch all the way around your words.  See...all centered!


Then choose four of your fabrics from your scraps.  Cut in one inch strips and sew to the edges, trimming off any extra length.  Press your label with starch, and use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim the border to the same width all around.  I usually trim to 3/4 inch, but this is your choice.


 Turn your quilt over and find the bottom left corner (as you are looking at the back).  Remove a few of the pins from that corner, about 3 or 4 should do it.

Affix your label to the backing in that corner with pins, or you could use basting spray on the back of the label to hold it in place while stitching.  Separate the three layers and zig-zag stitch the label all the way around to the backing ONLY.  Be extra careful not to catch any of your batting or quilt top in this process.

Sew only to the backing fabric!

Backstitch to lock your stitches in place.  Voila!  An adorable and quick label!


Finally, turn your quilt back over, smooth it out, and replace the pins.  Then just quilt as you normally would.  Now and forever more, anyone who looks at your marvelous quilt will know who made it, and when!

19 comments:

  1. Your method of labeling quilts is cute and easy! Thanks for sharing this tutorial, Kelly. And I agree, after all the time we have put into making a quilt, we should be proud of our work and want to 'sign' that piece of art!

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    Replies
    1. My pigma pen bled any ideas? Heat set?

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  2. This is really cute. Thanks for the idea and tutorial.

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  3. Very nice! I've also seen people get labels printed from Spoonflower- repeated over and over on a yard of fabric. I'd like to try that.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've seen those too, but I haven't done that because I like to name each quilt and put the date on it. Might have to check into it though. I'm glad you stopped by!

      :) Kelly

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  4. Awesome! I seem to think about the label after I'm done and then I dont want to mess with it. Of course, if the quilt was going somewhere I would suck it up and hand stitch it on. :)

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  5. You've inspired me to be more intentional about labeling my quilts!!! Thank you for the tutorial and motivation! (I'll be making my kids bring their quilts home so I can label them!! LOL!)

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  6. Thanks Kelly. I do enjoy your tuts.

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  7. This is brilliant! I may have to try it on my next quilt along :-)

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  8. I haven't progressed to labels yet although I always mean to! I'll get around to it sooner or later. I just need to develop a good habit like you have. It's a good thing I don't mind handstitching since I have at least 6 completed quilts that need labels.

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  9. awesome idea, i hate having to hand stitch anything too. i really like the idea of putting it on before quilting, makes it much more 'part' of the quilt.
    barbepriceatgmaildotcom ( would you tell me if i come up as a noreply blogger, i'm not sure it i fixed it or not. thankyou

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Barb! I hope you like this method as much as I do!

      :) Kelly
      *you are still coming up as a no-reply blogger. :(

      Delete
  10. I had this exact idea, I just have never done it because I was worried which pen to use. I saw someone else uses a fine tip sharpie. Guess I need to give this a try, thanks for sharing :)

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  11. Здравствуйте Келли! Мне очень понравилась Ваша идея создания и метод присоединения этикетки к одеялу. Но подскажите, какой ручкой Вы делаете надпись? Как она ведет себя после стирки? Не закрасит ли она одеяло?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I use a permanent fabric pen, so it stays put after washing, and it doesn't run onto the other fabrics. I hope I've answered your questions..

      :) Kelly
      ps- you're a no-reply blogger, so I'm responding here.

      Delete
  12. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I also did some labeling on a different project, to make the fabric sturdier to write on I used freezer paper, iron to the back side of the fabric you want to write on, turn over and writing is so much easier.

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  13. That is a great idea! and Easy with you on that part! thanks for sharing

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  14. Hi, Kelly ~ I'm a newbie quilter and have been thinking about creating labels (I've only finished 2 projects so far!) I love the way you did yours with the 4-fabric border ~ they look great! Thanks so much for the tutorial ~ I'll be labeling my quilts from now on. :)

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  15. I shamelessly copied your idea, and finally labeled a quilt! And I love how it came out. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting! If you don't hear back from me, you should check to see if you're a no-reply blogger!

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