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
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!