Have you ever wondered if your quilt labels are living up to their highest potential?
There are so many different ways to label a quilt! Expert tips or advice help us to feel as though we have the information we need to make an informed decision. Today, that information is at your fingertips! Below, you’ll find advice about quilt labels from some of the best quilters around.
Let’s start with some timeless advice from Fons & Porter:
Great tips! But, how about some tricks of the trade from other quilters who are well-known in the quilting world?
I asked expert quilters, staff from Fons & Porter and other prestigious publications, how they approach labeling their quilts. Here’s what they had to say:
“My nieces and nephews loved to look for the labels on quilts I made for them when they were little. Special messages just for them with nicknames, dates and what occasion it was given (Christmas, birthday, etc.). I always made the labels from left over fabrics used in the quilt top and printed the wording in my handwriting. Funny thing was, they were so trained to look for the label, there were times they didn’t look at the design before they were searching out the label.”
~Colleen Tauke, Sewing Specialist, Fons & Porter
“To me, the important things to include on a quilt label are: maker, city/state, and date. Sometimes, I’ll personalize the label with who it is for. Including any care instructions is helpful as well, especially with a baby quilt that will be washed.”
~Carolyn Beam, Content Director, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts
“Label all your quilts – even the ‘not important’ ones: simple labels for simple quilts (maybe just with fabric marker), more complex labels for fancier quilts.”
~Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor, Golden Quilting Community, F+W Media
“Appliqué shapes—a flower, an apple, a child’s traced hand-print—can be a really sweet way to personalize a quilt label. Embellishing a quilt label with embroidery can also take something utilitarian and turn it into something special—it might even become your favorite part of the quilt!”
~Vanessa Lyman, Content Director, Fons & Porter group
“I always like to add something from the quilt design to the label. Since I do loads of appliqué, that isn’t usually too hard since I always have a spare flower laying around. When my quilts are pieced I make sure some of the fabric makes it on to the label.”
~Erin Russek, Associate Editor, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, Quilters Newsletter
“I like to add fun labels to the baby quilts that I make for friends and family. I usually free-motion my message and the date. I use a very tight stitch length and go for it. With a little bit of practice it works great. A couple of times I’ve ‘written’ the message large and made it part of the design of the quilt or the border. Relax, don’t fret and have fun.”
~Kathryn Wright, Senior Graphic Designer, McCalls & Quick Quilts
“Quilt labels can come in all shapes and sizes. Spare quilt blocks not used on the front, or complimentary appliqué shapes, make wonderful backgrounds for labels.”
~Caitlin Dickey, Video Content Strategist, Quilting Community, F+W Media
“I believe it’s a good idea to label a quilt, however, I don’t make separate labels. I like to write my name and date on the back of a quilt, in one corner, using a fine-point permanent marker. The signature cannot be removed, and it’s inconspicuous.”
~Deb Finan, Quilting Quickly Editor
“I’ll be honest — when it comes time to label a quilt, I’m usually so ready to be finished with it that I just write directly on the backing with a fine-tip permanent marker. In addition to being fast (if not particularly pretty), doing so offers me the reassurance that the label can’t be removed without leaving an actual hole in the quilt.”
~Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Associate Editor, Quilters Newsletter
Doesn’t all this talk about quilt labels make you want to finish a quilt, just to try out these tips?
If you’re interested in even more information about creating quilt labels (and fabric selection, cutting, pressing, sewing (by hand or machine), piecing and joining blocks, basting, hand and machine quilting, and binding), the Get Started Quilting book is a great resource. If you are more of a visual learner, How to Make a Quilt Label, hosted by Mary Fons, can be viewed here.
Labels are that last bit of personalization on a quilt. There are so many ways to make it your own and express yourself in a way that you can’t do with a quilt top. As quilts come into our lives, and sometimes go out, a quilt label is a timestamp, a signature, and at times, a message for the receiver. It’s a great time to be a quilter, isn’t it?!
For those of you who embroider on your quilt labels, here is a free embroidery design download for that special Christmas quilt. Enjoy!
What are your quilt label tips? Please share in the comments!