9 Quilt Label Tips Straight from the Quilt Experts

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:

  1. “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

  2. “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

  3. “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

  4. “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

  5. “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

  6. “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

  7. “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

  8. “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

  9. “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.

Get Started Quilting: The Complete Beginner Guide

How to Make a Quilt Label

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!

Candy Cane Label Quilt Design

What are your quilt label tips? Please share in the comments!


Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

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Block Friday: LeMoyne Star Quilt Block

It’s Block Friday and that means that we get to take a closer look at how quilts become… well… quilts!

It’s a challenge to pick one block to discuss since there are so many interesting blocks out there. I’ve been talking a lot about LeMoyne Star quilt blocks recently and thought I’d pass the information along. This block is fascinating!

Links Quilt Pattern

The LeMoyne Star quilt block is a traditional block that is often used in star quilts. You may have seen this block referred to as “Star of LeMoyne” or “Lemon Star.” You may also have seen it spelled “Lemoyne Star,” with a lowercase “m.” Whatever you call it, and however you spell it, it all points to the same quilt block. Yvonne M. Khin, author of The Collector’s Dictionary of Quilt Names & Patterns, gives us a peek into the history of this quilt block. Khin references The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, explaining that the LeMoyne Star quilt block is named after brothers Jean Baptiste and Pierre LeMoyne, who founded the city of New Orleans in 1718. French speakers named and referred to the 8-pointed star as LeMoyne; “however, in the North, the non-French-speaking quilters renamed it LEMON STAR, shortening the original name,” (p. 194).

Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star Template One of our favorite LeMoyne Star quilts at Fons & Porter is Links, the quilt above designed by Deb Tucker. This is a special quilt as the LeMoyne Star quilt blocks were designed without set-in piecing. Quite a feat, isn’t it? To bypass the Y-seams, Deb used her Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star Template to create the blocks with ease. Whew! Set-in seams aren’t always a crowd pleaser – I can hear the applause from here!


Liz's LeMoyne StarHere’s another quilt featuring this lovely star quilt block. Liz Porter designed this quilt called Liz’s LeMoyne Star and used scraps and an eye-catching green print to leave a lasting impression. She took advantage of the Rapid Fire Tool when assembling this quilt, as well. Another LeMoyne Star quilt block that doesn’t have set-in seams means more happy quilters!

Keep an eye out for a tree skirt featuring LeMoyne Stars in the upcoming Love of Quilting November/December 2015 issue. In the meantime, if I’ve put the Christmas bug in your ear and you’re looking for a tree skirt to work on, the Hexagon Tree Skirt digital pattern and Hexagon Tree Skirt kit from the Jim Shore Christmas collection are great ways to prepare for the holidays and are currently available.

Hexagon Tree Skirt


LeMoyne Star quilt blocks make beautiful quilts! Have you made a LeMoyne Star quilt yet? If you haven’t, it’s certainly worth your time and effort. A traditional quilt never goes out of style and the LeMoyne Star quilt block is as traditional as they come.

Do you have any comments or tips about quilting with LeMoyne Stars? If so, please share!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

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Quilting with Tula Pink – the Start of Something Beautiful

Have you heard of Tula Pink? She’s what Keepsake Quilting calls, “an original…illustrator, quilter, author and patron saint of DIYers.” Those are some serious accolades! Keepsake Quilting was so taken with Tula, they decided to strike up a partnership with this multi-talented entrepreneur. Very impressive! But, what exactly does she do?

Tula Pink at Keepsake Quilting



Her name might not be synonymous with traditional quilting, but Tula Pink has plenty of traditional-inspired quilting projects with a fresh color palette. If you like modern quilting, she has plenty to choose from there, as well. Really, there’s something for every kind of quilter. Tula’s quilting projects are pretty exciting!



12-Part Video Series!
Tula's House: Inside the Mind and Studio of Tula
To get a better sense of all things Tula, you’re invited to get up close and personal with the designer. Tula opens the doors to her studio to share her life, her inspirations and creative practice with us. Tula’s House: Inside the Mind and Studio of Tula, brings us right in to Tula’s studio in Kansas City for a behind-the-scenes look at her design process. We get a front row seat as she designs her new fabric line, Eden, from A to Z and takes her concepts from sketch to fabric. It’s a rare opportunity to watch the imagination of a designer come to life and to learn how to do the same. Find out more about making appropriate color choices, choosing the best fabric for your projects and pursuing entrepreneurship. What else? Let’s see what she has to offer…

Quilt kits!Tula Pink Quilt Kits
Look at this beautiful quilt called Himalayas (left). As I mentioned, Tula likes to take traditional ideas, like chevrons, and add a bit of a colorful twist. As you can see, Himalayas aligns simple diagonal pieced quilt blocks to create a majestic mountain vista inspired by a view of the Himalayas. If you were wondering about Tula Pink’s Eden fabric line, here it is in all its glory! This block quilt design is an experiment in subtle gradation, tone, and pattern, taking standard chevrons to the next level. In addition to quilts, Tula offers table toppers, pillows and bags, to appeal to all sewing enthusiasts.

Fabric & Ribbon!
Tula’s collection of fanciful fabrics and ribbons are playful and make a lasting impression in your projects. It’s fun to peruse her cutting-edge fabric bundles and eclectic Renaissance ribbon collection. They really add so much!
Tula Pink Fabric & Ribbon

Tula Pink BooksTula blows us away with her quilting books. They’re informative and full of quilts and sewing projects that explore the imagination of an opportunistic quilter. Quilts From the House of Tula Pink (top) is a quilting adventure that includes 10 quilts and 10 patchwork projects that cover basic quilting techniques and color theory. Have you heard about Tula’s coloring book? Explore Tula’s incredible illustrations and ignite the child in you with the Tula Pink Coloring Book. Adult coloring books are great for relieving stress and fostering imagination. Once you’ve spent some time coloring your favorite page, you’ll be ready to tackle Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. Add a personal touch to these blocks to make them your own! 

Tula Pink’s quilting world is a lot of fun! Come check out what makes her so great and see what you think. There’s something for everyone!

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Animal Quilts for Animal Lovers

Who doesn’t love a quilt? I suppose they exist, but they don’t know what they’re missing! Quiltmaking is an art that brings people together and is often more than a fulfilling hobby, but a passion that forms communities and follows families through the generations. Quiltmakers are enthusiastic about quilts and quiltmaking, but they have other affections, as well. Quiltmaking isn’t always a dog and pony show – sometimes quilts share the stage. Animal lovers who quilt have been known to combine their interests. I have three cats that keep me company on a regular basis and join in my crafting adventures (whether I’ve asked for their assistance or not). Jim Shore’s Seasonal Cats blocks, pictured below, are the cat’s meow for any cat-loving quilter like myself. But, it’s not just cats that get their quilting day in the sun.

Jim Shore Seasonal Cats

Now that the dog days of summer are behind us, we might be spending less time outside as the weather begins to change. That means that we’ll be spending even more time with our quilts and our pets. Why not pay tribute to these constant companions by putting their likeness in your quilts or quilt projects, like this dog quilt and cat quilt?

Puppy PatchesCurious Cat Quilt

How about quilts for the holiday season featuring some of our friends from the animal kingdom? With fall underway, it’s the perfect time to get going on those seasonal quilts with a twist. Halloween calls for black cats, but Thanksgiving might suggest a different type of animal altogether. Perhaps, something a little less furry and a little more… feathery. Whichever animal you choose, these projects are the cat’s pajamas. A Thanksgiving wall hanging, frightened cat mini quilt, Halloween-themed quilt and smiling cat mini quilt offer plenty of animal options for the fall holidays.

Give Thanks Quilted Wall HangingA Cat Fright Sight QuiltBats, Cats, Candy Corn QuiltCool Cats Mini Quilt

Sometimes, however, you may not be in the mood for a quilt. Luckily, we can portray our love of animals in a variety of ways, including cat- and dog-themed quilted projects, like the bag below, and items that we sew for our pets, like this great Lucky Dog Bed Cover.

It's Quilting Cats & DogsLucky Dog Bed Cover

If those don’t do if for you, then it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. Not everyone is a dog or cat lover. For those quilters, we offer zoo animals and the Tula Pink Coloring Book. Coloring books for adults have become quite popular; they relieve stress and foster creativity. Not only do they offer relaxation, they may help you to imagine your next great quilt! Plus, they’re pretty fun on those days that it’s raining cats and dogs.

Which Way to the Zoo QuiltTula Pink Coloring Book

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a lover of all animals! Do you have any pets? Leave me a comment telling me about your pets and/or animal quilts.

Cat got your tongue? ;-)


Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

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Fall is Here Along with the Quilts – Time to get Organized

The fall season is officially among us and the quilting opportunities are plentiful! Fall quilting projects mean autumn leaves motifs and appliqué, Halloween quilt patterns and Thanksgiving quilted wall hangings. Quilts add that special touch to our homes, especially during the changing seasons and holidays, and it goes without saying that it’s just plain fun! There are tons of adorable patterns out there just begging to be quilted. This is the perfect opportunity to prioritize our projects.

When getting our quilting projects in order, it helps to get organized. Whether it’s keeping a tidy sewing studio, sorting fabrics by color and value, or finding new ways to store those pesky bobbins, an efficient workspace can’t be beat. Kathy Patterson, with McCall’s Quilting, found 16 of the Best Bobbin Storage Options EVER while researching best organizing practices for quilters. These quick and easy storage tips are the greatest!

At Fons & Porter, we have our own tips for keeping quilt studios and workspaces organized. It’s important to get those fat quarters sorted and into a protective container. It’s never fun when you think the perfect fat quarter is in the wind but, lo and behold, it was lost in the clutter of fabric chaos. Keeping those fat quarters in tip-top shape for quilting down the road is a plus, as well. Organizing your thread for easy access while working on a project is a lifesaver when it comes to sewing. There’s nothing like having what you need at arm’s length when you go to piece or quilt your project. The same can be said for utilizing a pattern, or chart, holder for reference while you quilt. This makes the entire process SO MUCH EASIER. You know exactly where to find your instructions when you need them and your hands can continue to work on the important stuff. Finally, once those quilts are made, whether they’re keepsakes, gifts, or just waiting for the right moment to make an appearance, storing in an acid free box is a must.

Fat Quarter OrganizerThread Storage BoxChart or Pattern HolderAcid Free Storage Box

Getting organized is one of my favorite things to do, especially when I’m going to start a project. I like to see exactly what’s available to me so that I can take advantage of the items I already have. Instead of a limiting our seasonal cleaning to spring, let’s give the fall season some attention!

For even more organizing tips, check out this free video on organizing your fabric: 5 Tips for Storing Your Fabric Stash.

Do you have any organizing strategies that you suggest? I’m an organizing fool, so please pass them on!



Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor


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Win Thread and Fabric by Counting Your Sewing Machines!

It’s a question that packs a punch: how many sewing machines do you have? Each sewing machine we accumulate throughout our lives has a story, especially our first one. It symbolizes our humble sewing beginnings and our roots in quilting. Our first sewing machine is accompanied by memories and, often times, is a family heirloom that has been passed down from one generation to the next.

Antique Singer Sewing Machine

I didn’t inherit my first sewing machine, but rather, my first sewing machine was a gift from my dad. He’s my biggest crafting supporter – he knows what makes me happy! I’ll pass the sewing machine down to my daughter when she’s ready to start learning and, perhaps, this will be the start of our family quilting legacy.

Free Spirit FabricMadeira Thread

A sewing machine isn’t going to make quilts by itself. We need things like notions, fabric and thread. We all know that this can get expensive. Nobody has ever claimed that quilting is cheap. We can all use a few quilting perks from time to time.

Guess what? The perks have arrived! Tell Fons & Porter how many sewing machines you own and you could win free Madeira thread and Free Spirit fabric. That would be pretty great, wouldn’t it? Just go to the Fons & Porter Contest Page and enter the Easy Quilts Fall 2015 Contest before 9/30/15 for your chance to win.

You can also enter for a chance to win Fabric for Life! Enter daily at the Keepsake Quilting’s Contest Page for some more amazing prizes.

Let’s treat ourselves to the free things in this quilter’s life, why don’t we? And, make sure to tell me how many sewing machines you have! Inquiring quilters want to know.

Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor


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How to Add Pieced Borders to Your Quilts – Liz Porter’s LeMoyne Star

Let’s face it, math is just a part of a quilter’s life, but sometimes, it’s not that easy. Some quilters don’t think twice when adding and subtracting fractions, while others feel the urge to pick up and run in the opposite direction. Whatever side of the math spectrum you fall on, we’re here to help.

Liz's Mini LeMoyne Star

In Liz’s LeMoyne Star, a recent Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting episode, Liz shows us how to make a LeMoyne Star block. Once the block is assembled, she moves on to the math portion of the show. Here’s where it may get tricky for some of us – adding pieced borders. There’s measuring, adding, subtracting, dividing and fractions. Ohhhhh, the fractions.


I mentioned that we’re here to help, so help we will! Here are easy-to-follow directions to walk you through adding pieced borders to YOUR quilt. First, we explain how Liz would add borders to the quilt shown on Love of Quilting (above). Then, a second example shows how to adapt the math to a different set of measurements.

Never fear, Fons & Porter is here! Happy piecing!

If you’re interested in making Liz’s LeMoyne Star quilt, the Love of Quilting May June 2015 issue is available here.

LoQ May June 2015 LoQMayJune2015_LeMoyneStar

Carrie Sisk - Fons & Porter Online EditorHappy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor






Liz’s Quilt:

To prepare a quilt for a pieced border, measure the quilt’s width and length.

Liz’s example is for a small quilt that measures 16¾” x 25″ (measurement does not include the outer seam allowances).

Note the size of the units in the pieced border.
Liz’s Flying Geese are 2″ wide.

1) Increase the size of the quilt center so the width and length are both divisible by 2 (the size of the border units).

16¾” + 3¼” = 20″
25″ + 3″ = 28″

**This quilt needs to be 3¼” wider and 3″ longer.

2) Divide 3¼” by 2 because you need 2 borders that will equal 3¼”. You need to cut the borders 1⅝” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the side borders 2⅛” wide.

3) Divide 3 by 2 because you need 2 borders that will equal 3″. You need to cut the borders 1½” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the top and bottom borders 2″ wide.

Another example:

Using a 62″ x 72″ quilt size (does not include seam allowances) with border units 5″ wide.

1) Increase the size of the quilt center so the width and length are both divisible by 2 (the size of the border units).

62″ + 3″ = 65″
72″ + 3″ = 75″

**This quilt needs to be 3″ wider and 3″ longer.

2) 3″ divided by 2 = 1½”.

3) Cut all borders 1½” + ½” (2″ wide).


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Patriotic Quilts to Remember the Heroes and the Fallen of 9/11/01

It’s difficult to talk about hope when referring to a tragedy. The world was shocked when events unfolded on the date that will live on for ages in infamy: September 11, 2001. It took some time to restore infrastructure, and as a result of these events, new rules and regulations were embedded in public policy all across the United States. For families and friends of those who were taken too early, rebuilding was, and still is, not so easy a feat.

When we talk about 9/11, we talk not only about loss, but we also talk about heroism and those who fought to save lives. Trying times often produce a united front and we see people banding together to rebuild. Strangers devoting their time and effort to provide hope and joy for others – what a sight to behold! What better way for a quilter to do this than to quilt for a cause? Cue Patriotic Quilts and Quilts of Valor.

Allegiance Quilt

Every quilt has a story to tell, but the story that accompanies Patriotic quilts is oftentimes one that resounds deep within the heart and soul. Patriotic quilts are not only a way to say, “thank you,” but they also say, “I spent a lot of time on this project because you deserve this and so much more,” and “I want you to feel warm and safe wherever you find yourself.”  As Gerald Stanley Lee, past American Congregational clergyman, once said, “America is a tune. It must be sung together.” I think the quilting community holds stock in that sentiment.

Quilts can be keepsakes, tokens of appreciation and statements. They can be fun, fulfilling and meaningful, much like the quilt pictured above. Gifting a quilt is a big deal! Well done! I applaud your efforts. And with that, a resounding “THANK YOU” to those who have fought for our fellow men and women in tragedy, in war, and in service.


Happy Quilting!


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Baby Quilts: Your Tips on the Perfect Baby Quilt Pattern and Nice to Meet You!

Hello Quilters! My name is Carrie Sisk and I recently joined the Fons & Porter team as their new Online Editor. I can’t wait to jump right in and discuss fabulous quilts, talented quilters and ways we can ramp up our skills. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with the Fons & Porter team for some time now and I can attest to their great knowledge and skill when it comes to the art of quilting. I can see you furrowing your brow at my contradicting statements. Just joining the team, but have worked with them for a while? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let me further introduce myself…


I’m a new mom with a six-month-old daughter who keeps life interesting! She has opened my eyes to a variety of worldly perspectives, including my interests. This discussion could go on for hours, but let’s keep to quilting, shall we? I’m looking into starting on my first baby quilt. Making a baby quilt for your baby is a big decision since I will need to squeeze this project in during my daughter’s naps and it is something she will have for the rest of her life. If you could choose one pattern, what would it be?

I’d love to hear about your ideas on how to make a baby quilt. This Baby Genius Synapse quilt by Linda Carlson (pictured), from an issue of Easy Quilts, looks like a winner.  Do you think a baby can become a genius from a quilt? Tell me about your favorite patterns for baby quilts.

So, as promised, my backstory…

For the past couple of (exciting) years, I’ve been the Talent Coordinator for F+W Media’s Video Department in Golden, Colorado and I’ve worked closely with some of the most talented instructors and artists in the crafting industry, including our very own Jean Nolte and Colleen Tauke of Fons & Porter. And, wow! What an experience! Most recently, I worked with quilting all-stars Patrick Lose, Marsha McCloskey and Deb Tucker. They share a sense of community that seems to envelope all quilters and they’re excited to share their knowledge with those who want to learn more. I was impressed with their focus, dedication, commitment and overall passion for all things quilting. So, here I am! I’m knee deep in quilting and loving it. In short – I dig it, man.

Thank you, kind quilters, for lending an ear and welcoming me into your community. I look forward to hearing from you and learning what you have to teach me.

Oh, yes. Don’t forget to leave comments with baby quilt ideas!


Happy Quilting!


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Halloween Sewing Fun

FLAT_FrankenPillowI live in a cookie cutter neighborhood of townhouses and make it my mission to make out home standout, whether it’s landscaping, flowers or hanging fun stuff on the porch. I walk by others who have done the same and their homes just feel like a fun place to be!


I like to change things up from year to year, so I’m going to hang some of my fun wall hangings outside this year!FLAT_TrickorTreat

Check out this Trick or Treat bunting or swag you can hang on your fence or across a railing, or this Welcome door or wall hanging – it’s going on the wall outside my door, and Franken Pillow in my Adirondack chair just because he’s so adorable!

BeggarsBounty_2Maybe something special inside or out in this Beggar’s bounty table runner?

Sometimes just a little something special can bring a smile to welcome guests into your home and adorable trick or treater to your door!


Happy Halloween Quilting!

Diane Tomlinson

Associate Editor

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