Tip Tuesday: 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:

TipTuesday_QuiltLabel_579x550

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 leftover 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? Here are some labels that are waiting for you to put your stamp (or stitches) on them. Find colorful labels, black and white labels, holiday labels – whatever you’re looking for, you should be able to find them here.

If you’re interested in even more information about creating quilt labels (and the basics of quilting), 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!

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Happy Quilting!

Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter Online Editor

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Carrie Sisk

About Carrie Sisk

Carrie's first sewing machine was a gift from her dad—a better gift was never given. A crafter, trained pianist and experienced paintballer, when the opportunity arises, she's hiking in Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park.

12 thoughts on “Tip Tuesday: 9 Quilt Label Tips Straight from the Quilt Experts

  1. I have used the printable fabric and copied the baby’s birth announcement and sewed it on the backing. Then I attach a “made with love by…, and date.
    Friends love it.

  2. I’ve started using my Janome Horizon Memory Craft ‘ s monogramming function to label my quilts. It takes a lot of space (I have a really long name) so I go around the quilt on the border just above the binding in black. It looks great, even if it takes awhile.

  3. I label all my quilts. My labels are a pce of fabric, ususally muslin, machine embroidered with several pces of information. Usually included are the quilt name, date completed, recipients name, short message i.e. happy birthday, my initials or name. I border the label by sewing a colored twill tape then I hand sew this to the quilt. Is the correct placement of the label the bottom right on the back of the quilt?

    1. Hi Lucille. Thanks for the comment. As far as labeling your quilts goes, most of the time, quilters will place the label in the lower right-hand corner on the back of the quilt. If entering a quilt in a competition, you’d want to make sure to follow the directions for labeling as given by that organization. When it comes down to it, quilt labels can be placed anywhere you want them to go – I’ve seen labels put in the dead center of the quilt back. Ultimately, it’s the quilter’s choice. ~Carrie

  4. Right now Moda French General has some wonderful labels, on the bolt. Black edges on cream, very tasteful and appropriate for all types of quilts, etc. I backed them with Steam-A-Seam 2, wrote on them with the permanent marker for fabrics, cut out the edges with pinking shears and ironed them on, per the directions. Also, I have used the old-fashioned looking Postcard Backs for art postcards, applied the same way (usually half of one is roomy enough).

  5. i have several favorite ways of making labels. which method i use depends on the quilt.

    for quilts that don’t need a special message to the recipient, i use my heart labels. i have 3 sizes that i make. the small ones are used if i am just gonna put my name , city and the year made. i use the medium and large hearts if i have a named quilt or need to put a short message on the label.
    i make the heart from a fabric used for the quilt, or a scrap that goes with the quilt colors. and a piece of scrap muslin or light value, solid colored fabric. right sides together, stitch all the way around. cut a slit in the back (muslin) and turn and press.
    then write the label on the good side. i usually use the alphabet feature on my machine. or if i need one in a big hurry, just write it on with a fabric pen. or for fancy, free motion embroider the message.

    for very special quilts that need a long label, i print a label onto fabric on the computer. usually on top of a picture.

    for baby quilts that are meant to be used and washed a lot, i quilt the message right on the quilt top. that way there is no label to catch on anything.
    my favorite message for new borns : baby’s name……. God’s precious gift, newly arrived from heaven, date of birth. love and hugs forever, my name.

    regardless of the label put on the back, i always quilt my name and the year onto the front of the quilt. i match the quilt thread to the fabric, and the name just blends in without distracting from the pattern in the quilt top or the quilting.

  6. hi again

    forgot to mention one last type of label. a very special one.

    i am making a generations quilt for my nieces and nephews. printing pictures of their great grandmother, grandparents and parents , and a picture of the recipient, onto fabric. then crazy quilting around the picture to frame it. and setting the pictures into a quilt.
    because these are very special – the labels need to be special.
    i was given my grandmothers hankies when she passed away. most are in good shape. many have beautiful cutwork edges or hand crochet on the edges. a few have a bad spot or 2. but i can work around the bad spots.

    i am using those hankies as the labels for the generations quilts. i hand print the message directly onto the hankie, with fabric pen.
    i write out the message first on paper, to get it right. and figure out the spacing.
    once i am comfortable printing on paper, i then print it on the hankie.
    i stabilize the hankie with freezer paper to do the printing. then just gently remove the freezer paper before hand sewing the label to the back of the quilt.

  7. I design quilt labels using GIMP (a free digital design program similar to Photoshop). I can make them any size or color with any font or design I want. I sometimes match the colors by scanning a swatch of fabric from the quilt. I then copy and paste the labels to a fat quarter or swatch size and have them printed by Spoonflower.com. Spoonflower also allows one access to Picmonkey with which one can design labels.

  8. I use the lettering fonts on my sewing machine to put the label information on the binding before I sew it on. Permant, easy to read and I save the info and just have to change the date.

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