The Importance of Labeling Your Quilt: A Tutorial

Finished label on quilt

How to add a label to a completed quilt- The License Plate Quilt by American Made Brands sponsored by Clothworks.

One of the often overlooked, but very critical details in making a quilt is the addition of a label.  There’s so much thought put into preparing and creating a quilt masterpiece:  designing or choosing a quilt pattern, selecting fabric & calculating yardage, cutting & piecing, adding sashing and borders, preparing the backing, and finally, quilting and binding.  It’s no wonder that making a label for the quilt is sometimes a forgotten step in the process or even an afterthought, if that.

Here’s why it’s important to make a label for your quilt–

1)  Give yourself credit!  You’ve spent lots of time putting your heart & soul, and maybe some blood, sweat, and tears, into making your quilt creation.  Whether you give it away to someone special or enter it into a quilt show- it’s important to give yourself credit by labeling  your work.  Who knows- decades or centuries down the road- your masterpiece quite possibly could end up in the Smithsonian and it would be a shame to have it credited to ‘unknown’.

2)  Tracking a lost quilt will be easier to find with a label!  Although we don’t like to think about the unfortunate events of losing something in the mail, sometimes it does happen when we ship through the USPS, or UPS and FedEx.  And if you’re planning to pack your quilt in your luggage when you fly, sometimes your luggage might not make it to your destination, either.  Of course you can always give a visual description of your quilt design & fabric to the lost & found clerk, but they might have a different idea of what ‘flying geese’ are. Having a label with your name and other contact information could make it 100 times easier to locate your lost quilt, speeding up the reunion between you and your quilt.

3)  Having a label on your quilt is part of the criteria when entering it into a show!  See reasons above- with so many quilts entered into a show, you will receive much deserved credit for your beautiful design & it will be 100 times easier to have your quilt returned to you quickly if you have a quilt label sewn on to the quilt with accurate contact information.  The advantage of having a quilt label that’s sewn on to your quilt is that there’s no tag that falls off or paperwork that is mis-pinned to it.

Here’s what information to put on your quilt label–

If you’re entering the quilt into a show, here’s an example of the information to include on your labels:

labels

As you can see above- these labels are for quilts that were entered into the Farm to Fabric Challenge sponsored by American Made Brand fabrics by Clothworks.  These quilt labels were labeled with the following information:

Name of Quilt Show

Title of Quilt

Name of Quilt Designer & Maker

City & State of Quilt Designer & Maker

Dimensions of Quilt listed in inches– Width by Length

Those labels are just an example of what information to include.  Be sure to check with the quilt show in which you are entering your quilt as they may have specific quilt label guidelines.  If you plan to give your quilt as a gift to someone, you can choose to make your label more personal by adding an endearing message.  And as mentioned above, if you are nervous about your quilt becoming ‘lost’ in transit, it might be a good idea to add an email address or phone number as a point of contact.

So, when do you add a quilt label during the quilt making process?

It’s best to apply the quilt label to your quilt back before you quilt your top, batting, and backing together.  Sew the label to the quilt backing fabric, then quilt away and add your binding to complete your quilt.  That way, your label is securely sewn into your quilt and will never fall off—unless you are crazy enough to rip out all of the quilting.

Help!  How to add a quilt label to a completely finished quilt?!

Maybe you’ve gained some insight after reading this blog post, with the cogs & wheels turning in your brain now as you stare at that pile of quilts that are nearly completely but have no quilt label!  You’re in luck- we’ve created an easy pictorial tutorial to solve the problem– thanks to resident Clothworks quilting queen, Toni B. for her guidance and help!!

EZ Tutorial:  How to Add a Quilt Label to A Completed Quilt

IMAG1482

Remember the American Made Brand License Plate Quilt made up of license plate blocks by our highly talented bloggers from all 50 states during the AMB Blog Tour Roadtrip last year?  Well, after all of that stunning work in putting together that beauty of a quilt– YUP! You guessed it– we forgot to make a label for it!

Good thing there’s a product on the market such as this– Iron-On Quick Fuse Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.

Quick Fuse Iron On Labels

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how to make a label on your computer to print using your ink jet printer.

AMB License Plate Label- Pinked edges

Here’s our lovely label printed on to one of the Fusible Fabric Sheets.  As you can see, September, our amazing Graphic Designer here at Clothworks, did a fantastic job making an easy-to-read label which credits all of the talented contributors of our AMB License Plate Quilt.  Toni B. pinked the edges of the label to prevent fraying, since we will not be sewing the label on to the back of the finished quilt.

AMB License Plate Label back of page

Notice the ‘gummy’ fusible backing on the fabric label.

Position label on quilt

Place the fabric label to the back of your completed quilt and position where desired.  Here, we are placing the label on the lower right corner of the back of the quilt.  Since you will be ironing the fabric label to fuse it to the back of the quilt, place the quilt and label on top of an ironing board.

Fusing Label to quilt

After you’ve positioned your quilt label, use a protective iron sheet to place over your fusible quilt label before you apply your iron.  This will ensure that you do not burn the fabric and cause any nasty marks on your beautiful label.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the iron to your label.

Finished label on quilt

And ta-da!!!  You have successfully added a quilt label to your completed quilt!  Allow your label and quilt to cool a little after ironing.  Check to make sure all areas of the label have been adequately adhered to the quilt and you’re good to go!

Happy Quilting!

 

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