Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yeah, I Made That! - - Labeling Your Quilt

Do as I say and not as I do.

I don't label all of my projects. I should, but I don't. There's some insecurity that I carry around with me that says, "What if they don't like it and want to regift it?"  So sometimes I label and sometimes I don't.

This post is about the way I made a quilt label for "Fiddlesticks." Now that I've given the quilt to my friend Teresa, who happens to be my son's MIL, I can share the label-making process with you.

I have a pet peeve with people in general who insist that there is only one way to do something. There are as many ways to make quilt labels as you can think. Researching on the web is a great way to get some ideas. You can buy pre-printed labels, you can get fabric with label designs, there are iron-on transfers to color in, you can download and print labels from your computer, some people make their labels as pockets and include the washing instructions.  Experiment with all kinds of ways and do what brings you the most pleasure.

I like to make labels using rubber stamps. It's very simple and my favorite way, especially for quilts that have scrappy or country-type designs. For a more modern quilt I think an updated label would be smart.

First I pick out a neutral color fabric for the label and cut a rectangle of freezer paper the size I want the label.  I iron the freezer paper shiny side down on the WRONG side of the label fabric.

Cut out around the freezer paper leaving about 1/4" or 3/8" border of fabric.

Gather your supplies. I used a cute angel rubber stamp which I won from Shellie's giveaway, black ink, a micron pen and fabric markers (not shown). I placed the fabric on sandpaper. This is still showing the freezer paper side up instead of the fabric side that I'll be writing upon.

Stamp wherever you'd like on the fabric, making sure not to go beyond the boundaries of the freezer paper stabilizer. Using the micron pen write the basic information:

  • Your name
  • Name of quilt
  • Month and year
  • Name of recipient
  • Why the quilt was made
  • Washing instructions (optional)
  • Any other information you think should be included
The extra fine sandpaper helps create a stable writing surface. I find that I need to go over the lines of the rubber stamp and the writing a couple of times.

Here's how the label looked after I completed it. Iron the front of the label to heat set the marker(s). Iron the border fabric to the back of the freezer paper, making some nice creases. Remove the freezer paper.

Time to sew your label to the back of the quilt.  Pin it in place first.  I used a blanket-stitch with a double strand of cotton thread. Make sure you go through the backing fabric without going all the way through to the front of the quilt. Some people like to create their labels prior to quilting so that they can also quilt through the label, ensuring it will be there throughout the life of the quilt. Again, my own insecurity prevents me from doing that.

My quilts will never be in any show. I won't win any awards or blue ribbons. I couldn't bear to hear what a judge might say about my simple creations. However, my quilts and other crafts do represent the love that I MUST express with my hands. For the recipients, I can only hope that's enough. 

Happy stitchin',


Anonymous said...

I crochet quilt and this is something that I find difficult to do...your panels are the perfect answer...getting to work this design, by making a note to myself!

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing the instructions, opinions and your heart. I'm with you on all of this. Hugs, Linda

Vesuviusmama said...

I try to remember to label, but I don't always remember either, or I'm working on the quilt right up to my deadline and run out of time for a label. Sometimes, I write right on the quilt. Thanks for the reminder, and for sharing your method.

Shellie said...

Love how you use the new stamps!!! It's a very nice label.