Are you guilty like me?

Hello friends,

When I first started quilting, I used to be so good about adding labels to my finished projects. I would take a picture or two of the project, even snip a few pieces of leftover fabric, and then even add a copy of the label on a page in my notebook where I would record other pertinent stuff like the recipients name, the date it was completed and maybe even the reason for gifting it. At some point I stopped doing all of that….

 

Why? I don’t know… Maybe it was lack of time….or maybe just laziness….I do know that when I stopped having my pictures printed off by a professional lab, it became more difficult to have a photo to include in my scrapbook and maybe that’s why I stopped doing all the other stuff too.

But not adding a label just because I don’t keep a scrapbook of my work anymore is a lousy excuse, isn’t it? I can’t tell you how many quilts I have picked up over the years at junk stores, antique shops, or online, that have not had a label. As a matter of fact, NONE of those have had labels! And that is a shame. Because I would love to know more about the maker! And I think ( or hope) that if people find my quilts in the future, that they might also like to know more about the maker. Now, I have to say honestly that I am pretty good about adding a label when the quilt is going to get gifted. But I am terrible about labeling anything I make for our home. And that’s a shame. Because when I pull out quilts that I have made, I love finding the label and reading when and why I made it..you see, even I can’t remember details like that, so certainly my kids won’t remember….UNLESS I ADD A LABEL!

So I am here to encourage, nay, IMPLORE you, to add a label to your beauties every ….single….. time……

Adding a label is easy. You can buy preprinted fabric panels with labels. All you have to do is cut them out, finish the edges and fill in your information:

From Missouri Star Quilt Company

Or, if you have an embroidery machine, you can embroider your information:

https://www.urbanthreads.com/tutorials.aspx?t=adding+text+to+frames+and+labels

Another option is to hand embroider a label. You can buy Iron-On labels to hand embroider OR you can trace a smallish picture out of a coloring book and embroider that. I actually bought a book with small embroidery designs that I can easily turn into labels:

published by LARK books

Another option is to order custom made labels online. I like these because they looks very neat, but they are small and you can’t add any information about your quilt, just simply your name or a few words: https://www.herrschners.com/product/322040P.do?gclid=CjwKCAiAiJPkBRAuEiwAEDXZZXcIV4CfaO-MZT2u470oyvCCkR3yAYXcde7v4DxYKV39rdAqi-lE4hoCdQ4QAvD_BwE

The method that I use most often ( when I do add a label 😉 ) is to choose a pretty font on my computer, print it off, and trace it onto muslin that has been ironed to some freezer paper ( for stability). I then trace the writing onto my label with with help of my light box or a sunny window, iron the writing with a hot iron, then trim and turn under the edges, and attach to the back of my quilts ( after removing the freezer paper!). Sometimes I will add a little drawing that I color in with permanent, waterproof brush pens, or add some pretty machine embroidery. I use a permanent black micro pen and have found that the ink is pretty stable. If you wash your quilts a LOT, you may have to retrace the writing from time to time, but I have not found fading ink to be a huge issue.

Are you good about adding labels?  And what method do you use for your labels? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Until next time~happy creating!

Monique

25 thoughts on “Are you guilty like me?

  1. Thank you Monique for the very urgent encouragement. I need to do this as well. I usually use a sharpie pen and make a label, that way if I hate it, I can make another… instead of writing directly onto a quilt. I try to remember to label small treasures too that I give away.
    These are incredible quilts and lovely labels

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    1. I have only written directly on the back of a quilt once and that was not easy…I am sure I would mess up the spelling if I dared to do that too often and then I would have to make a label anyway to cover it up;)

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  2. I use an eight inch square of light grunge fabric, press it into a triangle and sew the two unfolded sides into a corner along the line where your binding was sewn (be careful to fold binding back and not catch it in), then continue hand sewing binding down. I draw lines with a Frixion pen so my writing is straight. I slip a piece of paper in the pocket so when I write my info with a permanent pen it doesn’t transfer to the quilt. You can do your info before sewing label in and also write a secret message on back of label for recipient to find.

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  3. I too have gotten lazy over the years and no longer keep a quilt journal documenting the quilt process, I do try to make a label for most quilts. I use a scrap of fabric, pigma pens and normally include a traced drawing of some sort made easier over the years thanks to an A-4 light box. I usually stitched the label on by hand. I believe a quilt isn’t complete without a label and I love to pick up a quilt I made and read the label and reminisce.

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  4. I used to label every quilt. Now as I am making more and they have no home, they are piling up all lonely with no labels. I do keep a quilting journal, no longer with pictures much like you. When I gift a quilt, or make custom I always label. I know how important a label is, yet I can’t seem to take the time any longer to make them. I will put that on my list for next year, to label my stash. Keep creating.

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  5. You told my story! I have to force myself to make the label these days. I just finished with my 7 yr. old granddaughter a little nine patch and I did make the label with our names on it. She asked why because her last quilt (king) didn’t have one. I told her I had it, but did not sew it on yet (true). I did add one to her brother’s (twin) and parent’s (king) quilts. I guess I am so glad to get the big quilts done that I am finished when the last stitch goes into them. I am focusing on smaller quilts now, but even there I tend to forgo the label.
    A week ago I did put stickies of the years I made my quilts as I put them in a new location! Guess you have motivated me to get busy on some labels. Thanks!

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  6. You are so right about labels. I have a friend who makes her label almost as soon as she starts the quilt. And I mean embroidered, fancy labels. However, the most I have done is write on the backing. Shameful. Thanks for the nudge. Hopefully, all of us will do better. Loved the way you started the recording of your past quilt adventures. If only I think. The blue birds were my favorite. Sorry about the rambling.

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  7. Thank you Monique. I’ve been trying to add labels even when the quilt is just for me or hubby. I like to use one of the micron pens with archival ink to write the words on a square of muslin or other light colored fabric then add some embroidery. I hav the Doddle Stitching book and like the idea of using one of the small designs. I hadn’t thought of doing that. I have several quilts my mom made and even 2 from my grandma but none have labels. I’m thinking it might be nice to put a label on them saying who made them. I know the ones from grandma we’re made in the 1950’s. I know I love finding a quilt at the thrift store that has a label, they are rare.

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    1. Joyce, I love the idea of you adding the label to your mom and grandma’s quilts! Then at least they have some history connected to them. I will do that to antique quilts I find from now on and maybe just write where I find them so they at least have something. Thanks for the idea!

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  8. I always add labels to mine utilizing my embroidery machine. As a matter of fact, before I make the binding, I make a label, that way I can stitch the label into the binding as I stitch the binding on, saving a lot of hand sewing. I make my labels into a folded triangle placing the two raw edges on the raw edge of one of the lower corners. This leaves only one edge to hand stitch. A lot of my earlier quilts that I kept for myself don’t have labels, and I’ve always meant to go back and add them, but have been too busy making new quilts to get it done. The best of intentions…..

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  9. My mother in law made quilts with her friends, and gave them to me for Christmas. I have several, and none of these have a label. This is a good idea, but a quilt is precious. Maybe your memory would remember who made the quilt. No one else in my husband’s family has given us a quilt. I once received a thick quilt in the mail where an item that was breakable was wrapped in it. Other wise, mine all came from one source.

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  10. I too usednto keep fabric swatches and notes in a book, but I love track of doing it, and they take up alot of extra space. I try to label my quilts, ive got preprinted fabric squares, sometimes I embroider, sometimes I write with a good permanent fabric pen, but I suppose the biggest thing is trying to remember to sew it on by machine before I finish quilting, if I wait till the end and I have to hand sew it on, that’s when it gets left out or forgotten

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