All articles are copyrighted. In most cases, articles on protecting quilts may be reprinted in your quilt guild newsletter free of charge, but please request permission first.
What do you put on your label?
As a minimum, your label should include the name of the quilter or quilters, name or pattern of the quilt, date finished, and the city and state or country. It is recommended that you also include your phone number and address, especially if you plan on shipping or displaying your quilt. Consider signing and dating the front of your quilt. Other information you may want to include would be name of recipient (if it is a gift), reasons for making the quilt, interesting stories relating to the quilt, new techniques tried, etc. If this quilt is going to be a gift, it is wise to include washing and care instructions.
Attach your label BEFORE quilting
You can hand or machine appliqué the label onto the quilt backing. One source suggests using a fusible webbing under your label in addition to appliquéing. This will hold it in place while you sew and will also make it more difficult for a thief to remove.
Quilt through your label
When quilting, stitch all the way through the label so it can not be easily removed.
Covering your name for quilt shows
If you enter your quilt in a show which requires you to cover up your name, loosely baste a scrap of contrasting fabric over your name and write “OWNER’S NAME IS UNDER HERE” on the scrap. That way, if the quilt is lost, a non-quilter will know where to look for proof of ownership.
Hide a signature
For security purposes, it is a good precaution to put your name in a hidden area that could be uncovered, if needed, to prove the quilt is yours. Choose a place that can be revealed without damaging your quilt. One suggestion is the space under the hanging sleeve. Use a Pigma© pen to write your full name, address and phone number directly on the quilt and then stitch the sleeve in place. You can also write your name in the seam allowance that will be inside the binding.
Make your label interesting
You can use an extra block as a label to relate it to the front of your quilt. You can use permanent fabric markers to draw designs on your label or can hand paint it. Or you can stencil a design using oil stencil sticks. There are a variety of pre-made labels available now too.
Ways to Create a Label
Permanent marking pens
You can write directly onto your label with a permanent marker like the Pigma© or Sakura© micron pens. Use your own handwriting or make it fancy and try calligraphy. Add flourishes and borders.
You can hand embroider or machine embroider your label. Some sewing or quilt shops offer custom machine embroider labels.
Use a typewriter
Use an iron to press your label fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper and insert it into your typewriter. Type your information, remove from typewriter, separate the freezer paper from your label, and heat set the ink with a hot, dry iron.
Use a computer
Press your label fabric to a 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of freezer paper. Design your label using your computer software. Print your label out onto your fabric using a color ink jet printer. If your printer has a special feed tray for heavier paper, insert your paper-backed fabric there. Heat set the ink with a hot, dry iron.
Draw your label onto plain paper using markers or colored pencils. Add photos if desired. Go to a copy shop and have a color copy made onto photo transfer paper. Be sure to ask them to mirror-image your drawing. Follow the manufacturers directions to transfer the image onto your label fabric.