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Quilt Label-along challenge & GIVEAWAY

January 23, 2019

Hello lovely quilty peeps! It’s the new year and a good time to start some good new habits. I just did a guild talk at the Vancouver MQG on quilt labels to get our members into the good habit of labelling their work. I decided to share the info here too in case you needed a little nudge. I challenge you to label some quilts this year. The goal is to inspire you all to label your quilts and I have a lovely prize as incentive! Read on…

There are so many ways to create labels, and lots of online tutorials. This is more a summary of my faves than a tutorial, as there are too many techniques listed to explain in detail. (Google away for video tutorials if needed.)

sugar skull quilt

This label was printed on my inkjet printer. I ironed interfacing on the back then folded the edges over and topstitched them.  The quilt was a mini that let to my Sugar Skull pillow pattern. (available in my Etsy shop)

Why put a label on it?

  • QUILT SHOWS: These usually require labels to record the makers details to prevent loss or confusion between entrants.
  • DOCUMENTATION: Whether the quilt is being made for an event such as the birth of a baby or a wedding, it’s a great way to document the details such as the event date, birth weight, location etc.
  • STORY TELLING: I use labels on my craftivism quilts to document the quilt’s inspiration, historical events or story behind the quilt.
  • FAMILY HEIRLOOMS: There’s a good chance that your quilt will outlive you! And since you might not be around to tell the story of your quilt, your label can do it for you for years to come.
  • GIFT CARD: A label is a great opportunity to add a note for its recipient if you are giving it away. A message of love, inspiration or encouragement that they might read when snuggled underneath it. 
  • SIGNATURE: Some quilters consider their quilts to be art, and the labels are their signature. Whether you do or not, you put a lot of work into that handiwork of yours, you may as well sign it, right?!
  • INSURANCE – if you ever lose the quilt there’s a chance it might find it’s way back to you, if it’s finder knows who you are. No label = no chance!

babycooper.censored

kristalabel

Quilt gifted by @poppyprint. Lucky me!

Where should the label go?

Unless you are entering it into a quilt show that has specific requirements, there really are no rules. It’s most common to stitch a label onto the back right corner, however it can really go anywhere. In the old days quilters even used to stitch their initials into the piecing on the front. You can piece the label into the quilt, appliqué it on after quilting, stitch it into the binding, or embroider it onto the binding or even quilt a subtle label into the quilting. They can be any shape or size. Some shapes such as corner triangle labels can double as a hanging device for a wall quilt. 

gobstopperquiltlabel

Rubber stamped with Yellow Owl Workshop inkpad. Note mixed letter styles to make it more interesting.

adhdquiltlabel.vert

Printed at home on an inkjet printer.

amydamelabel2.jpg

The snazzy advantage of this style of label is that the top triangles double as a hanging device. Just pop a rod inside the corners.

bindingquiltlabel

For a less prominent label, you can hide a sweet message by stitching it onto the binding.

What info should I include?

Well that’s really up to you, and depends on what the quilt is for. Usually it includes the maker’s name/s, date and location made. You might also like to add: the quilt’s name, the long armer’s name (if you had help with that), the quilt design, your web address or instagram handle. If it’s a gift you can note the recipient’s name too. If you are documenting information such a baby’s birth then the birth stats can be fun. Then creative extras might be an image, a photograph, a quote or something sentimental to you or the recipient.

tattooquiltlabel

Tattoo Quilt: So much inspiration & history to document on this one! Label printed digitally by Spoonflower.

Let’s look at a few label making techniques…

Handwritten:

PROS: easy & inexpensive, personally handwritten

TOOLS: Fine-tipped permanent marker (My fave brand: PIGMA Micron pen, others have recommended the Sakura Identipen)

This is just like hand-writing a note excepting that it’s on fabric which is then applied to the quilt. You can draw a picture, stitched, appliquéd or ironed on to the quilt.

amydamelabel

Awesome mini quilt by Amy Dame.

 

Preprinted labels:

PROS: easy, personally handwritten

TOOLS:

  • Panels or yardage bought at quilt shops or online at Spoonflower.
  • Fine-tipped permanent marker.

These are easy to fill in pre-bought labels that you just fill in. Cynthia Frenette has a great selection of modern ones over at Spoonflower.

 

You can also buy garment style labels printed with your name or logo. Here are some cute ones printed on satin label stock by a little Etsy company called Miss Label. She’s offering you a 10% discount until Feb 28. Use coupon code: VMQG10    Thanks Amy!

misslabel1

 

Stamped labels:

PROS: easy, creative artsy look & feel

EQUIPMENT:

  • Letters & number stamps  
  • Permanent Ink pad (My fave brand: Yellow Owl Workshop)
  • Date stamp – easy way to add a date
  • Washi tape – for straight line guides for your type
  • Dry iron – for heat sealing the ink
  • Press cloth / Parchment paper – to prevent any ink getting on your iron

(Note to Vancouver peeps: These ink pads are available at 

rinaquiltlabelwip

img_3686 (1)

It’s neat to mix and match different letter font stamps.

img_4013

You can write a quote or the words to a song that tie in with the theme of the quilt as I did on this “Trees of green” quilt. (Lyrics by Bob Thiele & David Weiss, sung of course by Louis Armstrong)

edielabelcensored

 

Inkjet Printed labels:

PROS: DIY at home, can look quite professional when done well. There are products for inkjet labels but what I like about this technique for inkjet printing is that you can print on fabric with printed designs. (As shown in sample) So you can match your backing fabric or print them on a fabric that adds to the design.

CONS: Bit of a fiddley process and some printers can be fussy!

EQUIPMENT:

  • Fabric – light coloured fabric. (solid or printed)
  • Freezer paper – precut letter size or the roll from supermarket (my preference)
  • Dry iron – for heat sealing the ink
  • Press cloth / Parchment paper – to prevent any ink getting on your iron

METHOD:

  • Prewash the sizing out of fabric for best ink absorption.
  • Design your labels on your computer (colour or B&W).
  • Cut 8.5” x 11” piece of Freezer paper.
  • Iron on very flat surface with hot dry iron).
  • Iron SHINY side of Freezer Paper to BACK of fabric very well
  • Test which way up your page should be in your printer (Tip: mark top piece of paper in tray with an “X” in corner, then see where it comes out)
  • Place fabric /freezer paper combo into paper tray to print on FABRIC side
  • Print & heat set with a DRY iron.
  • Peel off Freezer paper. (Some people recommend soaking the label in vinegar)

laserprintquiltlabels4

 

Spoonflower:

PROS: Professional finish, great for photographs, free PicMonkey design tool

EQUIPMENT: Just your computer. It’s all done online.

Spoonflower is a digital “on demand” printer company in NC, USA. They print fabric, wallpaper, wrapping paper and cut ‘n sew patterns of designs uploaded. You can print your own designs or order other designers work, for which they get a small commission. 

METHOD:

  • Set up Spoonflower account at: www.spoonflower.com .
  • You custom design the labels (text, photos, illustration, colour or B&W).
  • File format must be: jpg, tif, png or gif
  • Resolution: 150dpi
  • Upload your design by clicking: DESIGN –>  UPLOAD
  • If you don’t have the software to design you can use their free access to PicMonkey. This can be found at the bottom of the page after you hit UPLOAD under: “Other Design Options”. Choose from “Swatch” or “Fat Quarter” and it will take you there.
    Once you’re done designing in PicMonkey click “Export” and it will bring you directly back to Spoonflower with your image already uploaded in the correct format.
  • Choose from variety of fabric substrates incl Kona cotton
  • Minimum order is 8” square (which could accommodate about 4 labels)
  • For Canada it takes about 3-4 weeks to arrive for regular shipping.
stella label

This is a sample I designed on PicMonkey as a test. It’s for this sweet baby quilt I made for little Stella. This was printed on the 8″ x 8″ swatch size.

pariswedding2.jpg

Badass quilt label

Spoonflower is a great option when you have a lot to say! I printed the inspiration behind my Badass quilt on the label.

Tattoo Quilt labels

Each block of my tattoo quilt got it’s own label, printed with the inspiration and historical events behind the design. This pic is living proof that people read these labels. (Seen here at the VMQG showcase 2018) People love learning the stories behind a project.

 

If you are overwhelmed by the thought of designing your own, here’s a designer who will do a custom design for you. Patchworkaplenty on Etsy will consult with you about what you are looking for, design the label and have it printed and mailed to you.

label w watermarkcrop

Embroidered Labels:

PROS: Beautiful heirloom look, the thread adds to the tactile feel of the quilt.

EQUIPMENT:

  • Embroidery thread: Floss or pearl
  • Embroidery needle
  • Hoop
  • Fine tipped removable fabric pen
  • Glad Press’nSeal* & thin Sharpie – optional for tracing the design. (*see pic below)
  • Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy – optional for transferring digital designs. (Pricey, but good for transferring complicated designs) There are also other products out there that do similar jobs.)

Embroidered labels to me are the premium way to go.  Not for every quilt project, given the extra time required, but definitely my go to for those very special quilts that I know will be around for a very long time.

METHOD:

  • TRACE / TRANSFER DESIGN: Use a light box or window. Alternatively use a thin Sharpie to trace the design onto Glad Press’nSeal and then stick that directly onto the fabric. Stitch right through it and then remove the plastic film when you’re done.
  • STITCH: for the text use a stitch that creates a line such as backstitch or split stitch.
  • EMBELLISH the borders and add swirls, flowers or graphics with other stitches.
embroid.pressnseal3

This is the Press’NSeal technique. You can see where the Press’nSeal is cut off at the corners to show you how it is applied to the fabric.

george.quiltlabelwip

I used Pearl thread and Backstitch for the type on this one, then running stitch and a fine chain stitch for the borders.

georgiaquiltlabel

pincushion

This exquisite label was made by Stephanie for her Hobbit-loving daughter. Such beautiful embroidery work!

cooperquiltlabel.censored

img_3601

freya

signaturequiltlabel

This was a signature block for a bee. Great way to get all participants to sign the collaborative quilt.

gowestquiltlabel

Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 11.49.06 PM.png

Super cute label made by Ludgera Meuller. (We have a weekly Skype sew date.)

Creative Conceptual Quilt labels:

Labels don’t have to be rectangular with straight forward type. You can have fun with them. Try thinking up a concept that plays on the quilt or fabric design. Or a clever way to apply your message. Here is some more inspiration…

tayquiltlabel

A little tag stitched to the message in the bottle fabric design.

spiderweblabel.janaguckt

Neat idea for a Halloween quilt: a stitched web with handwritten text.

spetzie.bookquiltlabel

Perfect label for a book quilt! By Karen of @spetzie

cf.handstamped label

Cute combo of appliqué, stamping and handwriting by Cynthia Frenette.

emilysiglerquiltlabel

Emily designed this label on Excel and printed it on her inkjet. No fancy design software necessary!

img_2107.jpg

Embellish your labels with a spot of embroidery.

gussetsandgodets.com

Who says quilt labels can’t be funny? Love this one. Says it all!

And now (finally!) for the giveaway details:

I have a great bundle of goodies you could win to convert you to a forever labeller:

Spoonflower has generously donated a Welcome pack valued at US$60. This gift of awesomeness includes: US$35 in Spoondollar credit for the recipient to spend on Spoonflower, a Spoonflower Sample Pack with samples of all the fabrics and materials, including wallpaper and gift wrap, that we offer for printing and a copy of their book The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ ProjectsThe Spoonflower Handbook is an essential step-by-step user’s manual and project collection for this booming new creative outlet.

spoonflowerwelcomepack

The lovely people at Sakura sent two gift packs of IdentitPens and Pigma Micron Pens. (One for the general giveaway and one for the VMQG) Lots of colour and nib thickness options!! The iDentiPens have handy dual nibs: a 0.4mm and a 1.0mm.

IMG_4334

Yellow Owl Workshop has kindly donated some lovely ink pads. A few years ago a did a big quilt label stamp pad test. I bought three different brands, stamped away at some fabric, and then put them through the wash. These came out on top by far. They were the least messy, didn’t bleed and had the least fading after washing. They come in a lovely selection of colours.

yellowowl

*PLUS* Extra surprise goodies of some of my fave supplies that I will add to the bundle! It will be yummy, I promise!

How to enter the label challenge:

  1. Label a quilt(The quilt may be an older one, but I ask that the label is new. Hopefully inspired by this blog post!)
  2. You may use whatever label-making technique you wish. Make it a beaut!
  3. Post a pic of your label on Instagram and tag it: #QuiltLabelAlong
  4. Only ONE entry per quilt / label please. You may enter as many different labels as you wish though. ( Note that your profile should be public in order for me to see it.)
  5. You must follow this blog and @happysewlucky on Instagram
  6. DEADLINE:  September 1, 2019. (That will give you all of Spring and Summer – plenty of time to finish up your quilts and label those old label-less orphans schloomphed over your sofa. No excuses! ; ) 
  7. Open worldwide. No purchase necessary. This giveaway is not in affiliation with Instagram or WordPress. Sponsors mentioned above.

Bonus chance for Vancouver MQG members only:

As mentioned at the guild talk, you have the additional chance at winning prizes by tagging your pics #VMQGlabelthatquilt. You may tag both ways if you wish to add your chances.


So have it it quilty friends! Try a new technique, try your hand at Spoonflower labels if you haven’t before, learn a new embroidery stitch, stamp something sweet or brainstorm some clever ideas. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

Are you a member of a quilt guild? Feel free to share a link to this post with your guild if they might enjoy the inspiration.  (PLEASE DO NOT copy and paste my content though. Thank you!)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. cowanche permalink
    January 23, 2019 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration, with the wide variety of options!

  2. January 23, 2019 9:32 pm

    Oh Berene, Thanks so much for such a thorough blog post on this important topic. It takes me forever to finish a quilt (only have 2 totally finished quilts under my belt — and I’ve been buying quilting cotton fabric since 2012!!), so I cannot imagine NOT labelling my work (and sort of taking credit for it, you know?). You have incented me to get cracking on the quilting, binding and labelling part of my third project: A 50th-birthday quilt gift for my favourite cousin — who just turned 55 last weekend — Agh! The quilt top is done, it is sandwiched and pin-basted, and the block centres have been marked so I can begin the hand-quilting part. That ‘This Took Forever’ admission in your blog post is definitely going to feature into my label. Here’s hoping I finish it by September 1st so I can enter your contest! ~Diana from Toronto.
    P.S. one point of contention from something in your blog post: Frixion pens are not really fabric-friendly. Despite the fact they seem to ‘disappear’ after you iron their marks, the chemicals stay in your fabric and the lines can ‘re-appear’ anytime in the future. Pilot, the company who make Frixion pens, *do not* recommend them for fabric, since they were never tested on or made for use in fabric. Just a friendly caution.

  3. Stephanie Sinden permalink
    January 24, 2019 9:35 am

    Great details. Thanks. I will pin this info.

  4. January 26, 2019 8:02 pm

    This is the quilt post on labels to end all quilt posts on labels! Thank you for all of your work in rounding this up.
    I would say, though, 99% of the time when I’m at a quilt show, and white glove lady wants to show us the label, she’ll head to the right corner (as she looks at if from the front), which is the LEFT corner of the quilt when looking at if from the back. So, I generally take a second and think about that before I sew my label down.
    I don’t think it really matters, but that’s just what I’ve seen done in common practice: label on left corner on back.
    Is it okay to link over to this?

    • January 26, 2019 8:49 pm

      Hi Elizabeth
      Thanks for your input. Head you enjoyed the post.
      Yes feel free to link to it. (I just ask that you don’t copy and paste my content.)
      Happy labeling!

    • March 15, 2019 7:42 am

      I completely agree… this is the best post / topic I’ve found to date on quilt labels…so for that…THANK YOU BERENE!
      I never realized about placement of the label on the back of the quilt being more appropriate on the bottom left. I put most of mine on the bottom right. Not sure why, I just always kind of veered to that spot…maybe because I’m left-handed? LOL… but in all actuality, is it better to place on the left side if entering in a quilt show?

  5. Nancy permalink
    February 26, 2019 10:33 pm

    Thank you for this detailed information. i recently participated in a quilt swap, and felt I could have done mich better on my label. Your post has given me many ideas to try out.

  6. March 15, 2019 7:38 am

    I LOVE this post and challenge! One of the things I love doing for my quilts is making unique labels. I’ve printed them on my inkjet printer at home, but the ink tends to bleed when the quilts are washed, regardless of what I do to prepare the label ahead of time. So now I design my labels on my iPhone and/or computer, then upload to Spoonflower. They come out perfect every time! I’ll have to experiment with some other techniques that you’ve shared here on this post, though!

  7. March 15, 2019 7:47 am

    Berene, I forgot to mention in my comment above that some of my quilt labels are pictured on my blog if you’d care to see some of them and how I make each one unique to the quilt and/or the recipient. Your blog post sure does give me even more inspiration! Thank you!

  8. customprintedfabric permalink
    April 5, 2019 12:25 am

    Thank for sharing this beautifull information with lovely shot.:-)

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