What’s On Your Quilt Label? Open Line Friday

Quilt labelIf there’s one sin in quilting, it’s not labeling our quilts.  By the time we’ve finished a quilt top, layered it, quilted and stitched the binding on, we are ready to declare it “Finished”.  Not so fast…YOU  know you stitched this quilt and you THINK you will remember when you stitched it, but 5 years, 10 years, 100 years from now will anyone remember?  Including you?

Make Your Labels Creative

My quilt labels have varied over the years.  I usually try to use a leftover block or create a label that references the front of the quilt in some way.  It’s more fun that way–if a little creativity is involved.Quilt labelWhat should go on the label?

The basic minimum requirements are:

  • Your Name
  • Your City and State
  • The Date

Quilt labelYou Might also Include:

  • The recipient’s name and location
  • The size of the quilt
  • The batting used (I’ve recently started adding this in order to see how different battings hold up over time.)
  • The techniques involved (e.g. Handquilted, machine pieced)
  • A photo of you or the recipient
  • A prayer or a poem

Quilt labelAre your quilts all labeled?  What do YOU include on your labels and how do you make your labels?

I’d love to hear…


PS…All photos, information and tutorials are the property of The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Please re-blog and Pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other uses, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thank you!

44 thoughts on “What’s On Your Quilt Label? Open Line Friday

  1. please tell everyone to put on the label before you do the quilting. So many quilts can be “lost” from shows and the labels removed so easily if they are just hand stitched at a last thought.

  2. I include the name of the quilt, the occasion (birthday, graduation, new grandchild, etc.), date, my name and location, and washing instructions, if appropriate. I like to print it all on a half-page size of Printed Treasures, and then hand sew it on.

    Been thinking about putting the label on before quilting, but I’m not sure I want to quilt through my labels. Recently, I saw a suggestion to write at least your name and date with a permanent pen on the edge of the quilt, where the binding will cover it. That way, if the sewn on label “disappears” with the quilt, ownership can be proved after it is located.

  3. I have not been putting enough info on my labels I guess. I am investing in a good pen though. I usually stitch my little message on and I am slow at it!… one reason the label was short and sweet. They were saying on another blog that in these huge mega storms that distroyed so much and blew things away, if quilts and different things had names and locations on them they could of been returned to the owners. Never crossed my mind. I will be making better labels at least for my family’s quilts. 🙂 Will it be rude to ask to put a label on a quilt already given…mine have only gone to family so that should be ok but have one I finished for a neighbor. It was a quilt top a great grandmother made in the 1940’s and no one had quilted it so I made the backing, quilted it and did the binding. I put all her info on the label but nothing about me. It felt funny putting my name on her quilt so I didn’t. (Now I kind of want to…is that bad)

    • I don’t think it is..you are now apart of that quilt. They now have all the info on the person who made the top but none on who finished it. I’m surprised that the person you gave it back to didn’t ask you to put your John Hancock on it.

      • thanks…I don’t think GG Rose would mind either. 🙂 I was honored to work on it and tried to be very respectful of all her hand stitching…it was amazing!

  4. did anyone else see the label on Pinterest that went across the corner of the quilt so two of the sides were actaully sewn in with the binding. I thought that was a good idea and it looked nice.

  5. Love it! Creative ways to remember the year and the quilter! I bought a quilt at a garage sale of all places and this man was selling some of his mom’s quilts (she had made TONS of them, I guess). It is sweet to see her name on the lap quilt whenever we use it at the lake.

  6. I always make a label, I print them on my computer but I don’t really know how that will last. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? The hardest part is thinking of a name for my quilts, any tips anyone?

  7. I always try to make a label that has a theme related to the quilt. I made an Irish chain, the label was a shamrock. For my future Daughter in Law the label was a heart welcoming her to the family. I sew my labels on with the binding so two edges are stitched tight. I put my name and address on the back of the quilt under the label so if someone cuts the label off my info is still there. And on occasion, if I use a light fabric for backing I will draw the label directly on the back of the quilt.

  8. Bonnie K Hunter recently shared a post on her blog about someone that found an unfinished guild round robin quilt top from 1994-5 found at a thrift shop. It was able to be returned to a participant in the RR because the label was with it.

    I definitely need to label my quilts better. The last few I have done, I used the built in font in my machine to “type” out a few lines.

  9. I also add an identifier to the seam allowance under the binding written in permanent ink before I stitch the binding down. I try to consistently put it in the same spot for each quilt. (easier to do if the quilt is directional) This way if a quilt goes missing from a show or venue and the label gets removed there is still a way to prove provenience. Let’s just say this was a lesson learned the hard way.

  10. I make my label part of the backing by cutting the backing short and adding a strip on the bottom with a label in the centre of it. Then it can never be removed. I use a pen but wonder at how long the writing will last. For my kids cuddle quilts I embroidered the label so it would remain always.

  11. I include the name of who is receiving the quilt, my name and the year. This week I finished a skateboard quilt for my 2 1/2 yr old grandson. The label said, With love for Harland, Designed by Mom, Made by Granny, 2014. My labels are machine embroidered and hand stitched in place.

  12. I do the corner labels that are stitched down on two sides with the binding. I usually include the quilt name, source of pattern (if one is used), to whom it is being given (if I know), my name, and the completion date. Now I can see that I should include my location.
    I also add any back story to the quilt–if there is one.
    I keep a stack of light colored squares, cut and pressed into triangles, in a variety of sizes. That way I am not tempted to leave off a label when I am pushing a deadline (my usual M.O.). Even if I haven’t written on it yet, when I am ready to bind I can grab one and stitch it on with the binding and get it labeled afterward.

  13. When I make a baby quilt, I not only put the name of the child on the label but I have started putting the meaning of the child’s name on the label. I also include my name, area I live in and date.

  14. Name of Quilt, number (I’ve been numbering them since the beginning), method of construction (hand or machine) maker’s name and location. A dedication if appropriate. Where possible the label is pieced right into the backing. I wondered about quilting over it, too, but try it once. I think it works. I am using a gel pen to write on the label. Not sure if it will hold up over time.

  15. I started quilting in 2006 and was taught to put a label on my quilts. After my first 3 quilts I began putting on the labels prior to quilting the quilt. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to read around the quilting! I include the Quilt Name, Made By (My Name & My Location), The Month & Year of completion, Who & Why the quilt was made, any inspiration for the quilt, and I always credit the Quilt Designer & Magazine Publication if not my own & if it is my own design, I make a note of that as well!! If I alter someone’s original design, I still give them credit. It makes it easier to get permission to show a quilt if the label is giving them credit!

  16. I’ve been taught to include your maiden name as maker of quilt. Use names, who is Mom and who is Grandma? Use the recipients first and last name. People who are trying to identify quilts for museums can’t track the quilts because of insufficient information on label. Bonnie K. Hunter on Quiltville.com has an idea for the triangle label on her web page. I sew mine in with the binding, used a permanent pen, and dry press after I write everything on the label.

  17. Great idea to stitch label on with binding. I make foundation pieced labels to match design and fabric …I like the idea of including maiden name too. For me, it isn’t finished until the label is on..now I’m going to put them on with the binding or before it is quilted. 🙂
    LOVE your blog – especially the quilting tutorials,

  18. I use an embroidery machine to create labels that I incorporate into the backing of the quilt so it is quilted on there…hard to get rid of it! I love to use extra blocks for this. I put the name of the quilt, recipient, my name, city, state, year, the occasion (if there is one) and the fact that it was machine pieced and quilted.

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  20. When I make a mini-quilt that will hang on a wall, I design a label on the computer, reverse print it onto fabric transfer paper (from the office supply store), then iron it onto a piece of fabric that I then hand-stitch in place on the back–it’s really quick. I have a folder of mini-quilt labels in my computer–when I need another one, I will often “save as”, change the pertinent info, and off I go. I figure mini-quilts won’t go into a washing machine and therefore this type of label will last. I sometimes write my name teeny-tiny in permanent marker on the quilt beneath the label in case the label were ever to be lost. I’ve been reluctant to make a label this way for a bed-type quilt, given the wear they see and how often they are washed. For those, I hand-embroider a label. But as someone mentioned earlier, I keep those brief since embroidery takes longer and is not my strong suit! I could see having someone make a personalized label on an embroidery machine, but I have never done that. I have included Bible verses (on mini-quilts given to commemorate Confirmations) and poems. You can see one of mine with a poem here: http://redflannelpantry.com/2012/08/21/just-another-wednesday/

  21. Even if I do a special label I still use a fabric marker to write directly on the quilt back … only way it will get lost is for someone to cut it out of the back. Sometimes I cover it with the extra label.

  22. Besides putting the label on, since I quilt the quilt on my domestic machine , I quilt my name usually in the border while quilting the rest of it. I use the same thread so it doesn’t show to well but I could find it. Some I have given to relatives look for my signature.

  23. I am in the habit of always including a label on the quilts I make. I usually embroider the info directly onto the backing fabric and then FMQ through it. I include the name of the quilt, the occasion, how it was quilted, my name, address, and date. Sometimes I’m creative…….sometimes I’m not! These labels cannot be removed without removing part of the quilt!

  24. I quite often use pre-printed labels and write the recipients name, my name (the quilt maker) the county I live in and the month and year I finished it. I keep it quite simple. I think it’s important to label quilts because it’s a little bit of history. As long as it’s labelled it doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the label is.

  25. I just started to label my quilts last year. I did a wedding quilt and made 2 labels, and put them on opposite corners. I used my embroidery machine. One label indicated who the quilt was made for and the occasion. That one I placed at the top corner; where it is “seen” when they pull up the quilt at night. The other has the design info and my info and I placed it in the lower corner. Both hand stitched on. I did a memorial quilt and printed a message to the child on muslin; bordered it and stitched it to the backing before quilting. I also added a small embroidery machine label at the bottom of the quilt.

  26. Pretty much all my quilts have labels on them. For a while I did a churn dash block, but now I use a piece of the backing fabric to trim the edge of a triangle which is then sewn on two sides when the binding is added, leaving just the top edge (which is folded) to hand stitch down.
    Where I am guilty is in not writing on the labels because I can’t think of a name for the quilt! I’ve been better the last few years, if I can’t think of a name for the quilt I just sign with my name and the year.

  27. I collect doilies to use as quilt labels (though not on boy’s quilts). Sometimes I piece or embroider them. I always include the name of the quilt, and match the label to the theme of the quilt. I’ve done the corner label once, on a quilt for a newborn. Most of the quilts I give away I expect to get used and worn out in situ. Hard to imagine anyone trying to trace them in future. I do get a bit slack about labelling quilts that I keep.

  28. I have labeled each of my quilts, each a bit differently. The first quilt had white muslin backing so I just signed and dated the back with a Pigma marker, and put who it was for. With the next few quilts I got fancier and used embroidery software to create embroidered labels. Still I like to put “Stitched with love by” my name, the year, and who it is for. If it has a name, I’ll include that. I don’t remember if I have been putting Charlotte, NC on or not. But if I do a separate label, I do attach it in the corner prior to quilting and binding so there’s no way it could be removed deliberately or fall off accidentally. With my last couple of quilts, I have embroidered the “label” info directly onto the quilt top, usually in an inconspicuous spot along an edge, near the binding. When it’s a pretty embroidered font and I’m planning to machine quilt, I kind of like incorporating it on the front of the quilt. I wouldn’t do it that way if I was planning to quilt it by hand, though.

    As for the naming of quilts: Some of my quilts named themselves, like the Drunkard’s Path quilt that was my first bed-sized quilt that I did FMQ on. It featured several dragon print fabrics that my son had picked out, it had the Drunkard’s path blocks, and well, my FMQ looked pretty drunken as well — so that became the Drunken’ Dragons quilt. Then my other son, who has a major frog obsession, got a flying geese quilt with every color under the son, so that one named itself the Froggy Quilt of Many Colors, like Joseph’s coat of many colors (let’s hope his brother never gets mad enough to sell him to the Ishmaelites though). The quilt I’m working on now was designed by someone else so the pattern has a name (Jingle) although to me that name doesn’t fit since it has nothing at all to do with Jingle Bells — it’s all cardinals, poinsettias and pomegranates.

    Which brings up another question. If I make a quilt using a purchased pattern, am I supposed to put that designer’s name on my quilt label? I can understand putting the name of the person who pieced/appliqued the top and the name of the quilter, if it wasn’t one maker from start to finish. Opinions, please!

  29. I teach classes on why and how to label your quilts. I recently discovered that some of the people in one of the guild’s I attend, lovingly refer to me as the “Label Police!” As you can imagine, I was delighted to see your post about labels and shared it with a lot of my friends. Here’s a website I reference when I teach the class:
    There is a lot of great advice, and also unfortunately some links and pictures of quilts that have gone missing they are trying to get back to their rightful owners.

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  31. I know I’m a bit late to this, but I always label my quilts. When I piece the backing I add a cream or white piece of fabric. When I have finished the quilting I write on it with a permanent fabric pen. I put my name, the date the quilt was made, a name if I can think of one, who it’s for and why (if it’s a special birthday, wedding, etc).

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