Basics for Labeling Your Quilt

Everyone should label their quilts! But what should you include? I’ll help you with the basics.

Labeling your quilts has been a long tradition, and it’s super helpful to determine details about the quilt and quilter. But what are the real basics of labeling your quilt? Let’s go over some of the details you need to know.

First of all, your label should be created from the same quality fabric as the rest of your quilt. You don’t want the label to be the first thing to disintegrate. You should also write the details on your label with an acid-free, archival permanent pen. You want this kind of pen because you do not want the ink to eat away at the fabric and for the color to last as long as the quilt does. Sakura Pigma Micron pens have been my pen of choice for many years.

Sewing your label onto your quilt is also important. Most labels are appliqued onto the back. If possible, stay away from fusing or ironing on your label. Not only could the fusible degrade over time, storing your quilt in a hot environment could possibly loosen the glue and detach your label from the quilt. Always additionally sew down your label to the quilt.

Now it’s down to what to write on your label. It can be easy to include a novelization of the quilt’s creation on the back, but there are a few “must haves” on the label. This information may vary for quilts you enter into shows or competitions. However, the true basics of your label should Include some data about the quilt, the maker, and other crucial info.

Details about the maker. You should include your name and also where the quilt was made. If the quilt was quilted by someone else for you, then you should also include that person’s name. The reason to include the place is so that if someone is trying to find more information about you after you are gone, or the quilt is lost, they have an idea of where to start looking for you.

Details about the quilt. If your quilt has a name, or is used from a pattern that is named, this is a good place to include it. If your quilt is a gift, you could include that it was made for that person and why, such as “Made for Margaux for her First Birthday”.

Include the date. You will also want to include the date the quilt was completed. When people look at your quilting work years from now, they will be able to arrange your work in chronological order.

Competition or quilts for sale often include the artist’s full address, phone number, and web address. This way if the quilt is lost, or someone inquires to purchase a similar work from the artist, there’s a way to contact the artist. Of course, after many years, the artist could have retired or moved, but it is a starting point. Some competition quilt labels are amended with shows that the quilt was exhibited in or awards it has won.

You can create your label using your embroidery machine and have a stitched label, but I love hand written labels. I like the “hand of the artist” in my work, and a handwritten label is a way to preserve the maker’s handwriting. And you can use an Heirloom Smocking Template to help make lines so your writing is straight.

Do you label all of your quilts? Share with us on my Facebook page!