Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Simple Label for a quilt ~ Tutorial

Anyone who has been to a quilt guild will know the cry of the quilter nazi, "BE SURE TO LABEL YOUR QUILTS. THEY'RE ART! THEY'RE HISTORY! THEY'RE A LIVING ENTITY!" Or something to that effect. Since we have many readers who are new to quilting or sewing I thought I would show you a very simple label that is quick and easy. Also, quilts aren't the only things that could use a label. Anything that you might give as a gift to someone could use a small label: tote bags, clothes etc.

Since this is a simple tutorial, we're going to keep it to simple shapes. I like using cookie cutters. Since this is a quilt for a wedding, then it's most appropriate that it's a heart! I will often just stick to a square or rectangle shape for general labeling purposes. Choose fabric that will not only coordinate with your quilt but that is light enough to see what you plan to write. Trace around with pencil. Or if you're not using a cookie cutter, just rotary cut yourself 2 squares/circles/rectangles etc.

Put another matching piece of material, right sides together, and sew on your drawn line. Leave around a 1"-2" opening for turning. Once sewn, cut around 1/8" seam allowance. Clip curves and especially at the inside point of the heart. Clip right up to 1 or 2 threads. It will give you a good shape, I promise. I also, give myself a little more seam allowance on the unsewn part, where I turn inside out. It's just nice to have that extra fabric when turning it under for sewing.
Turn inside out and press. Rub the fabric between your thumb and fingers to get to the edge. You want a nice crisp shape.
I've used a number of different pens over the years for writing on fabric. My new favorite is a "Memory Marker" by American Crafts. I bought it at a scrapbook store. I would assume any other pen would work with these attributes: pigment ink, acid free, permanent, fade proof, non-bleeding, waterproof. I also like this one, because it has two different tips, F:fine and M: medium. Also, there is a parade of different colors to choose from! (Also worked great on Marsha's Idaho History Project)
Pin in place. I like corners. And if those corners are wavy all the better! :)

With just regular old thread that matches the background, I take a small stitch in the background fabric. Be sure that you're needle is not going through to the other side of quilt, or through all 3 layers. You are hiding your thread inbetween the backing and the batting. Grab just a couple of threads in the fold of the heart. Then continue to take another stitch, right by where you just came out from the heart, in the background/backing fabric. Do this all the way around and it will give you a nice invisible look. When you've completed the shape, make a little double knot at the end and then hide it inbetween the layers.

Aaaahhhhh Happy Beginnings ~~~

Let's just have ONE more picture of the finished quilt. :)


  1. I've always just needle-turned a single layer, but I like this method much better, and I have a million cookie cutters. Thanks!

  2. Yes, I have needle turned the edges before, as well. I've also just pressed it 1/4" around all the edges too. Depends on my mood. I do like this better because I don't have to worry about getting all my edges under and even. I don't have to pin very much. You can also, cut out most of the backing of the label if the bulk bothers you or the print coming through to the other side is a problem.

  3. I have never put a label on my quilt, this is so easy and personable too! I made a quilt for my mom this past Christmas and even my dad got on my about putting a label on it! Thanks!

    PS...did not get pictures at Farm Chicks but did have fun, they already have the dates for next year, check out thier site, you guys should try to sell your kits, there were no quilt kits there!!

  4. I believe I will be riding the wave with you on my next quilt and labeling it-thanks for all your great ideas you really are the best!!!!!!!!Love ya

  5. Another great tutorial. I think I will have to try this when I get my quilts to this phase. If I would get off of the computer...
    cjnid at niwb dot net

  6. MAN I wish I had known about that Farm Chicks thing in Spokane. I SOOOO would have gone!
    cjnid at niwb dot net

  7. I love your idea and plan to try it on the quilt I am now making for Project Linus. However, I do have a request to make of you. Please, don't use the word "Nazi" in connection with quilters.
    Thank you,

  8. Thanks for this method. I was trying to make my first label much more complicated, like machine embroidery or computer printed. This is much more personal, the hand written version and I like it.

  9. I would really like to add this to pinterest it is such a great idea. I didn't see anywhere to "pin it". Thank you for all your tutorials, they're so helpful!

    1. Just hover over any of the pictures and a big "P" will show up and you can pin from there!