Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Are your quilts labeled?

Labeling quilts is a priority for me. I try to get my quilts labeled right away, but it doesn't always happen. When I was checking quilt backs last week I realized that a few needed to be labeled, so I got busy.
My method is a simple one. I open a Word Document and write in what I want to show on the label. For example:


My Happy Place
Marcie Patch
-Patchalot Patterns-
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quilted by Marae Harris
80-20 batting
2006

I iron a 8-1/2" x 11" piece of freezer paper to a piece of fabric that is cut just a little smaller. Usually the paper curls a little so I press it under something heavy while it cools. I try to do a few labels at a time on the same page. The fabric side faces down in the paper drawer and rolls up to be printed on. Often the top edge catches when it starts going through the printer and the top of the page gets smudged with ink, so I leave a large margin at the top just in case. This isn't a fool proof method, but it works well enough. The more you do it, the more you know what to expect. 

After your page is printed on the fabric you can peel it off the freezer paper and press it with an iron. The heat seals the ink so it doesn't wash out. Now trim down each label, leaving about an inch around each side of the lettering. Add little borders to make it cute, if you wish. Next I sew it right side down to a piece of light colored fabric on all four sides. Carefully slit open the back and turn it in side out. Pull out the corners, press it and it is ready to stitch on to the back of your quilt. You will thank yourself for doing this in the coming years! 

I also like to give notice as to who designed the quilt. Sometimes it's me, but not always. Also, who quilted it, what batting, etc. Sometimes there is a story behind a quilt that you may add. 

Another thing I have done when I make little gifts for friends is to simply make a bunch of little labels with my name and the year, fold all the raw edges in and tuck it into the binding so you have a little tab label.  

I know people document their quilts in different ways. If we post them on our blog we can do a search with the right key words. Today I was able to find a post by Karen Mowery about a quilt that she made that was recently won at an Ebay auction. My friend Paula the Quilter was the high bidder and when she received the quilt there was no label. Luckily we were able to find Karen's notes about the quilt on her blog! It was a great find because it not only gave the date she made it, but also who quilted it and the fabric line and her inspiration in creating it! Now Paula can make a really interesting label!
 
By the way, a few of you have asked about Karen's cats, especially Rembrandt, and whether they found homes. Yes! I am happy to report that Karen's son Tim found homes for both her cats! 
 


11 comments:

Kyle said...

Labels are always a good idea. I was just noticing on some of mine that the ones I printed via the printer are not holding up well even after they were heat set. Hope it doesn't become a problem. :0)

Melanie said...

Love the printing idea....

Sue said...

That is a great way to make labels. I have to say that is something I'm terrible about doing. I make them for the quilts I give as gifts, but other than that.....

So glad the cats have found homes. I didn't win the quilt I was bidding on and that breaks my heart, but I'm sure it found a great home:)

Kindred Quilts said...

Thanks for the info regarding labeling our quilts. It makes perfect sense to do it... I'm going to make a better attempt at doing so!

JoAnne said...

First of all, I bid on quite a few of Karen's items, but wasn't lucky enough to win any. I was thrilled to see a Bountiful Life quilt at the Midatlantic show. It made me think of her.

Second, I do labels sort of like you, only I don't print the fabric. I keep it ironed onto the freezer paper to make it easy to work with, but I print my labels on paper and put that sheet behind my fabric. Then I use a lightbox and trace over the words with a black pigma pen--that way I know the ink won't disappear. Since I'm tracing, I try to use a handwriting-friendly font.

Shelley said...

Wise words about labeling! So important, great post Marcie!

YankeeQuilter said...

Glad to hear the cats all found homes!

Thanks for the tips on labels...

Rosa said...

Thanks for the tip and hope to begin label my quilts.

Jacque Wright said...

I make my label and binding as soon as I finish the top. But I don't use the computer for my labels. . I always handwrite them. I want future generations to see my handwriting. That way I feel like a part of me will live on with my quilts.

Libby said...

I have rather given up on labeling quilts as they are made. Instead I use my blog as a way to record it's existence. Then when a quilt achieves its destiny and goes to live at its forever home, I make a custom label to commemorate the event.

Ruth said...

I do try to put labels on, but there are a few that I haven't sewn them on yet. Now that we have a new printer, I might try printing some. Before, it just jammed up the printer. I have a couple books with iron on transfers which I color with colored pens and then enter the information by hand.