Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Word About Quilt Labels

If you own even one antique quilt, I'm sure you wish you knew all about who made it, where she lived, and what year was it created.  Was it made for someone special?  What inspired her fabric and pattern choices?  Oh, if only those quilts could talk!

It is our duty to be sure that our quilts can talk for us long after we're gone, by making sure we have attached a quilt label.  I know this is hardly breaking news to you, but so often, we just don't get around to seeing to that last detail.....right?

About five years ago, I made a commitment to attach a label to every quilt, which is especially important for the quilts I create for my pattern company.  Often, those quilts travel in a trunk show to shops all over the U.S., so it's important they have a label.  It's equally important that the label be quilted right into the quilt, making it nearly impossible to remove, not just sewn to the back after it's been quilted.  The only thing is......once the quilt top has been pieced, I just don't have it in me to piece a label into the back.  I know I should, but I just don't.  So...I came up with the following solution.

Here's an overview of how I create my labels.  Complete step-by-step instructions are available in my Hints Book

I create the label itself using my computer and ink jet printer.  (Do not do this if you have a laser printer!!)  It's very important to me to be able to create the label using fabric that matches the other fabrics in the quilt.  I don't care for the pre-made label fabric sheets you can buy for this purpose because they rarely match the quilt, and are rougher and thicker than the beautiful cottons we piece with.

I have a stash of assorted tone-on-tones just for labels.  The fabric needs preparation and freezer paper before going thru the printer (info in the Hints book).  I have used ordinary freezer paper, but of late, I prefer freezer paper sheets.  They are already 8.5 x 11 inches, and are much heavier that kitchen freezer paper, so they hold up better in the printer. 

Once the fabric is prepared, we're ready for the printer.

I create my label as a Word document.  Use assorted fonts and clip art to dress things up.  (This technique is not for photo transfer!)  If you're creating small labels, you can fit two on an 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Once you're happy with the label information, load the fabric in your printer, take a deep breath, and hit print!

You'll find lots more infomation about label fabric preparation, setting the ink, trimming your labels, etc, in the Heartspun Quilts Hints Book, which is loaded with lots of good hints, tips and tricks about everything quilting!  To see a full description and/or purchase the Hints book, click here.  To purchase the heavy duty freezer paper, click here.

My next post will give an overview of how I frame and finish my labels, with photos of several completed labels quilted into the backing, including one that was featured in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine!


Don't forget to email me a photo of your Quilty License Plate!!


Join Lynne Hagmeier and me as we cruise to Alaska on The Great Girlfriend Get-AwayClick here to find all of the details!

1 comment:

  1. This works like a charm! And I do love your hint book, Pam! Happy New Year!