Friday, March 19, 2010

Labels can be a good thing...

For me, one of the best parts of quilt-making is doing the label. It means that the job is DONE! And it is your chance to put your mark on your own little piece of quilt making history, And if you quilt is a gift, it gives you the opportunity to tell someone how much you love them.

I thought I'd share with you how I make mine.

You will need.....

A print out of what you want your label to say, a rotary cutter, quilter's ruler, cutting mat, sticky tape, fabric for your label and a ZIG pigment ink pen. (Absent at time of photgraph - pins, contrasting fabric for border of label.)

But I am getting ahead of myself here. About the print out. I design my labels in Microsoft Word. This way I can use a lovely font, play with the size and the text and get everything just right. (My handwriting is not to be trusted to stay in a straight line).

There are loads of gorgeous fonts out there that you can download for free. I use either dafont or fontfreak for my fonts. The fonts in this label are Brock Script and Aramis.

I also like to include a quote or a little message on my labels, this quilt was inspired by Jane Austen and so I put the opening line from Pride and Prejudice on the label. A great source of quotes is quote garden.

There is all sorts of information you can put on a label but I don't like them to be too cluttered. I usually just have the name of the quilt, the quote, my name, who quilted it, when it was made and what is is made of. If it is a baby quilt/ utility quilt I just write a little message on it and that's it.

Once you have the text for the label printed out, use your ruler to determine the size of the label and cut your label fabric accordingly. Remember to include your seam allowance in the measurment. For this label I decided that 6.5" x 6.5" would be the size.

Next, tape the paper to your light box and then tape your fabric over the message, taking care that it is lined up properly and that the fabric is nice and smooth. If you don't have a light box then a window works just as well (it's just a bit more tiring on the arms).

Now, take your time to carefully trace the text using your ZIG Millennium pigment pen. I like these pens the best because they are lovely and fine but you can of course use another type of permanent pen. Done! Now carefully untape it and using a hot, dry iron set your ink.

The next step is to put a border on it. This is just like putting a border on a quilt. Determine the width you want your border strips to be (in this case 1.5") and cut 2 strips this width by the width of your label (1.5" x 6.5")

Attach these strips to your label and then repeat for the side strips adjusting your measurement accordingly (ie. the side strips in this case would be 1.5"x 8.5")

Next, turn your label over and iron a little hem about a 1/4" all the way around the edge of the label.

Then, pin the label to the back of your quilt and using a blind stitch, stitch it in place.

All done!

If you'd like to see some other examples of labels I've made click here.


  1. Great idea Shontelle. I shall have to get busy and add labels to my quilts now.

  2. The label looks gorgeous. Where'd you get that fabulous light box that I caught a glimpse of??

  3. I do my labels like this too and find that using Word helps a lot. I've never thought about putting on a quote or saying and that is certainly a nice touch.

    On my labels, washing instructions are included with a tip about no dry cleaning and keeping the quilt out of direct sunlight.

  4. The label is wonderful but the quilt is fantastic. It is truly beautiful you should be very proud of your self. I am a great fan of labels.

  5. This is a terrific label! Love the Jane Austen quote too!


I'm glad you popped by, your comments really make my day.


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