Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Do you label?


I don't feel like a quilt is finished until I put a label on it.  

My great-grandmother was a quilter, and how I wish she would have labeled her quilts.   At least I would have a little more information about the quilt.....when she made it, who it was for, anything like that.  

I do realize that back then quilts were more utilitarian, and the thought of making a label probably never crossed her mind.  I just want more information to be stuck to my quilts, unable to be separated from them.

Many times I forget when I made the quilts myself, so I've found labels to be helpful!   


This label is from a panel.  I love how well it goes with the backing!

I usually prefer to get panels of labels, and choose one that fits the quilt as best as I can.  These panels are getting more and more difficult to find.  I wonder why.  Are quilters not using them?

I couldn't find a label that I thought was appropriate for my Leap Year quilt, so I used a left over charm square. I'm happy with how it turned out.      


This is the one made from a charm square.

Right now, I'm on the lookout for thicker fabric pens, or any fabric pens for that matter.

  I've heard of using stamps on quilt labels, but I've never found any ink that I thought would definitely stay on the fabric when it was washed.

Pat wrote an interesting post last year about making labels using her computer.  I tried this years ago, but the fabric sheets I was using were just too stiff for my taste. I'll have to try some of the products that Pat suggests.   

How are you labeling your quilts? 
  
If you use labels from a panel, where are you finding them?  I'd love to know. Is there a particular type of pen you use, or have you found the elusive fabric stamp that I've been trying to locate for years at my local craft shops. 

Let me know about your labels! 


20 comments:

Stephanie said...

The short answer is No. I used to label quilts but really just dislike doing it so I stopped. I keep meaning to do it and well...

As much as I wish old family quilts were labeled I should learn a lesson from that so no one has to wonder about mine one day. Thanks for the reminder.

Candace said...

I was labeling my quilts up until I retired. I keep meaning to go back and do all the ones I've made since then - yes, I've been a slacker! I find the panels at various quilt shops when I travel, have been gifted some, and have even done a few on my embroidery module. You might try looking for the panels on Etsy!
Cheers!

Sinta Renee said...

I just hate that little tast and I wait until the quilt is going into a show or something to get that done. But when I do make a label I do much like you and write the name etc. but then I apply it to the quilt with a blanket stitch and add a vintage button.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

It depends on the quilt on the method and information I use, but they are always handmade/stitched - I don't like the fabric labels or pre-printed. Charity quilts I never label as they usually don't want them so.

Terry said...

I have some of my quilts labeled, but I think I need to take a day and label the rest of them. I use a pigma pen on mine, and heat set the ink with an iron so it won't wash out. Sometimes I write on the fabric and sometimes right on the back of the quilt if it's light enough. You can iron fabric onto freezer paper too and then run that through your printer too. Just heat set it with the iron before washing too.

JoAnne said...

I do try to make labels. I have a technique that I love. First, I use Pigma Micron pens. You can find them in the scrapbook dept. They are colorfast and come in several colors and the black one in different thicknesses. The way I like to make lables is to pick a font that I like on the computer. One that doesn't have many serifs (the little bases of the letters like in the "n" in this font. I also like to find one that has a normal g (like this one) and not that funky g that some fonts have. A great way to audition fonts is to go through your list of fonts and in a document, type the name and then do the alphabet in lowercase and then capital if there is room on the same line, so that you can see a nice example. I have been known to do every font I have and then print out the document and put it in a binder so I have a quick reference to look through. Comic Sans is a good one. I also like Lucida Handwriting. There are also tons of free fonts on the internet. Then I design a label in Powerpoint (or you can use Word) Again, you can audition differnt fonts by just changing them. The computer lets you "center align" etc. Make sure that the font is large enough that you can trace it. Then, I print it out and tape it to a sunny window or a lightbox. Next prep the fabric. I like to iron freezer paper underneath to make it more stable. You can use a piece of light/cream fabric, or a leftover block if there is free space inside where writing will show up. Then tape the stabilized fabric on top of the printout so that it is centered, and then trace over the writing with the pen. Once that is done, I usually sew border strips cut from leftover fabric around the edges. If the backing is dark or busy and it looks like it may "bleed" through to the label, you can put another layer of muslin behind the label. Now you just iron under a quarter inch and then sew it on. Just like that you have a custom label.

Needled Mom said...

I do my labels on the computer with a program (I think it's an HP one). It's fun to incorporate photos in the labels. The newer photo fabric is much nicer than it once was, but I also like to make my own by ironing it onto freezer paper and cutting it to an 8x11 size.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I try to label and it happens most of the time. Any tips I had are already listed above. Good Luck.

heartsease54 said...

My local quilt shop has a huge variety of panels to choose from so sometimes I use those & sometimes I make one. The method I like for making them is to sew coordinating borders on plain muslin or other light fabric, then layer it with another square of plain muslin, sew all around the edges (all 4). Then trim corners, flip it over, cut a slit in the plain muslin back, turn the label out through the slit, press the edges, stitch it on. I use a Micron pen to write the info.

heartsease54 said...

Need to add that when I layer it before stitching edges, the right sides are together ;)

MulticoloredPieces said...

Your label is downright beautiful! I just use a permanent pen on a scrap of fabric and sew that on. On the other hand, I do embroider my name and the date on the front of the quilt. I also regret that my grandmother didn't label her quilts.
best, nadia

Cheryl said...

I believe in labels too! I like to use Carrie Nelson's method...use leftover blocks or make a similar block and incorporate it into the backing. It gets quilted and therefore makes it hard for someone to remove.

Carrie P. said...

I do label. Sometimes I just write the info on the backing fabric. I heard a story where someone had stolen a quilt and took off the label so there was no proof of who owned the quilt. Sometimes I have put the label on before it is quilted. That way it is sewn on twice.
I use a Pigma pen to write my info on my label. It is supposed to be acid free.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I try to label most of my quilts. I have 4 different panels that I bought a few years back that I think I bought on ebay. If one of those doesn't fit the quilt then I make my own using a fabric pen.

em's scrapbag said...

Not like I should.

Maddy said...

I try to keep up with labels for my quilts but time and setting up the machine to do so gets away from me. I do not let a quilt go without firstly labelling it. All the quilts on my children's beds have labels. But there are a few around the house in storage that do not.

AnnieO said...

I've never really liked those panel labels so I always make my own...not that I have labeled all of my quilts! Sometimes they are from a leftover block or element from the quilt top, sometimes just a rectangle of the background fabric. I'd be interested to hear what permanent pen you find that works well!

Houseelf said...

I know I ought to label but when I have done a pieced back too, it is hard to know whee to put one. I ought to do more. I use a pigma pen, and sometimes go over in thread if the writing is big enough. I hand sew usually after the quilt is finished.

Robin said...

Like you, I am a labeller! I like to make my own. I generally use a batik fabric for labels-- the tight weave seems to be smoother for writing, and the inks don't spread as much. I back the fabric with freezer paper and then I use Pigma pens to do all of my writing. Then I remove the paper and heat set the inks with a hot, dry iron.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

I don't but I should. Thanks for the public service announcement. I will make sure I get better at it.