Monday, February 19, 2018

An Easy Quilt Label Solution

Last year, when I was finishing and quilt-sleeving about 20 quilts for my solo exhibit, I also had to make sure everything was well-labeled. Generally, it's good practice to label the things you've made.  I think this is for two major reasons:

1. To document the time, place, and maker. As the Quilt Alliance says, "no more anonymous quilts!" In their labeling pledge from 2017, they asked quiltmakers to sign on to this agreement: "I pledge to label my quilts, both quilts that I make and quilts that I own. I understand that quilts are historical documents, containing important information about the life and times of the maker, their family and their world."

Personally, I don't make quilts specifically to become heirlooms, but they are extensions of myself. It's fun to look back at the time or place I made something, since we've moved a few times. What was my life like back then? How have I changed? Wow, that was the beginning of my free motion quilting journey, look how far I've come! Also, it's a very real reality that my quilts will outlive me lifespan-wise, so if they serve as historical documents for my family (or the wider world?), that's great (trained historian here - primary sources are boss).

2. To send someone a message, if you made something especially for them.

Labeling CAN be a pain - unless you really like hand sewing or you plan ahead. One of the best parts of preparing an exhibit was knowing that all my work was documented appropriately. But what about everything I made since? Did I follow through?

The answer is a resounding yes. No matter what, I ALWAYS label quilts that I give others (like my recent Disney mini quilt above, "Belle"). And since last year, this is my easy labeling solution before binding: take a 5" or 6" square of white or light gray, press it in half on the diagonal, pin it to the lower right hand side of the back of the quilt (just my preference), and sew the binding on right over it.

It's just like making pockets to hang a mini quilt like this tutorial by PatchworkPottery (bonus: if you're already making pockets, you have a ready-made label).

It doesn't bother me that I can lift the pocket up a little. You could include a little surprise/trinket in there if you were gifting a quilt. Or, you could hand sew it shut, if it really bothers you!

Anyway, it's super fast and easy. I just taught my preteen sewing student this method, and she's been using it on her work already. What's your preferred labeling solution? Please share with us!


  1. That's how I label my quilts too! I love using my own handwriting too!
    The only other thing that I to so that it's attached on the long side, is to take a section of binding and cut in half lengthwise. Then I press in half, lengthwise. I sew it to the long side and press away from the label. When I'm hand sewing the binding, I also sew that edge to the back of the quilt. If I machine sew the binding, I still hand sew this edge.

  2. that’s the way Inusually label quilts and if it’s a small quilt put one on both sides at the top and insert a dowel or rod or broken yard stick you can hang them this way

  3. I like to make my label on my embroidery machine and sew it into the backing of my quilt - I rarely have a quilt small enough to use a single piece of regular fabric. When I quilt the quilt, it becomes a permanent part of the quilt and I don't have ANY hand sewing on it! I will frequently make a block using strips of fabric from the front of the quilt to make the label on and that is fun, but does require at least one solid fabric. I have also used antique hankies to embroider or write a label and that makes for a pretty label. I've also done the triangle on the corner like you do, but I do sew it down because I don't want a foot getting caught it it and ripping the quilt.

  4. I'm trying to remember to label, and when I do I use the same method you do. I don't think there's an easier way!

  5. That is my preferred method, too, so looks like I am in good company. I don't usually include the "where", maybe I should, eh? If it is just a mini or something, I will often just write my name or initials , and the year, right on the backing.

  6. That's how I make my labels as well! Quick and easy.

  7. I label occasionally however I will start, now! What are you using for the pen? And how do you get the materials to not bunch under the tip?


Let's start a conversation! I love comments and I'd be happy to reply to all who have an email address accessible. Thanks for commenting!


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