4 Creative Ways to Label a Quilt

Quilt-Label

In the words of the 21st century philosopher Beyoncé, “If you liked it then you should have put a label on it.” What?… she didn’t say that? Well, I'm pretty sure it was something close to that.

We all know that quilting takes some WORK, and whether you’re giving that finished masterpiece to your niece, selling it on Etsy, or even just keeping the dang quilt cause you made it and you deserve it... that quilt needs its own personal label.

Quilt labels come in all shapes, sizes, materials and styles, so you can experiment and figure out what works for you. If you have any interest in entering your quilt into a gallery or show, one main requirement is a label, so you might as well start labeling all of your quilts! Here are some great, creative ways to label your quilt, so you get credit where credit is due!

Twill Tape

Sometimes, it’s good to go the KISS route (Keep It Simple, Superstar!) This twill tape is a great way to get your label on your quilts without getting too elaborate. The pictures below are brought to you by the fabulous quilter, Evie Jespersen.  She machine stitches her twill tape label into the corner when applying binding on the face of the quilt. She then hand stitches the binding over.

You can find something similar on Etsy.

Twill-Tape-Quilt-Label
Simple-Quilt-Label

Print Your Own on Freezer Paper

I do this every time I send a quilt off to be displayed in a quilt show. Quilt shows typically require a lot more information on a quilt label than you would normally put on a quilt – for example, your address.

Print Your Own Quilt Label Tutorial

  1. To start, cut a piece of freezer paper and light-colored fabric slightly larger than a standard piece of printer paper (in the US, that's 8 1/2" x 11").
  2. Place the freezer paper shiny side down on top of the fabric. The freezer paper will stick a bit.
  3. With an iron on the cotton setting, press the freezer paper onto the fabric until it sticks (this only takes a few seconds.)
  4. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, trim them both to the exact size of regular printer paper.
  5. Now, you can feed your fabric-and-freezer-paper sheet into your printer as if it was printing paper! I had to change a setting on my printer so I could feed the "thick paper" into a tray in the back, but other than that, it's easy-peezy! 
  6. After you print, simply peel off the freezer paper and voila! You have your very own quilting label.
Laser-Print-Quilt-Label

FYI that is not my address. Also FYI you can see more pictures of my Lake Michigan in Denim quilt here!


Embroidery

Even though embroidery takes some time, and most people need to practice a bit before getting the hang of it, embroidery is a great way to make hyper-customized labels for quilts that are really beautiful. A friend of mine recently took this embroidery class on Craftsy and is now making some stunningly stitched things!

Embroidery-Quilt-Label

If you loooove the embroidery above, but don't feel up to the task of making it yourself, I bet if you asked nicely, this pretty little shop, Bug & Bean, would embroider a quilt label just for you! 


Custom Woven Quilt Label

If you want to get real professional, you can also buy custom quilt labels. There are many independent label sellers online that do a very high-quality job. Custom labels can be great for serious sellers, and make quilts look especially official. They’re also a fun way to make a gift extra-special.

When I ordered this set of labels I was deeply obsessed with my hobby as an amateur quilt historian. I wanted to be sure that 100 years from now my great-grandchildren knew exactly when their awesome ancestor made the heirloom quilt that now hangs front and center in their main foyer. So, in that vein, I printed all of my labels with dates...not realizing that a batch of 100 labels might be a few too many for one year. Ooops!

Anyone need a Suzy Quilts 2016 label?

Modern-Quilt-Label

In the infamous words of the candy company, Reese’s, “There’s no wrong way to label a quilt.” Get your name on there, let people know it came from your, talented, crafty hands, you deserve it.

Do you have an interesting way to label a quilt or a favorite quilt label vendor? Please do share! I'm always looking for a fun (and easy) way to label my quilts.

4-Creative-Ways-Label-Quilt

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36 thoughts on “4 Creative Ways to Label a Quilt

  1. Mareike says:

    When I read your headline I thought of using transfer paper and an inkjet printer. You might as well iron this directly on the back of the quilt and skip the extra fabric label.
    Another way I have used before is a plotter and vinyl foil. I simple cut out the words and iron it on the back.

    Using the freezer paper method, is it really washable?

    Best Mareike

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Full disclosure – I have yet to wash any of my quilts with the inkjet printer labels. However, I would assume that the ink is permanent, and based on other tutorials I’ve read online, it is. If you want to be sure, might as well try it out, then throw the label into the washing machine before sewing it to anything.

      • Peggy says:

        I have done this on the fabric paper you buy in the store and the inkjet ink holds up to a wash. Not sure if it’s the ink or the fabric paper I used.

  2. Daniela Kirk says:

    Great ideas! Thank your for some fun ways to make labels. I never thought of using twill tape.
    I do want to have some professional labels made for my creative handmade makes.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Hedy says:

    I always took a piece of fabric close to what the backing is and hand wrote onto my fabric, sewing it by hand onto the quilt back. I have also taken my special waterproof pen and written directly onto the quilt. It does fade somewhat though. I just made a quilt with deep purple flannel backing and am unsure what to label this with, I do like your many ideas though.

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      I bought these from a vendor on Etsy, I don’t remember exactly who. If you do a search for “woven labels” on Etsy a lot of different options pop up. Even some iron-on labels that could be nice.

  4. Bethany Bergner says:

    I love how you hand sewed that mustard binding on! Did you just use the same method as you would use to tack it down invisibly…but just change your stitch to a visible one? Does that make sense?!

  5. Marty says:

    I made a quilt for a dear friend intending it to be a retirement gift in 2005. I gave it to her in 2015. I attached a handwritten label listing all the events in her life spanning those ten years..retirement, grandchildren, moving far away, remarrying and moving back..she loved it!

  6. Maggie Drafts says:

    Suzy, I know ONE Marley, who has a Nonnie…….could it be possible for it to be “my” Nonnie who immigrated to Canada from South Africa??????
    LOVE your creative mind!!!!!

  7. Suzy F. says:

    You could trim the 2016 off of the top of your label and hand sign the date below Suzy Quilts. Voile! You can now use your beautiful labels any time.

  8. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the different methods! I use the freezer paper method – I can fit a heap of info on these labels. Though I have thought of getting some printed (maybe without a date! 🙂

  9. brooke h says:

    Love quilt labels, they make them feel so special! i currently embroider all my labels, which definitely takes some time. I’ve been looking into making a stamp/lino block to print labels to lower my time to just embroidering a name&date.

  10. JCINTX says:

    Some great ideas & a good reminder for me! I don’t use traditional labels on some of my quilts, but I understand their importance. So, I’ve tried to get creative. 1) I have embroidered my info within a block on the front…blending, small as not to distract from design. 2) WhIle FMQ the quilt I’ve ‘written’ details. 3) using my embroidery machine, I’ve stitched out details in a single, long strip, then sewing it along edge of binding to blend with the backing (next to, not on the binding).

  11. Bradford Snelson says:

    I never would have thought of using freezer paper with an iron to make a makeshift label for a quilt! That’s very creative, and probably something my grandmother would enjoy since she likes to make quilts as a hobby. I imagine it would look very good as well to have a professional service print several labels for you.

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