The most important, yet most neglected part of the quilt
Go ahead, admit it… You made quilts, finished them and perhaps even gifted them without a label. Right? Really, how important is a label anyway, the person you’re giving the quilt to knows it came from you. And doesn’t it seem a bit boastful or narcissistic to put a label on a quilt, giving yourself credit for your work? A label is important and it’s not boastful, it is factual. In this day and age of information at our finger tips quilt labeling is more important than ever! Let’s review how to make the quilt label, and the 5 items to include on your quilt label.
You’re probably wondering why I’m taking the time to talk about what to include on a quilt label and why they’re so important, instead of talking about my Scarlett (aka my PFAFF Creative 1.5. sewing and embroidery machine) and what a wonderful machine she is and so on…
Let me tell you, Scarlett comes with easy to use introductory embroidery software. This software comes with a variety of fonts, borders, and frames making label-making as easy as typing. Stitching the label out happens in the embroidery hoop, making the task even easier.
Why are labels important?
Consider this, in today’s world all kinds of information is easily accessible about you. People with some basic computer skills can find out where you work, the name of your children, if your name is on the deed to your house, where you went to school, and the information goes on and on…what might be a lot harder if not impossible for them to find out decades from now, is the cherished information about your quilting.
And really, at the end of the day isn’t our quilting what makes up a large part of who we are? The quilts we make today hold the love, skill and time it took us to make that quilt for someone very special.
Not to mention, sometimes quilts get lost or stolen it’s hard to trace a quilt back to its owner if there is no label. No label? No information.
Hold on, I can already hear you. Many of you don’t want your name on the quilt because you don’t feel your work is ‘good enough’. Well stop that right now! It’s not about your workmanship, it’s about your heart and your work and the time you put into making it. So what if it’s not perfect, so what if the quiltzilla at your last guild meeting pointed out the flaws–that’s her problem not yours. Feel sorry for her, imagine walking around life finding the negative in everything and not the beauty.
Your quilt still needs a label.
5 items you must include on your quilt label
Four of the five items must be included on your quilt label, the fifth is optional, and probably the most sentimental.
1 – Full name of the recipient, so there’s no mistake to whom it belongs…
2 – The full name of the maker of the quilt, not just ‘mom’ or ‘grandma’ or ‘nana’.
3 – What is the occasion for making the quilt. Christmas, wedding, graduation, etc.
4 – The year the quilt was finished (which isn’t always the same year as when the quilt was started as we all know).
5 – The most heartwarming of items to include on the label are ‘love notes’. Sometimes, for very special occasions I try to write a little something for the recipient. Writing a love note largely depends on who it’s for and why the quilt was made.
A sense of finality.
Another reason I label my quilts is it gives the project a whole sense of finality. While the label is being stitched in the hoop, I use this time to give my sewing area a nice tidy up. It gives me a chance to regroup before the next project, to savor the moment of completing one quilt and prepare my space and my heart for the next one.
It feels that without making a label, I would go from one project to another without ever properly saying goodbye to the ‘just finished’ project.
Label making and embroidery steps
- Design your label on your computer with the included embroidery software. If you’re computer savvy you’re going to catch onto this in no time flat; if you’re a bit of a computer slow poke, give yourself a few minutes to play around first. This is the easiest and user friendliest software to use. It’s user friendly and very intuitive.
- Choose a font, and choose a mini-pic or mini-design…you’ll see later I added some bells to mine. When you’re happy with your selection of design and thread colors you’re ready to stitch it out! If you have any questions at all, your PFAFF dealer will be able to help you.
- Hoop some stabilizer.
Before basting down the fabric, make sure you have an embroidery needle in your machine and that you’ve changed your foot to this awesome hooping embroidery foot that comes with the PFAFF Creative 1.5. You can also hoop the fabric along with the stabilizer but I always use my baste function on my machine to hold it in place. The PFAFF Creative 1.5 might be an introductory embroidery machine but it has all the great embroidery features you’re looking for like the baste feature.
Note: See my baste line in green below.
Once basted, I allow the embroidery machine to do all the work, changing colors as it tells me to. While the machine is embroidering away, I use this time to tidy my sewing area, to put away the scraps from this project, and sometimes to start getting things ready for the next one. Whatever you do, relish this moment, savor it, appreciate it.
Your quilt is finished, your label will be beautiful and a bit of history is being preserved.
Here’s the label a bit further along. I wanted to show you that I chose a metalic thread for the bells. They turned out great and went through the machine with no trouble at all.
Now I’m just going to slip the hoop back into the machine and let the label finish out. Once it’s done, I will trim it and attach it to the back of the quilt. This label is an important part of my son’s Christmas quilt. He’s going to know it was pieced and quilted by me but eventually he’ll forget exactly what year it was quilted for him along with other details about it. Maybe someday his grandchildren will know that I loved my son, their grand dad, enough to make him this Christmas quilt.
If all this isn’t a reason to quilt for those whom you love, and listing 5 items to include on your quilt label, I don’t know what is. Until next time, happy quilting.