Hi to all our quilters and sewists out there and Happy Monday to you!
This week I’m sharing my methods for labeling a quilt. I’m hoping to inspire you with a daily peekaboo into a small grouping of my trunk show of quilts and my inspiration for these quilt labels.
Why would you label your quilts or quilted project? The answer to this question is simple, quilts are a real labor of love and take a great deal of time to complete. Quilts are also heirlooms, meant to last for a long time. Preserve the heritage of your quilts for future generations with labels so that they know who made it, where and for what occasion. If a quilt is worth doing, it’s worth labelling.
Here are some ideas of what to include on your labels:
- Name of the quilt, this may include the quilt pattern name.
- Who made the quilt?
- Date and place where it was completed.
- To whom was the quilt given.
- The occasion, such as a graduation, retirement, or anniversary, that prompted the making of the quilt.
- Care instructions for the quilt or quilted project if necessary.
Really, not a lot of supplies are needed to make labels but here are some of the notions I’m recommending this week, look for these in your own sewing stash or at your local quilting and sewing shops that facilitate the task:
- an embroidery hoop for hand-embroidered labels, like 8” UNIQUE Craft Embroidery Hoop
- crewel embroidery needles, Heirloom Gold Eye Crewel Embroidery Needle (Size 3)
- white cotton fabric, Fabric Creations White Cotton for the label
- scraps of fabric to coordinate with your quilt for label background
- Gütermann Cotton Thread to match your fabric scraps
- Heirloom Permanent Marking Pen
- UNIQUE Sewing Laundry Marking Pen
- fabric markers, Fabric Fun Fabric Markers2 – Primary Colors
- stabilizer for machine embroidery, SULKY Cut-Away Soft n Sheer
- machine embroidery needles, I love SCHMETZ Embroidery Needles
- machine embroidery thread, used was Gütermann Décor Rayon (blue, pink & purple)
- pinking sheers, I love, love, love the LDH 9” Pinking Sheers
- Sulky Transfer Pens
- DMC cotton floss to match your quilt
- blue wash out marker or another removable marker
- a sewing machine with decorative stitches and embroidery (optional)
- sewing scissors
- RIT Fabric Dye Fixative is optional but helpful to assist with colorfastness
- freezer paper, optional but helpful
The Hand Embroidered Label
Today’s label brings us right back to our roots with hand embroidery, our hands and creativity.
Gather the following indispensable notions for today’s project: LDH 9” Pinking Sheers, Fabric Creations Cotton, Heirloom Gold Eye Crewel Embroidery Needles, DMC embroidery floss, a blue washout pen and a small ruler.
My quilt inspiration for the label:
How To Make The Label
1. Cut a 12 x 12” piece of white cotton and find the center of the fabric by folding it in half and then in half again, mark the center with a disappearing blue wash out marker.
TIP Always make your fabric big enough to be moved around in the hoop. I recommend to make your fabric at lease 4” bigger than the hoop diameter.
2. Think about your quilt and a coordinating design or wording, spacing and number of lines needed.
3. Draw your lines on with a ruler and blue wash out marker. See photo below.
4. Place the fabric into the hoop. I love these UNIQUE Craft Hoops because they are easy to use, you can pop fabric in and out with ease and they are very lightweight. Not to mention the gorgeous pink color. Note: I left room at the top for an enhancement design.
5. Pick out the floss colors to work with and start hand embroidering. I used Heirloom Gold Eye Embroidery Needles in Size 3 because the gold eye and long shaped opening allowed me a big space to thread 3 strands of embroidery floss. I used smoke gray colored embroidery floss for the lettering. See photo below.
6. Use a hand embroidery stem stitch.
7. Add an additional picture graphic if you like to your lettering. I chose bees and an intersection graphic (my own design) for fun, it tied into the coloring and theme of the quilt.
- Spray away all the markings, iron the label, mark the lines for cutting and cut around it with LDH 9” Pinking Sheers.
Note: The reason I’m recommending cutting out the label with pinking sheers is: The edges of the fabric will have a hard time fraying with the jagged edge and it’s a quick way to applique the label without having to turn it under, press and sew.
I cannot say enough about these LDH 9” Midnight Edition Pinking Sheers, they are so sharp and cut such crisp edges! These sheers are handcrafted, industrial-grade high carbon steel and insured with a 10-year warranty. I have had other pinking sheers in the past and they do not compare to these ones. Every cut is smooth and buttery. Ask for them at your local sewing/quilting store.
9. Prepare a background for the label by using 2 scraps of coordinating fabric 2” wider and longer than the label, sandwich them right sides together and sew around the perimeter with a ¼” seam allowance leaving a 2” gap for turning to the right side, clip corners.
10. Turn the background fabric to the right side through the gap press and top stitch ⅛” in from the edge around the perimeter. Center the label on the top and pin it.
11. Topstitch the pinking sheered label to the background piece. I used a decorative honeycomb-like stitch. You could also use a simple straight stitch.
12. Admire your efforts!
13. Sew it to the right backside bottom of your quilt.
I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial about making an embroidered quilt label. Look into your sewing room or ask for the products I discussed at your local sewing, craft, or quilt shop. Join me tomorrow, I’ll discuss permanent marking pens and how they are simple, affordable, and effective at making great labels. In the meantime, start thinking about the quilts you need to label.