5 ways to creatively label your quilting projects

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.

Creative quilt labels using 5 great methods and some fantastic notions.

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:

Excellent and indispensable notions needed to make quilt labels

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.

Supplies gathered for a hand-embroidered label.

My quilt inspiration for the label:

This Intersections Quilt needs a 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.

Information and markings for the label placed on Fabric Creations Cotton with a blue wash out marker and a ruler.

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.

UNIQUE Craft 8″ Plastic Embroidery Hoop encasing my label on Fabric Creations Cotton in white.

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.

Heirloom Gold Eye Crewel Embroidery Needles and Smoke Gray

6. Use a hand embroidery stem stitch.

Diagram for the Stem Stitch

Starting the embroidery process with a running stitch on all the lettering and a size 3 Heirloom Gold Eye Crewel Embroidery Needle.

Lettering is complete with gray embroidery floss and Heirloom Gold Eye Crewel Embroidery Needles.

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.

Bees are embroidered to quilt label for the Intersections Quilt.

  1. Spray away all the markings, iron the label, mark the lines for cutting and cut around it with LDH 9” Pinking Sheers.

Spraying away the blue markings on the label with warm water.

Label marked to provide a guideline to cut 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.

Two pieces of coordinating fabric right sides together for background of label.

Background fabric pinned where the gap is placed.

Background fabric sewn with ¼” seam allowance around the perimeter leaving a 2” gap. Corners are clipped.

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.

Hand embroidered label pinned to its background. Edge cut with LDH 9” Pinking Sheers.

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.

The label is stitched to the background fabric and the label is complete. Notice the bee motif?

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.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: How to make a quilt label using permanent marking pens

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