Using selvages to make quilt labels: Blue Stitch

Working with selvages is so much fun! You can use them to make fabric for just about any project. After making the Selvage edge zippered pouches yesterday, I still had leftover selvages from the Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs.

I had to label the quilt, and thought it would be fun to border the label with selvages.

The biggest question with any label is how much information should be included. You can put anything you want on a label, but all labels should at very least include the following essential information:

  • the name of the quilt
  • the name of the designer
  • the name(s) of everyone involved in the making process
  • where the quilt was made
  • when the quilt was made
  • any other interesting facts about the quilt

I decided to use the Husqvarna Viking Designer Sapphire 85 sewing and embroidery machine to embroider the label. The smallest font size on the Designer Sapphire 85 is 10mm, which would create a label slightly larger than I wanted, so I created the label in the mySewnet Embroidery Software. The smallest font in the mySewnet Embroidery Software is the Line Block font, ranging from 3mm to 20mm.

Once I created the label, I sent it via the mySewnet Cloud to the Designer Sapphire 85. I do love technology! Hey – everything we use today uses Wi-Fi, so why not our embroidery machines?

The lettering for the quilt label

I used the Line Block font (6mm) for the main section, while the title is 10mm. I used a 40wt embroidery thread on top, bobbin weight thread in the bobbin, and a size 90 needle. I made sure the Automatic Thread Cutter and Automatic Jump Stitch Trim functions were selected, as I didn’t want to manually trim between all the letters.

Stitching the label

Here’s the embroidery part of the label.

The machine embroidered label

It looks a wee bit messy because of the thicker thread. Since I love experimenting, I decided to redo the label. This time, I used a 60wt thread on top, the same bobbin thread in the bobbin, and a size 75 needle.

The quilt label restitched in 60wt thread

The thread color is almost the same, but the label looks much cleaner with the smaller needle and thinner thread. So, if you’re making quilt labels, use a thin thread with a smaller needle. You’ll be able to include lots of information on your label, the stitching is very legible, and the label won’t be too big.

I used Inspira Tear-A-Way stabilizer in the hoop and added an extra layer under the hoop to provide more support. I could have used a different stabilizer, but this worked just fine.

The 40wt thread and size 90 needle beside the size 75 needle and 60wt thread

I trimmed the label to 6½” and played with the selvages to see how it would look. Oh, I love it! I planned to miter the corners, and you can see how I made sure all the finished edges of the selvages faced the outside. I didn’t get too scientific about the width of the fabric, but since I wanted to miter the corners, I wanted the strips to be approximately the same height. I could have made square corners, but I’d end up with raw edges that way. It just seemed easier to miter the corners.

Auditioning the selvages for the label

I sewed the four selvage strips on, leaving the corners free to make the diagonal seam for the miter.

The selvages are sewn to the label

To create the mitered corner, I folded the label in half on the diagonal and lined up the two selvage strips in the corner onto each other. I then drew a 45° line from the end of the seam to the outer edge. I sewed on the line, starting where the other two seams ended, and sewed to the outside of the label.

Marking the diagonal seam for the miter

Before you trim off the excess, be sure to have a look at the front. Does the seam look okay, does it lie flat or are there puckers, and is it square?

The front of the mitered seam

When you’re happy with the seam, trim away the excess selvage fabric and press the seam open. I also pressed the side seams away from the embroidered center of the label.

Trimming the excess fabric from the mitered corner seam

Here’s the finished label. I trimmed off the dog ears, being careful not to cut any of the finished edges. Some of the edges look a bit wavy, but that’s okay. As I mentioned, I wasn’t too concerned with trimming the edges of the selvages. If it’s important to you, make the edges of the selvages perfect before sewing them to the label.

The embroidered quilt label bordered with selvages

Here’s the label, hand-stitched onto the back of the quilt with white thread and a blanket stitch. The entire process didn’t take long, and the result was worth it.

The quilt label sewn on the back of the quilt

I’ve had fun with these extra projects using the leftovers from the Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs. Thanks once again to Riley Blake Designs for letting me use this gorgeous blue and white fabric collection!

And hopefully, you have a few extra ideas of what to do with some of your leftover fabrics.

Have a great day!


This is part 3 of 3 in this series

Go back to part 2: Selvage edge zippered pouch tutorial: Blue Stitch

Related posts

Spectrum QAL Block 12 with Pam Voth: Delightful Collection by Riley Blake

Spectrum QAL Block 11 with Pam Voth: Delightful Collection by Riley Blake

Spectrum QAL Block 10 with Pam Voth: Delightful Collection by Riley Blake