Quilt Label Tips, Tricks and More!

Labeling your quilt is an important–although often overlooked–step of making a quilt. When giving a quilt to a friend or family member, you might not think your quilts need labels. But they do! Quilt labels have helped quilt historians learn about a quilt’s origin long after the quilter was gone. They can also be a great way to make sure your quilt is never confused with someone else’s quilt. A label can also provide a personalized touch that makes a quilt that much more special for the lucky recipient.

Quilt-Label

Tips for Labeling Your Quilt 

I asked expert quilters, staff from Fons & Porter and other prestigious publications, how they approach labeling their quilts. Here’s what they had to say:

  1. “My nieces and nephews loved to look for the labels on quilts I made for them when they were little. Special messages just for them with nicknames, dates and what occasion it was given (Christmas, birthday, etc.). I always made the labels from leftover fabrics used in the quilt top and printed the wording in my handwriting. Funny thing was, they were so trained to look for the label, there were times they didn’t look at the design before they were searching out the label.”
    ~Colleen Tauke, Sewing Specialist, Fons & Porter

  2. “To me, the important things to include on a quilt label are: maker, city/state, and date. Sometimes, I’ll personalize the label with who it is for. Including any care instructions is helpful as well, especially with a baby quilt that will be washed.”
    ~Carolyn Beam, Content Director, QuiltmakerMcCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts

  3. “Label all your quilts—even the ‘not important’ ones: simple labels for simple quilts (maybe just with fabric marker), more complex labels for fancier quilts.”
    ~Lori Baker, Acquisitions Editor, Golden Quilting Community, F+W Media

  4. “Appliqué shapes—a flower, an apple, a child’s traced hand-print—can be a really sweet way to personalize a quilt label. Embellishing a quilt label with embroidery can also take something utilitarian and turn it into something special—it might even become your favorite part of the quilt!”
    ~Vanessa Lyman, Content Director, Fons & Porter group

  5. “I always like to add something from the quilt design to the label. Since I do loads of appliqué, that isn’t usually too hard since I always have a spare flower laying around. When my quilts are pieced I make sure some of the fabric makes it on to the label.”
    ~Erin Russek, Associate Editor, Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, Quilters Newsletter

  6. “I like to add fun labels to the baby quilts that I make for friends and family. I usually free-motion my message and the date. I use a very tight stitch length and go for it. With a little bit of practice, it works great. A couple of times I’ve ‘written’ the message large and made it part of the design of the quilt or the border. Relax, don’t fret and have fun.”
    ~Kathryn Wright, Senior Graphic Designer, McCalls & Quick Quilts

  7. “Quilt labels can come in all shapes and sizes. Spare quilt blocks not used on the front, or complementary appliqué shapes, make wonderful backgrounds for labels.”
    ~Caitlin Dickey, Video Content Strategist, Quilting Community, F+W Media

  8. “I believe it’s a good idea to label a quilt, however, I don’t make separate labels. I like to write my name and date on the back of a quilt, in one corner, using a fine-point permanent marker. The signature cannot be removed, and it’s inconspicuous.”
    ~Deb Finan, Quilting Quickly Editor

  9. “I’ll be honest — when it comes time to label a quilt, I’m usually so ready to be finished with it that I just write directly on the backing with a fine-tip permanent marker. In addition to being fast (if not particularly pretty), doing so offers me the reassurance that the label can’t be removed without leaving an actual hole in the quilt.”
    ~Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Associate Editor, Quilters Newsletter

  10. “I always tell my quilting friends to sign their full names, not just Granny or Aunt Susie or SJM, because years from now, no one will know exactly which “Granny” it was that made that wonderful quilt. Your ancestors will thank you for signing the quilt that they cherish.”  ~Bonnie Knott, Copywriter, Keepsake Quilting

Doesn’t all this talk about quilt labels make you want to finish a quilt, just to try out these tips? Here are some labels that are waiting for you to put your stamp (or stitches) on them. Find colorful labels, black and white labels, holiday labels – whatever you’re looking for, you should be able to find them here.

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Beginner’s Corner, Informational, Quilting Fabric, Quilting Gift Ideas

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