Sunday, August 3, 2014

labels and sleeves

Home a week, and trying to find my stride... between unpacking,(still haven't unpacked my suitcase), relaxing, cooking ( so nice to have home cooked meals again)  and trying to get work done, I'm floundering around a bit... Haven't gotten my good camera out of my bag yet, so I phone photos will do for today. LOL... sigh...

I put the binding on this star quilt meant for a friend, which is long over do. Label on it today, ship it tomorrow.

I'm also adding labels and sleeves to some quilts for different exhibits. It occurred to me that  a small talk on labels on your quilts would be appropriate today...  I have a few quilts that were sent in for display with NO LABELS on them at all. If I didn't know who they were, I would have no idea who to get the quilts back to... Even if you were sending it out just to be photographed, bound or whatever...put your name on it and phone number.

 If you have a quilt leaving your house, whether you think it's important to you or not, PLEASE put your name, address, phone number email etc on that label.  Write it  on the quilt or sew on a  label.Your quilts are a show of your hard work!  And frankly the quilts are going to last longer then all of us, so it's also your legacy!

Having been on the board of the Quilt Alliance where we document share and preserve the stories of quilters, I have seen some amazing quilts over the years without any info on them. We are always asking, "Wow! Wish I knew more about this quilt, at least a name to think about who put in the hard work..."   This is not a hard step to do, after putting all that hard work into your quilts.

Even if your are writing on the backing of your quilt in a fabric pen, DO SO.
Put your mark and be proud of your beautiful effort.

Quilts do disappear.

So what do you need on that label? 
This is what I write:

Name of the quilt if it has one.
Made by:     
City & State  of person who made it.        Year made.
Quilted by: ( if not you)
City & State of person who quilted it
(full address if it's a show/work quilt)

Who is receiving the quilt:
City & State in which that person lives

your Email & their email
extra : your Phone number 
(I add a phone number to Show/work quilts, but not necessarily for gift quilts)

A line or two about the quilt.
For example: was it a donation, was it a gift, what inspired it, etc

Hand write, sew on a label, or add it inside the quilt... just label it.

You can of course, make your label as fancy as you like and/or write your name on the back of the quilt.. Computer printouts are popular or, have fancy ones made... 

I personally appreciate the Handwritten label by the quilt maker.  It's like putting my signature to a document... I like it like a personal hand written thank you note... special.

So that's my thoughts on labels...  Please read on to help fellow quilter whose quilts were stolen.


Recently,  Nancy Rink had several quilts stolen. All have labels on them, Let's hope they help in getting her quilts back to her.


  1. Good Public Service Announcement.
    I've taken to quilting info into my quilts which looks kind of cool.
    I hope Nancy gets her quilts back :(

  2. Good point about the labels, I need to catch up with a bunch of labels and make it a habit.

  3. a label can be "unsewn". What I do and feel is best is use a permanent pen and write all info- usually on the back- but that does mean you need it to be light colored . I came across a quilt with a beautiful label from "Grandma___" that is untraceable-tried so some child didn't get it because there wasn't enough info.

    1. As listed above:
      Even if your are writing on the backing of your quilt in a fabric pen, DO SO.
      Put your mark and be proud of your beautiful effort.
      (more then one way to mark your quilts is better then none at all...)

  4. How can the labels best be sewn on so they cannot be easily removed . I have been trying to put a folded triangle in the corner when I sew on the binding so it is caught in the binding. I don't know if that is proper or not. I love the idea of putting more info on the label; it never occurred to me. Thanks!

    1. Making the effort is better then not at all...Write on the quilt, sew the label on... Explain why it's valuable to the receiver to have a label on the quilt... I sew them into the quilt, meaning on the batting, under the top, as well... it will always be inside the quilt as well as on the outside.

  5. How about write some identifying information on the back directly onto the fabric, and then also add a sewn on label? That way, even if the label somehow becomes detached from the quilt, there is still identifying information on the quilt.

    1. That is the point I was trying to make, and thought I wrote,,, clearly I wasn't clear...LOL
      Oh well... if it gets people thinking, then perhaps they will will label their quilts, in one way or another... The quilts I rcvd have nothing attached to them, they are not written on, they do not have a hand sewn label on...nothing. There is no right or wrong way to label them, unless you don't label them at all...

  6. good ideas! how about making your label and sewing it on before you have it quilted so that it is then quilted into the quilt?

  7. thanks for the advice, will label mine as I add the binding. How devastating to have all those quilts stolen I do hope she gets them back. I went to a small show last year where some had been stolen but most were recovered, stolen by drug addicts who then tried to sell them,

  8. I am pretty good about labeling the quilts I give away, but I don't get around to labeling the quilts I keep! I had one quilt I gave away and used the wrong pen for writing on the label. I figured this out later after the quilt was gifted and there was no way to contact the person. The pen was not permanent and the ink would wash out! Oops! I hope Nancy gets her quilts back.

  9. I always do a label, mostly so I remember when I made the quilt, and what it's called! Ha ha - but seriously it drives me nuts when people don't label. You have to own the fact you've made it!

  10. Victoria...what fabric do you use for your labels? Muslin?


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