Recently, our local group finished a quilt (you can see it hanging in our exhibition in my previous post) and we decided to hand it over to its destiny: To make money for charity. However, before we could hand it over we needed to add a label.
This is how I usually make my labels, and yes, I always label my quilts! My quilts are part of my history in their own small way after all.
1. Create the text.
Always include the maker's name (or makers' names), place (town), and date (at least the year it was finished). More details can be added as you wish; the occasion it was made for, the recipient, start and finish dates, materials, etc. I always use WORD in a font that I like, centre the text, and change the font size(s), but you can vary that to your liking. Just make sure that the words are arranged how you want them to appear on the label. Then print.
Of course, if you have lovely hand writing, you can write the text directly on a piece of paper. Do make sure it is large enough to be legible, keeping in mind that the text will appear less sharp on the label fabric.
2. Iron a piece of cotton fabric large enough to cover the complete text with at least an inch extra around it. I usually use a white or cream plain fabric, but any light fabric will be suitable. This time I used a left over scrap of calico.
3. Pin the calico over the text, making sure there is enough space around the text.
4. Trace the text onto the calico with a soft pencil. Follow the shapes of your lovely writing carefully, though you do not have to transfer thicker/thinner areas of the individual letters too accurately.
5. Take out the pins and go over the pencil lines with a fabric marker or a permanent marker with archival ink. I do like my Pigma micron 05 pen, but if I want a slightly thicker line I might grab my Tee Juice fineliner. Make sure you place a piece of scrap paper under your fabric to protect your work surface, the ink marks sometimes through the fabric.
6. If you want, and depending on your chosen font, you can go over the text again, emphasising the variation in thickness of the letters. You probably will not be able to see these details through the fabric when tracing, so just look at the original printed text and thicken the letters on your label where required.
7. Cut the label to size. I measure an inch outside the letters, I feel that is the minimum space you need. Make sure you cut your label with straight corners.
8. Mark each corner at 1/2" from each edge with a light pencil dot.
9. Take the label to your ironing board and fold over each corner in turn so that the pencil dot becomes just visible. Pin the corner to the padding of your board on the dots, making sure the label lies straight. Press the corner creases.
10. One by one fold over each edge and press.
Corners will show a diagonal fold without bulk:
11. Pin the label in place on the back of the quilt. It is usual to place the label on the back at the lower corner of the quilt, but if your quilt is not going into an official show (where they usually have specific requirements of where to place your label - as well as what information to include on it) you can place it anywhere of course!
12. Stitch the label to the back with neat stitches. I use a virtually invisible slip stitch in a matching thread, but you could make the stitching a decorative feature if you wish, as long as it is stitched down securely. Make sure your stitches don't go through to the front of the quilt.
13. At the corners, use your needle to guide under the fold, so that the corners are square. Also, make an extra stitch or two at the corners for security.
14. And there you have it: