Things have been busy around here. In the past couple of months I’ve finished my first t-shirt quilt (pictures to come in a future post, I promise), made a baby quilt for my best friend Kelly in Texas and her beautiful new baby boy JT, and caught a giant Pacific Sail Fish off the coast of Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago. Like I said, productivity. If you’d like to keep up day to day, check out my new Instagram @patchworkaplenty. I’m posting current projects, favorite fabric finds and other randomness.
Anyway, on said baby quilt for baby JT, I was able to finish it with a perfect little quilt label. I started designing and printing labels a few months ago (available over at my Etsy Shop and fully customizable) and this was really the first quilt I’ve finished since then that I wanted to make sure one was included. I wanted JT to know how excited I was for his arrival, that I made this quilt just for him to honor his birth, and keep him cozy!
I had done some research on the best way to attach my label and I wasn’t happy at all in what I found. Some posts just discussed the importance of labeling your quilt with no instruction or guidance on where to start or the post recommended using a SHARPIE! People, if you just put in the hard work to piece and finish a quilt, DO NOT WRITE ON IT WITH A MARKER! And other posts that did have instructions insisted on hand stitching it onto the back after quilting and binding was complete. I may be new school when it comes to quilting. I appreciate the hard work and artistry for hand quilting, but personally, ain’t nobody got time for that. Also, I wanted the label to be embedded as part of the quilt. To hold up to wear and tear and many washings.
So being me, I read a few posts and then winged it on my final project, seriously hoping I didn’t screw it up. It was a success!
So I wanted to provide my process as a tutorial for you guys, in hopes it helps you figure out the best way to label your quilts! Here we go:
I had a couple of samples of labels that are available in the Etsy shop printed, so these are what I worked with for this post.
- The first step I took was to trim the the labels down to my desired size. The rough cuts of these labels are about 8×8 for the printed area, a little smaller for the overall design. So I just used my ruler and cut roughly .75-1 inch from each side of the design.
2. My next step was to cut interfacing to size and stitch it around each side. I used fusible interfacing I had left over from the t-shirt quilt I made at Christmas and this works perfect. With fusible interfacing there are two sides, the smooth side and the bumpy side. The bumpy side is the glue side. So I placed the interfacing and labels together: front side of label to smooth side of interfacing.
Then I stitched each side. All the way around. Don’t leave any holes.
3. Now, I wanted to turn my seams. When I turned the blue label, I forgot to trim my corners which caused them to be a little less neat than the pink label when I turned it. So when you try this, you’ll want to remember to trim your corners to keep the bulk down. If you’ve never trimmed corners, you just cut diagonal across the point.
To turn the seams, I pulled the label from the interfacing and then I cut a small slit in the INTERFACING. Obviously, you don’t want to cut a slit in the label.
Then I turned it inside out! I was really careful here to not rip the interfacing too much, just to keep it neat. But if the interfacing rips when you turn it, it won’t be a huge deal, it’ll be on the back of the label and you’re about to iron it down anyway.
When I’m turning corners in my projects, I use a wooden grill skewer to push my corners out. It may not be a specific sewing tool, but it sure works well. Just be careful to not push the point through the interfacing. I always try to make sure the point is on the fabric side of the seam.
4. Next it was ironing time. If you’re quilting, you should be familiar with your iron. Mine is my best friend.
5. Not really a step, but here I had two beautiful quilt labels, edges turned in beautifully and ready to stitch to my backing.
Here is where you have the option of hand stitching. If you have a finished quilt you’re adding a label to, hand stitching is really your best option. I wanted to include my label as an integral, durable part of the quilt, so I stitched to my backing BEFORE quilting.
6. For the sake of this tutorial, I stitched both labels onto my fabric using decorative stitches. Both stitches I chose were good strong stitches that ensured the edges were stitched tight and close to the fabric. I took two approaches: pinning the pink label and just winging the blue label. I advise pinning. If you’re new to decorative stitches on your machine, I would practice a few times with some scraps. For me, the best thing I’ve done to improve my stitching is slowing down the max speed of my machine. It’s easier for me to keep a steady feeding pace and keeps my fabric from jumping back and forth.
7. Done! With your quilt labels stitched to your backing, you’re ready to make your sandwich and quilt away! A few last tips, when placing your label, make sure you give yourself enough space from your edges so it won’t interfere when you trim your sandwich before binding, and that it won’t interfere with binding. In other words, give yourself a few extra inches from the edge of your quilt. My labels are a little close to the edges in these pictures because I was just using some scrap fabric. In reality, you’ll want a lot more space between the edge of your label and the edge of your backing.
I hope this helps you label your quilt! If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them! Likewise, if you’ve labeled your quilts before, comment and let me know your process!
Until next time,