Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Breaking the Label Rules

A few months ago, I took a course on label making at my local quilt shop. It focused on the different options for integrating a label into a quilt, and guidelines for having them displayed in a show. We also learned about the materials you would use to do this, and made a hanging sleeve. Finally, we made a sample label, followed by a pillowcase to put it on.

This label was made using archival quality ink on high thread count fabric. The text was first printed on a sheet of paper in 16 point font and then painstakingly traced letter by letter onto the fabric using a lightbox.

Once the ink had been heat set, we sewed on a thin binding to hide the raw edges. The completed label was to be sewn by hand into the pillowcase.

The fact that I still have this label lying around, months after giving away the pillowcase, pretty much sums up how I feel about this labelling method.

My quilts are not being entered into shows, so in theory I don't see the harm in writing directly on them. In fact, the option that I find most interesting is to completely integrate your label by making a small white square part of the piecing, and then writing on it. However this isn't always practical.

I would like to identify each of my animal rescue blankets with a label allowing the families who adopt the cats to read their story. Since the blankets are flannel it isn't possible to write directly on them, so I've adapted Leah Day's quilt tag method to suit this project.

I used freezer paper to stiffen the fabric, and a Pigma pen to write my message. Considering that I wrote this freehand instead of using a printed template, I think it turned out very clear and well centred. To finish off the label I just pressed the edges back and sewed it to the back of the blanket with my sewing machine. I will go back at the end of the project and fill in the missing information on the first line ( #10 of  ? ).

By sewing it on this way, the thread outline will show on the front of the blanket, but it saves a lot of work and in this case I sincerely don't think the cats will mind. Here is a look at the back of the blanket with its tag.

Writing on fabric always takes longer than I think it will, but now that I've got the first label done, and it looks good, I'm a little bit more motivated to start making labels for the nine other blankets.


  1. Once again, you slay me. Your sense of humor and compassion are loud and clear. Love how you always take the project just one step further. This time by turn in your loopy stitches into stars.

  2. Ooo- I like those stars, too. I loved reading about your label process.

  3. Rules are meant to be broken! The label is purrfect!

  4. Looks great. The cats will love it

  5. Hi again...See my comment above...felt the need to explain myself as a cat lover. My comment is meant in the nicest possible way. After I clicked it away it sounded almost dismissive. Definitely was not meant like your stitching!