Sunday, October 11, 2015

Swoon! {quilt labeling tutorial}

I finally bound my Swoon quilt! This quilt has been in the works for quite a while; I started planning a year ago. But I finally have it finished, and I'm so pleased.

And actually, this post has been finished for a while, save a full shot of the quilt, so we've been enjoying the quilt for a good couple of months. It's been really hard to get a photo of the full quilt, and even then, I didn't do super well. Cheers to my helpful husband for holding it up as best he could! It's a big quilt, and that means it heavy, and he didn't quite have the arm span to hold it from both corners. That's really saying something as he is 6'6"! But, here we are. Finally.

For my Swoon, I chose some of my favorite fabrics from my stash, and paired them with solids. What's nice about the regular Swoon pattern is that it's designed for fat quarters, so I could easily pull from my stash since everything I buy is either a fat quarter or a half-yard.

 I really wanted the prints to stand out, and solids are so in right now I thought they would work well. I also opted to use Kona Ash as my background instead of white. I think it works.

Of course, after I finished binding it, I realized I had forgotten to label it (doh!)...I do that way too frequently. *sigh* so I had to unpick a corner to add it in. Of course, it's worth the extra work to unpick. I think labels are important.

Do you label your quilts?

If not, you should think about it. Especially if you gift a quilt. Here's the information I often include on my labels:

  • The quilt's name. This is hard for me. Often, it's the name of the pattern or a variation on the name.
  • Recipient's name (if applicable)
  • My name.
  • Long-arm quilted by: (if applicable, which it usually is...)
  • Name of pattern/designer (if applicable)
  • Date completed
  • Care instructions
  • Special note (i.e. love you!, thanks for being a good friend!, etc)
I don't always include every item on a label, it really depends on the quilt. I think labels are especially important for gifted quilts so that the recipient knows how to care for their precious gift. If you gift it to another quilter, they'll be familiar with the proper care of a quilt, but many people who don't quilt won't know that they need to be washed gently.

To make a label, I take a square of white fabric, generally 5-6 inches, and fold it in half. I iron it in half diagonally. Occasionally, I'll back it with wonder-under so I can use my Silhouette to "write" the label...but it's a lot trickier to get the pen to sketch the font correctly, so I've kind of given up on that, even though I don't love my handwriting.

Once I've pressed it, I write the information on. Sometimes, I'll type the information up in a document and trace it so it will all be evenly spaced (which is a huge struggle for me to freehand...), other times, I'll just go for it. I use either a fine-tip BLACK sharpie (I've read not all sharpies are colorfast) or a Micron pen (which I bought from the quilting notions section in Joann's--I'm figuring it's meant for exactly this purpose). I heat-set the ink and press it back into the triangle.

Next it's time to install it on the quilt. When I'm binding, I'll pin it down to the back on a bottom corner by lining up the raw edges with the raw edges of the quilt corner. I like to pin it in place so I can include it in the first seam, but when I forget to add it all together, that doesn't happen. You can sew it down when you first sew your binding to the quilt (and if you're going to hand-stitch the binding down, you'll want to make sure to do that). You can also add it when you top-stitch the binding down, and if you've neglected to add it altogether like I did, this is how you'll add it after you unpick the top-stitching around one of the corners.

That's pretty much it--just make sure to catch it so it's enclosed in the binding. You'll end up with a little pocket, and I think that's fun. It's unobtrusive, and easier for me than applying a patch somewhere on the backing. 

I hope this helps--now get to work and label all those old quilts! :-)

quilted by Abby Latimer
Completed July 2015


  1. Your Swoon turned out beautifully! I love your mix of colors. And thanks for the quilt label idea. I make similar labels if I'm gifting, otherwise I put one of my "A Quilter's Table" preprinted labels on. Anyway, congrats on the quilt finish - it's really lovely!

  2. Jaw dropping Swoon!!! I love the addition of the solids and the Kona Ash makes this quilt look really elegant! Thanks for the quilt label tutorial... I'm going to rip out a corner of my daughter's quilt and add it :)