It is really important to document ourselves as makers of the wonderful quilts and other gifts that we make for family and friends.
I like to make simple labels with the monogram function on my Janome 9450 QCP. I try to always add a label when I am giving quilts to friends and family. It’s so important to document our work–after all, you never know if that quilt will end up in the hands of a collector in 2121. One hundred years from now, that collector will want to know who I am. And, since nothing really goes away on the internet, the collector will even be able to read THIS blog some day to find out more about ME!
What to Put on Your Label
The amount of information is really up to you. I’m keeping my labels simple these days, although I really should start adding the name of the recipient if it is given as a gift to a family member.
Usually, labels include some or all of this information:
- YOUR name
- Date quilt was made (the year at a minimum)
- Your location
- Name and location of recipient
There are lots of resources on YouTube and elsewhere to give you ideas about documenting and labeling your quilts. Here are a few links to resources about documenting your quilts:
Create the Monogram/Label
This tutorial shows how I make a very simple label. Of course, I can add as many lines of information as I want to with my sewing machine. IN fact, for my next labels I’ll probably write 3 lines of text:
Quilt by Carole Lyles Shaw
For [name of recipient]
Bradenton FL 2021
I use the monogram function to create these labels. If I wanted to, I can add fancy stitches or create a stitched border with a decorative stitch. I won’t do a full tutorial on how to use the monogram function on my Janome 9450. There are great tutorials on the Janome YouTube channel and other channels as well.
The first step is to create the monogram. I simply typed in Carole Lyles Shaw 2021 for these labels and saved it as a file on my sewing machine.
Next, I folded over a piece of fabric — it measured about 4 inches wide. I stitched my name and date close to the folded over edge. For labels with more lines of text, I will use wider fabric. I’ll stitch a test to see what width I need.
Inserting Label into Quilt Binding
First, I cut one label from the strip. I trimmed it that I had an inch to the right and left of my name and about 1-1/2″ below the bottom of my name.
Next, I folded the edges to the back. I use a bit of glue to hold the edges while I pressed them. I also starched it a bit to get it nice and flat.
Next step: I laid the label on the BACK of the quilt to see if I needed to trim it more. I want my name to appear just outside of the binding. I didn’t show this step, but the label was a bit too large so I trimmed off about 1/2″ from the bottom to get it to fit better. I like the fit as shown in the photo below.
Next step: I sewed the bottom of the label to the back of the quilt on my machine. I’m pointing to the stitch line with my red stiletto. The label stitch line is inside the seam allowance for my binding so this new stitching will not show on the front. By the way, my bindings are wider than usual–they measure about 1/2″ or slightly wider on both sides. I only sew the bottom of the label. I’ll have to hand stitch the rest of the label.
Final Step: I will hand sew the label down when I finish stitching the binding. These clips hold my bindings in place while I hand stitch the binding and around all 3 sides of the label.
Sew Label Directly On the Quilt!
There’s another alternative. I could take the same information that is on my label and just sew it on the quilt. Here’s an example where I stitched the information to the front of a sample mini-quilt. I stitched my name in yellow thread so it is visible but not too obvious. I made this quilt to practice making a flange binding.
Adding Label to the Front of the Quilt
Another option would be to add your name label to the front of the quilt. I would only do this with a simple name label like the one in the tutorial. To attach to the front, I would sew the label on when I attach the binding. The label would be flat against the front, just like it is flat against the back in this tutorial. Be sure the label is facing OUT so that it can be read properly.