Do you label your quilts?
I love to make custom embroidered quilt labels and even sell them in my Etsy shop for other quilters! If you want to learn my secrets to how I make high quality, personal embroidered quilt labels, keep reading.
Many quilters think they SHOULD make labels for their quilts, but don’t really get around to it. It’s tough; I understand the desire to just move onto the next quilt project & keep those creative juices flowing! There are so many beautiful designs out there, and don’t we all have 4 million quilts to make on our Pinterest boards?
If you’d rather speed up the process and move onto your next project quicker, I’m here to help with that too: Check out my listing on Etsy to commission me to make your very own customized quilt label.
For me, I tend to be in the habit to only label the quilts I know I am giving away as a gift for a particular occasion, or for the custom quilt orders on my Etsy. I might not label every quilt, but when I do make a label, I do it big and make sure it is high-quality and completely perfect. Traditionally, people label quilts in order to provide information about the quilt to ancestors. The label can include a lot of different types of information such as the name of the quilt, who made it, when the quilt was made, why the quilt was made, and so on. More recently there has been a shift for makers to put a generic label on every quilt showing their logo or brand, but not specific to the quilt itself. I prefer to go more with my own personal spin on the “old” way of labeling quilts.
I honestly do not even remember if I put a label on my first quilt, but I do recall one of the first labels I made was with my grandma’s help – we used her sewing machine that also had pre-programmed alphabet stitches. In order to get the wording centered, we had to first make a practice label and measure each line of text, divide it by 2 and then carefully mark the next piece of fabric to center the real label. Let me tell you: it was a hassle and very tedious/time consuming! So much so that I decided I would never again make a quilt label… until a few years ago when my mom got an embroidery machine!
Using machine embroidery to make a custom quilt label is not only easy, it also looks incredibly professional and adds a very special touch to the finished quilt – especially if it’s a gift!
Here are the basic essentials you will need to create your own custom embroidered quilt label:
- Embroidery Machine
- Embroidery thread – can’t go wrong with some Sulky Rayon!
- Totally Stable Iron on Tear Away Stabilizer
- Iron – I use this one
- Hot Ruler Guide (trust me on this!)
Step 1: Determine what you want the label to say, the type of design you want, and what colors/fonts will work the best. Most embroidery machines come with at least a handful of pre-programmed fonts, but if you want something fun and unique, Designs By Juju has a ton of amazing embroidery fonts that I just love! Since I use a HUSQVARNA VIKING BRILLIANCE 80 machine, I use the Premiere+2 Embroidery software to design my labels. The full version of the software program allows you to easily use fonts by typing them out in the letters tab. Please reach out if you have specific questions on how to do it; I am happy to help!
Step 2: Pick your fabric and thread colors. I love to use colors that complement the quilt and also look good together with enough contrast that you can easily read the label. Sometimes I use more than one thread color in a label, so have fun with it!
Here are some of my favorite threads to use:
Step 3: Prep your hoop. I love to use Sulky’s Totally Stable Iron-On Tear-Away Stabilizer or Tear Easy because they are easy to remove once the stitching is all done. For most quilt labels I will use a 6″ or 8″ square hoop, but some projects call for a larger hoop – just use what works for your design!
Step 4: Stitch out your embroidery design. If you have multiple colors in your design, you’ll definitely want to get the MySewMonitor app to keep track of when to change thread colors without having to keep a close watch on your machine. Often times when I start an embroidery project I’ll get it started and then leave the room to get some chores done – vacuuming, meal prep, etc. and then my phone will get a notification when the thread needs to be changed or if I need to check on my project. It’s seriously one of the best features!
Step 5: Once your design is all stitched out, clip your threads and take your fabric out of the hoop. I love to use nice, sharp scissors to get the closest trim possible. These Pink Curved Havels Scissors are my personal favorite.
Step 6: Trim around your design. I like to measure about 1.5″ away from the design and use my rotary cutter to square it up. This gives you your final shape of your label. If you aren’t sure quite how big you want the space around the edges to be, start larger than you expect and then trim down until it looks right. Remember to leave room for seam allowance.
Step 8: Sew your label onto the back of your quilt. I personally prefer to hand stitch it down with an invisible stitch, but I’ve also been known to machine stitch it if the quilt will be getting used/washed quite often (mostly baby quilts). Do what feels right for you! If you don’t want the stitches to show up on the front of your quilt, hand stitching is the way to go.