Monday, September 10, 2012

Finishes - A Quilt Label Tutorial

Urban Shadows - 18" by 24"   2012
Lately, it seems that I've been rushing through the end of a quilt.  I mean, by the time I get to the finishing stage, my mind is already onto the next project.  Not to mention, I have a bad habit of finishing things just in time.  Because of all of this, I haven't been doing my labels like I should be. Now the rule normally  is that a quilt does not leave the house without having a label. But some have been slipping out naked (aka without proper idientification).

So I thought I would take you through the process of how I make my labels.

First I cut a piece of freezer paper the size of a piece of regular printer paper by just using the paper itself as a guide.

Tip of the Day:  Freezer paper can be used for a ton of things including templates, applique, and labels.  A roll should always be kept with your other quilting notions.

Next, I take a good piece of cotton - usually something that has a heavier hand like a twill, and iron it onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.  Now the trick to this is that you want to leave the iron on long enough so the paper stays on but not too long as it melts on and you can't peel it off later.  For my Rowenta that takes a good 10 seconds.  Trim the fabric to the size of the paper.

Then, I use my Word program to make the label itself.  I make sure it has the Name of the quilt, My Name (aduh!), my town, and the year.  Sometimes I add a little something that tells why I made the quilt or the scripture that is associated with the title.  I always try to pick a font that fits the feel of the quilt and sometimes I'll add a graphic that works with the theme.  Here's a screen shot of today's label:

Now, its just a matter or running the fabric through your printer and printing out the label on it.  I peel the paper off and heat set the ink by ironing it again.

(yeah - I was 3 labels behind - plus the Beauties!)

Finally  there are a few ways you can attach your label.  You can fuse it on but when I do that it tends to get a bit of a see-through quality.  Not to mention its all stiff.  I've put on the label and then quilted it so that its super secure and nobody can just rip it off.  But what I really like to do is just applique it on  with a nice blind stitch.  My reasoning is that most my pieces have been well documented that I made them and if somebody stole it - I wouldn't need the label anyways to prove that it was mine. 

And that's all there is too it!  Now Urban Shadows has its label which makes it officially done and ready for the fair!

Ohhh and by the way, Urban Shadows is the first piece that I actually used surface design on.  I screen printed it with thicken dyes and used - wait for it - freezer paper  to make the cool design on the screen itself.  See another use of freezer paper!

See More design boards at Judy's Patchworks!
Linking with Freemotion by the River


Deborah OHare said...

Love the colours you have used in this piece.

Nann said...

Thanks for the tutorial.

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Thanks for the label reminder. I have about 4 to do the label for. I think I will try your technique!


Nina Marie said...

Hi Glen - I know that there is talk that our labels should be in our hand writing so our progeny can see what it looks like - but to tell you the truth - my is terrible - so I'll stick to some nice font. I do know that time and time again - people refer back to the labels on my quilts and the little notes I put on them.

Debbie said...

I have a new printer...maybe it will work for me this time. (My last printer ate my previous attempts.) I'm going to try it!

M-R Charbonneau said...

Thanks for sharing your label technique. I'll definitely be giving that a try!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing.
Freemotion at the River Linky Party Tuesday

shilsenbeck said...

Thanks for the tutorial. One question. What kind of printer are you using? I have a standard InkJet and I've always heard that InkJet printing is not permanent, even with heat setting. I would not want the labeling to disappear.

Unknown said...

I didn't see a response to the permanent ink question so thought I'd put in my two cents. Unless you have an Epson with their durabrite ink which is permanent, use Bubble Jet set to pre soak fabric and it works great.(don't wring it - just let drip dry) and resue the left over solution! Or buy those pre soaked sheets which are very expensive. Just using iron on regular ink will not heat set it. (art wall quilts that will never be washed do not need to be water proof obviously)