Every quilt needs a label. I know, I know. You likely have a bunch of quilts that don’t have labels on them, but it’s true! If it gets misplaced, how will it get back to you? If you aren’t near your quilt, then who will tell your story?
You put a lot of love, time, and thought into your quilt. That’s why it’s so important to label it – for future relatives or quilt collectors.
So, let’s look at some of the basic information that a label should have.
Basic Label Information
If you’re new to quilting, you’ve come to the right place to learn about labels. Every quilt you lovingly sew together tells a part of your story. So, your label should contain some basic information like:
- Your name
- Quilt name
- Date & location it was completed
- Pattern name
- Care instructions
This is just the basic information, remember. There’s other info that you could put on your label - based upon what the quilt will be used for - that we’ll get into.
If you want a fast, easy way to create a label for your quilt, then you should check out Pat Sloan’s triangle label tutorial.
Different Types of Quilt Labels
Aside from your everyday quilt, there are other reasons you might want to put more detailed information on your label. These include gift quilts, show quilts, and heirloom quilts.
Gift Quilt Label
One of the more fun quilt labels you might create is one going on a gift quilt. A gift quilt could be given to someone to celebrate a special occasion like a graduation, wedding, birth, friendship, or holiday. Regardless of the occasion, it's important and should be properly memorialized, right?
Make each one special by including all the details. To do so, you may want to incorporate details such as:
- The occasion and date
- The name of the quilt
- Who the quilt was made for
Quilts not only tell your story but also the stories of those important in your life. Imagine your adult child or grandchild admiring the handmade baby quilt you gifted them decades ago. They carefully pull it from their keepsake chest and reflect on the love and time you put into it.
Then, imagine them looking at the rest of the collection of quilts you’ve created to mark special occasions throughout their life...but they can't recall the dates or occasions. Or maybe, they accidentally machine wash your heirloom quilt because they didn't have care instructions to follow. You may not think labels are important, but they are.
Do you make a lot of gift quilts? Make it easy to personalize each label by having one custom-made!
AccuQuilt cutting expert, Pam Heller, created a quilt label through one of our sister companies called Custom Shape Pros. Creating your own label die is a great way to customize your gifts!
Show Quilt Label
Ok. You don’t have a choice here. If you’re going to show your quilt, then you need a label! If for no other reason than to ensure that you get your quilt back if it gets misplaced!
Quilt shows often require more information than you might otherwise place on your label. Things you might need to include are:
- Name of everyone involved with the quilt’s construction
- Quilt name
- Your address
- Your phone number
Your phone number is a crucial piece of information. I mentioned earlier that a label can help you reunite with your quilt if it gets misplaced, and your phone number is the key!
Be sure to carefully check each show quilt competition’s label requirements before you add it to your quilt. The last thing you want is to think that you’re going into the competition with the proper information displayed only to find out you missed part of the label requirement.
Heirloom Quilt Label
An heirloom quilt is a quilt that gets passed down from one generation to the next. It’s often a very nice quilt made of high-quality materials.
These types of quilts are often complex in nature because the makers intend for them to be passed down - so they put all their skills into creating a work of art. This quilt is only to be looked at – to preserve it. However, an heirloom quilt can be "born" simply because an old quilt has survived throughout the years.
This really emphasizes the importance of labeling each quilt – despite your intentions. You never know the future journey of your quilt!
Of course, if you’re intentionally making an heirloom quilt to be passed down in your family, then a label is of utmost importance! You are leaving behind your legacy for future generations to appreciate. By sharing your quilt with them, you may inspire them to learn the craft!
So, what you include on this label is up to you. It's your opportunity to really put your personal touch on your label in a special way.
You might include something special - maybe a poem or quote. This is the perfect opportunity to create a label with a unique shape, embroidered message or imagery, or even fussy cut fabric. You're only limited by your creativity! So have fun!
Labeling Your Quilt is Important and Fun
You might believe your quilts aren’t anything special, but you never know what journey your quilts will take in the future. Generations from now, your family could be admiring your work - wishing they had more details. But labeling is not just for your family.
Think about all the quilts that are kept in collections – like at the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s unlikely that the women who made those quilts thought their work would end up in a museum someday.
For fast labeling, you can purchase a quilt label from the museum.
Many quilters think of labels as an afterthought. Truthfully, the time to prepare your label is when you begin a quilt.
What is your labeling method? Share with us in the comments section!