How important is labeling your quilt?
I can’t say it enough.
As a passionate lover of antique and vintage quilts, how often I come upon a beloved quilt in my travels with “maker unknown” attached to the price tag or the display information ---who were these unknown quilt makers?
While here at my Dad’s we started talking about things we remember. He’s got a quilt I made him over 20 years ago. HUGE variable stars –I recognize scraps in it from early early on in my quilting life – some of them being from clothing I made when I was first dating The Hubster – so I can safely say this quilt is between 1985 and 1990. I can pinpoint in my mind the house I lived in and where I sewed when I was making it.
It’s not a great quilt. It was before I really knew better, assumed broadcloth meant cotton – and ended up with a poly/cotton backing on it that was a nightmare to machine quilt on what I am guessing at that time was a $100 Riccar ---
There is no label on this quilt. ***hangs head in shame*** At the time I didn’t think it was important enough, that it would be used up to shreds and leave nothing for anyone to remember anyway –but the next time I come I am going to label it.
I have three quilts that have come down from my Grandmother’s side of the family --- and when she gave them to me, even SHE didn’t remember at the time who made them, whether it was her grandmother, her aunt or whoever ---within just a couple generations the history is lost. I never knew the quilters-past who made the quilts that now live in my collection. I only know that those who came before me, ahead of me in the family line of quilters, appliqued those leaves, pieced those squares and triangles, quilted that cross hatching by hand ---and left no label.
Maybe they thought their quilts would be used up until there was nothing left and it wouldn’t matter. But it does to me.
So here I am with some label ideas for you!
The first one here is my go-to label. I don’t even have to know what I’m going to write on it….It is just a square of fabric, any size square will do depending on how much info you want to write on it ---this one I believe is 6-1/2”. Simply fold the square in half. pin it in to the corner of your quilt, and sew it into the binding on two sides.
Only one side needs to be hand stitched down, and that is easily done while you are stitching the binding down.
I keep a stack of folded and pressed squares near my machine --- when I’m putting a binding on, on goes the label. This is the label that went on the back of Mark’s healing quilt. More info on that in this post HERE.
And then I went searching – to see what other ideas I could find that might inspire us all to LABEL!!
Scrabble Letters! How awesome! I have to say I really hate pinterest links that don’t link to the actual post you are looking for – this one only lead to the main address of http://www.cheekycognoscenti.blogspot.com/ I’d link to the post where she talked about the quilt label if I could find it, but the link only took me to the most recent post at the top of her blog. But isn’t this a great idea?
Curved Bias Quilt Label by Seams Likely!
This is a really cute idea, and less obtrusive than the folded triangle label I showed above. It has cute possibilities!
Denim Pocket Repurpose from HandiCraftySisters!
LOVE this idea!
Dress up a label with mini blocks and parts!
These adorable labels are found in Like Mother, Like Daughter: Two Generations of Quilts by Karen Witt and Erin Witt, published by my own publisher, Kansas City Star!
Think about what you can do with leftover blocks and units from the quilt itself –use them up in creating a one of a kind label!
It doesn’t matter WHAT you do – in a pinch, and when the backing is plain enough to show the writing, I’ve written directly on the quilt back itself…there is no removing the label that way!
Even if you think your quilt is “not good enough” to worry about a label….
Even if you think that it will be used up with the loving and there will be nothing left for future generations to worry and wonder about….
LABEL LABEL LABEL!!
I’m off to the airport shortly. My journey home begins. I’ve had a wonderful two days with family, so very important. Now I’m ready for my own bed, my own kitchen, my own place!
North Carolina, I’m coming home!