Label Your Quilts! (And How I Label Mine)

I’m here to implore you to label your quilts! There are a lot of reasons we don’t label quilts, and they’re all crap. You don’t think it’s good enough. (It is.) You’ll remember all the details about it. (You won’t.) No one in the future will care where your quilt came from. (They will.)

Today I’m going to show you how I make my custom labels you see on all (most) of my quilts. Here we go.

anemone quilt label

One of the reasons I never labeled quilts at the beginning of my quilt life was that I was so over it by the time I finished a project. And the last thing I wanted to do was to sew a label onto the back by hand. Then a couple years ago, I saw a tutorial for making custom quilt labels from Julie at Jaybird Quilts on Spoonflower. I could definitely do this! Here are the steps I took to get my custom labels.

Step 1: Creating the Label in Illustrator

screen shot of label being created in Illustrator

If you’re really good at Photoshop or have another program that allows you to design and format in one step, you can combine my first two steps. I was raised to use Photoshop only for photo editing, so I’m not really good at using it to design. So this is my step 1.

My label measures 4 X 6 inches. I included anything that I would want on every label like my logo, name, web address, and Instagram handle. The blank space in the middle is perfect for writing in the quilt title and date. I also have enough room for gifting information if I’m giving it to someone for an occasion.

Step 2: Prepare the Image in Photoshop

screen shot of my label in Photoshop

You’ll see why in a bit, but rotating the label 90 degrees will let me lay out the repeating pattern in my Spoonflower dashboard to use my yard of fabric most effectively. I also had to fidget a bit with the document properties to keep it the right size. Again, I’m not a Photoshop wiz.

Step 3: Upload to Spoonflower

my quilt label laid out in my Spoonflower dashboard

Once my image file is uploaded to Spoonflower, I set my repeat to Basic, select the pearl signature cotton, and choose Yards as my fabric size. Add it to your cart, and this shows up in the mail a few days later:

a panel of my finished labels

How I Use My Labels

I still really hate sewing labels onto quilts, so I needed an easier way to incorporate them into the making process. Since I piece the backs of my quilts, I just made a space to sew them into the backing fabric. Here’s an example of how I do that:

Hexy MF Redo quilt label

There’s another really good reason to sew your labels into your quilt: in case it’s lost or stolen someone would have to deconstruct the quilt to remove the label. If you sew your label on at the end, a couple minutes with a seam ripper is all someone needs to keep you from proving it’s your quilt.

So there you have it! Easy, peasy custom quilt labels you can incorporate into the making process that will tell your quilt’s story for years to come.

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