A Quick Quilt Label Method

A non-quilter here at work recently asked me about making quilt labels, and I showed her the basics.

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She was so excited about the simplicity of it all, and I realized that QM readers might appreciate these easy techniques. So here you go: A Quick Quilt Label Method, aka how to make a quilt label.

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First, create the label in Word. Find a font you like and enter the text, line by line. I chose to center each line and to make the names larger than the other text. Because I prefer not to waste any paper-backed pre-treated label fabric, I often put text for a generic label or two on the same page. These generic quilt labels read “I made this for you,” followed by my name and the year.

Print a sample onto paper and make adjustments as needed.

labelPRE A Quick Quilt Label Method

Here’s one I printed on paper, but I decided I didn’t like the ragged edges of this font.











Sometimes making the text bold is helpful but it depends on the font.

When you are satisfied with it, print it onto paper-backed pre-treated fabric. There are many good brands available. I have used several and I especially like EQ Printables regular cotton inkjet fabric sheets, usually available at your local quilt shop.

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Cut the quilt label you’ll be using away from the other labels. Set the generic labels aside for later use.

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Center the text and cut the label to the desired size. Be sure to leave a margin of empty space around the text, plus 1/4″ on all sides for the seam allowance; I usually make my cut 5/8″ outside the text on all sides.

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Cut some strips 1 1/2″ wide from coordinating or matching fabric.

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Sew the strips around the label like a little border. It really doesn’t matter which ones you sew on first.

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Layer the label with a piece of lining fabric, right sides together.

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Square everything up to the desired size.

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Join the label and lining with a quarter-inch seam all the way around, pinning as needed. Trim small triangles off  the corners to reduce bulk.

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Carefully cut a slit one or two inches long in the lining.

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Turn the label right sides out through the slit.

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Gently push out the corners with an awl or pointed tool.

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Press the label flat and sew it to the quilt back with a blind stitch.

labeltitle A Quick Quilt Label Method

Easy peasy!

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More posts to expand your quilting skills:

Understanding Scale: Not the Weighing Kind

Understanding Stitch Length

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About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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198 Responses to A Quick Quilt Label Method

  1. Pingback: Labeling Your One of a Kind Quilt

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  3. Shelly S. says:

    Hi, if I have a partial unused fabric sheet I “trick” my computer into feeding it through properly by applying just a dab of glue stick to the paper backing and sticking it to the top emerge of a full sheet of regular copy paper. Since they are stuck together, my computer feeds it through as a full sheet and I am easily able to print on the remaining partial fabric sheet.

  4. Pingback: How to make your own quilt label - Blog - Orafter

  5. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday { Quilt Labels, Hanging and Folding} | AURIbuzz

  6. Sheila Stepp says:

    i wondered how to do that. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Karen says:

    Thank you Diane and all the helpful commenters! Now I am eager to complete my quilting so I can add my own unique labels onto them, and very simply too : )

  8. linda newman says:

    I love the directions for making the quilt label. I remember when I first found this, and it made my life so much better!
    We may use these directions as a pre-meeting tutorial at one of our upcoming Quilt Guild meetings. We’ll give you credit, of course!

  9. Kathy Hopkins says:

    Thanks for the tips on label making. The light bulb moment came to me with the idea of putting generic labels on the otherwised unused portion of the paper, brilliant. Thanks .

  10. Lisa says:

    This is great. I’ve always turned the edges of the label and sew them by hand which is very difficult to do. Now I’ll do this. Too bad this didn’t come a month ago when I was sewing the labels on quilts for the quilt show. Oh well.

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  12. Another way to maximize space making generic labels is to use templates made for business cards or postcards. You can find them on Avery.com under templates. You want the downloadable ones.


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  16. kim says:

    I love this way of doing labels. It is easy enough and avoids those 1/4″ allowances. The framing makes it much easier to attach to the quilt. I always had a hard time keeping those edges straight. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

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  20. Kathy Gaston says:

    Love the quilt label idea – looks quick and easy
    The generic labels are great if you leave room at the bottom and add hand written date and some time of note with none bleeding marker. I use a fine point PIGMA marker

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  22. Danielle Angevine says:

    I too would like to buy the paper-backed label sheets. Do you have a link please?

    Thank you

    Dannie Angevine

    • Diane Harris says:

      Quiltmaker responds: There are many brands of printer-ready fabric. One of my favorites is from Electric Quilt Company. Here is a link to the basic product I like: http://electricquilt.com/online-shop/inkjet-fabric/
      You can get the package of six 8.5 x 11 sheets for $20.95. They also have different types of fabric which can be fun for special projects. I used silk for my daughter’s wedding quilt label. It turned out great.
      QM’s Interactive Editor

  23. Pingback: 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  24. Kerri Hunter says:

    What a great easy way to make a label!! Because you make the slit in the back to turn through you could stuff some extra fabric in there just in case later it needs repairing. or the selvages so you know what fabric was used to create your quilt.

  25. carly says:

    Brilliant! You just saved a project of mine from an amateur applique attempt disaster! Thank you so much for this post!

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  28. Tami Chaulk says:

    I’ve got a question. Does this paper-backed pre-treated label fabric need to be printed with an inkjet printer? I only have a laser printer.

  29. Tanya says:

    I need to get the paper backed fabric, I really like this idea. I cannot draw like my quilting buddy so I can’t do the things she does. but I really like this. I have great creativity with fabric and patterns just not the artistic side. Thanks for showing me another way.

  30. Pamela says:

    Thanks so much for this quilt label idea. I plan to try it on my next project needing a label.
    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to how to label “Reversible Table runners and tote bags”? I have been making many of them for shower gifts in the past and I have 5 weddings showers in 2013. I’d like to label them but don’t want to take away from the runner or tote bag appearance. Any ideas are welcome!! Thanks in advance.

    • Beverly says:

      For labels when I don’t want to detract from the project, I hand write the information in a place where it won’t show too much. Take a hint from artists – they write the name of the piece, their name, year, etc in a lower corner of the matt or in the picture. Maybe you can follow the edge of a leaf or around a flower or in a light area of a border. I don’t see it as a distraction but as a reminder for the recipient of your love that went into the piece just for them!

  31. Fawn says:

    I was short on time when making my label. I used a variety of colors for the letters, then printed it on paper. I cut it out, then cut a slightly larger piece of wood-print fabric and placed it behind the label. I used a glue stick to hold it in place. This made it look like a wood frame. I then laid the framed label on the printer in the upper left-hand corner so it would print the label in the upper left corner of my fusible backed fabric to save space. The result being a small framed label which I then ironed onto the back of the project. Hand button-stitching ensures it to stay put. this went on a candle mat.

  32. Essie says:

    Love all the comments – I like to add the name of the quilt, where the pattern was taken from, if it was hand or machine done, who quilted it, city and state. All of that besides who it was made for and the celebration date. I know that is a lot of information but future quilters will love to have that information.

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  34. Tammy Hempel says:

    The quilt label is great!! This is the first time I have heard of this method and it is a lot easier that what I have seen other people do. Thank you for the information and the giveaway.

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  36. hmp says:

    Wow! The frame really finishes off the label. If you are doing an attached binding, you can leave 2 sides unsewn and sew them into the binding for less hand-sewing. Can you tell that I dislike hand sewing? :-)

  37. Marie says:

    I’ve used the ink jet paper many times, but I really like the idea of putting a border around it.

  38. Sandra Aiken says:

    I actually used this method on the last quilt label, that was placed on a baby quilt and it worked out so easy and didn’t waste any material.

  39. Angie says:

    I’ve only quilted 3 project so far and have yet to label one. Thanks for the great tips, this makes me feel like I could make a label for my next project by following your step by step directions and photos.

  40. Maria Nogueira says:

    Obrigada pela aula, eu também escrevo a mão, mas não gosto do resultado.
    Eu aproveito muito estas idéias, agradeço muito.

  41. Dawn Hollingsworth says:

    What a terrific idea/tutorial!! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

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  43. Byrd says:

    By far, the best approach to labelling quilts I have yet to see – thanks! Take care, Byrd

  44. patricia Williams says:

    When I make my labels I also paint a simple little rose on the side with fabric paint.
    I have also used fabric markers to make a design. I have only done needle turned edges so I am looking forward to trying this. thanks

  45. KathleenSews says:

    I always add the City, State & Zip Code for where it was made. Some of the wall quilts I’ve made for my family I hope will last to be hung in off-planet stations, maybe Mars, maybe Jupiter, Saturn, even.

  46. i like this,, i have made 3 quilt’s already, for myself, & this is a good way to show everyone that see’s them,who made them, i can use the outside frame of fabric,to match the quilt fabric. thank you,,,carol…….

  47. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the tute. I make my labels the same way except that I machine embroidery some element from the front of the quilt onto the label. Seems more thoughtful to me.

  48. Barb Links says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial and also enjoyed reading all the responses and ideas from others. I have always struggled with a label on the back of quilt. Probley because by the time I get it done I am so done thinking about that quilt….so my quilt labels have always left a lot to be desired. Thanks. No thinking and lots of possibilities. I like it.

  49. Margaret Magri says:

    I noticed a few comments on using regular fabric with freezer paper behind and to use it on your printer……….well I tried it several times and it either went in crooked or it jammed up in my printer…….the idea would be great and economical but a good way to wreck your printer. I would advise using the proper paper back pre treated fabric for best results.
    I love the idea of turning it inside out with another piece of fabric….very nice idea indeed.

  50. Jenny McDaniel says:

    Great idea and oh so easy.. Thanks for the tip..

  51. Francine Keys says:

    I have only put one lable on the many quilts I have. I really liked the information that you gave. It should be the magizen. I am now looking forward to adding lables to the other quilts. Thanks so much.

  52. CHICKADEE JENN says:

    If you only have one label to make, you can print that one at the top of the page, cut it off, and save the blank fabric. When you want to make another label, you just have to make sure it prints at the top of the page and insert the partial sheet into the printer.

  53. Debbra M says:

    Great read. I also add my info directly on the quilt with a pigma pen then sew the label over it. I’ve heard horror stories of people removing labels and claiming them as theirs. I know, hate to think like this, but it happens. Debbra

  54. Debra says:

    I embroider mine with the machine and stitch it to the back with a simple needle turn. I enjoy the handwork and it is finished.

  55. Betty Grove says:

    Super idea! Once again Quiltmaker has a simple answer, of all the magazines out there you folks are first class all the way.

  56. Kerry Davidson says:

    Hello, you said that you print a couple of “generic” labels to use up the paper as it’s expensive. You could just print the one you need and cut it off neatly, then change the paper size in your print settings next time you need to print a label; that way you get no waste and every label is exactly as you need. (Hope I explained that properly)

  57. dancingdiverlee says:

    When I made a baby quilt for a niece who lives far away, I not only put a label on the back, but I also printed out pictures of me and my husband, me and my brother, plus some of out pets. Then, when my husband and I were coming for a visit (long after that baby was born) they got out the quilt and reviewed who was who before we got there. Remember, time goes by and the baby grows up. Having these pictures on the back kept us connected. I used a Cannon ink-jet on paper-backed fabric and sewed them on with a blind stitch.

  58. Carol Nichols says:

    I have been making my labels with my embroidery machine, but plan to try this. It sounds like a good method. And I like the border. I just made one for a nephew and his wife and included a picture of them on their wedding day. I am going to add the border and backing as shown. Great idea.

  59. Loretta A. says:

    Depending on who the quilt is for, I sometimes use the extra space on the printable fabric to add basic quilt care information either to the main label or as a separate label on the quilt. Many people don’t know how to launder a quilt properly without damaging the batting and stitches, so the info could help preserve the quilt for the recipient.

  60. Karen Lawson says:

    I am new to quilting so I have to ask, why line the label? Why not just use if as a normal block center, sashing then applique the sashed block?

  61. Nancy Lueder says:

    All the fabric-lined transfer papers I have seen say that they are ‘Not washable”….I woul think twice b/4 using on a quilt that will be washed.
    They work well for wallhangings that are not washed.

  62. Kathy Biciocchi says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial. I can’t wait to try this method. I have been avoiding quilt labels because I wasn’t really sure what to do – you’re a lifesaver!!!!

  63. Maralyn says:

    I love this. I already do my labels like this with out the border. I will now start putting borders on all my labels. Thanks for the great tip.

  64. Deborah Greend says:

    I have always used muslin and freezer paper, and printed my labels on my printer, however, I bought a new computer and my old printer was not compatable, so I had to use the printer that came with the computer. Well, I found out that the ink was not water soluble when I made my labels for my latest project.
    When I sprayed the label to get a wrinkle out, the ink ran out! So test your labels before you sew them on. I have heard other people have had the same problem. My printer is a Lexmark. I contacted them and the said the ink is not water soluble. So now I have to buy a new printer!

  65. Bonnie Strait says:

    If you don’t want to buy the pre-treated paper or mess with ironing freezer paper to fabric, just set up your label and print it off on a regular sheet of paper. Then, using a light box, just trace the words onto your label. You can then finish it with a fabric “frame” as suggested. I like the lining idea; had always just pressed under 1/4 inch & blindstitched, but the lining thing seems like maybe it would work a bit better. Fabulous giveaway!

  66. karen says:

    I do custom machine embroidered quilt labels if anyone needs one.
    Unfortunately, I used pigment pens before but they get very faint from washing.

  67. Diane Kellar says:

    This is a nice way to do this but I make it even simpler by only sewing 2 sides turning the label and pressing. I then sew the 2 raw edges to the quilt before putting the binding on so they are inside the binding. (Just plan which corner of the quilt you are going to put it on so you leave the correct 2 sides open) No one can remove them easily which is an added bonus but it makes less work for me. If it is a special quilt I also add pieces of the fabric inside for repairs later on. That way the fabric has been washed the same amount of times and matches.

  68. Jo says:

    I made a quilt for my daughter and soon to be son-in-law for their wedding. I took their Wedding invitation and scanned it into my computer then printed it out on printable fabric and used that as the label. It turned out really well. I did make a smaller label on printable paper back fabric for my own label so in years to come everyone will know who made the quilt. I have some quilts from grandmother and aunts and none are labeled. Would have loved to know when they were made and why. We must all label our quilts so future generations will know the where, why and who of our creations.

  69. Jo McGonigle says:

    Helen Bartel, you mentioned they pre treated their fabric with a solution. What is the solution? and where do you purchase it? I do alot of dyeing, inking etc, and I am curious about this solution. Thanx Jo

  70. Linda says:

    I have used pre-treated fabric with this method for the past 6 years. All my quilts are labeled. Those of you who just use fabric and your inkjet printer, please put a drop of water on your label to test it. I learned the hard way.

  71. Helen Bartel says:

    I usually embroider a label with my machine. I do like the idea of the printable fabric and I have the solutions needed to “make” printable fabrics. Am I to understand that you really don’t need these solutions to make printable fabric? Your label with the border is really cute and I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  72. Nancy Goff says:

    Someone else may have done this, as I did not read every comment. I made a quilt for my grandson with Thomas the engine fabric. I added Thomas images to the label and a picture of “Nana and Papa” in addition to our names as he does not read to this point. He knows who made the quilt from the picture. Papa was included as he suffered many late(or crazy) meals and lack of other attention while the quilt was being made.

  73. Peggy Mislock says:

    I love the way you added the border and flipped it inside out. Very clever. I do something similar to save paper without having to make generic labels. I only make one label at a time and trim off each label as I create them. Once I type out the label I want, centering like you did, I go ahead and print it out. Then using my rotary cutter, trim it off at the size I need making sure that the cut edge is perfectly straight. The next time I need a label, I just take the trimmed printable fabric, carefully lining it up and tapping it into place so the rollers of the printer will grab it. Works like a charm….and even it it is a little crooked, it’s easy to square it up.

  74. Linda Hovey says:

    Thank you for the tutorial with pictures. I usually neglect to add a label, but this seems very doable. I wish that I knew who lovingly and skillfully made the treasured quilts I recently inherited. Thanks for the gentle prompting to complete the project!

  75. Barbara Grabowski says:

    Looks great! I have never made a label because I did not know how. I certainly will try it now. Enter me in your give away, PLEASE. Barbara

  76. Debbie Rogowski says:

    Thank you!! I always turn under the 1/4″ seam allowance now I want to slap myself upside the head… duh! back it and turn it, sew simple!!

  77. Pat Yamada says:

    Great tutorial. So professional looking.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  78. shelly says:

    I put label on before quilting,so noone can steal it if you enter it in a quilt show.Putting extra fabric in pocket is also good idea as it washes,the colors will be like the quilt if you have to replace a piece.

  79. Sherrie Mazzocchi says:

    Instead of using lining for the back of the label, use iron-on interfacing. Be sure you place the bumpy side of the interfacing towards the right side of the label. When you turn the label right side out, just iron the label onto the quilt, then stitch it on. There will be no need to pin it on, as it will adhere to the quilt.

  80. Jill Maria says:

    Forgot. I always sew two sides into the binding. If someone would take the quilt they will have more work to take the label off.

  81. Jill Maria says:

    I use regular quilting fabric and the black ink. The freezer paper method. Do one run with computer paper to make sure that is what I want. ALSO, DO A SPELL CHECK FIRST!!! When I do the fabric I heat set it with a hot iron and scrap fabric. Has worked every time.

  82. Pingback: The Labeling Of A Quilt | Tucson Modern Quilt Guild

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  84. Vanessa says:

    Hi, As I am a keen embroiderer I love the idea of how to set this up and I will try this on my next quilt thank you everso much from Oz xxx Ness

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  86. Amy says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial! I love the concept and the tip about making a slit for turning! I did this with machine embroidery instead of a printer and love the way it came out! Thanks again!!

  87. Cathy says:

    This label idea really IS great. But what you might try is this: when sewing the label on the quilt, only attach 3 sides. Leave the top unattached so that it forms a pocket. Use the pocket to include a special note or information on the pattern or fabric. You could even include extra fabric pieces for patching/repairing at a future date.

  88. Niki says:

    This is very helpful to me – I will use it!

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  90. Sue says:

    Thank you for the idea! I love it!

  91. Lindielee says:

    What is ” paper-backed pre-treated fabric”?

  92. Joan Amundsen says:

    Diane, you are ‘sew’ smart!
    Joan A.

  93. Kristen says:

    I’ve been making labels with pigma pens on rogue blocks (and using the cut and turn method to avoid turning under all those edges) but there seems to be a lot of debate here in the comments about what kind of printer to use and how to “pretreat” your fabric. Can you please reply to a comment or write another post (or edit this one) to explain how to pretreat the fabric??

  94. Susan Cook says:

    I LOVE this method! I have been making my labels with the printable fabric for years but have never added borders to it. Is is so difficult to sew through the printable fabric because it is so tightly woven but adding the borders will eliminate that problem. Thanks!

  95. Gwen says:

    Thanks for the great tips!! Will definately try this out on the next labels I make… and I have a few quilts that need labels on them, LOL

  96. Libby says:

    May I please subscribe to this blog? When I click on the “subscribe to this blog” button, it takes me to a page that lists the latest 10 blog articles. I clicked on the first two, saw the same button, clicked on it and was taken to the same listing of the latest 10 articles. The blog looks fascinating, so can you advise me? Thanks, Libby

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