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28. Quilt Labels

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Hi there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin? Each Wednesday, Join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin. This is the podcast for you.

Welcome to episode 28 of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. On today’s episode, we’re chatting all about quilt labels, but first, a quick reminder.

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All right, guys, let’s get sewing.

Okay. So quilt levels, labels, quilt labels. Why use quilt labels? So the most basic reason to use a quilt label is to let people know who made the quilt. Um, but they can be used for so much more than that. I personally like to think of my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandkids. Pulling them out and reading my name and telling a folklore level story about me. I know, I know I’m extra, but bear with me. As I became a more prolific quilter, I began to include the year that the quilt was made in for the future, but also so that I could compare how my quilting has developed along the way. But there is so much more that you could include on a quilt label. So there are the basics like who made the quilt. You can also include the quilt, the name of the quilt pattern that was used. Um, you can include the date and place it was completed. Uh, the name of the person, the quilt is being given to also the occasion. That is the reason for the gift giving like a graduation or retirement or anniversary. Um, you can include a quote, something, you know, cute and whatnot.

Um, you can include care instructions for the quilts, which can be especially helpful if you are doing a, you know, hand quilted, hand bound quilts, um, that you are given to somebody who is not really knowledgeable on how to handle that can be incredibly helpful for them. Um, also other things to keep in mind is if you get to the point where you want to start putting your quilts into quilt shows, um, the labels can actually be pretty detailed that they request for you to put on them. Uh, usually it’s like it’s name, it’s the quilt pattern. It’s the fabrics that are used it’s, um, the year and your address. Um, there there’s quite a bit that they want on those quote labels. So then those are not going to go on your standard tool, tape, quote labels. Those are going to go on something a little bit different, but I’m going to get into that in just a minute.

I’m getting ahead of myself as per usual. Um, and I also, I’m going to include all of this over at the show notes at So don’t worry, I will include that information for you. Um, but there are a lot of different ways. So now we’ve, we’ve gone over what should go on your quote label. And it could be just handmade by Nicole Gilbert, which is what my current quilt labels say, like super straightforward, or it could be a dearth of information. Um, like if you’re entering your quilt in a show, um, but there’s a lot of different types of quilt labels. So you can use twill tape, you can do embroidery, you can use permanent markers, you can do iron ons, you can have them custom made on Etsy. You can create a signature quilt block, um, and you can even print them on your computer.

So let me break down all of those different things. The most simple and classic clean version of a quote label, I think is the twill tape. And you can get twill tape printed on Etsy. You can order it. Uh, and then you would just like cut off, you know, four to six inches. And it would say something really simple, like just your name or your name and the year and how you attach it is you pin it to the backing of your quilts, um, kind of straddling one of the corners. And then you hold down either end of the tape with your binding as you’re binding your quilts. Um, and this will allow for like a very classic six simple look at, I love the little 12 tape. I don’t personally use truffle tape, but I love the look of it. Um, I think maybe my, uh, labels that I make next year that are dated might be twill tape just because I like to switch it up a little bit.

It kind of lends itself to the evolution in timeframe and whatnot. But again, that’s just me. I am, I’m sure you all know this, a quirky duck. So that is swell tape. Now the one is embroidery and you could do this kind of two different ways. You can either embroider a separate piece of fabric and then attach it to your quilt backing, or you can actually embroider the quote backing, I guess, what really depends on this one is what type of fabric you’re using for your backing. As far as the print goes with a busier print, it could be difficult to really see your quote label and quilt labels are kind of one of those like fun little things to find back there. So you do want it to be noticeable. Um, I have a tendency to do like a party in the back kind of quilt backing.

So I wouldn’t usually do embroidery directly onto my quilt backing. I would do it on a separate sheet, but if I’m completely honest, um, embroidery is just not my jam in any way, shape or form. So I don’t do embroidery period, but there are some gorgeous embroidered quote labels. Um, I actually would really like it, quilt, label. So shout out to anybody who wants to make me embroidered quilt labels. I just don’t have the patience for it. Um, but a lot of times they will be very, um, almost like a logo. So it’ll have the, the quilt maker’s name in the middle with the year and any other information that they want and then surrounding it in like a wreath fashion, there’ll be some version of florals or animals or something around the edges. And it just, it really is beautiful. Um, but again, we want to keep in mind if we’re doing that either.

What kind of fabric we’re using for our backing, if we’re using a plane or party in the back backing, because if you are using a highly patterned dark colored backing, you might want to do your embroidery on a lighter piece of fabric and then attach that fabric to your quilt back. Now you can attach when you’re using a separate piece of fabric like that, you can attach it just by sewing around the edges before you would make your quilt sandwich. So that, that way your quilting goes through it. You can, um, positioning in like a triangular fashion in the bottom corner so that it gets held on with the binding of your quilts. Um, and I’ve even seen people use, um, iron on fabric. So you can just iron it right on there. Um, speaking of that’s our next one. And actually that is what I currently am using for my quote labels.

I ordered on Etsy. Um, I went to this cute little shop. The name is escaping me, right, which is terrible. I will link to her in the show notes because she makes very cute things. And I’m all about supporting small business crafters. Like, Hey, it’s a club. Um, but mine are really basic. They just say handmade by Nicole Gilbert. Um, and they are iron ons and I love them so much because they’re super professional looking, super clean looking. They don’t detract from my cool and yet it’s still one of those cute little things that you see in the corner. And you’re like, Oh, cute. Um, and I mean, the sky’s the limit. You should see some really cool ones that are out there. Um, really, really impressive. Uh, the stuff that they’ve, that they’ve kind of come up with these Etsy retailers, I love Etsy who doesn’t love Etsy.

Etsy is amazing. Um, I do wish sometimes that quilting was a faster and less expensive hobby, just because I personally don’t think that at sea really translates for quilters. Um, I’ve seen it done, but it’s usually, they’re usually very pricey and, you know, it’s like one or two listings at a time, uh, unless it’s like quick charm pack, baby quilt kind of things I’m off on a tangent. Sorry. But anyway, back to what we were talking about, quote labels, uh, and so I do think there are a ton of really, really cool options on Etsy. So if you are not really wanting to make your own, but you want to incorporate a quote label, definitely check out Etsy because there are some really, really cool ones out there. Um, another thing that I’m starting to fall in love with, and I’m going back and forth now I’m doing this one and I’m like, Ooh, I’m going to 12 tape next year.

No. Now I’m starting to think I’m going to do this next one. Okay. Creating a signature quote block. So what you can do, and I’ve seen people do this on the fronts of their quilts and I’ve seen them, people do it on the backs. I prefer it on the back personally, but that’s just me. You actually make another quilt block of your quilt top. Some people do the same block for every quote, regardless of the quilt top, but I like doing it the same one as the one on the quilt top. Um, and you make a quilt block, but the central fabric or one of the pieces of fabric, one of the cuts actually has your quote label printed on it. And then you incorporate that into the backing of your quilt. So it’s actually like not any additional fabric at all. It’s like really in there.

And I will say, I have seen ones that are on the front. That look pretty cool, um, as well, but it’s just, I like, I like people doing things a little different. I like it to be a little different. Um, and which is why I really like the signature quote block idea. Um, and then lastly, you can even print them on your computer. I know. Pretty cool. So you don’t, so, and this one gets to me because I have used permanent markers as quote for quote labels in the past. Um, either to fill out like fill in the blank quote labels or to actually just like hand write and, um, so far it’s way better in theory than practice, they just don’t look as good there. And again, this could be me with the markers I’m choosing, but no matter what tutorials I follow, I end up with bleed and it’s just like, I spent all this work on a quilt.

I don’t want to put this on the back. Um, which is why printing them on your computer is so cool. And I know you’re like, what, how am I going to print on fabric? Don’t worry. I got you. I am going to go over that in a second. So let us now chit chat a little bit about making some of these. Okay. So we kind of, I mean, the making us signature quilt block thing is pretty straightforward. Um, it’s pretty straightforward. So you’re going to make a quilt block and then you’re going to incorporate it into your backing. You’re going to remeasure your backing so that you can work this into one of your corners and you’re good to go. Um, and it’s even easier to incorporate them in the front because you actually just use it in place of one of the traditional quilt blocks.

Now, if you are going to make a, um, quote label by printing it on your computer, this is what you have to do. First. You’re going to cut out a piece of fabric larger than a sheet of paper, like an eight by 11 computer paper. Then you’re going to cut out a piece of freezer, paper, freezer, paper, slightly larger than an eight by 11. Okay. Then you’re going to put the freezer paper, shiny side attached to the wrong side of your fabric. And you’re going to iron it lightly for just like a couple seconds, just a couple seconds just to get it to kind of stick on there. So it’s like one big sheet. Okay. And so now your freezer paper is kind of like backing on your fabric at that point. I want you to cut your fabric and freezer paper sandwich that you just created and cut it in the eight by 11 and a half or whatever those dimensions are for computer paper.

Cut it the size of computer paper. It now has your fabric and now has the, um, density or stiffness or rigidity or whatever. Um, I know I’m so technical guys to actually be fed through your printer. I know. So then you just load that sucker into the printer. Sure. The way that, you know, your printer needs to face up, face down, whatever, in order to print on it, then in word in Canva, I’m in power, but whatever thing you use to design your images, whatever level you’re at, um, you put all of the information you want on it, press print. It will print on, on the fabric. Okay. And now you’re like, okay. Yeah, but now I got free to be Brown it okay. The freezer paper peels off. So then you peel it off and now you have fabric that’s been printed on. I know, um, I typically wait 24 hours before doing anything with it after it’s been printed on just to make sure that ink really sets in there.

Um, but it’s awesome. It’s really cool. And you can get some really pretty professional looking labels that way. Um, and that is definitely, if you are going to be submitting, um, a quilt into a show, how I suggest you do your quote labels, uh, it will make the, it easier for the vendors and judges and, um, visitors to read exactly who you are and about your quilts. It will also make sure that you are able to include all the information you have to include and it’ll be so pretty. So I definitely suggest doing that. Um, also, and this is just for those of you. I love those of you who are like, thinking about like upleveling your, your quote game. I suggest going to Fiverr F I V E R And having them make you a little, um, like a logo as you know.

So like I have one that says Nicole Gilbert quilts, and there’s like a little needle and thread and it’s super cute. But then once you have that logo, when you go to print those quote labels, you put that logo on there. Oh my gosh, it looks super professional. You guys, you just up-leveled, these are the little touches to your quilting that will make you look super profesh. Um, and I mean, we all want that, cause I know this is a hobby and we just love to do it and we’re sharing it with our family and our friends, but don’t, you also kind of want to be like, look at me. I’m kind of awesome. And that’s one of those touches that will be like, Holy cow. She’s pretty awesome. So I’m getting off my soap box now, moving on. Okay. Um, another really great thing. Okay. So a lot of people are going to tell you I’ve got all these notes and I don’t know why I write all these notes because I’m such a scattered brain mess. So when you hear these little herky jerky things, it’s because my brain has started to go on tangent and then my notes are like, no girl, you, you meant to talk about this. So my apologies. Um, So

I spoke a little bit about writing with permanent markers and there are a lot of tips out there. And I did plan in my notes to go over using permanent markers, to create quote labels. And you know what, I refuse. We’re not going to do that because honestly, I don’t like it. I, I, regardless of what types I D I’ve done, I just can’t get the handle of it. So for me to teach it to you guys would be disingenuous in my part, uh, conversely on that, if you’ve mastered using permanent markers for your quit labels or using permanent markers on your fabric without bleed, please email because I want to know, and I’m going to pick your brain because I really do want that information. So please do that. Okay.

Now adding a quilt label by machine,

You can do the signature block. We talked about that you can create like a signature strip. So you would just in one simple strip of, of paper, you can use the basic embroidery stitches on your machine. You can handwrite it, uh, or you could print it on your computer and attach that as well, similarly to how you would attach something that’s larger. And really the big thing that I want you guys to take away from all of this is that it doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be crazy. You just have to just do it. So I know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t do quote labels, I, for a while, didn’t do quote labels myself, but I genuinely think that you are doing yourself a disservice from skipping, the quilt labels. I think that you take yourself a little bit more seriously when you use a quote label, um, you take a little bit more pride in the project when you know, you’re going to be labeling it.

And also when you’re gifting your quilts, um, people genuinely appreciate that kind of stuff. And you know what I think I know that there’s like four or five quilts out there that I haven’t labeled. And that makes me really sad because those people who I know are loving using those quilts, um, at some point like who made it, it’s going to be forgotten. And that makes me a little sad. So, um, especially when I think of like some of my military family that I have given quotes to like, eventually it’s going to be like, Oh yeah, that was, you know, so, and so’s wife that worked with daddy back in yada yada yada unit. And it’s, it just gets, it gets lost. Um, and I just love quilt history and keeping track of that kind of stuff. Um, I actually am now taking it a step further than quote labels, and I’m starting to actually photograph each quilt, put it in a little scrapbook with the pattern news, the fabric used and date that I completed it.

Um, so that, that way, even when my quilts are gifted away, I still have a little piece of them with me. Uh, so that is yet another thing for you guys to kind of keep in mind, but there you have it. You guys, you have just finished another episode of the stop scrolling start sowing podcast. Thank you for hanging out with me and catch up on today’s episode and all past episodes, head over to the modern culture, Make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now, stop scrolling and start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle