Making a Quilt Label

charity quilt label sewn into corner of quilt back

Although there are different ways of making labels for a quilt, the method offered here is the method I use the most.

Labels can be computer printed directly on fabric that has been specially treated, but I prefer printing it on paper then tracing it onto fabric because it gives a personal, hand written look which is neater than my handwriting. By composing the label on the computer, it takes any guesswork out of getting everything to fit and look good. Plus there is the bonus of so many different font styles from which to choose.

For this method, there are basically three steps to making a label: composing it on the computer, printing it on paper and then tracing it onto fabric; after which you will need to either attach it to the quilt or incorporate it into the quilt.

That is it, but if you want to know more details on how to customize it, read on.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • computer and printer
  • computer printer paper
  • permanent pigment marker suitable for fabric
  • light table
  • fabric for label- light colored and at least an inch bigger than the finished label in both height and width.
  • tape- painters blue masking tape has less tack and is easier to remove.

1.  COMPOSE THE LABEL ON THE COMPUTER.

I  usually use Word, but any word processing program or graphics program with text will work. In Word, I insert a text box and stretch it to about the size the finished label is to be.

label design for charity quilt

The label for the above charity quilt was made in Word. I used center alignment of text and adjusted the font size of each line to make it fit a triangle. To see if it would fit a right angle triangle corner of a quilt, I held up a corner of a piece of printer paper to the computer monitor and adjusted fonts until it did. The flourish at the bottom was from Word’s clip art gallery. I printed the  label in black ink only as color was not necessary.

The margin between the text and the box is a little narrower that I usually prefer, so it gets widened. By right clicking with the mouse inside the text box , I can access a menu where I can select “paragraph” by left clicking on it. Increasing the margins is done by increasing the size of indentation on both right and left.

After typing the text for the label, I will adjust the font style and size to fit the box. Generally, anything smaller than the equivalent of 16pt. in Times New Roman will be too small to comfortably trace on fabric. A font without a serif is easier to trace. Fonts with serifs are the ones with the extra details at the beginning and end of a letter stroke.

If I want a shaped text box, then I use a graphics program. There I can either select a quick shape or a shape from the clipart gallery and open it on a blank page. Either way, I will adjust the size of the box or shape and the font so they work together. Text can be typed to fit a quick shape but not a gallery shape. Every option in any program has advantages and disadvantages, so sometimes I end up using more than one program to get what I want.

label design made in graphics program

2. PRINT THE LABEL ON REGULAR PRINTER PAPER.

I use black ink only as it is easier to see through the fabric when tracing on a light table.

3. TRACE THE LABEL ONTO FABRIC.

Lay the paper printed copy of the label face up on light table. Tape the fabric face up to the paper copy with it centered on the label area. Place the whole thing on top of your light table, turn on light and trace the letters that show through the fabric. I usually trace the box outline too. If it is to be part of the design, I trace it with the pigment marker. If it is to be used to mark where to turn the fabric edge or cut the fabric edge, then I lightly trace it with a pencil.

4. SEW LABEL TO QUILT.

Cut the label to size; finished size plus seam allowance. Press seam allowance to back of label. Pin label to quilt and then sew it in place.

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