I finally got motivated to label a whole stack of quilts - 15 to be exact!!
I find it's easiest to do a bunch at one time vs. labeling them individually, unless of course, I'm giving the quilt away - then I usually just do a simple label it at that time.
Doing multiple labels at once means I can pull out all my supplies (pigma pen, freezer paper, etc.), and remember the process better (i.e. remembering to heat set the label, which pigma pen works best, etc., etc.)!
Here's how I go about it:
I keep all the information from each finished quilt project (stat sheet, pattern, binding scraps,etc.) in a plastic zip lock bag.
It gets placed in a wire basket in my quilt studio.
That way, all the information I need is available when the inspiration/motivation to work on labels strikes.
What is a "stat" sheet? I developed a stat sheet where I can record details about each quilt for my own personal reference, such as the name of the quilt, the size, what batting was used, date started, date completed, awards, any additional notes, etc. I even record what I learned, any firsts (i.e. a new quilting design, new technique), what I wish I had done differently, etc. I find I refer to that info often when working on other projects, like when trying to decide what batting to use for a quilt because I want it to be like a previous one. (I always think I'll remember which batting I used, or what shade of Kona cotton, but I find myself forgetting those details within a few days!!) It's especially helpful when it comes time to make a label.
(I also started keeping a "Machine Quilting Stat Sheet" for each quilt that I machine quilt myself. I'm finding that to be extremely useful as well.)
When I'm ready to create a label, I iron a square of freezer paper onto the back of the label fabric and use a Micron Pigma pen to write the info directly onto the fabric; the 05 is a nice size for writing on fabric.
I find it really helpful to type out all the info first; it makes centering the lines so much easier. Keep in mind that it's OK to make a mistake or misspell a word; you can easily toss the label in the trash at this point and write up another one. Just peel off the freezer paper and iron it onto another piece of fabric. Relax - otherwise, you'll stress yourself out and make even more mistakes!
Once you're pleased with the label, heat set the ink with a hot iron for about 10 seconds. (I've only recently been doing that after reading some articles on line.)
Then, trim to the desired size if necessary.
For this batch of labels, I framed the majority of them with the same binding fabric as the quilt. That way the label ties in nicely with the quilt and doesn't look like an afterthought.
If your quilt has a solid backing fabric or the backing fabric doesn't show through the single layer of your label, you can simply turn the edges under and stitch it to the back of your quilt.
If not, this method works well - cut a solid piece of fabric the same size as your prepared label, pin right sides together, stitch around all four sides, then slit the back and turn it inside out and press. Now your label is two layers thick; this will prevent the design of the backing fabric from showing through.
Here are some other ideas:
An orphan block makes a great label!
Some quilts are a little more challenging to label, such as this Yo Yo Coverlet.
In this case, I simply wrote the basic info on a circle of fabric that can be appliqued to the back of one of the yo yo's.
Sometimes I do a more elaborate label, depending on the design of the quilt, such as this one.
I went through a phase where I did lots of labels with traced designs:
As you've probably noticed, I always include the number of the quilt on the label for the quilts I intend to keep for myself. I've done that since my very first quilt, having a strong sense that many more quilts would follow! It's really nice having that info documented in case I want to chronologically display my quilts at an event, or if I'm doing a presentation or trunk show. Also, after I'm dead and gone, if someone wants to collect my quilts, they know there are more to locate - ha!
I goofed on the number on this one, but didn't discover my error until I was completely done; I didn't have the heart to start over. :(
When I'm completely finished, I file away all the info from each project in a separate hanging file folder in a file cabinet conveniently located in my quilt studio. Again, I find myself referring to that file drawer often.
I know a lot of people have mastered the technique of printing labels on an ink jet printer, but I prefer the personal touch of my own handwriting.
I'm not recommending that you wait until you have 15 quilts to label, but I do hope that this post inspires you to be diligent about labeling your quilts! This is simply my method. There are oodles of different ways to go about it, and there is no one right way. The most important thing is that YOU take the time to label your quilts!
For some more ideas on quilt labels, take a look at my Pinterest board.