Friday, August 19, 2016

How I label my quilts

I've been asked recently how I label my quilts.

Answer #1:  Label my quilts?  Oops!  I missed that step on the last few, and more before that...

That earned me a lecture.

Answer#2:  When I do remember to label, I use a square of muslin folded into a triangle sewed into the back corner of the binding.

That answer earned a blank stare, so I thought I'd share a short tutorial.  I don't claim to have come up with this method. I've seen it in various places and I don't remember where I saw it first, but I really like its simplicity.  The simpler it is, the likelier I am to do it!

Start with a square of muslin or other light colored fabric and fold it in half diagonally, right side out, to form a triangle.  Press to get a crisp folded edge, and write whatever information you want to include on one side.  I usually include the name of the quilt, name of the pattern and designer, who made the top and who quilted it, and a date.  If it's a gift I might add a message to the recipient as well, or note the occasion.

The size of the square depends on how much you want to write on the label.  I usually err on the larger side and trim down if needed after I have written what I want to include, leaving at least a half inch beyond any writing, and keeping that bottom point nice and square (90 degrees).

Tuck the triangle into one corner of the quilt, on the back, matching raw edges.

Pin the label in place.  Pin and sew your binding to the front of the quilt as usual.  As you sew around the quilt to sew on the binding, the raw edges of the label will also be sewn to the quilt.

Turn the binding to the back and sew it down as usual.  You can also hand stitch the folded edge of the triangle to the backing if you wish.  (I say if you wish, because if you sew a triangle like this to both top corners of smaller quilts, they can be used as little pockets to slip the ends of a hanging rod into.)

There you go.  A nice, tidy, easy label.


  1. This is exactly the method I use--so slick.
    I have seen some amazing pieced labels, but if I thought I had to do that in order to label a quilt, it would never happen. Easy is doable. : )
    I first saw this method on Quiltville, from Bonnie Hunter, but have seen it other places as well.
    I keep a pile of muslin squares ready to press and stitch on. If I was really on the ball I would have the whole pile already pressed, but that might be more organized than I could handle.

  2. This is Bonnie Hunter's way of adding a label, easy and more permanent because it is sewn along with the binding. Jill in Calgary

  3. I have used this method before and agree it is easy.

  4. Love the idea of using that to hang it! Thanks for the idea. That is how I do my labels.... oops did not put one onto the last quilt.

  5. Great idea! I'm going to make one for the quilt I'm working on now.

  6. Like you I barely label anything but i like this method so I might give it a go.

  7. That's exactly how I do my labels too. However, sometimes I fold a rectangle in half---just depends on what I plan to write. Either shape, I always machine stitch it in to the outside edge and hand stitch the binding over it, and then the other edge(s). I hope to do that on my big project this weekend, if I can ever decide what to name that monster! ---"Love"

  8. Brilliant! I always make a separate block and Applique it onto the back, but this looks so much simpler! XO

  9. THis is how I normally do mine. I've also used a spare block from the quilt before now though

  10. Love this idea but what do you use for a pen I am doing something for someone and I need to make sure its going to be permanent after many washes?Heather

    1. I use a micron pigma pen. It's safe and permanent on fabric. I buy mine at my local quilt shop. Avoid Sharpies - my daughter used one to collect signatures on a camp pillowcase and the ink ran in the first wash, leaving smears but not much in the way of signatures!


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