Quilting Labels add so much

Quilting labels are an often neglected aspect of quilting. Quilting has been around for centuries. Some very old quilts have survived but nothing is known about who and why the quilt was made, let alone when.

It is a nice tradition to start to make quilts for your family and friends. But even these family heirlooms deteriorate as do people’s memories and who made the quilt and when is lost.

Friendship and community quilts now are including labels of one form or another.

There are many different ways you can label your quilts. Quilting labels can be a section of embroidery or these days there are plenty of permanent markers available. Or you could attach a woven label like you put onto the kid’s clothes so they don’t lose them at school.

I have also learnt about a new product that allows you to print labels straight from the computer onto fabric.

This is done using Bubble Jet Set and Rinse. Read the instructions that come with the pack but here is an outline of what is involved.

Soak your fabric in the Bubble Jet Set. This allows it to take the inks. Cotton muslin or calico is recommended but experiment and see what works best for you. Let the fabrics dry.

To enable the fabric to pass through the printer it needs some thickness and stability. This is achieved by ironing freezer paper onto the back. Try the stuff you’ve got at home or Bubble Jet sell pre-cut sheets that are thicker and worth the extra investment.

Trim the fabric to fit your printer. Either cut in “paper sheet” sizes or, if your printer has the appropriate setting, create a banner of any length you desire – within reason, of course.

Quilting Labels add so much

Print your lovely new design for your quilt labels you have created on the computer. The colors will not be as bright on the fabric so allow for this, if possible.

Leave the inks to dry and then remove the backing.

The fabric then needs to be washed to remove any excess chemicals and inks. You need plenty of water and a gentle detergent. You don’t want to wash all the ink out or there goes your design down the sink.

Use the Bubble Jet Rinse following the manufacturers instructions and allow to dry. You may want to heat set by giving a final iron.

You don’t have to use this method just for creating quilting labels. You can create your own designer fabrics for all sorts of projects.

If you’re not sure what sort of info to include on your quilting labels here are some ideas:

  • Name of person who made it
  • Name of person who did the quilting, if not the same person
  • When it was made and where
  • Maybe include a fun motif
  • Who it was made for and why, such as Wedding Quilt for Mary and Roger

Now that will really make it an heirloom.