Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Quilt Labels

I just returned from visiting with my daughter and son-in-law. More importantly, I visited with my two, dear granddaughters. The almost three week old was wide-eyed when I arrived, lying on Daddy's chest. Grandpa held her for awhile, but she got to fussing. So, Grandma took her and she soon fell asleep on my shoulder. Of course, not to be outdone, her three-year-old sister had to have the attention. She talked about the cat which she often carries about the house, frequently irritating the cat. She preened in her Snow White costume dress, then put on butterfly wings and a crown. She insisted on flying about the house and into her room, where we read a couple of stories and put together puzzles, one of her favorite activities. How precious are our little ones.

My visit had a purpose, beyond just seeing my grandchildren. I also presented my finished baby quilt to the parents of the new little one. The quilt top has been done for awhile. Many of you will remember that I made my Mystery Quilt V for the baby. However, a quilt is not finished until the label is attached. I was finally able to make and attach the label last night. Here is a look at my label.


Quilt labels have become popular with quiltmakers. In years past, quilters often embroidered names and dates on their quilts. This provides modern day historians with documentation on the age of a quilt. But, more than dating a quilt, the modern day quilter uses the quilt label to tell the story behind the making of the quilt. The label provides identification information such as who the recipient of the quilt is; how the quilt was made, such as pieced, appliqued or hand stitched; who completed the quilting and whether it was machine or hand quilted; the occasion for the quilt; and, of course, the date the quilt was competed. It also may contain stories, quotes, poems, or other tidbits of information that allows the reader inside the life of the quilter. Special occasions are often commemorated by the giving of a quilt, and the story about the event can be depicted on the label.  

Quilt labels can be as creative as the quilt pattern on the front of the quilt. I often carry over the fabric from the quilt into the label, seen in the example above. I also look for designs that are appropriate for the recipient. The label for my other granddaughter's quilt has a little girl standing by a #1. The quilt was finished in time for her first birthday, so the design was fitting. Fabric pens are the most used tool for writing or coloring designs on handmade labels. Use your imagination for designs or look for books with lots of premade ones to trace. I found a book on woodpainting designs at a yard sale, that I've used many times. Printing grayscale designs from your computer printshop program is also a source for designs. If you are intimidated by the fancy labels others' have made, consider a preprinted label that can be personalized. Or, purchase paper backed fabric sheets to create labels from your inkjet computer.  I've made a few of these and inserted family photos. However, you make your label, be sure to add one.

I have made labels for quilts for many years. Hopefully, many of you are placing labels on your quilts. Years from now, historians will look back upon quilts made during our lifetime and the labels will certainly be a topic of conversation. I wonder what they will be saying.

Published Tue, Apr 3 2012 8:24 PM by Pamela


# re: Quilt Labels@ Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:01 AM

Another fantastic blog! I enjoyed this one about the quilt label. Not everyone understands the importance of the label. Sounds like you had a happy visit with your grandchildren. We have to enjoy them while we can.


# re: Quilt Labels@ Thursday, April 5, 2012 4:01 PM

I was encouraged by your blog on quilt labels. Previously, I have just embroidered or hand written a label, but with the quilts I just made my granddaughters, I created a label that included the spiritual meaning of their names. All three have a quilt from the same pattern but in different color schemes. I enjoyed hand embroidering the 15 blocks and then finishing the quilt top. I hope they will be enjoyed by my granddaughters for years to come.


# re: Quilt Labels@ Friday, February 22, 2013 10:33 AM

I liked your info about quilt labels and that is something I have not been doing but will start.  Thanks for sharing.