My grandmother, Ella Brown, was an amazing woman. She was a prolific quilter in a time before rotary cutters and rulers. She drew templates on cardboard, usually from a cereal box, drew around the template and cut the pieces for her block one patch at a time. Grandma made 10 to 15 quilts a year. Her quilts weren’t fancy. They were made from leftovers from my mother and my aunt’s garment sewing as well as the “good” fabric from worn out items. Grandma was also a generous woman. She gave quilts as gifts: wedding, graduation, baby, etc. If a family in the community had a house fire, Grandma would give them multiple quilts.

I still live in the same small rural community where my grandmother spent most of her adult life. When I go to auctions with old quilts, I find myself looking at the fabric to see if there is a fabric that I recognize. I have no way of knowing whether I am looking at one of my grandma’s quilts. When she was quilting, she didn’t label her quilts. Her quilts were to be used until they were worn out.

Our thinking is different now. As quiltmakers, we are artists. It doesn’t matter if we make bed-sized quilts or wall hangings, art quilts or more traditional quilts … we are artists! I name my quilts and I label them. When my children and grandchildren find something in 50 years, I want them to be able to tell if I was the quiltmaker.
My labels have evolved (by Tahmineh at dh store). Older quilts have purchased label fabric with the information written with fabric safe markers.

Simply Charming1 300x224 Labels???

As I got a little smarter with my sewing machine, I used the built in alphabet stitches. Notice also the row of decorative stitches on the contrasting fabric.

Roses for Winter1 300x224 Labels???

Now I embroider my labels. I have dozens of fonts and sizes to choose from.

Victory Garden 300x224 Labels???


There aren’t rules about size or shape or what you have to include. A bit of whimsy is not a bad thing.

I Kissed a Frog 300x224 Labels???

I keep a spread sheet in my computer where each quilt is identified by name, month and year completed and if it was a gift, who I’ve given it to. I photograph all of my quilts, usually front, back and label.

How do you label and track your quilts? If you have an idea you’d like to share, leave a comment below.

On another subject, our sister publication, Quiltmaker, is doing a blog tour this week to celebrate their new Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks – Volume 5. Check it out here. It looks like great fun!

About Lori Baker

Lori is the creative editor at Quilters Newsletter.
This entry was posted in Lori Baker, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Labels???

  1. Carol Sharman says:

    I make my quilt labels in cross stitch using Wildflowers embroidery thread. These threads come in wonderful variegated colours and I match them to the colours used in my quilt.

  2. Roxanne says:

    i make a mini block of one of the front blocks. this is the label for the back and then i embroider the words on and the year i completed the quilt. so each label is different.

  3. DianeH says:

    I print out my labels using freezer paper/muslin with my printer.

  4. Gail says:

    I just started labeling & currently use my printer. I’m interested in machine embroidery, but am overwhelmed at the amount of machines to choose from. What embroidery machine do you use?

  5. J Miranda says:

    I label every quilt using my printer with multiple fonts and Printed Treasures printable fabrics. I name the quilt, put the name of the person I gave it to, the event or date it was given for, where they live, my name, and where I live, and some kind of personal message.

  6. Joy m says:

    I photo copy a piece of fabric from my quilt onto paper. Type my label on the computer including my name, date completed, where I live, name of the quilt. If it is a gift, I include recipients name and where they live, method used to make the quilt, i.e. appliqué, beading, machine quilted, etc. Size the label accordingly. Load your paper tray with ink jet fabric. Print the prepared fabric with photo copy of fabric and wording for the label. Lately, I have been writing poems about what I make and include it on the back of the piece. Making the label has become as important as piecing the top.

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