While attending computer class yesterday (yup, I’m still struggling to get a handle on all this technology),
I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting beside me. She was asking about quilt labels and wondering what to write on them. I hope these thoughts inspire you to sign your work and create beautiful labels.
Why Bother With A Label?
As quilters, we often view our work as gifts of love. The artistic quality is often overlooked. I frequently hear “Well, it’s just something for the kids to drag around and cuddle up in.” This is true. That “something to cuddle up in” is a work of art that came from the heart. It was stitched with loving care. We have to learn to value our work.
“But it’s just a first effort. It’s not really good enough to put a label on.” This is what I used to say, and sometimes I catch myself doing this even today. I had an eye-opening experience with my nephew, Spencer. Spencer is a passionate young painter. He signs every piece he finishes. This is probably required by his art teacher, but there is a lesson here for all of us. Every artwork deserves a signature- even your early efforts.
Why? Who? Where? When? What Should A Label Say?
Start with the Title, if your quilt has one. You have invested thought, effort, blood, sweat, tears and time in each creation, so whenever a title comes to mind, christen the project with a name.
Who is this quilt for? Was it made for a special occasion?
Why did you choose this design, pattern or color palette? This can be included if it is part of the reason for the quilt. Sometimes, the answer is so obvious you don’t need it on the label.
Who designed the quilt? Who pieced it? Who quilted it? Often, these tasks are accomplished by more than one person. Always credit the workmanship. It’s just good manners.
Because quilts travel all over the world and down the generations, include the city, state, or country in which the quilt was made. If you are not sure who pieced it, say so. For example, I have some quilts that Grandma Kinsey pieced. I plan to finish them. From the fabrics, I can guess she worked on them during the 1930’s. It’s a guess. I’ll include that info on the label in case it winds up in a historical study sometime in the future.
Not everyone knows how to care for a quilt. Some pieces go in the washer and dryer with the sheets and other blankets. Some require “gentle” handling.
Make It Memorable
Whenever possible, decorate your label with a motif that goes with the quilt. I search for embroidery designs that capture the spirit of the project. Below you will find a few examples.
If you need help with the wording on your label, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to help you. If you would like a custom label, I would be happy to create one for you. Custom labels start at $8.