Monday, December 11, 2006

The Problem with Labels

If I had to nominate a step in the quiltmaking process that I enjoy least, it would be labels. This is kind of weird because I love doing bindings and associate bindings with the joy of completing a project. But not labels - go figure.

I can recite all the reasons why labelling your quilt and recording its story is a good idea. I also acknowledge the practical benefits of capturing quilt care details such as noting what kind of batting is used. Nevertheless, I confess that many of my quilts are currently sans labels. Part of the reason for this is that I've made quite a few baby quilts and I like to personalise the labels when I've identified the recipient which can be at a much later time. Other excuses for not labelling my quilts are that my needlework skills are not up to par to hand embroider labels. Perhaps I should practise...

Some of my labels are basic pigma pen specials but my handwriting is not so neat so I prefer to print my labels with my inkjet printer. This is very much a hit and miss exercise. Sometimes the printer picks up the fabric sheets and my label emerges crisp and clean like this label on my sister's Confetti Wedding Quilt:

Other times, the printer feeds crookedly. Or worse, it doesn't engage at all but proceeds to print anyway gunking everything up. I think I 've developed a label phobia as a result. I'd be interested to know how you go about labelling your quilts.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Lisa Walton said...

I hate labels too for the same reason. Printing them hardly ever seems to work and I have tried all the tricks but still nothing consistently works. Love the one of yours which did work though.

December 11, 2006 10:12 pm  
Blogger Tracey Petersen said...

I like to 'sign' my quilts as a part of the machine quilting. Somewhere toward the bottom of the quilt you can find my initials and the year. I figure that labels could be removed, but who is going to unpick the quilting.

December 11, 2006 11:00 pm  
Anonymous Robin said...

I use Color Textiles-Color Plus Fabrics in the Cotton Poplin weight- you can find it at www.outofmymindprints.com
it is fabric with a paper back that feeds really nicely into a printer -I use the one for inkjet printers. You can set the ink when you are done. They have many other weights of fabric to choose from.

December 12, 2006 2:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Confession. I don't. I know I should. Maybe it will be a New Year's resolution now that I've admitted it to the world here. :)

December 12, 2006 2:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Brenda. Labels are a pain, but I always try to put one on, anyway. I've used Pigma Pens but, like you, my writing isn't very neat. I've used ink jet-printed labels, and sometimes they print wonky. Plus, I'm always worried how color-fast they'll be. I notice they DO fade over time. It's a real dilemma, because I think everyone agrees that labelng is important. I'd love to hear about a brilliant solution...maybe we will!

December 12, 2006 3:13 am  
Blogger Helen Conway said...

I've only ever bothered on the one I gave away (I keep telling myself that I will get round to all the others but I hate bindings and some don't even have those on yet so...). On that one I used the lettering embroidery stitch on my machine and just did my initials and the year.

December 12, 2006 8:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Brenda. The printer is notoriously inconsistent. There is a paper backed fabric from Timeless Treasures that works great most of the time....but I test-print on paper first in hopes of preventing blobbing of ink...

BTW, thank you for your message on my blog....it means more than you can possibly know.

teri

December 13, 2006 12:57 am  
Anonymous Di said...

Has anyone tried the books of iron on labels? I've tried a couple and they worked really well. I'm with you - don't like doing the label at the end but the iron on version was quick and easy. Just found your blog - really enjoying it.

December 14, 2006 10:47 am  

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