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.


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
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 means more than you can possibly know.


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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