Monday, February 20, 2017

Sharing My Secrets


Don't get your hopes up. There will be nothing salacious revealed here!

But I do want to tell you  how I create the most adorable labels for my quilts. I do it with help and you can, too!

Kim Churbuck had some books in the quilt stores some ten years ago with her simple pencil drawings to be used for making quilt labels. 

the design I used most recently

I've not seen any of her books in some time, but I did look her up on the Internet and found a book with many of her designs in one place. I may buy it because I really like her work and the recipients of my quilts have said the same thing.

using a light box

To use a design like this, I first iron a piece of Reynolds freezer paper to the backside of the label fabric. I have skipped this step at times in the past but drawing on the fabric is so much easier with the freezer paper backing because it gives a firmer writing surface.

Pigma Micron 05 archival ink pen in black

Using this pen, a lightbox, and blue painter's tape, I simply trace the design onto the fabric. You can buy this pen in some colors (red, blue, yellow and green) and I have used them in the past but sometimes they are hard to find. I usually just go with black. This pen can be found in the art department at Hobby Lobby. You can also find a finer point, but I like working with the 05 size the best.

This ink in this pen will stand up to repeated washings after setting it with a hot iron.

finished quilt label (names have been blotted out for Internet security)

This is the quilt label for my newest great-nephew. After the design is complete, press it well with a hot iron (don't use steam or water) to set the ink. Peel off the freezer paper.

Then turn under all the raw edges and hand-sew onto the back of the quilt. You should not machine-sew the label because the thread will show on the front of the quilt.

One of my personal 'soap box' issues is that all quilts given as gifts (and really ANY quilt you make) should have a label with the name of the quilter and the recipient, the date, and any other pertinent information you may want to include.

I always put a Bible verse on the label because this is a tangible way I can instill God's Word into the lives of others. 

I cannot tell you how many times it has happened to me that years after a quilt has been given to a baby, a mother will say to the child, that's Mrs ...., or Aunt Barbara who made your quilt for you.  Their eyes will light up with understanding that a real, live person created their quilt for them. 

It's my legacy. 

By the way, my handwriting is not that great. I typed out the Bible verse and other information on my computer using a favorite font, printed it up and traced it, along with the little kid in the bathtub, with the help of the light box.

P.S. In another post this week I will share the quilt with this label. It's en route to the home of the newborn now, so I want to wait until it is received to post those pictures.


  1. That is too cute and everyone will always know who made it and when. When you give such a gift of love it should definitely have a label. Happy week!

  2. Oh I learned some great things here today. I will definitely try the freezer paper tip.

  3. What an interesting post. I do not quilt, but I have many friends who do and I'll certainly give them the link to this post. I love her artwork.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing how you make your labels! I always appreciate learning new techniques in any field of crafting. I hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. I wonder, do you wash your fabric before drawing/printing on it?

    1. Yes, Rose. I pre-wash all of my fabric before cutting into it for any project. It's just a good habit to get into because some fabrics have a manufacturer's finish on them that will come off on the bottom of the iron (!!!), some fabrics will bleed their color if not pre-washed, and some will shrink! Pre-washing tends to eliminate all or most of those problems.

      Thanks for stopping by!