Safeguarding our Quilts – a New Look at Best Practices (1 of 2)

Today’s blog post is the first in a two part series about safeguarding quilts – today’s blog will cover the physical quilt, and the second will talk about the electronic image of your work. One of the things that I have been diligent about over the years is putting labels on my work…but recent events have had me rethinking how I place them

I’ve had a couple of stories about stolen quilts cross my newsfeed recently – alas, they are becoming more and more prevalent. Quilters have long known about the Lost and found quilt page, but in the past month or so alone, I read about the Quilts taken off the porch at a shop in Minnesota, and then another story about a Dream Big panel taken from a shop in Oregon. Any quilt stolen is heartbreaking, and it does seem to be a sign a the times, unfortunately. A label is no guarantee, but it does offer some peace of mind.

This was for a guild challenge, so I added information about the challenge to the label. It’s always where I need it.

As a quilter, my quilt labels have evolved a lot over the years. Truthfully, most of mine now are done on the computer – because I can do them to some extent in bulk, but also because handwriting has never been my strong suit, and the more I type, the less it’s legible. I select the fabric that I want to use – usually something that’s part of the quilt, when I can – and cut it to the size of a sheet of paper…then I iron a piece of freezer paper to it, and send it through the printer.

The labels are printed in Microsoft word, and the can include any type of text, or photograph, or image that I want. A regular sized sheet of paper can easily make 2 or three labels…and even if they’re more generic in nature than I might like, I can always add details later. Once the paper is printed, I remove the freezer paper, and apply Mistyfuse to the back of the label…that way I just need to fuse it into place when I am done, secure the edges by hand, and move on.

A label which is fused is harder to separate from your quilt than one that is just stitched on, but I received a quilt in a swap that had the label done in a way that I had never seen before…she fused it to the back prior to quilting, and then quilted over it…the label isn’t going anywhere!

My Teal Mini from 2016
Alison Church Bird

I don’t know whether this is a regional difference – Ali is in Alabama- or not, but I had never seen a label sewn in this way. I admit it took me a little by surprise, but I’m now adopting it as my official favorite way to attach one. It does require you to think about the label a little earlier in the process…instead of my tail end of the process way, but I think it’s important to learn and to grow.

Labels should also be fun – especially when they are being gifted to someone who’s little. My last two grandbabies quilts have hearts – and labels on them from Nana – on the front (where they’ll be seen!.

Henry’s quilt – look at the bottom left corner.

You can find premade labels in almost every quilt shop – so whatever method you choose, please label your quilts (especially if they leave your possession professionally). Get that pile of quilts that are almost done anf think about how you can add this one little detail to them.

So now I want to hear from you….How do you label your quilts? And most importantly to me…how have you changed how it gets done?

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