30 June, 2019

Document Those Quilts!

This is the second in a series of things that we all know that we're supposed to do when making quilts but are overlooked a good deal of the time. The previous post covered prewashing fabrics that might bleed before they're used in our quilts, thus avoiding catastrophe. Today's post is about documenting your quilts. You know how glorious that feeling of pride and accomplishment is when you take that final stitch in a completed quilt? You want to revel in the moment and you think you'll add the label and vital information later. Later has a way of never coming. My Mom asked me if I would help her to document her quilts while I visited earlier this month. We rounded them all up; I found eleven without labels. Believe me, it's much easier to remember given quilt names when it's in the front of your mind, not years later! We persevered. Mom supplied the best information that she could and I took it all down, photographing each one as we went. Remember, adding labels isn't for you, (although it might be handy to check on the information for yourself), but all the data on the label is really for discovery by the next generation or recipients of your quilts; it can be as extensive or as brief as the quiltmaker chooses. 
So, what exactly should go on a quilt label? Bare minimum of facts to be included are the quiltmaker's name, his or her geographical location at the time the quilt was made and the year. 
My own labels include the quilt's name, my name, my location, the year (often the year begun and the year completed, they're not often the same year!), any pertinent pattern designer information if that applies and the name of the quilter if that varies from myself. Typically I design my labels on my laptop and print them out onto a paper-backed photo-transfer fabric sheets*.  You could also embroider your labels or write them by hand with a permanent fabric pen onto a piece of stabilized fabric. Once it's completed I attach it to the bottom corner of the quilt back, incorporating it into the binding at that corner. 

Believe me-- adding your labels as you finish your quilts is one less worry that you'll have later when you're trying to remember "when did I make this?", "did it have a name?", "what was the pattern source?"!! Time's wasting; go forth and document your quilts! You're welcome. I will be working on a dozen labels or so in the next few weeks, wouldn't you like to join me? 
Life is Good!

*I have always used Dritz Printed Treasures for this process in the past but find them harder and harder to find, and when I do they're much more expensive; I may switch to EQ printable sheets in the future, they do get good reviews.     

9 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

i had to purchase some sheets recently and had serious sticker shock....but great post and important info...

Little Penpen said...

Lots of pretty quilts! I am slack on labels, but try to label if I am giving it away.

Pamela said...

Great post. I try to add a label and enjoy remembering when I see them.

julieQ said...

Yes, indeed...very pertinent reminder for me!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I also like the method of cutting a square that is then folded corner to corner (making a triangle) and stitching the two raw edged sides into the binding. Information is written on the triangular area before it is stitched in place and the folded edge is then hand stitched to the quilt's back. I also ordered some printed labels that include my name and essential care information - these are my bare minimum label method for EVERY quilt I make now.

KaHolly said...

I always add labels, but never think to add my geographic location to the information. Sometimes, I don’t even include my name. Isn’t Auntie Karen enough info? Lol! Great post today. Your mom’s quilts are beautiful. She’s lucky for your assistance! Enjoy your day!

Shasta Matova said...

I try to add my label before the binding - that way I have less to hand sew, and if I do it right (triangles, put in before that section is quilted), I don't have to hand sew at all. My info is pretty basic, name, city, state, date finished. Once in a while I will add more info or make it prettier, but usually it is just a fabric marker. Your Mom's quilts are beautiful! I still have a bulls eye quilt on my to-make list.

Janet O. said...

I second everything you said here. So important to label. I am currently trying to get labels on Mom's quilts using the info from the book I complied of her quilts earlier this year. She hasn't labeled any of hers!

Tanya said...

Great lesson... one that I preach but often don't do...